Separate State demands in North East India : an analysis

There have been news about demand for separate states by many small or big tribes in North East India. While many tribes have their own autonomous councils which control many social welfare departments except police, judiciary, personals, PSUs and other central government departments.

Still, there are reports of ‘Bandhs’, agitation for demanding separate states. It may be mentioned quickly here that, apart from Manipur, almost all other states were once district of Assam! But one by one, many states were created carving out areas from Assam. Recently, separate state demand by Bodos are making headlines.

But apart from Bodoland, there are periodic demand by Koch for Kamatapur, Misings, Dimasas, Karbis in Assam, Tribals in Tripura, Garos in Meghalaya, few Naga tribes in Nagaland are also heard. Though almost all these tribes enjoy autonomy in the form of Sixth Schedule under Indian Constitution or Autonomous District Councils. So what went wrong or what are the reasons for this separate state demands tribal in North East India ?

Few known or much debated reasons on internet forums are listed below :-

1. Lack of development and exploitation by forward communities

This is one of reasons cited by the organisations who have been demanding separate states. Most probably, this kind issue should be probed by third party with known parameters.

2. Assamese Chauvinism in Language agitation in 1972 and Illegal Immigration in 1979-1985

Many opine these two incidents had induced fear in tribal about losing their culture, language by majority Assamese speakers. So almost all tribes had formed their student organisation in line with AASU during these period. Ad many opine that the process of assimilation by tribal with mainstream Assamese society was not only halted, but also reversed.

3. Past precedence of creating separate states

In order to quell armed separatist movements as well as ease of deploying laws like AFSPA may have forced Government of India to create separate states from Assam in 1960s. But this has created a precedence and many tribes now who now think it is quite achievable to get separate state.

4. Sense of Alienation by main stream forward society

Though discrimination of tribal on the basis of caste was not almost non existent in North East India, but with more education among tribal had made them aware how they have fallen behind other communities which may have forced them to be suspicious about other communities. Lack of proper implementation of “Tribal Belt and Block” system had also fueled the fear.

5. Separatism by historical reasons

Many tribe had a history where they were quite independent and self reliant in their own small geographical confinement and used to live isolated. But with modernization and advent of civilisation, this isolation has decreased and dependency on others have increased. Tribes had to abandon some rituals or culture in order to keep pace with modernisation.

Most probably, in order to address or solve this separatism problems, Government/NGOs should list out the grievances by these tribal people and try to convince to address or solve these issues with concrete steps with time deadline using SMART formula ( where S : Specific, M : Measurable, A : Attainable/Achievable, R : Relevant , T : Time bound) instead of failed experiments with autonomous councils. We would like to add one more wort for T : Transparency. Autonomous councils have been accused of rampant corruptions recently. People should be educated using road shows, SMS bulk messaging, Radios, TV etc. so that everyone is aware of the facilities provided and how to get them. Third party auditor should be employed for overseeing any project implementation.

The following two tabs change content below.

Staff Reporter

We blog on anything related to Northeast India which Mainstream Media don't cover. Send in your feedback using the contact form. We would love to hear from you.


      • says

        What would really be rerfsehing is to hear one of these tribal representatives tell the President that it’s not his job to “meet their needs”, but that it is his job to execute only those presidential powers which are enumerated in the Constitution, one of which is to execute the treaties as they are laws of the land according to their original intent. Indian Country does not need Big Daddy Obama or any other president, senator or congressman to take care of them or to “improve their lives.” If Government wants to do anything let it 1) cede all lands and property out of BIA trusts and back into the respective tribal incorporations, and 2)HONOR THE TREATIES as they were originally intended. Quit trying to seduce the tribes with ever more pig tits of public entitlements that sap away the will to be free and to exercise liberty. Tell the president to protect the borders, defend against enemy attack, execute constitutional laws, honor treaties, and then to leave the Tribes and their proud peoples to pursue happiness as they see fit, according to the dictate of their own hearts if they still have them.

    • says

      “We need independency in order to bmcoee great.”The United States of America continues to be the most prosperous of all nations on the earth, with a production output that floors all others, even despite the horrendous economic travesty that President Obama is perpetrating on us (though he may yet succeed). It is incredibly naive to compare the prosperity of the citizens of the USA to the likes of China, Brazil, Egypt, and the Arab Nations, which have significant portions of their populations living in almost medieval conditions such an assertion is positively surreal. The poorest of Americans and First Americans live as kings compared to many in those countries. Even compared to Japan and Israel, who in this country would truly want to trade his standard of living for theirs?To bmcoee great the First Nations need to exercise the independence and freedom they already have, stop offering themselves up into slavery by bowing down at the altars of socialism and kissing the feet of the high priests of entitlement Obama, Kennedy, et al selling their once free souls into slavery.The First Nations were endowed by the Creator with the rights of Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. The Constitution of the United States of America guarantees those rights to its citizens, even its First Citizens. But they have to exercise those rights to enjoy them. Unfortunately too many of them already have relinquished their spirits into slavery.Awake! Rise up from the dust! Stand as Men! Cast off the shackles of sin and dependence! Your greatness lies within you as children of the Creator Himself. If you think your greatness lies with Obama, then you are destined to remain in slavery. But that is not your destiny. You will yet blossom as a rose and bmcoee a scourge to tyrants and petty tyrants who seek to sap away your liberty with the soma of socialism and godlessness.

  1. Benjamin Debbarma says

    So many demand for many things. does all these demand will be given/fulfill ????? well I would like to say something about illegal migration which is not a new issue in N-E India. look at the autonomy,political condition etc…In case of Tripura state where people are deprived of all sphere development . Today, the indigenous have no right/mobility and demographically they are outnumbered day by day…..if this continue then what is the future of indigenous people……..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>