A History of Assam: Post-colonial Assam

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A History of Assam: Post-colonial Assam

By Mofid Tourism Assam February 27, 2008

See also

A History of Assam: An overview A History of Assam: A Chronology A History of Assam: Ancient Assam A History of Assam: Medieval Assam A History of Assam: Colonial Assam A History of Assam: Post-colonial Assam A History of Assam: the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee

Post-colonial Assam

Historical Profile of Assam Legislative Assembly

The Assam Legislative Assembly came into being on the day of its first sitting on April 7, 1937 in the Assembly Chamber at Shillong, the erstwhile Capital of the composite State of Assam. Situated in the North East of the Country, Assam has had a glorious history of her own. Popularly known as the ethnological museum of India, Assam has been described as Mini-India, having a rich cultural heritage with diverse race, religion and culture. Assam under the provisions of India Council Act, 1861 did not have its own democratic institution but was tagged with East Bengal in 1905 and the Institution was then called "Legislative Council of Eastern Bengal and Assam", which started functioning from December 18, 1906. In 1909, the Council had a strength of 40 members and out of 40 seats, Assam was allotted 5 seats. In 1912 Assam was reconstituted into a Chief Commissioners' province. In the year 1913, after Assam was granted a Legislative Council under the Government of India Act. 1909, the Assam Legislative Council came into being with a strength of 34 members of which 13 were nominated by the Chief Commissioner and 21 were elected by the people. The Legislative Council of Assam first met on 6th January, 1913 at 11 a.m. at Shillong, which was presided over by Sir Archdale Easle, the Chief Commissioner of Assam. Under the Government of India Act. 1919, the strength of the Legislative Council was raised to 53 members with effect from Ist April, 1921 of which 41 were elected members and the remaining 12 were nominated.

Assam Assembly Since 1937

The Government of India Act, 1935 was adopted by the British Parliament on 2nd August, 1935 and was implemented in 1937. The Government of India Act 1935 made provisions for a Legislative Assembly in each province and as a result the Legislature in Assam became bicameral. The Assam Legislative Assembly had the strength of 108 members and all of them were elected members. the strength of the Legislative Council (Upper House) was not less than 21 and not more than 22 members.

After the partition of India, Sylhet district of Assam was transferred to the then East Pakistan by a referendum and the strength of the Assembly was reduced to 71. However, after Independence, the strength of members were again raised to 108. The bicameral Assam Legislative Assembly became unicameral with the abolition of the Assam Legislative Council in 1947. In the years that followed, Assam was truncated to several smaller states. In 1963, Nagaland came into being as a separate State. With the passing of North Eastern (Reorganization Areas) Act in 1971 by the Parliament, Meghalaya became a full-fledged state. Subsequently, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh also followed suit. After the creation of Meghalaya as a separate state, Shillong continued to be the joint capital of both Assam and Meghalaya. However, in 1972, the Government of Assam decided to shift the Capital to Dispur, Guwahati. Accordingly, the first sitting of the Budget Session of the Assam Legislative Assembly was held at the temporary capital at Dispur on the 16th March, 1973.

With the changing geographical boundaries together with the shifts in the population graph of Assam, the strength of members of the Assam Legislative Assembly has fluctuated during the last fifty odd years. In 1952-57 it was 108, reaching still lower to 105 in 1957-62 (the Second Assembly) and then to 114 in 1967-72 (the third Assembly) until it reached a strength of 126 members in 1972-78 (the fifth Assembly) and it has continued to maintain that figure till the 11th Assembly. Although the Article 172 provides the duration of State Legislative Assembly as 5 years due to the imposition of National Emergency in 1975 the fifth Assam Assembly lasted for 6 years.

The Assam Legislative Assembly has so far 16 Speakers since its inception. Late Babu Basanta Kumar Das was the first and Shri Tanka Bahadur Rai is at present the elected Speaker of the latest Assam Legislative Assembly.

The Assam Agitation (or Assam Movement)

In 1979, Assam flared into Assam Agitation (or Assam Movement) a popular movement against illegal immigration. The movement, led AASU and AAGSP, set an agitational program to compel the government to identify and expel illegal immigrants and prevent new immigration. The agitational programs were largely non-violent, but there were incidents of acute violence, like the Nellie Massacre. It ended in 1985 following the Assam Accord that was signed by the agitation leaders and the Government of India. The agitation leaders formed a political party, Asom Gana Parishad, which came to power in the state of Assam in the Assembly elections of 1985.

Governors of Assam

(since 1937 onwards )

1.H.E. Sir Henry Joseph Tuynam K.C.S.I.C.I.E. 24th Feb. 19384th Octber 1939

2.H.E. Sir Robert Niel Reid. K.C.S.I.K.C.I.E. (K) 5th October, 19393rd May 1942

3.H.E. Sir Andrew Gourlay Clow K.C.S.I.C.I.E.4th May, 1942

4.H.E. Sir Rederik Chalmers Bourne C.B.I.C.I.E., ICS4th April, 1946

5.H.E. Sir Henry Foley Knight4th Sept, 194623rd Dec., 1946

6.H.E. Andrew Gourlay Clow K.C.S.I.C.I.E., ICS24th Dec., 1946 3rd May, 1947

7. H.E. Sir Akbar Hydari K.C.I.E.C.S.I., ICS4th May, 194728th Dec.1948

8.H.E. Ronald Francis Lodge, ICS30th Dec., 194815th Feb., 1949

9.Shri Sri Prakasa16th Feb., 194926th May, 1950

10.H.E. Shri Jairam Das, Daulatram27th May, 195014th May, 1956

11.Shri Saiyid Fazal Ali15th May, 195622nd August 1959

12.Shri Justice Chandreswar Prasad Sinha, Chief Justice, Assam23rd August, 195913th Oct., 1959

13.General Satyavant Mallannah Shrinagesh14th Oct., 195912th Nov., 1960

14.Shri Vishnu Sahay, ICS12th Nov., 1960 12th Jan., 1961

15.General Satyavant Mallannath Shrinagesh13th Jan., 19617th Sep., 1962

16.Shri Vishnu Sahay, ICS7th Sept., 196216th April, 1968

17.Shri B.K. Nehru, ICS17th April, 19687th Dec., 1970

18.Shri Justice P.K. Goswami, Chief Justice, Assam8th Dec., 19704th Jan. 1971.

19.Shri B.K. Nehru, ICS5th Jan., 197118th Sept., 1973.

20.Shri L.P. Singh, ICS19th Sept., 197310th August, 1981.

21.Shri P. Mehrotra10th Aug. 198127th March, 1984.

22.Shri T.S. Misra28th March, 198415th April, 1984.

23.Shri B. N. Sing15th April, 198410th May, 1989.

24.Shri Harideo Joshi10th May, 198921st July, 1989.

25.Shri Justice Anisetti Roghuvir, Chief Justice, Assam21st July, 19892nd May, 1990.

26.Shri D. D. Thakur2nd May, 199017th March, 1991.

27.Shri Lok Nath Misra17th March, 19911st Sept., 1997.

28.Lt.Gen.(Retd.) S.K. Sinha, PVSM1st Sept., 19974th June, 2003.

29.Lt. Gen.(Retd.) Ajai Singh, PVSM, AVSM 5th June, 2003.

Chief Ministers of Assam

since 1937 onwards

1.Maulavi Saiyid Sir Muhammad Saadulla, PremierApril 1, 1937September 19, 1938

2.Gopinath Bordoloi, PremierSeptember 19, 1938November 17, 1939

3.Maulavi Saiyid Sir Muhammad Saadulla, PremierNovember 17, 1939December 24, 1941 4.Maulavi Saiyid Sir Muhammad Saadulla, PremierAugust 25, 1942February 11, 1946 5.Gopinath Bordoloi, PremierFebruary 11, 1946August 6, 1950

6.Bishnu Ram MedhiAugust 9, 1950December 27, 1957

7.B.P. ChalihaDecember 28, 1957November 6, 1970

8.Mohendra Mohan ChoudhuryNovember 11, 1970January 30, 1972

9.Shri Sarat Chandra SinhaJanuary 31, 1972March 12, 1978

10.Shri Golap BorboraMarch 12, 1978September 4, 1979

11.Shri Jogendra Nath HazarikaSeptember 9, 1979December 11, 1979

12.Shrimati Anowara TaimurDecember 6, 1980June 30, 1981

13.Shri Kesab Chandra GogoiJanuary 13, 1982March 19, 1982

14.Shri Hiteswar SaikiaFebruary 27, 1983December 23, 1985

15.Shri Prafulla Kumar MahantaDecember 24, 1985November 27, 1990

16.Shri Hiteswar SaikiaJune 30, 1991April 22, 1996

17.Dr. Bhumidhar BarmanApril 22, 1996May 14, 1996

18.Shri Prafulla Kumar MahantaMay 15, 1996May, 17, 2001

19.Shri Tarun GogoiMay 17, 2001

Speakers of Assam Legislative Assembly

since 1937 onwards

1. Babu Basanta Kumar DasApril 7, 1937March 11, 1946

2.Shri Debeswar SarmahMarch 12, 1946October 10, 1947

3.Shri Laksheswar BarooahNovember 5, 1947March 3, 1952

4.Shri Kuladhar ChalihaMarch 5,1952June 7, 1957

5.Shri Dev Kant BarooahJune 8, 1957September 15, 1959

6.Shri Mahendra Mohan ChoudhuryDecember 9, 1959March 19, 1967

7.Shri Hareswar GoswamiMarch 20, 1967May 10, 1968

8.Shri Mahi Kanta DasAugust 27, 1968March 21,1972

9.Shri Ramesh Ch. BarooahMarch 22, 1972March 20, 1978

10.Shri Jogendra Nath HazarikaMarch 21, 1978September4, 1979

11.Shri Sheikh Chand MohammadNovember 7, 1979January 7, 1986

12.Shri Pulakesh BaruaJanuary 9, 1986July 27,1991

13.Shri Jiba Kanta GogoiJuly 29, 1991December 9, 1992

14.Shri Debesh Chandra ChakravortyDecember 21, 1992June 11, 1996

15.Shri Ganesh KutumJune 12, 1996May 24, 2001

16.Shri Prithibi MajhiMay 30, 2001May 19, 2006

17.Shri Tanka Bahadur RaiMay 29, 2006-

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