Southern Bhutan in Early British Accounts

Michael Hutt

in Unbecoming Citizens

Published in print August 2005 | ISBN: 9780195670608
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081806 | DOI:
Southern Bhutan in Early British Accounts

Show Summary Details


This chapter describes the history of Southern Bhutan as recorded in British colonial accounts. Though these are inevitably coloured by colonial preoccupations, they shed valuable light on the conditions in southern Bhutan before and during the arrival of the first Nepali settlers. A marked change occurs in British portrayals of the Bhutanese after the end of the Duars war. Colonel Francis E. Younghusband needed Bhutanese cooperation, and in the event a threat to withhold the annual subsidy if the Bhutanese sided with the Tibetans was dramatically effective. Ethnic stereotypes of the ‘land hungry,’ ‘mercenary,’ and ‘migratory’ Nepali created in colonial accounts still remain currency in local discourse today. The political and cultural dangers posed by Nepalese immigration are cited regularly by the Bhutanese government even today, and also, ironically, by some refugee activists, who use them for different purposes.

Keywords: Southern Bhutan; British colonial archives; Nepali settlers; Bhutanese government; Duars war; Colonel Francis E. Younghusband

Chapter.  5254 words. 

Subjects: Migration Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.