The Newsletter 60 Summer 2012

Opium, empire and Assam

Kawal Deep Kour

This article presents a trajectory of the opium question in colonial Assam. Under survey are the various connotations evoked by opium during the colonial period. An attempt has been made to identify the various strands of thought on the role of opium – from being a stimulant to being an ‘imperial problem’, prompting a series of remedial interventions by the colonial regime, followed by its metamorphosis into a symbol that brought Assam within the vortex of the national struggle against colonial domination; its eradication became a matter of pride and identity.

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