Modern History of Assam

Since 1970, Government of India has divided Assam into various states as Government of India has the unilateral power to change the borders of the state. Assam was divided into various states in order to satisfy national aspirations of the tribal populations living within the then borders of then Assam. In 1963, Nagaland was formed when Naga Hills district became the 16th state of India. Tuensang part was added to Nagaland.  In 1970,  the districts consisting the Khasi Hills, Jaintia Hills, and Garo Hills were converted into an autonomous state within Assam. In year 1972 a separate state was formed under the name of Meghalaya. Meghalaya was formed due to the demands of the tribal people of the Meghalaya Plateau. In 1972, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram were separated from Assam as union territories; In 1986, both of the union territories became states.

After independence, communal tensions and violence Assam’s restructuring was there. Separatist groups began forming from ethnic lines, and demands for autonomy and sovereignty grew, resulting in fragmentation of Assam. In 1961, Government of Assam passed a legislation making Assamese language compulsory. However, it was withdrawn from making Assamese language as compulsory because of the pressure caused from the Bengali speaking people in Cachar. In 1980’s, Brahmaputra valley had a six-year Assam Agitation, started by discovery of a sudden rise in registered voters on electoral rolls. It tried to force the government to identify and transfer the foreigners illegally migrating from Bangladesh and changing the demographics. The unrest ended after an agreement between its leaders and the Union Government, which remained unimplemented, causing heated discontent.

Post 1970s experienced the growth of armed separatist groups like United Liberation Front of Assam and National Democratic Front of Bodoland. In 1990, Government of India, deployed Indian Army after which low-intensity military conflicts and political homicides have been continuing for more than a decade. Based on ethnicity, various militant groups have grown. Autonomy based on Region, have been ensured for Bodo-Kachari people in Bodoland Territorial Council or the Karbis in East Karbi Anglong district and for the people of Dima Hasao district under the 6th schedule and Autonomous District Councils (ADC) areas under Indian constitution, while Non-6th Schedule States in the North-East where under 73rd and 74th amendments (Panchayati Raj Institutions) have been applied in Assam ,after agitation of the communities due to slow rate of development and general disinterst of successive state governments towards indigenous communities.

British annexation of Assam


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