Himachal Pradesh which at independence was a conglomeration of some 30 princely states that merged into the Indian Union in 1948, had to struggle hard and long to attain full statehood. This chapter describes the history of attainment of its statehood – from a Part ‘C’ state in 1950 to a centrally administered Union Territory in 1956 to a Union Territory with legislature in 1963 and finally emerging as a full-fledged state in 1971 when it was also accorded the special category status. The chapter then discusses how, in less than three decades since becoming a special category state, it had transformed its economy and catapulted itself among the advanced states of India following a sustainable model of development. It could achieve all this due to political stability and good governance, absence of terrorism and insurgency, social, religious and linguistic homogeneity, minimal conflicts and of course its special category status.
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