On the Edge of Empire

Four British Plans for North East India, 1941–1947

by David R Syiemlieh

In the closing years of the British rule in India, a secret plan was conceived and discussed at the highest circles for a crown colony comprising the hill areas of North East India and the tribal areas of Burma. The plan could not be implemented largely because it came up for discussion in the closing years of the British rule over India. The plan has been referred to in many publications. What was of concern was that scholars have made reference to the Crown Colony Plan/Protectorate without reading the actual texts. 

For too long, secondary references have been used in writing about these plans as the original documents were not easily available for research. This book compiles the four British plans into a single volume. There is a connection between the four plans of Reid, Clow, Mills and Adams. All four were members of the Indian Civil Service, all four served in various capacities in the region and all officers left their accounts/notes perhaps not mindful that even if these were not implemented the notes would come up for discussion many years after their departure. 



  • SAGE Publications; February 2014
  • ISBN: 9788132119654
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: On the Edge of Empire
  • Author: David R Syiemlieh (ed.)
  • Imprint: Sage Publications Pvt. Ltd

In The Press

A great work for those who are interested in tribal development and more specifically the development of the northeast of India...indeed an eye-opener...[The authors’] painstaking efforts to bring out all the important documents from the concealed vaults and let them speak for themselves are really laudable...the notes contained in this volume show this can really be done with real love.