Meaning of ASSAM in English

constituent state of India, located in the northeastern part of the country. It is bounded to the north by 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 Bangladesh and the states of Meghalaya and West Bengal. The capital of Assam is Dispur. In earliest times, the area was known as Kamarupa. Various dynasties subsequently ruled Assam, but there was no stable government until the advent of the Ahoms from Myanmar (Burma) in the 13th century. The power and prosperity of that group reached its zenith under King Rudra Singh (16961714). Internal strife brought an invasion from Myanmar into Assam in 1817. The British eventually drove out the Myanmar invaders and made the area part of British India in 1826. By 1842 the whole Assam valley had come under British rule. Following Indian independence in 1947, Assam shrank through land cessions to Pakistan and the creation within its borders of new states and territoriesin 1963, Nagaland, and in 1972, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, and Mizoram. In 1972 the capital was shifted from Shillong (now in Meghalaya) to Dispur, a suburb of Guwahati (formerly Gauhati). Except for a hilly portion of the Meghalaya Plateau that crosses the centre of the state, Assam is generally composed of plains and river valleys. Three physical regions stand out: the Brahmaputra River valley in the north, the Barak Plain in the south, and the hilly regions lying between the two. The valley of the Brahmaputra River constitutes Assam's dominant physical feature. Assam has mild winters and warm summers. It experiences widespread flooding in the summer during the monsoon season. The people of Assam are mainly of Indo-Iranian and Asiatic stock; about two-thirds are Hindus and one-quarter Muslims. The official and most widely spoken language in the state is Assamese, but most of those of Asiatic background speak one of a number of dialects that are of Tibeto-Burman origin. There are also Hindus of Bengali stock who have long resided there, and more recent immigrants from Bangladesh. From the 1960s to the 1990s Assam was the scene of occasional rioting and violence by various minority ethnic groups, including the Naga, Mizo, Tripuri, and Bodo, and also by the Assamese against outsiders, such as immigrants from Bangladesh. Agriculture is basic to Assam's economy. More than two-thirds of the labour force is engaged in farming. Rice is grown on about two-thirds of the cultivated area; tea and jute are also important crops, and their sale accounts for a major portion of Assam's income. Other significant crops include oilseeds, peas, beans, canola (rapeseed), sugarcane, and fruits. Oil and coal are found in upper Assam, and the state produces about one-sixth of India's petroleum and the same proportion of its natural gas. Except for those industries based on tea and oil, however, Assam has few significant industrial facilities. The state has suffered industrially from a lack of capital, its isolation from the rest of India, and a poor transportation system. Assam has universities at Guwahati, Jorhat, and Dibrugarh and numerous affiliated colleges. Area 30,285 square miles (78,438 square km). Pop. (1991) 22,414,322. state of India. It 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. The name Assam is derived from the ancient Ahom word asama, meaning peerless. The neighbouring states of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, and Meghalaya were once part of Assam. The capital, formerly Shillong (now the capital of Meghalaya), was shifted to Dispur, a suburb of Guwahati, in 1972. Additional reading Assam's physical and human geography are discussed in Pulin Behari Barthakur, Assam (1971); an anthology of essays on the lands and peoples of Assam titled The Brahmaputra Beckons (1982); John Peter Wade, An Account of Assam, ed. by Benudhar Sharma (1927, reissued 1972), a useful reference book including the historical geography of significant places; D.N.D. Goswami, Geology of Assam (1960), a systematic treatment; and, on ethnic politics, Shekhar Gupta, Assam: A Valley Divided (1984); and H.N. Rafiabadi, Assam from Agitation to Accord (1988). S. Barkataki (compiler), Tribes of Assam (1969), includes detailed information in concise form about the various tribes of Assam. D.D. Mali, Economic Problems & Planning in Assam (1989), assesses problems of development. Early history is explored in P.C. Choudhury, The History of Civilisation of the People of Assam to the Twelfth Century AD, 2nd ed. (1966); and Nishipada Deva Choudhury (Nisipada Caudhuri), Historical Archaeology of Central Assam (1985). S.L. Baruah, A Comprehensive History of Assam (1985), provides a general discussion. S.K. Bhuyan, Anglo-Assamese Relations, 17711826, 2nd ed. (1974), provides a detailed analysis of the late Ahom and early British periods. Deryck O. Lodrick History In the earliest times Assam was part of Kamarupa, a state that had its capital at Pragjyotisapura (modern Guwahati). Ancient Kamarupa included roughly the Brahmaputra valley, Bhutan, the Rangpur region (now in Bangladesh), and Koch Bihar, in West Bengal. King Narakasura and his son Bhagadatta were famous rulers of Kamarupa in the Mahabharata period (at least as early as 1000 BC). A Chinese traveler, Hsan-tsang, left a vivid account of the country and its people in about AD 640. Although information about the following centuries is meagre, copperplates, clay seals, and stone inscriptions dating from the 7th to the mid-12th centuries indicate that the inhabitants of the region attained considerable power and a fair degree of civilization. The copperplates further provide clues as to the locations of important ancient settlements and the routes connecting them. Assam was ruled by various dynastiesthe Pa las, Koches, Kacharis, and the Chutiyasand there was constant warfare among these princes until the coming of the Ahoms in the 13th century. The Ahoms crossed the Patkai Range from Myanmar (Burma) and conquered the local chieftains of the Upper Assam Plain. In the 15th century the Ahoms, who probably gave their name to the region, were the dominant power in Upper Assam. Two centuries later, they defeated the Koches, the Kacharis, and other local rulers to gain control of Lower Assam up to Goalpara. The power and prosperity of the Ahoms reached a zenith during the rule of King Rudra Singh (16961714). Dissension and jealousy among the princes gradually weakened the central administration until 1786, when the ruling prince Gaurinath Singh sought aid from the British in Calcutta. A British army officer, sent by the British governor-general in India, restored peace and was recalled in spite of the protests of the Ahom king. Internal strife then caused one crisis after another until, in 1817, Myanmar warriors entered Assam in response to the appeal of Badan Chandra, a rebellious bar phukan (governor). They swept over the area three times, bringing destruction and misery. The British, whose interests elsewhere were threatened by these developments, ultimately drove out the Myanmar invaders, and, after the Treaty of Yandabo was concluded with Myanmar in 1826, Assam became a part of British India. A British agent, representing the governor-general, was appointed to administer Assam, and in 1838 the area was incorporated into British-administered Bengal. By 1842 the whole of the Assam Valley had come under British rule. In 1874 a separate province of Assam was created (administered by a chief commissioner), with its capital at Shillong. In 1905 Bengal was partitioned and Assam was amalgamated with eastern Bengal; this created such resentment, however, that in 1912 Bengal was reunited, and Assam was once more made a separate province. During World War II, Assam was a major supply route for Allied forces operating in Burma. Several battles fought in the area in 1944 (e.g., at Bishenpur in Manipur and Kohima in Nagaland) were decisive in halting the Japanese advance into India. With the partition and independence of India in 1947, the district of Sylhet (excluding the Karimganj subdivision) was ceded to Pakistan. Assam became a constituent state of the Indian Union in 1950. In 1961 and 1962 Chinese armed forces, disputing the McMahon Line as the boundary between India and Tibet, occupied part of the North East Frontier Agency (present Arunachal Pradesh but then part of Assam). In December 1962, however, they voluntarily withdrew to Tibet. Since the early 1960s Assam has lost much territory to new states emerging from within its borders. In 1963 the Naga Hills district became the 16th state of the Indian Union under the name of Nagaland. Part of Tuensang, a former territory of the North East Frontier Agency, was also added to Nagaland. In 1970, in response to the demands of the tribal peoples of the Meghalaya Plateau, the United Khasi and Jaintia Hills and the Garo districts were formed into an autonomous state within Assam; in 1972 it became a separate state under the name of Meghalaya. Also in 1972 Arunachal Pradesh (the North East Frontier Agency) and Mizoram (from the Mizo Hills in the south) were separated from Assam as union territories; both became states in 1986. Despite the separation of these ethnic-based states, communal tensions and violence have remained a problem in Assam. In the early 1980s, resentment among the Assamese against foreigners, mostly immigrants from Bangladesh, led to widespread violence and considerable loss of life. Subsequently, disaffected Bodo tribesmen (in Assam and Meghalaya) agitated for an autonomous state. The militant United Liberation Front of Assam waged a guerrilla campaign for the outright secession of Assam from India until agreeing to end their rebellion in 1992. Hariprasanna Das Deryck O. Lodrick

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