(Last Updated on : 28/03/2013)
Administration under Ahom rule reveals the style and functions of the Ahom rule in Assam
was not purely a monarchy system but an aristocrat government formed by the nobles namely (Borhagohain, Borgohain, Barpatragohain, Borbauah and Borphukan), and the king was more or less a nominal head of the kingdom.
History of Administration under Ahom Rule
Ahom society was a traditional society with traditional administration. Ahom administration was monarchical with lots of democratic values where the monarchy was the normal form the Government although it was somewhat peculiar." The Ahom administration was partly monarchical and partly aristocratic. The Ahom had a well organized administration which was a hierarchical system with several levels. A discussion about different officials, dignities and portfolios of the administration of Ahom can clear the model of that administration. The Ahom rule was again single feudal system where the land owned to the crown only; the nobles and the subjects were simply user of the lands. This mono feudal system facilitates a widespread control of the monarchy over the subjects. Introduction of Paik system in the kingdom can be termed as a systematic exploitation of Ahom rule. However in the middle part of the Ahom rule, there were land allocations to the Satras and other religious shrines of Assam in the shape of Devottor lands.
Structure of Administration under Ahom Rule
There was a marked stratification in the body of Ahom administration. The king known as called as Sargadeo in Tai language was the virtual head of the state. Generally the son of the king became the next king. If the king had more then one son than the selection of the king was depended upon the collective decision of the Gohains.
The council of five Ministers were in the next level in Ahom administration. "They were altogether knows as patramantri which included the Borgohain, the Burhagohain, Barpatragohain, Barbaruah and Barphukan.
There were three Gohains in Ahom administration. The king had to consult with these Gohains who had the power to determine the succession of the monarch. The BarBaruah had to perform three fold functions- Administrative, Judicial and Military. Barphukan was entrusted with the responsibility of maintenance of diplomatic relations with Bengal, Bhutan etc.
They had the tradition of appointing some other local governors like Sadiakhowa Gohain, Marangikhowa Gohain etc. Besides that, Ahom kingdom also allowed some lesser kings who were known as Puwali Rajah. Phukan were the subordinate officials of Barbaruah and Barphukan. Both Barbaruah and Barphukan had six Phukan under them.
The Khels were the organized form of Paiks with certain gradation.
The paik system was one of the unique arrangements of Ahom administration who were the labour cum soldier of Ahom administration. The paiks had to indulge themselves in agriculture and other developmental activities in normal situation and in war they had to serve as soldiers. These paiks were organized in Gots. Each Got contained four Paiks.
Military Administration under Ahom Rule
Population at that time in Ahom kingdom was not enough, sufficient manpower was never received for serving as soldiers in the battles fought against enemies invading the land. The Ahoms, therefore, adopted some improvised warring techniques to fight the enemies. They raised ramparts to resist movement enemy cavalries. The Ahom soldiers were expert in river battles. So by erecting ramparts they used to call the invaders to river battles so that the enemies were controlled and defeated easily. They were even known to have use under water ramparts to resist movement of enemy boats by suspending big blocks of stones from catenaries made of canes, etc. The Ahoms adopted mostly guerrilla warfare techniques in fighting the enemies. In most of the battles, fought against the Mughal forces, the Ahoms could organize supports from the local tribes. The weapons used in those days were Hendang( a typical Ahom sword), spears, bows and arrows, Bortoops (Ahom canons),etc. The Ahoms could not maintain a regular army. The same paik who is basically a cultivator had to fight in the battle field when there was any foreign aggression on the land. This was a serious drawback in Ahom military set up. When a large section of the paiks joined the Moamoria Rebellion, it is seen that Monarchy failed to arrange a force with sufficient number of soldiers to resist the revolt. So was the case during the Maan attacks.