History of Meghalaya
Meghalaya was formed by carving out the two districts of the state
of Assam: the United Khasi and Jaintia Hills, and the Garo Hills on
21 January 1972. Prior to attaining full statehood, Meghalaya was
given a semi-autonomous status in 1970.
The Khasi, Garo, and Jaintia tribes each had their own kingdoms,
until they came under the British administration in the 19th
century. Later, the British incorporated Meghalaya into Assam in
1835. The region enjoyed semi-independent status by virtue of a
treaty relationship with the British Crown.
When Bengal was partitioned on 16 October, 1905 by Lord Curzon,
Meghalaya became a part of the new province of 'Eastern Bengal and
Assam'. However, when the partition was reversed in 1912, Meghalaya
became a part of the province of Assam.
On 3 January, 1921 in pursuance of Section 52A of the Government of
India Act of 1919, the Governor-General-in-Council declared the
areas now in Meghalaya, other than the Khasi States, as "backward
tracts". Subsequently however, the Government of India Act of 1935
regrouped the backward tracts into two categories, namely,
"excluded" and "partially excluded" areas in place of backward
At the time of Independence of the country in 1947, the present day
Meghalaya constituted two districts of Assam and enjoyed limited
autonomy within the state of Assam.
The Assam Reorganisation (Meghalaya) Act, 1969 accorded an
autonomous status on the state of Meghalaya. The Act came into
effect on April 2nd 1970, and an Autonomous State of Meghalaya was
created within the State of Assam. The Autonomous state had a
Legislature in accordance with the Sixth schedule to the
Constitution. The Legislature had 37 members.
In 1971, the Parliament passed the North-Eastern Areas
(Reorganization) Act, 1971, which conferred full statehood on the
Autonomous State of Meghalaya. Meghalaya attained statehood on 21
January 1972, with a Legislative Assembly of its own.