North-East of India: Do we really care about them?

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.

Arunachal Pradesh

Capital and largest city: Itanagar

Languages: 30-50 (Major ones are – Nyishi, Adi, Bengali, Hindi, Nepali)

Famous spots:   Namdapha National Park

                             Upper Dibang Valley

                             Tawang

                             Bomdila

                             Sela pass


Assam

Capital and largest city: Dispur and Guwahati

Major Languages: Assamese, Bengali, Hindi, Bodo, Sadri

Famous spots:   Kaziranga National Park

                             Majuli Island

                             Kamakhya Temple

                             Silchar

                             Kakochang waterfalls


Meghalaya

Capital and largest city: Shillong

Major Languages: Khasi, Garo, Pnar, Bengali, Nepali, Hindi

Famous spots:   Cherrapunji

                             Laitlum Canyon

                             Siju Cave

                             Elephant falls

                             Balpakram National Park


Tripura

Capital and largest city: Agartala

Major Languages: Bengali, Tripuri, Chakma, Hindi

Famous spots:   Jampui Hills

                             Unakoti

                             Neermahal Palace

                             Ujjayanta Palace

                             Sepahijala Wildlife sanctuary


Nagaland

Capital and largest city: Kohima and Dimapur

Major Languages: Sumi, Konyak, Angami, Ao, Assamese, Lotha, Chokri, Others

Famous spots:   Japfu peak

                             Dzukou valley

                             Kachari ruins

                             Mon Village

                             Chumukedima village


Mizoram

Capital and largest city: Aizawl

Major Languages: Mizo, Chakma, Mara, Kokborok

Famous spots:   Lunglei

                             Vantawng waterfalls

                             Tamdil lake

                             Murleng National park

                             Reiek hill


Manipur

Capital and largest city: Imphal

Major Languages: Meitei, Thadou, Tangkhul, Poula

Famous spots:   Loktak lake

                             Kangla fort

                             Singda dam

                             Ima Keithel women’s market

                             Tharon cave


Sikkim

Capital and largest city: Gangtok

Major Languages: Nepali, Sikkimese, Limbu, Lepcha, Hindi

Famous spots:   Tsomgo lake

                             Nathula pass

                             Ravangla

                             Goechala

                             Mahjong Casino

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.

DESCENT

  • 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?

Total Page Visits: 477 - Today Page Visits: 1