Places in World Most Likely to Secede Nagaland

About Nagaland a place in the world likely to secede from India, size, population, and history of conflict.

MOST LIKELY TO SECEDE

NAGALAND

Size: 6,366 sq. mi. (16,488 sq. km.).

Population: 600,000.

Nagaland is presently an Indian state, situated in the far eastern portion of India, along the Burmese border. The Nagas, or "Hill People," actually inhabit both sides of the border. Though Naga social organization is tribal, the population is literate. This is because Christian--mostly Baptist-missionaries were active in Nagaland for about 100 years. Two thirds of the population is Christian, and when evangelist Billy Graham visited Nagaland in 1973, his meetings drew 100,000 people. Other than Graham, the Indian government has barred all foreign visitors.

The Nagas have never considered themselves part of India. On Aug. 14, 1947, just one day before Britain granted independence to Pakistan and India, the Naga leadership declared independence. Despite popular support for independence, India assimilated the small state. In 1952, when India first imposed national elections upon Nagaland, a boycott was completely effective. Following Indian rejection of Naga appeals for independence, Nagas began civil disobedience in 1953 and armed struggle in 1956. To suppress the rebellion, India dispatched more than 4,000 troops. In 1963 the Indian government agreed to make Nagaland a state within India, but this was not enough for rebel leaders.

From 1975 to 1977, the Indian federal government ran Nagaland under "president's rule." The rebels and the Gandhi government worked out a truce, but fighting resumed in 1977. Though Naga separatists have fought with slings and bows and arrows, some Nagas have reportedly been armed and trained in China or Pakistan.

According to at least one report, head-hunting was still practiced in Nagaland in the late 1950s.

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