North East India

It is noteworthy that in the general descriptions of Indian History, very little is seen mentioned about the people and their history of the North Eastern provinces. Geographically these areas are far away from the main stream India. And the people had a tribal nature in all their activities. This could be why historians have been rather miserly in dealing with these areas. 

But how can a picture of the Indian community be complete without a proper portion of the North East? The North East of India today comprises of seven states – Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Tripura, Manipur, Meghalaya, and Nagaland. The people there belong to the Mangaloid tribe and have either retained their tribal identity or have merged with the Hindu mainstream. Majority of Khasi, Miso, and Naga sects of these tribal people converted to Christianity, but retain their tribal characteristics. 

In the ancient cultural history of India, frequent mentions have been made of a set of people styled the Kiratas. Professor Suniti Kumar Chatterji, eminent linguist and cultural historian had opined that the tribal people of the North East are the successors of the Kiratas of the ancient epics. The Mahabharata has several episodes in which the Kiratas come in.