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Being and Becoming KachinHistories Beyond the State in the Borderworlds of Burma$
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Mandy Sadan

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265550

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265550.001.0001

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Militarisation and the contest of modernities

Militarisation and the contest of modernities

(p.198) 4 Militarisation and the contest of modernities
Being and Becoming Kachin

Mandy Sadan

British Academy

Following on from discussion of emerging ideological models of modern ‘Kachin’ ethno-nationalism in Chapters 2 and 3, this chapter examines how a new elite group emerged from a social entity now called ‘Kachin’ who were to have great influence upon these developments: the Kachin soldiers who signed up to imperial military structures between the two World Wars. It describes how the social context of recruitment created pressures within Kachin society when these soldiers were demobilised. It also describes how a new social development organisation emerged from this group, led by Subedar Major Jinghpaw Gam. Neither gumsa nor gumlao, but representing a new orientation for political and social interaction, and with a strong orientation towards social welfare and education, it also had much in common with anti-colonial movements seen across the region and should be understood in this light.

Keywords:   World War I, soldiers, recruitment, demobilisation, gumsa, gumlao, education, Jinghpaw Gam, Pawng Yawng Hpung

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