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 Sister States

Alt text to go here "Assam and Sister States" refers to the easternmost region of India consisting of the contiguous states Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura.
Northeast India is ethnically distinct from the other states of India. Linguistically the region is distinguished by a preponderance of Tibeto-Burman languages. Strong ethnic cultures that had escaped Sanskritization effects permeate the region. That the eight states form a special category is officially recognized.
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 Arunachal Pradesh

Alt text to go hereArunachal Pradesh attained its statehood on 20th February 1987. It is situated in the North-Eastern part of India with 83743 sq. kms area and has a long international border with Bhutan to the west (160 km), China to the north and north-east (1,080 km) and Myanmar to the east (440 km).
It stretches from snow-capped mountains in the north to the plains of Brahmaputra valley in the south. Arunachal is the largest state area-wise in the north-east region, even larger than Assam which is the most populous.
It is situated between latitude 26° 30' N and 29° 30 ' N and longitude 91° 30' E and 97° 30' E. Itanagar is the capital of Arunachal Pradesh and located at an altitude of 530 meters above MSL.
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Alt text to go here Assam is located in the northeastern part of the country and has an area of 30,285 square miles (78,438 square kilometres). It is bounded to the north by the kingdom of Bhutan and the state of Arunachal Pradesh; to the east by the states of Nagaland and Manipur; to the south by the states of Mizoram and Tripura; and to the west by the state of Meghalaya, Bangladesh, and the state of West Bengal
Assam has a single-chamber legislative assembly with 126 members. The state sends 21 members to the Indian national parliament: 7 to the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) and 14 to the Lok Sabha (Lower House).
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Alt text to go hereManipur literally meaning "A jeweled land" nestle deep within a lush green corner of North East India. It seems much like an exquisite work of art executed by superb hands of Nature and is indeed a state of exquisite natural beauty and splendors, the beauty of which once inspired Mrs. St. Clair Grimwood described it as " A Pretty Place more beautiful than many show places of the world" Late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru paid a fitting tribute by describing it as "Jewel of India".
Surrounded by blue hills with an oval shaped valley at the centre, rich in art and tradition and surcharged with nature's pristine glory.
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Alt text to go here Meghalaya has precise historic, geographic and strategic significance for India. Meghalaya "the home of clouds", became a full-fledged State on January 21, 1972. It is surrounded on the north by Goalpara, Kamrup, Nagoan and Karbi Anglong districts of Assam State, and on the east by the Districts of Cachar and North Cachar Hills, also of the State of Assam.
On the south and west is Bangladesh. Meghalaya is predominantly domesticated by the Khasis, the Jaintias and the Garos. These tribal communities are the descendents of very ancient people having distinct traits and ethnic origins. There are different legends, beliefs and findings about the Khasis, Jaintias and Garos.
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Alt text to go hereMizoram is a mountainous region which became the 23rd State of the Indian Union in February, 1987. It was one of the districts of Assam till 1973 when it became a Union Territory. Sandwitched between Myanmar in the east and south and Bangladesh in the west, Mizoram occupies an area of great stategic importace in the north-eastern corner of India. It has a total of 722 Km. boundary with Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Mizoram has the most variegated hilly terrain in the eastern part of India. The hills are steep and are seperated by rivers which flow whether to the north or south creating deep gorges between the hill ranges. The average height of the hill is about 1000 metres.
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Alt text to go hereThe State of Nagaland was formally inaugurated on December 1st, 1963, as the 16th State of the Indian Union. It is bounded by Assam in the West, Myanmar (Burma) on the east, Arunachal Pradesh and part of Assam on the North and Manipur in the South. The State consists of seven Administrative Districts, inhabited by 16 major tribes along with other sub-tribes. Each tribe is distinct in character from the other in terms of customs, language and dress.
It is a land of folklore passed down the generations through word of mouth. Here, music is an integral part of life; folk songs eugolising ancestors,
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Alt text to go hereThe modern history of Sikkim begins from 1642 A.D. with the coronation of Phuntsog Namgyal as the first Chogyal or king of Sikkim in a tranquil pine covered hill in Yuksom Norbugang in West Sikkim.
The Namgyals were scions of the Mi-nyak House in Kham in Eastern Tibet. It is said that there were three brothers, chiefs of Kham Mi-nyak. A letter dropped from heaven directed the middle brother to go south towards Sikkim where his descendents were fated to rule. Khye Bumsa also earned himself the hand of the daughter of the Sakya hierarch and settled in Chumbi Valley, which remained, for a long time, the epicenter of the later kingdom of Sikkim.
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Alt text to go hereTripura is one of the seven states in the north eastern part of India located between 22 degree and 56 minutes and 24 degree and 32 minutes north latitude and between 90 degree and 09 minutes and 92 degree and 20 minutes east latitude. It is bounded on the north, west, south and south-east by Bangladesh whereas in the east it has a common boundary with Assam and Mizoram. There is a common belief that the name of the State has originated from "Tripura Sundari" - the presiding deity of the land which is famous as one of the 51 pethos of Hindu Pilgrims. It is fact that in days of yore the boundaries of Tripura was extended up to the Bay of Bengal when its rulers held sway from Garo hills to Arakan.
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       Vision & Mission
Friends of Assam & Seven Sisters (FASS) is a non-profit non governmental organization, an international 'think-tank' which is aimed at providing an inspirational energy and a motivating force for overall revival and development of the North East India in all its spheres.

By the phrase 'Assam & Seven Sisters' we mean specifically the eight states of North East India: Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura and Sikkim. During the British Raj and till after India's independence, all these states of the North East India except for Manipur, Tripura & Sikkim, were within the geographical boundary of the old state of Assam.

After India's independence however, the region has been further fragmented and several new smaller and smaller states & substates are still being formed. Along with these new states, one also sees the rise of various insurgent groups in the North East which are still continuing unabated. Political fragmentation, a sense of insecurity and a quest for ethnic and regional identity fomented a climate of insurgency in several parts of the region and this was aggravated by dissatisfaction with hegemonic domination and frustration with the lack of development.

Overall, in spite of its rich natural resources, the North East suffers from acute underdevelopment and has remained one of the most backward regions of the country. The standard of living of the people in some states has lagged as much as forty per cent behind the rest of the country. We believe, among various other factors, the situation reflects poorly on the governance of the North East by the central political leadership combined with a lack of understanding of the cultures of the region with the required sensitiveness on one hand and a lack of proper local leadership on the other.

From remote past people of different races immigrated into the North East India making it a big melting pot of different human races and cultures. In fact, all the five major races of the world, the Negritos, the Austro-Asiatics, the Dravidians, the Mongoloids, the Alpines & the Nordic Aryans– all emigrated and settled in this land in one time or another, a unique phenomenon which did not happen anywhere else in the world. This has a great significance for the present multiculturalism of the people of the North East.

As we see, culturally the North East has been influenced by the Indian as well as the Chinese culture, and in a wider sense, we may say that culturally the North East is the meeting ground of the East and the West. It is not surprising therefore that one of the main problems of the North East seems to be the confusion and ignorance about the region and its multifarious cultures within and outside the North East. The fragmentation and isolation policy of the various parts of this region since the British Raj has turned this melting-pot into a stagnant ‘salad-bowl’ of cultures.

Against this background, Friends of Assam & Seven Sisters (FASS) offers a common platform for the people and all friends and well-wishers of North East India to respond and work for the common good of the peoples of the North East and make the North East shine in its own glory which is its due. Friends of Assam & Seven Sisters (FASS) believes in the role of the democratic process, a process which has been weakened in the North East region during the last couple of decades.

In this respect, Friends of Assam and Seven Sisters (FASS) would endeavor to help in fostering proper understanding amongst the people within and outside the North East, and to strengthen the democratic process with liberty, justice and equality for all people.
Copyright © 2010 Friends of Assam and Seven Sisters (FASS). All rights reserved.
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