One of the 29 states of India, Meghalaya is located in the north-eastern part of the country. In the colonial period, the territory of the Khasi, Garo and Janti tribes was a part of the Assam province and had a special status of the border territories. After India's independence, this area remained part of Assam, although special autonomous units were established for each of the three tribes. Khasi, Garo, and Janti, however, demanded a separate state for themselves and received this status in 1971 during the reorganization of the north-eastern territories of the country.
All three ethnic groups are "titular" and each has its autonomous districts within the state. The language of the Garo belongs to the Sino-Tibetan language family, Khasi and Janti which are close to each other are branches of the Mon-Khmer subfamily of the Austro-Asiatic languages. These two languages are nonliterate. Therefore, linguistically the titular groups are significantly different from the Indian's majority that speaks Hindi. In addition, they mostly adhere to Christianity, the proportion of Christians in the state is 70%. In total, representatives of three titular groups comprise about 80% of the state's population (Garo - 31.5%, Khasi and Janti - 47%). Among the other ethnic groups, the Bengalis are the largest (8%).
The ground for ethnic conflicts is the multi-ethnic composition of the province. In the 1990s, the struggle against the growing migration to Meghalaya of the inhabitants of other states started, but very soon the rebel organization split along ethnic lines. Nowadays the central conflict in the territory of Meghalaya is connected with autonomist / separatist movements of specific ethnic groups. On the one hand, there are supporters of the establishment of an independent state of Garoland, on the other - armed groups of Khasi, who advocate the creation of a separate state in the mountains of Khasi and Janta.