Separatist movements of India: Wikis


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There are various separatist movements in India, mainly in the north-east and north-west of the country. There have been 8 secessionist movements namely Khalistan, Assam [1], Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. The most high profile separatist actions have been in Kashmir, with the assumption that the Kashmir Valley would join Pakistan or become independent, but that Jammu and Ladkh would stay in India.



The term Greater India refers to the historical spread of the Culture of India beyond the Indian subcontinent proper. This concerns the spread of Hinduism in Southeast Asia in particular, introduced by the Indianized kingdoms of the 5th to 15th centuries, but may also extend to the earlier spread of Buddhism from India to Central Asia and China by way of the Silk Road during the early centuries CE. To the west, Greater India overlaps with Greater Persia in the Hindu Kush and Pamir Mountains. Historically, the term is also tied to the geographic uncertainties surrounding the "Indies" during the Age of Exploration.

Jammu & Kashmir

The most important state of British India was Kashmir naturally connected with Pakistan. Its ruler was Hindu while population was Muslim. The population inclined towards Pakistan but the Hindu ruler declared to join India. The Kashmiri people revolted against the ruler in Poonch area and soon it became widespread. The ruler sought Indian support. India demanded accession. On October 27, 1947 Indian army entered into Kashmir through Gurdaspur, the only entrance for India to Kashmir. It was a Muslim majority district situated at the border of India it but assigned to India by the Radcliff Award.

North East India


Greater Assam

The Ahom Kingdom, c1826.

Since the mid-20th century, people from present-day Bangladesh (then part of Pakistan) have been migrating to Assam. In 1961, the Government of Assam passed a legislation making use of Assamese language compulsory; It had to be withdrawn later under pressure from Bengali speaking people in Cachar. In the 1980s the Brahmaputra valley saw a six-year Assam Agitation [2] triggered by the discovery of a sudden rise in registered voters on electoral rolls.

Assam till 1950s; The new states of Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram formed in the 1960-70s. The capital of Assam was shifted from Shillong to Dispur, now a part of Guwahati. After the Indo-China war in 1962, Arunachal Pradesh was also separated out.

The post 1970s experienced the growth of armed separatist groups like United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) [2] and National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB). Regional autonomy has been ensured for Bodos in Bodoland Territorial Council Areas (BTCA) and for the Karbis in Karbi Anglong after agitation of the communities due to sluggish rate of development and aspirations for self-government. As the situation in Assam has turned very serious as communal clashes continue in two central districts of the state, namely Udalguri and Darrang.

Assam and its Environs: As per the plate techtonics, Assam is in the eastern-most projection of the Indian Plate, where the plate is thrust beneath the Eurasian Plate creating the Himalayas over a subduction zone and [3]. So therefore, Assam possesses a unique geomorphic environment, with plains, dissected hills of the South Indian Plateau system and with the Himalayas all around its north, north-east and east.

The United Liberation Front of Asom is a separatist group from Assam,[4] among many other such groups in North-East India. It seeks to establish a sovereign Assam via an armed struggle in the Assam Conflict. The Government of India had banned the organization in 1990 and classifies it as a terrorist group, while the US State Department lists it under "Other groups of concern".[5]

ULFA claims to have been founded at the site of Rang Ghar on April 7, 1979,[4] a historic structure from the Ahom kingdom. Military operations against it by the Indian Army that began in 1990 continues till present. In the past two decades some 10,000 people have died in the clash between the rebels and the government.[6]

The major leaders of the organisation are:

Muslim United Liberation Tigers of Assam (MULTA) is a Separatist organization founded around 1996 in the eastern Indian state of Assam. The South Asia Terrorism Portal ( describes it as part of the All Muslim United Liberation Forum of Assam (AMULFA), and that Muslim United Liberation Front of Assam (MULFA) is a sister organization under the AMULFA umbrella.[7] It is alleged that MULTA is supported by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.


Flag of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland.

Bodoland is an area located in the north bank of Brahmaputra river in the state of Assam in north east region of India, by the foothills of Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh; inhabited predominantly by Bodo language speaking ethnic group. Currently the hypothetical map of Bodoland includes the Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD) administered by the non-autonomous Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC). The map of Bodoland overlaps with the districts of Kokrajhar, Baksa, Chirang and Udalguri in the state of Assam.

The National Democratic Front of Bodoland, also known as NDFB or the Bodo Security Force, is a separatist movement that is predominantly christian which seeks to obtain a sovereign Bodoland for the Bodo people in Assam. The founder of the organization, Ransaigra Nabla Daimari, alias Ranjan Daimari, continues to lead the organization.[4]


Both the National Liberation Front of Tripura and the All Tripura Tiger Force, which claim to represent the Tripuri people, an economically disadvantaged community.[8]. The NLFT, founded in 1989, aims for independence for Tripura. The NLFT is currently proscribed as a terrorist organization in India.

Arunachal Pradesh

The Arunachal Dragon Force (ADF), also known as the East India Liberation Front, is a violent secessionist movement in the eastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. The ADF seeks to create an independent state resembling the pre-British Teola Country consisting of area currently in Arunachal Pradesh as well as neighboring Assam.


The NSCN factions and Naga National Council have been fighting for a greater Nagalim, which constitutes areas of present day Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and Myanmar.


Khalistan Khālistān (Punjabi: ਖ਼ਾਲਿਸਤਾਨ) is on actually proposed Sikh homeland. The Khalistan movement is a movement in Indian Punjab to create "The Land of the Pure" as an independent Sikh state in all Punjabi-speaking areas, which include Indian Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and some other Punjabi speaking parts of states like Gujarat and Rajasthan..[9]

Defunct 'Khalistani' Currency
A proposed flag for Khalistan

Geography of Khalistan
According to the Khalistan web-site:

The geographical boundaries of Khalistan will include current India Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pardesh and River Ravi on the west and river Jamuna on the east will be some of the boundary lines between Khalistan & Pakistan, Khalistan & India respectively. In the north, part of Himalayan range and in south, part of Thar Desert will make the geographical boundaries of Khalistan.[10]

In media

See also

Further reading

  • Inventing Boundaries: gender, politics and the Partition of India edited by Mushirul Hasan (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2000)
  • The Sole Spokesman: Jinnah, the Muslim League and the demand for Pakistan by Ayesha Jalal (Cambridge University Press, 1985)
  • Naxalite Politics in India, by J. C. Johari, Institute of Constitutional and Parliamentary Studies, New Delhi, . Published by Research Publications, 1972.
  • The Naxalite Movement, by Biplab Dasgupta. Published by , 1974
  • The Naxalite Movement in India, by Prakash Singh. Published by Rupa, 1995. ISBN 8171672949.

External links



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