One of the 29 states of India, Assam is located in the north-east part of the country. It was established on the basis of the British colonial province after India gained independence in 1947. Assam is historically a multi-ethnic state as it included the territories inhabited by various mountain peoples. Many of them struggled for a self-determination and throughout the 1960-80s some areas of Assam seceded in separate provinces. After their separation, Assam acquired features of ethnic autonomy.
The title group is the Assamese, which makes up about half of the state population. As an ethnic community, the Assamese formed in the era of the medieval kingdom of Ahom. By language and religion, they are close to the Indian majority, which professes Hinduism and speaks Hindi (Assamese, like Hindi, belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages). At the same time, more than a quarter of the population of the state is made up of Bengalis who migrated massively after the division of British Bengal into Muslim and Hindu units, as well as after the 1971 war and the disintegration of Pakistan. A significant proportion of Bengalis professes Islam, and on the whole, more than 30% of the inhabitants of Assam are Muislims, which creates tensions in inter-confessional relations.
Also, even after the establishment of separate states for minorities, various mountain Tibeto-Burmese peoples who are fighting for self-determination still live in Assam: Bodo, Dimasa, Karbi, Naga, Kukis, etc. Despite the fact that specific autonomous districts have been created for some minorities, the insurgent organizations did not lay down their arms. Likewise, among the Assamese groups, there is a separatist movement directed against Bengali Muslim migrants, as well as seeking secession from India and the re-establishment of the state by Ahom. In general, the situation in inter-ethnic relations in the province remains tense. It is further aggravated by the poor state of Assam's economy.