Stephen Hatch-Barnwell

Stephen Hatch-Barnwell’s (1909-1989) Tour of Duty as ICS (Indian Civil Service) in Bengal (1933-1947) as CSP (Civil Service of Pakistan) in East Pakistan (1949-1966) is not just another British officer’s “notes to successors” for those of us who care to read such memoirs. The author makes it a point to inform the readers that his main purpose was to show what life was for a young ICS officer in the very last days of the British Raj and not to give a personal life history to the readers. He witnessed the collapse of the steel frame, as the nationalist movement gathered momentum. He was trained to perform not only the traditional magisterial and revenue functions, but was also required to cope with the Second World War and the tragedy of the 1943 famine. He is credited with the establishment and pioneering development of the food procurement and distribution system. As chairman of the newly created East Pakistan Agricultural Development Corporation (EPADC), he promoted new technologies for transformation of traditional agricultural production system. As a senior member of the Board of Revenue, he was given a special assignment to draw up plans for resettlement of the indigenous population so cruelly displaced by the construction of the Kaptai dam.