Friends of Assam & Seven Sisters (FASS) is a non-profit non governmental organization, an international 'think-tank' which is aimed at providing an inspirational energy and a motivating force for overall revival and development of the North East India in all its spheres.
By the phrase 'Assam & Seven Sisters' we mean specifically the eight states of North East India: Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura and Sikkim. During the British Raj and till after India's independence, all these states of the North East India except for Manipur, Tripura & Sikkim, were within the geographical boundary of the old state of Assam.
After India's independence however, the region has been further fragmented and several new smaller and smaller states & substates are still being formed. Along with these new states, one also sees the rise of various insurgent groups in the North East which are still continuing unabated. Political fragmentation, a sense of insecurity and a quest for ethnic and regional identity fomented a climate of insurgency in several parts of the region and this was aggravated by dissatisfaction with hegemonic domination and frustration with the lack of development.
Overall, in spite of its rich natural resources, the North East suffers from acute underdevelopment and has remained one of the most backward regions of the country. The standard of living of the people in some states has lagged as much as forty per cent behind the rest of the country. We believe, among various other factors, the situation reflects poorly on the governance of the North East by the central political leadership combined with a lack of understanding of the cultures of the region with the required sensitiveness on one hand and a lack of proper local leadership on the other.
From remote past people of different races immigrated into the North East India making it a big melting pot of different human races and cultures. In fact, all the five major races of the world, the Negritos, the Austro-Asiatics, the Dravidians, the Mongoloids, the Alpines & the Nordic Aryans– all emigrated and settled in this land in one time or another, a unique phenomenon which did not happen anywhere else in the world. This has a great significance for the present multiculturalism of the people of the North East.
As we see, culturally the North East has been influenced by the Indian as well as the Chinese culture, and in a wider sense, we may say that culturally the North East is the meeting ground of the East and the West. It is not surprising therefore that one of the main problems of the North East seems to be the confusion and ignorance about the region and its multifarious cultures within and outside the North East. The fragmentation and isolation policy of the various parts of this region since the British Raj has turned this melting-pot into a stagnant 'salad-bowl' of cultures.
Against this background, Friends of Assam & Seven Sisters (FASS) offers a common platform for the people and all friends and well-wishers of North East India to respond and work for the common good of the peoples of the North East and make the North East shine in its own glory which is its due. Friends of Assam & Seven Sisters (FASS) believes in the role of the democratic process, a process which has been weakened in the North East region during the last couple of decades.
In this respect, Friends of Assam and Seven Sisters (FASS)