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A Change Of System In Merath

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the district of Merath and on the relationship between the village zamindārs, the omla of the courts and the thānadārs or police dāroghas on the one hand, and the district magistrate on the other. Village owners and police officers, though each others rivals and pitted against each other on most occasions, jointly exercised a monopoly of local information and social management in the countryside. In the particular case of Merath, where the omla had been calling the shots for quite a while, Francis Curwen Smiths first objective was to lower the police officers and the omlah in general in the eyes of the natives. Smith believed that if he was to regenerate the Merath police, he must retain and also use the right of appealing from the decisions of the court of circuit to the superior court at Calcutta.

Keywords: Calcutta; Francis Curwen Smith; Merath police; omla; zamindārs



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