History of India since 1971

Assam 1947-1971

Establishment of the State : In the 1940es the Indian National Congress campaigned for British India, with the princely states, to become independent as an undivided Republic of India; the Muslim League on the other hand campaigned for a separate Muslim state of Pakistan, consisting of the Muslim-majority provinces of British India, among which was Assam, and those of the princely states which would join it.
When India and Pakistan were released into independence in 1947, the Sylhet District joined Pakistan and was absorbed by the Pakistani province of East Bengal. The remainder formed the Indian province (since 1950 state) of Assam, which consisted of the lowlands (the Brahmaputra valley), and of the mountain and hill country with its distinct population (Khasi, Mizo, Naga etc.). The capital was Shillong, in present-day Meghalaya. The state of Assam was connected with the remainder of the Republic of India by a small stretch of common border with the state of West Bengal. In 1948, The North East Frontier Area (modern Arunachal Pradesh) was separated from Assam, to be administrated as a federal territory.

Administration : From 1947 to 1978 Assam was governed by INC-lead administrations.

Annals : 1948 : High Court of Assam moved to Gauhati; Gauhati University established
1950 : Assam was struck by an earthquake; 'subversive activities' of the Communists in Assam were reported (BBoY 1951)
1951 : Assam again struck by earthquakes (BBoY 1952)
1952 : state elections held in Assam; the INC formed a government. Assam suffered flooding (BBoY 1953).
1954 : Assam suffered flooding (BBoY 1955); the Indian Army began to take action against Naga terrorism (BBoY 1961).
1957 : state elections held in Assam; the INC formed a government. Naga People's Convention dropped demand for independence (BBoY 1958).
1960 : agitation for declaring Assamese the official language in the state of Assam caused Bengali-Assamese riots; a number of Bengali residents of Assam took refuge in West Bengal (BBoY 1961).
1961 : demonstrators agitating for Bengali to be declared one of the official languages of Assam were fired upon by state police (BBoY 1962).
1962 : state elections held in Assam; the INC formed a government.
1962 : Sino-Indian War; temporary occupation of NEFA territory (Arunachal Pradesh) by Chinese forces
1963 : a separate state of Nagaland created, carved out of Assam and NEFA territory.
1964 : Assam experienced an influx of Hindu refugees from East Bengal (Pakistan).
1965 : Second Indo-Pakistani War
1967 : state elections held in Assam; the INC formed a government.
1968 : the creation of Assam Hills Division (future Meghalaya) as an autonomous state within Assam, was decided. An Advisory Council of the Northeastern Region, consisting of Assam, the autonomous state within Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura created. Assam was struck by flooding (BBoY 1969).
1970 : Manipur and Tripura, hitherto federal territories, were granted statehood.
1971 : a separate state of Meghalaya created, carved out of Assam territory. The Assam capital of Shillong located in Meghalaya
1971 : martial law in East Bengal (Pakistan) caused a massive exodus of refugees; Assam established refugee camps. Later in 1971, the Third Indo-Pakistani War resulted in the independence of Bangladesh.

Social History : In 1951 the population of Assam was 8.8 million, in 1961 12.2 million, in 1971 14.9 million.
In 1947-1948 Assam experienced a large-scale influx of Hindu refugees from East Bengal. More refugees would arrive, especially in 1967 and 1971. The integration of the refugees into the economy and society of Assam caused problems; while the refugees sought recognition for Bengali as an official language, the Assamese fought a campaign for Assamese as the only official language, and for disenfranchisement of the Bengali immigrants. The situation was further complicated by the hill tribes with their own languages and traditions.

History of the Assam Legislative Assembly
History of Gauhati High Court
Gauhati Univesity Website
History of Assam, from Wikipedia
DOCUMENTS World Statesmen : India, by Ben Cahoon
Historical Population Statistics : India, by province (J. Lahmeyer)
List of Members since 1937, from Assam Legislative Assembly
Statistical Reports of State Elections, from Election Commission of India
REFERENCE Article : India, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1948 pp.383-386 [G]
Article : India, Dominion of, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1949 pp.337-340, 1950 pp.357-359 [G]
Article : India, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1951 pp.359-361, 1952 pp.353-355, 1953 pp.352-355, 1954 pp.352-354, 1955 pp.401-403, 1956 pp.342-344, 1957 pp.405-407, 1958 pp.338-340, 1959 pp.335-337, 1960 pp.334-336, 1961 pp.340-342, 1962 pp.332-333, 1963 pp.449-451, 1964 pp.426-427, 1965 pp.421-423, 1966 pp.372-375, 1967 pp.407-410, 1968 pp.409-411, 1969 pp.402-404, 1970 pp.408-410, 1971 pp.388-391, 1972 pp.355-358 [G]
Article : India, Republic of, in : Americana Annual 1957 pp.371-375 [G]
Article : India, in : Americana Annual 1961 pp.349-353, 1962 pp.354-358, 1963 pp.320-324, 1964 pp.319-322, 1965 pp.326-329, 1967 pp.347-350, 1968 pp.340-344, 1969 pp.348-351, 1970 pp.350-354, 1971 pp.343-346, 1972 pp.336-341 [G]
Article : India : West Bengal, in : Statesman's Yearbook 1970-1971 pp.380-382 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on May 11th 2007

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