To what extent, the policy to make the North East a developmental frontier is responsible for its economic backwardness. Discuss.

Model Answer:
India’s north east is home to a large number of tribes and communities living in a relative isolation in their own cultural niches. They were largely autonomous and had their own ways of social and economic organizations, which in some ways rivaled the modern practices. But, the major reason for hindrance in development process for north east lied in its geographical isolation from other India. Further, the British formally entered in North East in 1826 and with this, the process of integration of this extremely diverse region into the British Empire commenced. Firstly, the North East Region was brought under a single administrative umbrella by subjugation of many distinct and interior territories. Second is that the focus of the activities was not the people of the region but the natural resources such as oil, tea and timber, which served the direct interests of the Colonial masters. This second aspect became detrimental to the people and generally to the region as a whole, because it promoted a policy to make the North East a developmental frontier. The treatment of North East as a new field for development or developmental frontier also led to a culture of carpetbaggers by britishers, which proved them as an outsider who attempts to gain political or economic advantage thus; deteriorating the condition of North-East.


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