Statehood Day for Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram: Brief history of the two North Eastern states

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday greeted the people of Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram on their statehood day.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh greeted the states. Rajnath is expected to attend the 'Arunachal Pradesh Statehood Day' function in Itanagar on Monday.

While Arunachal Pradesh was granted statehood on this day in 1987, Mizoram was declared a state in 1972. According to reports, Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu reviewed the preparations made for the statehood celebrations, which is to be held at the Indira Gandhi Park in Itanagar. With a capacity of 7,600 people who are going to attend the celebrations, preparations have been made for a flower show, adventure and sports show, which will include bungee-jumping and hot-air balloon, and security has been tightened.

Reports added that Wancho House will be the main venue for VIP dining, which is being constructed on the ground where festivities will take place.

Statehood of the two states

Arunachal Pradesh

The North East Frontier Agency (NEFA) was created in 1954. In 1972, it became the Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh. Its administrative headquarters was Shillong (until 1974, when it was transferred to Itanagar). Arunachal received statehood in 1987.

The administration of Arunachal Pradesh was directly under the Governor of the provincial government of Assam. Once the Constitution of India came into force, the Government of Assam was relieved of its responsibilities of the Northeast Frontier Tracts (which later was known as NEFA) and the powers were vested in the Governor of Assam, a constitutional post and an agent of the President of India. The Northeast Areas (Reorganisation) Act, 1971 provided a new name and new political status to NEFA. NEFA was re-named as Arunachal Pradesh and subsequently in 1972 Arunachal Pradesh became the Union Territory of the Republic of India. The Union Territory was then was placed under the control of a chief commissioner. The year 1975 was a watershed year for Arunachal Pradesh because the Pradesh Council was converted into a Provisional Legislative Assembly and a council of ministers was appointed for Arunachal Pradesh. Consequently, the passing of the Constitution 55th Amendment Act, Arunachal Pradesh finally attained the full political status on 20 February, 1987.

Mizoram

Lying in the remotest part of Northeastern India, Mizoram was declared Union Territory in 1972 and in 1986 became a full-fledged federal state of Indian Union in 1986.

Mizo National Front, a political organisation which was born in 1961, had one goal — sovereign independence of Greater Mizoram. It took to armed insurrection with the 28 February 1966 uprising against the Government, attacking the government installations at Aizawl, Lunglei, Chawngte, Chhimluang and other places. In Aizawl, on 5 and 6 March 1966, the Government of India bombed the city of Aizawl with Toofani and Hunter Jet fighters, this was the first time India used its air force to quell a movement of any kind among its citizens. They returned the next day to drop incendiary bombs.

The Mizo National Front was outlawed in 1967 and the demand for statehood increased. The Mizo District Council delegation met the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in May 1971 and demanded full-fledged statehood for Mizoram. The Indian government offered to convert the Mizo Hills into a Union Territory in July 1971. On 21 January, 1972, the official declaration of the Union Territory was made with the name Mizoram. Mizoram was allotted two seats in Parliament, one each in the Lok Sabha and in the Rajya Sabha.


Published Date: Feb 20, 2017 01:22 pm | Updated Date: Feb 20, 2017 01:22 pm