North East India comprises seven states and so is also known as “Seven Sisters” namely Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Tripura. India’s North East region has hills and plains with green cover and a various varieties of rare and exotic flora and fauna.
- It was in 1972 that Tripura, Manipur, Meghalaya were granted full statehood by the North East Reorganisation Act of 1971.
- Meghalaya was given the status of an autonomous state within Assam, through the Assam Reorganisation (Meghalaya) Act 1969, according to the sixth schedule of the Indian constitution.
- Manipur and Tripura states were granted the status of Union Territories in 1949 based on the tribal and ethnic population in the region.
Merger of Manipur with India
- Before 15th August 1947, peaceful negotiations had brought almost all states whose territories were contiguous to the new boundaries of India, into the Indian Union.
- The rulers of most of the states signed a document called the ‘Instrument of Accession’ which meant that their state agreed to become a part of the Union of India.
- A few days before Independence, the Maharaja of Manipur, Bodhachandra Singh, signed the Instrument of Accession with the Indian government on the assurance that the internal autonomy of Manipur would be maintained.
- Under the pressure of public opinion, the Maharaja held elections in Manipur in June 1948 and the state became a constitutional monarchy. Thus Manipur was the first part of India to hold an election based on universal adult franchise.
- In the Legislative Assembly of Manipur there were sharp differences over the question of merger of Manipur with India. The Government of India succeeded in pressuring the Maharaja into signing a Merger Agreement in September 1949, without consulting the popularly elected Legislative Assembly of Manipur.
- Meghalaya, literally meaning the abode of clouds, it is essentially a hilly state.It is bound on the north and east by Assam, and on the south and west by Bangladesh. It is predominantly inhabited by the Khasis, the Jaintias, and the Garo tribal communities. The Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills, which form the central and eastern part of Meghalaya.
Merger of Tripura with India
- Tripura was princely state till the merger with Indian union on 15th November, 1949.
- The last king Bir Bikram who was on the throne, immediately before India’s independence, died on 17th May, 1947.
- After his demise, his minor son Kirri Bikram Mannikya took the throne of Tripura kingdom, but he could not rule as he was minor.
- So his widow queen Kanchan Prabha took the charge of regency of Tripura and took over the administrative charges.
- She was instrumental for Merger of Tripura kingdom in Indian Union.
Tripura shares borders with Bangladesh, Mizoram and Assam. The state is connected with the rest of India by NH-44 that runs through Assam, Meghalaya, North Bengal, Kolkata and other parts of India. The social composition of the population of Tripura is diverse. Around one-third of the population belongs to the Scheduled Tribes.
Merger of Meghalaya into India
- In 1947 the rulers of the Garo and Khasi region acceded to the newly independent country of India.
- Meghalaya, a small hilly state located in the North Eastern Region of India, came into existence as an autonomous state within the state of Assam on 2 April 1970 comprising the United Khasi and Jaintia Hills and the Garo Hills districts.
Manipur It literally meaning “A jeweled land” nestled deep within a lush green corner of Eastern India bordering Myanmar. Manipur is situated in the eastern-most corner of northeast India. The state shares borders with other northeast states like Nagaland, Mizoram and Assam as well as with the neighboring country of Myanmar. It is surrounded by blue hills with an oval shaped valley at the centre, rich in art and tradition and surcharged with nature’s pristine glory. The then Governor General of India lord Irwin on his visit, described ‘Manipur as the Switzerland of the East’.
Changes Made in 1972
- In 1972, the political map of Northeast India underwent a major change.
- The two Union Territories of Manipur and Tripura and the Sub-State of Meghalaya got statehood
Significance of North East Region:
- The North Eastern Region is ideal for both passive and adventure forms of Ecotourism with wildlife sanctuary/parks, good scenic beauty, waterfalls, forests etc.
- The region has many famous and old religious spots, which have been integrated with national tourism circuits.
- In view of the attractive natural environment and growing trends of outbound business meets, the NER also offers ample opportunities for the business tourism segment.
- Heritage tourism has picked up considerably in the Region with a participatory approach.
- The North East will play an important role in India’s Act East Policy.
- To Act East effectively on foreign policy, it is necessary to Act East within our borders.