Class 12 Swadesh Adhyayan Chapter 7 Population Growth of Assam and The Foreigners Issue

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Class 12 Swadesh Adhyayan Chapter 7 Population Growth of Assam and The Foreigners Issue Notes covers all the exercise questions in HS 2nd Year Swadesh Adhyayan Textbooks Solutions. The Assam Board Class 12 Swadesh Adhyayan Chapter 7 Population Growth of Assam and The Foreigners Issue provided here ensures a smooth and easy understanding of all the concepts. Understand the concepts behind every chapter and score well in the board exams.

Population Growth of Assam and The Foreigners Issue

Chapter – 7



(a) What is the difference between Internal and International Migration?

Ans. The people who move from one place to another one to live within the country are called inter-state on internal migration.

On the other hand, Immigration from one country to another is called International Immigration.

(b) Define immigrants and infiltrators?

Ans. Immigrants are the people coming and going from one place to another in search of food, shelter and security, to get rid of flood, hunger, earth-quakes, epidemic and other natural calamities or seeking life security against battles, wars, ethnic, religious clashes as well as convenience for sound living.

Infiltrators are the people who migrate illegally to neighbouring or other countries without legal document to get rid of serious economic crisis of their own country. Infiltrators are can also be termed as an undercover or covered agent who secretly enter foreign territory.

(c) Through which Act can a foreigner get Indian citizenship?

Ans. Indian Citizenship Act 1955.

(d) Which King of Assam dug pond for use of which temple in Odhisha?

Ans. Swargadeu Suhungmung dug a pond for use of Jagannath Temple in Odisha.

(e) Who discovered Tea Plant in Assam and in which year?

Ans. Robert Bruce discovered Tea Plant in Assam in the year 1823 (Data May Vary)

2. Discuss briefly the discovery of tea plant in Assam and migration to Assam?

Ans. The tea industry in Assam is about 172 years old. It occupies an important place and plays a very useful part in the national economy. The discovery of the Assam tea plant is attributed to Robert Bruce, a Scottish adventurer who is supposed to have seen the plant growing wild in some hills near Rangpur, Brahmaputra Valley (near present Sivasagar) the then Ahom  capital of Assam, during his visit in 1823 on a trading mission.

The Singphoes and Khamties who came from Northern Burma (Myanmar) to Assam and settled here in the prehistoric past were well acquainted with tea plants had drank brew from the tea leaves. Anyway, Mr. Bruce who was a fortune hunter was in close touch with Maniram Dutta Baruah, popularly known as Maniram Dewan, local Assamese nobleman. Maniram introduced Mr. Bruce with a friendly Singpho Chief Beesa Gam and made an arrangement with him to supply some tea plants and seeds during his next visit. But it did not materialize due to his death.  However, in 1824, his younger brother, Charles Alexander Bruce met the Singphow Chief who supplied him some tea plants and seeds. Mr.C.A. Bruce was in charge of the British Gunboat division in the war with the Burmese occupying Assam in 1824 and posted at Sadiya. Mr. Bruce planted the tea plants in front of his bungalow at Sadiya on experimental basis for the first time. Some were sent to Commissioner Jenkins at Gauhati (Guwahati). A few leaves of these plants were sent to Botanical Gardens in Calcutta. Dr. N. Wallach, who was then the Superintendent of Botanical Gardens, identified the leaves as belonging to the Camellia family but did not consider them to be of the same species as the China tea plant.

 With the arrival in London of the fine quality tea from this garden in 1938, the commercial circle of the city took a keen interest in tea plantations in Assam and a company known as the Assam Company was formed in 1839 to take over the experimental holdings of the East India Company’s Administration over the tea gardens established in Assam till then. This was the first company in India to undertake the commercial production of tea and was, in fact, the direct successor of the East India Company.

Migration to Assam (Special Reference with Tea)

It is already said that the British government took every step to widen tea cultivation in Assam and thereby to earn more revenue. It is noteworthy that C.A. Bruce established the first two tea estates in Jaipur and Sadiya and only 400 workers were brought from outside. Later the number of tea-estates and workers increased.

To grow an industry four conditions must be fulfilled- 

(i) Land. 

(ii) Capital. 

(iii) Labourers. 

(iv) Organisation. 

The European and Indian tea cultivators were not without capital. The governments too introduced the cited land rules to meet up land problems. The European and Indian tea cultivators showed their interests for tea cultivation. The only need was of industrious labourers. To fulfil this problems the tea cultivators took help from the imperialistic government. Many poor people from Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh belonging to the tribes like Chawtal, Kol, Munda, Bhumij, Kurmi etc. were brought to Assam through some brokers as tea labourers.

According to the District Gazette data in 1903 there was a high increase of land allotment to the tea estates and migration of tea labourers. In Kamrup district all total 23 tea estates were established. These tea estates were allotted 18642 acres of land and 3472 outsider tea labourers were appointed. Likewise in the Darrang district 1,37,829 acres of land were allotted to 97 tea estates and there were all total 53,563 tea workers there. In Nagaon district 49 tea estates occupied 48,775 acres of land and 14,435 workers were brought there. In Sibsagar and Lakhimpur districts 164 and 152 tea estates were established respectively. The Sibsagar tea estates occupied 2,44,653 acres and Lakhimpur tea estates occupied 1,92,419 acres of land. Workers from outside Assam were appointed – 95,954 in Sibsagar and 1,39,996 in Lakhimpur. The total number of tea workers in 1921 were 1.5 million, i.e. 30 per cent of the total population of Assam during the time. Since then, the number of migrant labour showed a rise trend in Assam.

3. Discuss the historical background of migration of the East Bengal farmers to Assam.

Ans – Under the leadership of David Scott, the British administration tried to increase revenue through allotment of land to the local people. But this plan did not succeed at all, and therefore the British government encouraged industrial farmers to migrate to Assam.

As the beginning of the British regime some Assamese people belonging to middle class too supported this migration to Assam and supported the migration of well experienced farmers and educated Bengali to Assam. On the other hand, the land lords of west Assam’s Goalpara, Bilasipara too saw their ways to establish the Muslim formers hailing from East Bengal. The more East Bengal Muslim farmer migrated to Assam the more jute factories were established in West Bengal. In such a situation some traders of Barpeta region started to sell their land to the outsider migrants at high rate. As a result no barrier existed for the farmers of East Bengal to enter Assam and establish here.

The East Bengal farmers were eager to migrate to Assam to get rid of the oppression of the East Bengal landlords. The government of Assam also supported migration to Assam for economic benefits. 

4. Who protested first against migration to Assam and when?

Ans. Mahadev Sarma protested first against migration to Assam in 1927.

5. Write Short Notes On – 

(a) Policy of Harvest Growth: A harvest strategy is a calculated decision to minimize all types of spending and to maximize profitability. 

The large unused land of the indigenous tribes of Assam were lying free and were not even generating a penny. The imperialistic British Government used to give stress on cultivating the unused land to increase revenue. On the contrary the local people of Assam did not show any eagerness to increase harvest or cattle. In such a situation the British government introduced a policy of harvest growth to increase their revenue and allowed some industrious Muslims to migrate from East Bengal (now Bangladesh) to Assam. The district administration of Cachar wrote letter to the Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka, Tippera and Maimon Singh requesting that industrious farmers would be given the privilege of cultivating land without revenue to a certain period of time and later on they would be allotted land patta for payment of certain revenue.

(b) Line Pratha: Linepratha was a measures taken to save the cultural and social interest of the local people of Assam against the problem of migration and immigration to Assam. According to it, no migrants could widen their inheritance from the certain area allotted to them. Under the Line Pratha during the period of six years from 1930 to 1936 government allotted 59 grassland fields to the migrants. This scheme was applied in Mangaldai of Darrang district and in Barpeta division of Kamrup District. The Linepratha was initially introduced by Nabin Chandra Bordoloi, a member of the committee formed to save the benefit of the local people in Assam. 

(c) Tribal Belt and Block: Formation of Tribal Belt and Block was one of the measures taken to have the cultural and social interest of the local people of from against the problem of migration and immigration. In the 1920s the local people started selling their land to the migrants at high rate. Experiencing these phenomenon the prominent leader tied to draw attention of the government to such danger and tried to bring consciousness among the local people. Finally in 1946 Congress formed government with the leadership of Gopinath Bordoloi and formed 38 indigenous belt and blocks to preserve the interest of the local people. But there measures did not succeed because of many reasons.

The government of Assam supported migration to Assam for economic benefits. Accordingly useful land were divided into three categories by introducing Line Pratha in 1920 – a. Separate land for the migrant, b. Land not to be used by the migrant and c. Same and that can be used by both migrants and local people.

(d) Impact of Migration on socio-cultural and economy of Assam – 

 Migration has a very adverse impact on the socio-cultural and economic condition of Assam. It is already discussed that the number of inland and outsider migrants have increased dangerously which caused numerous negative impact. 

The impact of migration may be discussed as follows: 

(i) Population growth of Assam: One of the most prominent impact of migration to Assam is the rapid population growth. The flow of migration of Assam either inland or interstate and migration from Nepal have increased population growth up to three crore. This dangerous population growth has contributed to the problems of food, shelter, employment and in many other sectors. Assam is lagging behind in comparison to other states of India in matters of education and others. 

(ii) Destruction of Natural Balance: There is always a need of land because of population growth. So, people especially foreign intruders have been lessening reserved forests, sanctuaries and river banks. As a result there arose problem of food scarcity for the wild animals. Many species of wild animals have become extinct. There are news about human and animal clashes. Besides flood has brought danger to the localities. For example it can be mentioned that during the period from 1995 to 1960 landslide had completely destroyed the Palasbari town and Mariahola region.

(iii) Ethnic clashes: Another important and mentionable impact of growing migration to Assam is the growth of ethnic clashes which was on peak during the mid-20th century. Measures were taken to save cultural and social interests of the local people of Assam against the problem of migration and immigration. For example Line Pratha, formations of tribal belt and block in 1946, Prevention of Infiltration from Pakistan (PIP) etc. But these measures did not succeed because of many reasons. Besides the agreement signed between the Government of India and All Assam Students’ Union and All Assam Gana Sangram Parishad has not been executed as expected.

For these reasons the local tribes feel that their culture, language and economy are at stake. As a result tribes like Rabha, Tiwa, Bodo, Sonowal, Mishing, Karbi, etc. have started demanding separate privilege. For these reasons ethnic clashes are growing 

(iv) Beginning of reciprocal doubt and fear: The Assamese culture, language as well as formation of the Assamese race have been impeded because of some legal and illegal migrants. According to the 1951 census the migrants from East Bengal too considered Assamese as their mother tongue. Consequently the number of Assamese speaking people increased more than 73 per cent. But later on because of some factors many doubts and fear arose. It is because even after the Indira-Mujib agreement some people started to doubt the people who came since pre independent India up to March 25, 1971.

Besides, it is noteworthy that in many districts of Assam the local indigenous people have become minorities owing to unlimited migration and infiltration.

(e) Formation of Negative Environment: Whether legal or illegal a large number of migrants living in Assam are below the poverty line and live in a very unhealthy state. They lack education. Child marriage and polygamy are very common among them. Taking the chance of such negative environment some fanatics have kept them away from modernity and civility enforcing superstitions. For these reasons birth rate in such society is very high. It is one of the major factors of population growth in Assam. Population growth means destruction of environment and destruction of environment means challenge to human civilizations.

It is learnt from our discussion that population growth of Assam has crossed more than a crores and it has become indispensable to control birth rate. There is no respite to think as it high time. So legal or illegal, internal or international all migrations should be stopped immediately. Government should take necessary steps as well as citizens too should be cautious then only Assam will become rich as poets say Assam is Asoma Suchama Nirupama.

(e) Relationship of Jute Factory with migration of Assam: The migration to Assam has a very close relationship with the establishment of Jute Factories in Assam.  Under the leaders David Scott, the British administration tried to increase revenue through allotment of land to the local people introducing many schemes. But these schemes did not succeed at all. The British Government was in a fix to collect revenue from the thousand acres of unused land. Therefore the British government encouraged industries farmers to migrate to Assam. At the beginning of the British regime some Assamese people belonging to middle class too supported this migration to Assam. 

The Assam Banking and Query committee report published in 1929-30 show that the local people in Barpeta district as well as Marwari’s used to lend money on interest for cultivation. The low and arable land of Assam were very useful for jute production. The more East Bengal Muslim farmers migrated to Assam the more jute factories were established in West Bengal.

Famous Economist Dr. P.C. Goswami in his research book ‘The Economic Development of Assam (1963) has mentioned that during the period 1901-02 all total 5,000 acres of land in Assam were covered by jute production. During 1941-42 this figure increased up to 277 thousand acres. Dr. Ramesh Chandra Kalita in his research paper ‘the problems of Immigrants and Assam points out the relationship between the increasing jute industries in Calcutta and migration of East Bengal farmers to Assam. Dr. Kalita comments that jute was supplied to foreign countries too. In such a situation some traders of Barpeta region started to sell their land to the outsider migrants at high rate. 


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