(Last Updated on : 24-07-2012)
The Princely State of Maharam, also known as Maram state, was one of the native states of India during the rule of the British Empire in India
. During the 19th century, the territory was appointed as one of the princely states of India
under the indirect rule of the British Government and was managed by native princes. The state was scattered over a total area of 162 sq miles and comprised of a total population of 17,573 in the year 1941. The princely state of Maharam was included as a part of the states of Khasi kingdom
, located in northeastern India, south of Bhutan, which was under the rule of the British Province of Assam
. It was one of the least developed areas amongst the Khasi Hill States
. The territory of Maharam lied towards the southeast region of the Western Khasi
Location of Princely State of Maharam
The native state was surrounded by the princely state of Mawrang in the north; by the taluka of Pamsanngut in the east; by the princely state of Mawsynram in the southeast; by the princely state of Bhowal to the south; by the princely state of Nongstoin
in the west; by the princely state of Nobosohphoh
in the northwest; and by the princely state of Langrin
in the southwest. The former native state included around 49 villages. The state of Myriaw was under the administrative control of the States of Assam Agency.
History of Princely State of Maharam
The princely state of Maharam was amongst the earliest western Khasi states and initially included only Sakwang village. The native ruler of the state held the title of Syiem. Maharam increased its boundary gradually amidst the steady warfare among the Khasi villages. After the Syiem of Maharam led a 2nd Khasi war against the British administration, the territory came under the protection of the British East India Company in the year 1839. Ka Wan Rani was the Syiem of the state during the early 19th century and she greatly contributed towards the development of industry and trade in the region.
There were 2 major branches of the ruling family of the Syiem, namely the Black Syiems and the White Syiems. The Black Syiems were also known as Kala Raja syiems or Iong and the White Syiems were alternatively known as Dhola Raja syiems or Lieh. Both the ruling families possessed equal ranks. Until the year 1875, the princely state of Maharam was ruled over by 2 Syiems from both the families. But after the eradication of the White Syiem family for misconduct, only one ruler was elected, who was always from the Black Syiem family.
The native ruler or Syiem of Maharam was succeeded by his eldest brother, failing which, by the ruler's eldest nephews, grand nephews, or cousins, in no particular order, but at all times in the female line. As a result of the failing male heirs, the native ruler was succeeded by the eldest of the previous ruler's sisters, nieces, female first cousins, grand nieces and distant female cousins, in that order and always in the female line. A female syiem was succeeded by her eldest son, nephew and so on, in the stated order. Although this system did not provide total claim to succession, as the Electoral College might have disqualified the heirs from the succession due to several reasons under Khasi custom and religion. Almost 72 electors nominated the Syiem of the princely state of Maharam or Maram. Neither the family of the Syiem nor the people of the State, other than electors, had any authority in the nomination of the native ruler.
Accession of Princely State of Maharam
The last Syiem of the princely state of Maharam acceded the former state to the newly formed Union of India
, after the nation achieved independence from the British Government of India on 15th August 1947. After the Partition of India into 2 autonomous units, namely, India and Pakistan, the native rulers were given the choice of acceding to either the Dominion of India or the Dominion of Pakistan. The native ruler of Maharam or Maram decided to merge with the Republic of India. At present the region is a part of Meghalaya.