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NORTH EAST INDIA: AN INTRODUCTION.

the land of seven sisters



After the Indian Independence from British Rule in 1947, the Northeastern region of British India consisted of Assam and the princely states of Manipur and Tripura. Later independent movements such as Swatantra Tripura Committee were formed against grouping all the north eastern states under Assam. The states of Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram were formed in the 1960-70s. From Shillong, the capital of Assam was shifted to Dispur, now a part of Guwahati. Shillong became the capital of Meghalaya. Most of these areas had been incorporated into mainstream India during the British Raj when colonial authorities annexed traditionally separate border states into Indian territory to form a buffer between their colony and external powers (i.e.: Assam, Manipur and Tripura in the Northeast, and Balochistan and the North West Frontier Province in the northwest). After independence in 1947, extension of the Indian state and political apparatus has been a challenge.

Much of Arunachal Pradesh is claimed by China. Sino-Indian relations degraded during the Sino-Indian War of 1962. The cause of the escalation into war is still disputed by both Chinese and Indian sources. During the war in 1962, the PRC captured much of the NEFA (North-East Frontier Agency) created by India in 1954. However, China soon declared victory and voluntarily withdrew back to the McMahon Line due to Soviet Veto in U.N and returned Indian prisoners of war in 1963.

The region is known for its unique culture, handicrafts, martial arts, and scenic beauty. Problems include insurgency, unemployment, drug addiction, and lack of infrastructure. Since the beginning of the economic liberalization in the 1990s, studies have shown that this region is lagging behind the others in terms of development.

COMMUNITIES:

Assamese,Bishnupriya Manipuri, Bodo, Dimasa, Garo, Karbi, Khasi, Kuki, Manipuri, Mizo, Naga, Rabha, Koch Rajbongshi, Mishing, Tiwa, Tripuri, Bengali, Nepali, Hmar, Zeme Naga, Purvottar Maithili, Adivasi

Northeast India refers to the easternmost region of India consisting of the contiguous Seven Sister States, Sikkim, and parts of North Bengal (districts of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, and Koch Bihar). Northeast India is ethnically distinct from the rest of India and has strong ethnic and cultural ties with Southeast Asia. Linguistically the region is distinguished by a preponderance of Tibeto-Burman languages. Strong ethnic cultures that had escaped Sanskritization in the ethnic groups of Kuki and some other tribes. That the eight states form a special category is officially recognized. The North Eastern Council (NEC)was constituted in 1971 as the nodal agency for the economic and social development of the eight states, the North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd (NEDFi) was incorporated on August 9, 1995 and the Ministry of Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER)was set up in September 2001.

Among the North Eastern states, Sikkim became an Indian protectorate in 1947 and a full state in 1975. The Siliguri Corridor in West Bengal, with an average width of 21 km to 40 km, connects the north eastern region with the rest of India. More than 2000 km of boundary is shared with other countries: including Nepal, China, Bhutan, Burma and Bangladesh.


POPULATION:

Total population of N.E. States are near about 40 million, which is about 3.4% of India's total population.

GEOGRAPHICAL AREA :---

262,230 km2 (101,250 sq mi)

Population density --- 148 /km2 (380 /sq mi)
Time zone ----- IST (UTC+5:30)
CONSTITUENT STATES :

Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura.

PROMINENT CITIES:

ASSAM: Guwahati, Nagaon, Dibrugarh, Silchar, Jorhat, Tezpur

TRIPURA: Agartala, Dharma Nagar

MEGHALAYA: Shillong, Tura

MIZORAM: Aizawl

MANIPUR: Imphal

NAGALAND: Kohima, Dimapur

ARUNACHAL PRADESH: Itanagar

SIKKIM: Gangtok

MAJOR LANGUAGES:

Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Manipuri, English, Nagamese


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