Examine the policies adopted by the British towards the Paharis during early 18th century in Bengal.
Paharis were the people who lived in the hilly regions of Rajmahal Hills. They practised shifting cultivation and gathered forest produce. They regularly raided the plains and collected toll tax from merchants for providing them with a safe passage through the forests. The British first tried to subdue the Paharis, but they were not successful.
From the eighteenth century onwards, the British followed a policy of brutally exterminating them. They tracked them into the forests and killed them. However, by 1780s, the British followed the policy of pacifying the Paharis. Their chiefs were given allowances, and in return, they had to ensure the proper conduct of their men. They also had to maintain law and order in their localities. However, chiefs who accepted allowances from the British lost their authority in the community.