ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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ASSAM-Not to Be Deserted

of last year is not indicated. Hard fought election contests, in which issues prevail over personalities, and genuine political workers are demarcated frorn the manipulators, would emphasise the health of Indian democracy. Unfortunately, so much of the challenge to Indira Gandhi, is from obscurantist formations on the Right and rigidly doctrinaire groups on the Left, that one is prepared to forgive and forget what goes on in the ruling party, Wherever one goes in Delhi, one can sense the crystallising of a new fear. Power is getting concentrated. It must be more widely diffused in our continental system. These sentiments are expressed in general terms, but they EVEN ten years ago the North-Eastern Region was Assam, and there was no contradiction between the two terms. The recommendations of the States Reorganisation Commission concerning this part of the country now make strange reading. The state of Assam recommended by the SRC covered the whole of the north-eastern region, including Tripura. Manipur was excluded, but only temporarily, "While we make this recommendation [that Manipur should continue to be a centrally- administered territory for the time being], it is quite clear to us that Manipur cannot maintain its separate existence for long and that the ultimate solution should be its merger in the adjoining state of Assam.'' The States Reorganisation Act of 1956 was not so buoyant in its expansive optimism; the state of Assam that came into existence following the Act covered substantially the same area as was covered before, but for marginal adjustments of the bound- ary with West Bengal. Its area (never very precise because the North East Frontier Tracts with their undefined northern and eastern borders were included) was about 85,000 square miles. If also had a common border with four foreign countries: East Pakistan, Bhutan, China, and Burma.

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