We get to know the plight of our North-Eastern states only when the yearly monsoon creates havoc in these states.
How well do we know these states and how much have we done for them as a Nation?
Can you name all the north eastern states along with their capitals? It won’t be surprising to find many who cannot.
They are usually called as ‘Seven sisters’ because they are distinct states that are connected to India by the narrow corridor called the ‘Siliguri corridor’.
On 16th May 1975, Sikkim became the 22nd state of the Indian Union and is like an ‘eighth sister’ state to the North-Eastern states. The region is known for its natural beauty, cultural richness and diversity. It is a must visit region for travel enthusiasts.
Let’s start off by knowing something about the states.
Each state obviously has way more to offer in terms of culture, history and natural beauty.
Capital and largest city: Itanagar
Languages: 30-50 (Major ones are – Nyishi, Adi, Bengali, Hindi, Nepali)
Famous spots: Namdapha National Park
Upper Dibang Valley
Capital and largest city: Dispur and Guwahati
Major Languages: Assamese, Bengali, Hindi, Bodo, Sadri
Famous spots: Kaziranga National Park
Capital and largest city: Shillong
Major Languages: Khasi, Garo, Pnar, Bengali, Nepali, Hindi
Famous spots: Cherrapunji
Balpakram National Park
Capital and largest city: Agartala
Major Languages: Bengali, Tripuri, Chakma, Hindi
Famous spots: Jampui Hills
Sepahijala Wildlife sanctuary
Capital and largest city: Kohima and Dimapur
Major Languages: Sumi, Konyak, Angami, Ao, Assamese, Lotha, Chokri, Others
Famous spots: Japfu peak
Capital and largest city: Aizawl
Major Languages: Mizo, Chakma, Mara, Kokborok
Famous spots: Lunglei
Murleng National park
Capital and largest city: Imphal
Major Languages: Meitei, Thadou, Tangkhul, Poula
Famous spots: Loktak lake
Ima Keithel women’s market
Capital and largest city: Gangtok
Major Languages: Nepali, Sikkimese, Limbu, Lepcha, Hindi
Famous spots: Tsomgo lake
DIFFICULTIES AND CHALLENGES FACED BY THE REGION
- Chicken neck:- The entire region is landlocked and comprises of about 8% of the entire country’s land area but is connected to the rest of the country only by a narrow strip of land merely 22 km wide called the ‘Siliguri corridor’ or also dubbed as India’s ‘Chicken neck’.
- Militarization:- Due to the high militarization of the entire region, the people of the region are very uneasy and unhappy. A hostile neighbor (China) doesn’t make things easier.
- Migrants:- The largely porous borders have led to an influx of migrants from neighboring countries especially Bangladesh. This has led to a lot of backlash from the residents as the already existing infrastructure is being stretched more for them.
- Resident population:- There is also an increasing concern over the resident population of losing dominance in their own lands due to the large number of migrants settling there and culturally dominating the region.
- Territorial disputes:- . With the risks of territorial disputes, the armed forces have a high presence in the region. Insurgencies in the various states have also been present.
About 99% of the region is bordered by an international boundary.
- Besides these problems, different border segments have different social problems such as incursions, infiltration, migration, smuggling, drug trafficking etc. Due to being relatively poorer, there is a lot of human exploitation.
- People of this region have genetic traits that link them to Tibeto-Burman or Mongoloid descent.
- They have historically been more closely linked to South-east Asia rather than South Asia.
- Their culture is unique in a way where it is distinct from the rest of India. The people of this region are unfortunately discriminated against for their looks in other places. This is only something that can change with better exposure to the region and better accommodating the region to the entirety of the idea of what India is.
- . Integration with mainland India seems to be the biggest step for this region. With better integration, the region’s economy and issues of importance would come more in line with the rest of the country. With many projects being conjured up to have a better North-East which is more integrated and better positioned to take advantage of its various strengths, we must ask ourselves – is it enough or just too little too late?