Social History of the 1944 Battle of Kohima

Historians of the Battle of Kohima and events surrounding it have focused largely on military accounts, strategies, movements, decisions, and important moments that lead to larger outcomes of during the war. Communities affected directly or indirectly by the battle and the larger conflict have only been touched on in a secondary manner, and is an area of research that remains largely untouched. 2019 (six years from now) will mark the 75 anniversary of the Battle, which will be a significant event, but also offer up the sobering realisation that most of the Battle’s firsthand witnesses will have passed on. As younger generations begin to ask questions about ‘what happened’, this project is aimed at documenting the stories of individuals that can recall the events, and discuss the wider social impact on their families and communities. In addition to communities in the Naga areas, Manipur, Assam, Burma, India and Britain, this will extend to communities in Japan, Nepal and the United States. Therefore, plans are to discuss the potentialities of a larger collaborative effort between institutions that work in these international localities and would have the capacity and resource to partner in this ambitions project. High-definition audio and video recordings of all interviews will be archived within the Institute Library for the purposes of future research and scholarship. More to come on this project in the coming year. More to come…

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