Friday, April 27, 2007

Terraced Wet Rice Field of Apatani Plateau

11 comments
View of terraced wet rice field shot just prior to the plantation of rice saplings (Beginning of Agricultural Cycle)

View from "Aro Nyatu Balya"

Smoke without Fire…An update on AFSPA

0 comments

Quite categorically, the state government denied their role in proposal of extending AFSPA to whole of Arunachal Pradesh. The Arunachal Times in its 26th April edition reported-

“Reacting to the reported move of the State Government to recommend to the Center for extending Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) to the rest of Arunachal Pradesh beyond Tirap and Changlang districts where it was already in force as reported in some sections of the media, advisor to Chief Minister Takam Sanjoy today denied any such move.

Sanjoy, presently camping in New Delhi with Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, told over telephone that the whole state is very peaceful except those two districts bordering Nagaland which had witnessed stray incidents involving underground elements besides the presence of militants including ULFA in areas bordering Asom.

When there is no law and order problem, the question of extending AFSPA to whole state does not arise, he said while describing the report as baseless.”

But, is there any smoke without fire? Huh..

Terraced Wet Rice Field of Apatani Plateau

11 comments
View of terraced wet rice field shot just prior to the plantation of rice saplings (Beginning of Agricultural Cycle)

View from "Aro Nyatu Balya"

Smoke without Fire…An update on AFSPA

0 comments

Quite categorically, the state government denied their role in proposal of extending AFSPA to whole of Arunachal Pradesh. The Arunachal Times in its 26th April edition reported-

“Reacting to the reported move of the State Government to recommend to the Center for extending Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) to the rest of Arunachal Pradesh beyond Tirap and Changlang districts where it was already in force as reported in some sections of the media, advisor to Chief Minister Takam Sanjoy today denied any such move.

Sanjoy, presently camping in New Delhi with Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, told over telephone that the whole state is very peaceful except those two districts bordering Nagaland which had witnessed stray incidents involving underground elements besides the presence of militants including ULFA in areas bordering Asom.

When there is no law and order problem, the question of extending AFSPA to whole state does not arise, he said while describing the report as baseless.”

But, is there any smoke without fire? Huh..

Thursday, April 26, 2007

No to AFSPA in Arunachal, Please

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Who has the power to declare an area disturbed under AFSPA?

The Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers (Amendment) Act 1972 defines thus:

"For section 3 of the principal Act, the following section shall be substituted, namely:
[5] If in relation to any State or Union Territory to which this Act extends, the Governor of the State or the Administrator of the Union Territory, as the case may be, is in such a disturbed or dangerous condition that the use of Armed Forces in aid of civil power is necessary, the Governor of the State of the Administrator of that Union Territory or the Central Government, as the case may be, may, by notification in the Official Gazetteer, declare the whole or such State of Union Territory to be a disturbed area."

In my earlier post I had mentioned, based on the report of financial express, that state government is proposing to declare the state as disturbed; the AFSPA says otherwise. But, whosoever and for whatsoever reasons, this most peaceful state is being proposed to be declared as disturbed, the verdict of the people is clear "No to AFSPA in Arunachal Pradesh". Read the report here.

You can find more on this Act posted by Kavita Joshi here.

No to AFSPA in Arunachal, Please

0 comments

Who has the power to declare an area disturbed under AFSPA?

The Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers (Amendment) Act 1972 defines thus:

"For section 3 of the principal Act, the following section shall be substituted, namely:
[5] If in relation to any State or Union Territory to which this Act extends, the Governor of the State or the Administrator of the Union Territory, as the case may be, is in such a disturbed or dangerous condition that the use of Armed Forces in aid of civil power is necessary, the Governor of the State of the Administrator of that Union Territory or the Central Government, as the case may be, may, by notification in the Official Gazetteer, declare the whole or such State of Union Territory to be a disturbed area."

In my earlier post I had mentioned, based on the report of financial express, that state government is proposing to declare the state as disturbed; the AFSPA says otherwise. But, whosoever and for whatsoever reasons, this most peaceful state is being proposed to be declared as disturbed, the verdict of the people is clear "No to AFSPA in Arunachal Pradesh". Read the report here.

You can find more on this Act posted by Kavita Joshi here.

A feather in the Cap

2 comments

Which village is the most sanitized of all villages?

But of course, Kaba and Kaisu village under Namsai sub division of Lohit District of Arunachal Pradesh, which has been chosen for Nirmal Gram Puraskar (NGP) this year.


A team of Government officials and Panchayat leaders of these villages will be formally receiving the award from President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam at a function at New Delhi on May 4 next.




Footnote: - Do Apatani villages qualifies criteria laid down by Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) to be nominated for this award? Hmmm…point to ponder.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A feather in the Cap

2 comments

Which village is the most sanitized of all villages?

But of course, Kaba and Kaisu village under Namsai sub division of Lohit District of Arunachal Pradesh, which has been chosen for Nirmal Gram Puraskar (NGP) this year.


A team of Government officials and Panchayat leaders of these villages will be formally receiving the award from President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam at a function at New Delhi on May 4 next.




Footnote: - Do Apatani villages qualifies criteria laid down by Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) to be nominated for this award? Hmmm…point to ponder.

Indo-China concluded 10th round of Border Talks……

2 comments

….. but what’s the outcome? As usual there was no breakthrough on the contentious issue. Read the report here, here & here. Sometimes it makes me wonder if the representatives are vacationing on exotic locales instead of making us certain as to where do we belong?

Grapes are Sour

0 comments

What Mani Shankar Aiyar has to say after New Delhi lost bid to host 2014 Asian Games to Incheon.

“My guess is, by not hosting the Asian Games we probably saved ourselves something of the order of Rs. 5,000 crore.”

Indeed Mr. Aiyar, Grapes are Sour.

Indo-China concluded 10th round of Border Talks……

2 comments

….. but what’s the outcome? As usual there was no breakthrough on the contentious issue. Read the report here, here & here. Sometimes it makes me wonder if the representatives are vacationing on exotic locales instead of making us certain as to where do we belong?

Grapes are Sour

0 comments

What Mani Shankar Aiyar has to say after New Delhi lost bid to host 2014 Asian Games to Incheon.

“My guess is, by not hosting the Asian Games we probably saved ourselves something of the order of Rs. 5,000 crore.”

Indeed Mr. Aiyar, Grapes are Sour.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Should Arunachal be put under the purview of AFSPA?

3 comments

I was quite shocked to read this. When activists like Irom Sharmila Chanu, who is on fast unto death since 2000 to repeal this "Draconian Law" from her state Manipur, I couldn't understand as to why the state government felt the need to put the entire state under the purview of this "Draconian Law"? Has the state machinery become so weak that it is not able to maintain law and order so as to consider this State as Disturbed? Has the state government thought of the Human Rights Violation cases that would crop up (which I presume would do, if going by the Human Rights violation, reported in the States where this "Draconian Law" is in force) in the name combating militancy under this Act? Or will it really help in combating militancy without human right violation? Or does this most peaceful NE state really need AFSPA? Do put in your comments.

Find documentation on AFSPA here.

Should Arunachal be put under the purview of AFSPA?

3 comments

I was quite shocked to read this. When activists like Irom Sharmila Chanu, who is on fast unto death since 2000 to repeal this "Draconian Law" from her state Manipur, I couldn't understand as to why the state government felt the need to put the entire state under the purview of this "Draconian Law"? Has the state machinery become so weak that it is not able to maintain law and order so as to consider this State as Disturbed? Has the state government thought of the Human Rights Violation cases that would crop up (which I presume would do, if going by the Human Rights violation, reported in the States where this "Draconian Law" is in force) in the name combating militancy under this Act? Or will it really help in combating militancy without human right violation? Or does this most peaceful NE state really need AFSPA? Do put in your comments.

Find documentation on AFSPA here.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Allocation of additional portfolios in Dorjee Khandu Ministry

0 comments

The portfolios which were not allotted to any ministers in Khandu Ministry and was held by C.M. himself has further been allocated.

The IPR & P department has been allotted to Shri Lombo Tayeng in addition to his Public Health Engineering and Water Supply and Cooperation Department.

Shri Tko Dabi has been entrusted Law and Justice Department in addition to his Water Resource Development, Parliamentary Affairs, Election and Panchayati Raj. Also he is the government spokesperson.

Allocation of additional portfolios in Dorjee Khandu Ministry

0 comments

The portfolios which were not allotted to any ministers in Khandu Ministry and was held by C.M. himself has further been allocated.

The IPR & P department has been allotted to Shri Lombo Tayeng in addition to his Public Health Engineering and Water Supply and Cooperation Department.

Shri Tko Dabi has been entrusted Law and Justice Department in addition to his Water Resource Development, Parliamentary Affairs, Election and Panchayati Raj. Also he is the government spokesperson.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Fire....

0 comments

....No..not again.


But the very existence of Gandhi Market was threatened last night around 8-8.30 P.M. by the fire that broke out probably due to electrical short circuit at one of the 16 cubicles rented out by the Government to traders; but for the quick action taken by the shift duty personnel of the Sub-Station, who was first to notice the fire, cut-off the electric supply to entire market area and volunteered to douse the fire and for the fire fighters, who acted promptly on receiving information about the fire by former (unlike the other day), was able to contain before it became unmanageable. (Considering how the market has been constructed and not to forget the ZCCI Office-cum-Police Beat Post Building blocking the entrance area, it would have been impossible for the fire fighters or the volunteers to douse fire had the fire spread fully even in one cubicle). It was not known, however at that moment, how much property was damaged (4-Cubicles were broken open to douse the fire that was spreading from the roof).

The recent series of Fire Accidents in and around Hapoli-Ziro Township has led to fear psychosis among the denizens of this twin township. Is Hapoli safe to stay (from fire)? When, how and where the next fire will break out? Would they be roasted alive while sleeping?

And this has made me wonder, why there is series of fire accidents at such short intervals this year. Is it because of poorly designed electrical circuit and sub-standard materials used by people for wiring? Is it their carelessness? And to make the matter worse in event of fire, does town planning aids the spread of fire?

I don’t have the answers right now, but after these series of fire accidents a thought came to my mind. Has anyone, may be the local legislator or the bureaucrats or technocrats of Hapoli ever thought of re-planning the township for safer and hygenic stay?

Fire....

0 comments

....No..not again.


But the very existence of Gandhi Market was threatened last night around 8-8.30 P.M. by the fire that broke out probably due to electrical short circuit at one of the 16 cubicles rented out by the Government to traders; but for the quick action taken by the shift duty personnel of the Sub-Station, who was first to notice the fire, cut-off the electric supply to entire market area and volunteered to douse the fire and for the fire fighters, who acted promptly on receiving information about the fire by former (unlike the other day), was able to contain before it became unmanageable. (Considering how the market has been constructed and not to forget the ZCCI Office-cum-Police Beat Post Building blocking the entrance area, it would have been impossible for the fire fighters or the volunteers to douse fire had the fire spread fully even in one cubicle). It was not known, however at that moment, how much property was damaged (4-Cubicles were broken open to douse the fire that was spreading from the roof).

The recent series of Fire Accidents in and around Hapoli-Ziro Township has led to fear psychosis among the denizens of this twin township. Is Hapoli safe to stay (from fire)? When, how and where the next fire will break out? Would they be roasted alive while sleeping?

And this has made me wonder, why there is series of fire accidents at such short intervals this year. Is it because of poorly designed electrical circuit and sub-standard materials used by people for wiring? Is it their carelessness? And to make the matter worse in event of fire, does town planning aids the spread of fire?

I don’t have the answers right now, but after these series of fire accidents a thought came to my mind. Has anyone, may be the local legislator or the bureaucrats or technocrats of Hapoli ever thought of re-planning the township for safer and hygenic stay?

Allocation of portfolios in Khandu Ministry

0 comments

After swearing in on April 15th, portfolios have finally been allocated to the council of ministers of Dorjee Khandu led ministry and much changes hasn't been made in the portfolios that was held by these ministers during the Apang led ministry. The departments allocated to the council of ministers are:

  1. Jarbom Gamlim: Home, Vigilance, IT and Science and Technology
  2. Atum Welly: Land Management, Fisheries, Economics & Statistics, Sports & Youth Affairs and Cultural Affairs.
  3. Kalikho Pul: Finance, Tax and Excise
  4. Chowna Mein: RWD and Rural Development
  5. Nabam Tuki: PWD and Urban Development
  6. C.C. Singpho: Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Health and Family Welfare
  7. Newlai Tingkhatra: Environment, Forest and Mines
  8. Tako Dabi: Water Resource Development, Election, Parliamentary Affairs and Panchayati Raj.
  9. Tatar Kipa: Education, Research, Libraries and Gazetteers and Labour and Employment
  10. Lombo Tayeng: Public Health Engineering and Water Supply and Cooperation (PHEWS)
  11. Tanga Byaling: Industries, Textiles & Handloms, Trade & Commerce, Social Welfare, Women & Child Development.

Power, Planning, IPR, Tourism, District Administration, Personnel and Law and all other departments that has not been assigned to any minister has been retained by the Chief Minister himself.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Allocation of portfolios in Khandu Ministry

0 comments

After swearing in on April 15th, portfolios have finally been allocated to the council of ministers of Dorjee Khandu led ministry and much changes hasn't been made in the portfolios that was held by these ministers during the Apang led ministry. The departments allocated to the council of ministers are:

  1. Jarbom Gamlim: Home, Vigilance, IT and Science and Technology
  2. Atum Welly: Land Management, Fisheries, Economics & Statistics, Sports & Youth Affairs and Cultural Affairs.
  3. Kalikho Pul: Finance, Tax and Excise
  4. Chowna Mein: RWD and Rural Development
  5. Nabam Tuki: PWD and Urban Development
  6. C.C. Singpho: Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Health and Family Welfare
  7. Newlai Tingkhatra: Environment, Forest and Mines
  8. Tako Dabi: Water Resource Development, Election, Parliamentary Affairs and Panchayati Raj.
  9. Tatar Kipa: Education, Research, Libraries and Gazetteers and Labour and Employment
  10. Lombo Tayeng: Public Health Engineering and Water Supply and Cooperation (PHEWS)
  11. Tanga Byaling: Industries, Textiles & Handloms, Trade & Commerce, Social Welfare, Women & Child Development.

Power, Planning, IPR, Tourism, District Administration, Personnel and Law and all other departments that has not been assigned to any minister has been retained by the Chief Minister himself.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Kaajji meets Biryani!

4 comments
Below is the menu I came across at one of the Hotel at Hapoli


Quite an interesting menu…huh! What do you say?

Kaajji meets Biryani!

4 comments
Below is the menu I came across at one of the Hotel at Hapoli


Quite an interesting menu…huh! What do you say?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Gegong Apang and the Chinese Connection..

2 comments

Did Gegong Apang lost his Chief Minister's Post to Dorjee Khandu due to his Chinese Connections…well, read the report of "The Telegraph" here.

Encounter the King of Ghosts

3 comments
-A fiction by Gyati Tallo

It was a foggy night. I was on my way to home from my friend. The road was hardly visible but for the moonlight; the street lamps were not lit. A dead silence prevailed there. As I moved on, I expected the ghosts to appear any moment, from across the fences, above the branches of trees or grabbed me from behind. I felt as if my head was becoming bigger and bigger in size and my hair straightened up.

I tried my magic formula. I usually use my magic formula whenever I found myself alone in dark and fearful thought haunts me: SING AS LOUD AS I COULD. I sang very loudly and my voice was echoing into my ears. Singing broke the stillness but the dread of ghosts was still there. The stories of ghosts and evil spirits that I had heard from my grand mother were haunting me.

The stories I had heard were coming alive in my head, my song was echoing and I was walking in the middle of the road with my eyes looking straight. Now I could see my house not far away, still the dread was there.

Suddenly, I heard someone yelling after me, “Aye boy, listen!” Then after a pause, “Come here. Look what I have? I’ll give it to you just sing a song for me.”

When I heard the voice, I stopped trembled of fear. But I gathered up my courage and turned towards the direction of the voice. What did I see? I saw a monstrous creature, holding a long wooden log, coming towards me. There was no doubt that he was a ghost. “This seems too big for an ordinary ghost”, I told myself. “He must be the king of ghosts.”

I showered at the king of ghosts with stones and rock pieces- whatever I could gather from the ground, and then sped off –running and tumbling- till finally I sensed that I was home. I was frightened and breathing rapidly. I couldn’t say anything for quite sometime. “What’s the matter? Why are you looking so frightened? Obing, what’s wrong?” Mama was asking me. She looked very worried. I told her what I had seen.

“This is because you don’t return home in time and put your Mama and me in trouble.” Said Papa without even turning his face towards me; he was watching news channel on TV. I encountered the king of ghosts. I was dead frightened. But Papa thought it was some kind of joke and very funny. I hated him for that.

An argument started between Mama and Papa after dinner.

“From last couple of days” said Mama knowing very well that Papa would not take seriously what she was going to say, “I’m seeing bad dreams. I already told you this morning. Now Obing has also seen a ghost. This is not a good omen. We must consult our family priest. You know…”

“I don’t know” said Papa interrupting her. He looked little upset. This was not the first time Mama made up her mind to argue with him about bad omen, bad dreams and things like that. “I don’t know anything about your bad dreams, bad omen –modern women talking about such stupid things. As for what Obing has seen, it could be just an illusion. The other day you open the window under moonlight and a cloth hanging on the rope appears to you a lady in white rag in first sight. These things happen and …” He picked up the telephone without completing his sentence and asked the priest to come the next morning. He knew he can not convince Mama come what may.

The next day, early in the morning, I was woken up by the chanting of sacred hymns by the priest. He was holding an egg each in the both hands. The egg in the left hand was marked with black carbon soot. The chanting continued for few minutes. In this way the priest made enquiries of two groups of spirits, in the world of spirits, which he suspect was causing the trouble. After the chanting was over, the eggs were boiled in water. The priest took out the eggs after sometime, cut eggs in middle and started looking for signs in the yolk which give him the idea who was causing the trouble.

The priest lit up and smiled after seeing the sign in the egg marked with carbon soot. “Just as I had suspected” he said. “Now everything is going to be alright” he continued. “Two full grown hens and a cock are required for the rite.” Then he asked Papa to arrange some bamboo for the preparation of altar. Announcing that the rite will be started by 10 this morning, he left the house.

Papa too left for bamboo garden. Just as Mama and I were sitting by the fireplace an old man entered the room. He was Aku Tani, a nice old man –he was very fond of children. I could see he had fallen somewhere or had a fight with his wife the last night for a bandage was tied round his head and th
ere were some wounds on his face as well. Mama made him sit by the other side of the fireplace. She offered him a mug of rice beer. “What happened to your head and face? Fallen somewhere or what?” she asked him.

“No. It was that rascal boy” he said. “Last night there was no power supply, so I went out in the moonlight wearing black woolen shawl of mine. I walked around for a while and sat down in the roadside, leaning against a lamp post. Just then I saw a young boy passing by me, singing loudly. I yelled out to him and asked him to sing a song for me. Do you know what he did? He showered at me with stones and rock pieces and ran away.” Now he took a long sip of the rice beer and looked at me suspiciously. “He was of his age -8, 9 years may be.”

“You don’t mean it was Obing?” Mama said interrupting him in middle.

“No,” he said, still looking at me –looking up and down. “It was dark and foggy out there. I could not see the face clearly. If I find him, that rascal boy, I’ll break his hands and cut his ears and put them into his mouth.”

As the old man went away, Mama looked at my blushed face and smiled. It was so embarrassing; I had mistaken that good old man to be the king of ghosts and wounded him so badly. “What about the rite, the hens and the cock?” I asked Mama.

“It’s alright.” She patted on my back and said. “We can’t do anything now.”

Gegong Apang and the Chinese Connection..

2 comments

Did Gegong Apang lost his Chief Minister's Post to Dorjee Khandu due to his Chinese Connections…well, read the report of "The Telegraph" here.

Encounter the King of Ghosts

3 comments
-A fiction by Gyati Tallo

It was a foggy night. I was on my way to home from my friend. The road was hardly visible but for the moonlight; the street lamps were not lit. A dead silence prevailed there. As I moved on, I expected the ghosts to appear any moment, from across the fences, above the branches of trees or grabbed me from behind. I felt as if my head was becoming bigger and bigger in size and my hair straightened up.

I tried my magic formula. I usually use my magic formula whenever I found myself alone in dark and fearful thought haunts me: SING AS LOUD AS I COULD. I sang very loudly and my voice was echoing into my ears. Singing broke the stillness but the dread of ghosts was still there. The stories of ghosts and evil spirits that I had heard from my grand mother were haunting me.

The stories I had heard were coming alive in my head, my song was echoing and I was walking in the middle of the road with my eyes looking straight. Now I could see my house not far away, still the dread was there.

Suddenly, I heard someone yelling after me, “Aye boy, listen!” Then after a pause, “Come here. Look what I have? I’ll give it to you just sing a song for me.”

When I heard the voice, I stopped trembled of fear. But I gathered up my courage and turned towards the direction of the voice. What did I see? I saw a monstrous creature, holding a long wooden log, coming towards me. There was no doubt that he was a ghost. “This seems too big for an ordinary ghost”, I told myself. “He must be the king of ghosts.”

I showered at the king of ghosts with stones and rock pieces- whatever I could gather from the ground, and then sped off –running and tumbling- till finally I sensed that I was home. I was frightened and breathing rapidly. I couldn’t say anything for quite sometime. “What’s the matter? Why are you looking so frightened? Obing, what’s wrong?” Mama was asking me. She looked very worried. I told her what I had seen.

“This is because you don’t return home in time and put your Mama and me in trouble.” Said Papa without even turning his face towards me; he was watching news channel on TV. I encountered the king of ghosts. I was dead frightened. But Papa thought it was some kind of joke and very funny. I hated him for that.

An argument started between Mama and Papa after dinner.

“From last couple of days” said Mama knowing very well that Papa would not take seriously what she was going to say, “I’m seeing bad dreams. I already told you this morning. Now Obing has also seen a ghost. This is not a good omen. We must consult our family priest. You know…”

“I don’t know” said Papa interrupting her. He looked little upset. This was not the first time Mama made up her mind to argue with him about bad omen, bad dreams and things like that. “I don’t know anything about your bad dreams, bad omen –modern women talking about such stupid things. As for what Obing has seen, it could be just an illusion. The other day you open the window under moonlight and a cloth hanging on the rope appears to you a lady in white rag in first sight. These things happen and …” He picked up the telephone without completing his sentence and asked the priest to come the next morning. He knew he can not convince Mama come what may.

The next day, early in the morning, I was woken up by the chanting of sacred hymns by the priest. He was holding an egg each in the both hands. The egg in the left hand was marked with black carbon soot. The chanting continued for few minutes. In this way the priest made enquiries of two groups of spirits, in the world of spirits, which he suspect was causing the trouble. After the chanting was over, the eggs were boiled in water. The priest took out the eggs after sometime, cut eggs in middle and started looking for signs in the yolk which give him the idea who was causing the trouble.

The priest lit up and smiled after seeing the sign in the egg marked with carbon soot. “Just as I had suspected” he said. “Now everything is going to be alright” he continued. “Two full grown hens and a cock are required for the rite.” Then he asked Papa to arrange some bamboo for the preparation of altar. Announcing that the rite will be started by 10 this morning, he left the house.

Papa too left for bamboo garden. Just as Mama and I were sitting by the fireplace an old man entered the room. He was Aku Tani, a nice old man –he was very fond of children. I could see he had fallen somewhere or had a fight with his wife the last night for a bandage was tied round his head and there were some wounds on his face as well. Mama made him sit by the other side of the fireplace. She offered him a mug of rice beer. “What happened to your head and face? Fallen somewhere or what?” she asked him.

“No. It was that rascal boy” he said. “Last night there was no power supply, so I went out in the moonlight wearing black woolen shawl of mine. I walked around for a while and sat down in the roadside, leaning against a lamp post. Just then I saw a young boy passing by me, singing loudly. I yelled out to him and asked him to sing a song for me. Do you know what he did? He showered at me with stones and rock pieces and ran away.” Now he took a long sip of the rice beer and looked at me suspiciously. “He was of his age -8, 9 years may be.”

“You don’t mean it was Obing?” Mama said interrupting him in middle.

“No,” he said, still looking at me –looking up and down. “It was dark and foggy out there. I could not see the face clearly. If I find him, that rascal boy, I’ll break his hands and cut his ears and put them into his mouth.”

As the old man went away, Mama looked at my blushed face and smiled. It was so embarrassing; I had mistaken that good old man to be the king of ghosts and wounded him so badly. “What about the rite, the hens and the cock?” I asked Mama.

“It’s alright.” She patted on my back and said. “We can’t do anything now.”

Friday, April 13, 2007

Feat or Failure: An unusual experience

1 comments

-Shared by Roto Chobin

Bribing some top-notch bureaucrat or politician for a job in government department is so common for the people of Ziro and Arunachal as a whole, and to find a niche in life without greasing anyone’s palm seems rather sporadic to me. My cronies asked me if I was wound up by the tidings when I got a job as teacher. As a matter of fact, I might have been if it happened thirteen years back. And if there was any dab of happiness in getting this job, it quickly died down with the update that the school, where I was needed to teach, is at the periphery of provinces.

I discussed so much about the contretemps of being posted at geographical fringes with my friends, that ‘would-be’ my first visit to Radum was beginning to look like an upheaval task. When I finally made the journey I realized it was much easier to tough out than painfully thinking or talking about admonition. It was undoubtedly a dispiriting and wearisome journey though, but at the same time was not impossible either. There were two mountains to ascend and descend, and a stream thrown in between which becomes a river and unable to cross in rainy season as the student, who aided me to carry my baggage, explained to me while crossing the river which was reaching up to my thigh already. Many a times, while climbing the mountain I thought my lungs will collapse from respiring very deeply, and at times my knee will give in from interminable trek. It took more than three hours to reach Radum. My colleagues told me that I was swift for a beginner.

Radum is a hamlet, populated by denumerable Nyishi families and hidden behind extremely steep mountains. It is even hard to imagine that the people would dwell in such hostile terrain - virtually cut-off from human civilization.

When I first saw the dilapidated school building and the staff quarter, I felt incommodious. I wondered how they could reside in the building which was old, haggard and patchy and urgently needed a fix. And the building could cave in anytime, I feared. When I arrived at Radum, it appeared as stillness enveloped the entire village. I expected some teaching staff will receive me when I’ll show myself up in Radum. But they were nowhere to be seen; even the villagers couldn’t able to tell me there whereabouts. I returned home with heavy heart, weary mind and absolutely pooped soma. And for a day, I found myself in awkward situation whether to resign or embrace the job.

All my family members including my close relatives and friends plumped for the pick that I should take up the job. I thought, perhaps it was my kismet - a career hand-picked by God for me. So I decided to stay and put up with all the adversity.

Adversity is adventurous in a way, only it’s an eternal and we’ve to endure it with grunts. Honestly, I was a tad upset when I learnt that I had to march more than forty kilometers on foot to arrive at my destined school. Absence of electricity and communication in Radum and its vicinity was indeed unpleasant but it wasn’t of primary importance to me because the candle and the torch light could fill-in and serve as a substitute, and because I have a hope that the power will reach at Radum in near future. However, it was humorous to watch the naked lamp post which was rusting and on verge of falling apart and which can still be seen around the village. The villagers told me of the times when they had electricity at their hamlet for couple of months. As of now, it seemed as if no one is bother about the absence of electricity. Besides, the villagers are using the wire to fasten or tie the fence. And I don’t blame them at all for using it, seeing that it comes handy as rope. At least they’re making good use of it. What else one could do with the wire when it doesn’t carry any electric current?

The basal issue in Radum is drinking water. My colleague once told me, “Had it not been for the landslide which knocked down the water tank, we might still be having running water in our school compound”. I presumed the state of water reservoir was perhaps beyond repair. So I had to take a half an hour of vigorous exercise of ascending and descending the mountain in every morning just to wash up. And the water from where we fetched was neither well nor it was spring. Though it looked like a shallow furrow that had filled with rainwater, it meets our daily requirement of water - cooking, dishwashing and if we would use water sparingly we would save some for tea also. Sometimes, when the student would get ahead of me and see me sloping down the mountain, they would bellow and inform me that the water reserves had completely drawn down, and then it would become ineluctable for me from doing some more workouts (I had to descend beyond the water hole near the foot of a mountain) of sloping down where there was another source of water. If it is not for the scarce supply of drinking water and lack of basic amenities, Radum could be ideal vacationing spot for both nature lovers and tourist. The vast green foliage stretch on all directions as far as the eye can see, not to mention the multitudes of colorful birds that chirp and hops on them. And at night, the stars appear so bright and nigh as if we could pluck one of them. On a clear day, even a snowcapped mountain can be seen from Radum. For some, the weather can be pleasantly befitting but it reminds me of my hometown - unpredictable, cool and windy which doesn’t go well with me. Maybe, altitude engenders it and the chillness of wind perhaps derives from the far-off snowcapped mountains. Apart from weather; there is many more I have yet to see and explore, viz. the mystifying waterfall, which the denizens believe is haunted, and if any unfamiliar visitor comes by this waterfall, will meet an unnatural death. Because I heard a similar anecdote from one of my Naga friend, so I got anxious to travel and see this place as soon as I can but what they told me is that it may take a long time to reach there. B
esides, I thought it is vain to go there without an equipment to capture the unexposed sight.

During my first two weeks stay at Radum, I couldn’t ingest the food my colleague provided me, as everything tasted so stale. Besides, scarcity of water enables us to wash our utensil rarely. Therefore, everything looked so filthy and unhygienic that I would shelve my meal until my stomach grumbles. As the day passed, I got accustomed with the coarse meal and it mattered a little whether the food was well-cooked or hygienic. In any given day, the smell of rat meat can make me puke, and I made it taboo to consume anything that is not domesticated. I reckon the taboo is wholly based on our perception. And if we twist the way we perceive things - even the poison becomes comestibles and the impossible becomes possible. Believe me, I am yet to taste the delicacy - rat meat, of course.

There’s nothing much to do at Radum when the school hours will end and the students will leave for their respective chores. Sometimes I would stroll around the village and watch the tall mountain. And sometimes I would immerse myself in the world of Mario Puzo’s Godfather and sleep, or my colleagues and I would play volley ball match where the loser team would buy a chicken for dinner.

When I got back home after spending two weeks at Radum, I couldn’t attune myself with the sophistication of urbanism for two days. The only noises at Radum were the winds in the forest or the spatter of rains on tin roof, interspersed with babel of voices from hostellers. I used to regard my hometown, Ziro, quite reinvigorating until I came face to face with the wide open spaces of countryside. Now I feel congested amidst myriad of vehicles and souls. Moreover, it is like a one large septic tank, always stinking of feces and urine - be it a shopping complex or housing estate. I guess I have to endure this hellish stench till my vacation is over.

In the final analysis; though there’s no electricity and running water at Radum, it is far off better than having an irregular supply of electricity and 15 minutes of water supply that comes with exorbitant bill.



On Comments

0 comments

Off late I’ve been unable to reply to the comments that have been posted on the blog. It doesn’t mean that I don’t go through the comments or I don’t want people commenting on my post (in that case I wouldn’t have comments enabled on my posts, would I?) But with slow net connection (dial-up service provided by BSNL), I have to choose one option-either of posting on the blog or replying to the comments. And in most of the cases I chose former, simply because I want to keep my blog updated. Since, I do consider blog as a platform to exchange views about anything and have a healthy debate on the issues, I would appreciate people continue commenting on my posts. And despite the slow net connection, I would try to do both, i.e., keep posting and replying to comments. So do keep commenting.

Feat or Failure: An unusual experience

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-Shared by Roto Chobin

Bribing some top-notch bureaucrat or politician for a job in government department is so common for the people of Ziro and Arunachal as a whole, and to find a niche in life without greasing anyone’s palm seems rather sporadic to me. My cronies asked me if I was wound up by the tidings when I got a job as teacher. As a matter of fact, I might have been if it happened thirteen years back. And if there was any dab of happiness in getting this job, it quickly died down with the update that the school, where I was needed to teach, is at the periphery of provinces.

I discussed so much about the contretemps of being posted at geographical fringes with my friends, that ‘would-be’ my first visit to Radum was beginning to look like an upheaval task. When I finally made the journey I realized it was much easier to tough out than painfully thinking or talking about admonition. It was undoubtedly a dispiriting and wearisome journey though, but at the same time was not impossible either. There were two mountains to ascend and descend, and a stream thrown in between which becomes a river and unable to cross in rainy season as the student, who aided me to carry my baggage, explained to me while crossing the river which was reaching up to my thigh already. Many a times, while climbing the mountain I thought my lungs will collapse from respiring very deeply, and at times my knee will give in from interminable trek. It took more than three hours to reach Radum. My colleagues told me that I was swift for a beginner.

Radum is a hamlet, populated by denumerable Nyishi families and hidden behind extremely steep mountains. It is even hard to imagine that the people would dwell in such hostile terrain - virtually cut-off from human civilization.

When I first saw the dilapidated school building and the staff quarter, I felt incommodious. I wondered how they could reside in the building which was old, haggard and patchy and urgently needed a fix. And the building could cave in anytime, I feared. When I arrived at Radum, it appeared as stillness enveloped the entire village. I expected some teaching staff will receive me when I’ll show myself up in Radum. But they were nowhere to be seen; even the villagers couldn’t able to tell me there whereabouts. I returned home with heavy heart, weary mind and absolutely pooped soma. And for a day, I found myself in awkward situation whether to resign or embrace the job.

All my family members including my close relatives and friends plumped for the pick that I should take up the job. I thought, perhaps it was my kismet - a career hand-picked by God for me. So I decided to stay and put up with all the adversity.

Adversity is adventurous in a way, only it’s an eternal and we’ve to endure it with grunts. Honestly, I was a tad upset when I learnt that I had to march more than forty kilometers on foot to arrive at my destined school. Absence of electricity and communication in Radum and its vicinity was indeed unpleasant but it wasn’t of primary importance to me because the candle and the torch light could fill-in and serve as a substitute, and because I have a hope that the power will reach at Radum in near future. However, it was humorous to watch the naked lamp post which was rusting and on verge of falling apart and which can still be seen around the village. The villagers told me of the times when they had electricity at their hamlet for couple of months. As of now, it seemed as if no one is bother about the absence of electricity. Besides, the villagers are using the wire to fasten or tie the fence. And I don’t blame them at all for using it, seeing that it comes handy as rope. At least they’re making good use of it. What else one could do with the wire when it doesn’t carry any electric current?

The basal issue in Radum is drinking water. My colleague once told me, “Had it not been for the landslide which knocked down the water tank, we might still be having running water in our school compound”. I presumed the state of water reservoir was perhaps beyond repair. So I had to take a half an hour of vigorous exercise of ascending and descending the mountain in every morning just to wash up. And the water from where we fetched was neither well nor it was spring. Though it looked like a shallow furrow that had filled with rainwater, it meets our daily requirement of water - cooking, dishwashing and if we would use water sparingly we would save some for tea also. Sometimes, when the student would get ahead of me and see me sloping down the mountain, they would bellow and inform me that the water reserves had completely drawn down, and then it would become ineluctable for me from doing some more workouts (I had to descend beyond the water hole near the foot of a mountain) of sloping down where there was another source of water. If it is not for the scarce supply of drinking water and lack of basic amenities, Radum could be ideal vacationing spot for both nature lovers and tourist. The vast green foliage stretch on all directions as far as the eye can see, not to mention the multitudes of colorful birds that chirp and hops on them. And at night, the stars appear so bright and nigh as if we could pluck one of them. On a clear day, even a snowcapped mountain can be seen from Radum. For some, the weather can be pleasantly befitting but it reminds me of my hometown - unpredictable, cool and windy which doesn’t go well with me. Maybe, altitude engenders it and the chillness of wind perhaps derives from the far-off snowcapped mountains. Apart from weather; there is many more I have yet to see and explore, viz. the mystifying waterfall, which the denizens believe is haunted, and if any unfamiliar visitor comes by this waterfall, will meet an unnatural death. Because I heard a similar anecdote from one of my Naga friend, so I got anxious to travel and see this place as soon as I can but what they told me is that it may take a long time to reach there. Besides, I thought it is vain to go there without an equipment to capture the unexposed sight.

During my first two weeks stay at Radum, I couldn’t ingest the food my colleague provided me, as everything tasted so stale. Besides, scarcity of water enables us to wash our utensil rarely. Therefore, everything looked so filthy and unhygienic that I would shelve my meal until my stomach grumbles. As the day passed, I got accustomed with the coarse meal and it mattered a little whether the food was well-cooked or hygienic. In any given day, the smell of rat meat can make me puke, and I made it taboo to consume anything that is not domesticated. I reckon the taboo is wholly based on our perception. And if we twist the way we perceive things - even the poison becomes comestibles and the impossible becomes possible. Believe me, I am yet to taste the delicacy - rat meat, of course.

There’s nothing much to do at Radum when the school hours will end and the students will leave for their respective chores. Sometimes I would stroll around the village and watch the tall mountain. And sometimes I would immerse myself in the world of Mario Puzo’s Godfather and sleep, or my colleagues and I would play volley ball match where the loser team would buy a chicken for dinner.

When I got back home after spending two weeks at Radum, I couldn’t attune myself with the sophistication of urbanism for two days. The only noises at Radum were the winds in the forest or the spatter of rains on tin roof, interspersed with babel of voices from hostellers. I used to regard my hometown, Ziro, quite reinvigorating until I came face to face with the wide open spaces of countryside. Now I feel congested amidst myriad of vehicles and souls. Moreover, it is like a one large septic tank, always stinking of feces and urine - be it a shopping complex or housing estate. I guess I have to endure this hellish stench till my vacation is over.

In the final analysis; though there’s no electricity and running water at Radum, it is far off better than having an irregular supply of electricity and 15 minutes of water supply that comes with exorbitant bill.



On Comments

0 comments

Off late I’ve been unable to reply to the comments that have been posted on the blog. It doesn’t mean that I don’t go through the comments or I don’t want people commenting on my post (in that case I wouldn’t have comments enabled on my posts, would I?) But with slow net connection (dial-up service provided by BSNL), I have to choose one option-either of posting on the blog or replying to the comments. And in most of the cases I chose former, simply because I want to keep my blog updated. Since, I do consider blog as a platform to exchange views about anything and have a healthy debate on the issues, I would appreciate people continue commenting on my posts. And despite the slow net connection, I would try to do both, i.e., keep posting and replying to comments. So do keep commenting.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Trip to Itanagar-in the midst of political crisis

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I would say, it is the least right time to make trip to a political hub when political crisis was looming large over it, but I had to leave all my work behind (posting at the blog included) to head to Itanagar for a short trip and it didn’t seemed to me at all that the state’s political hub was in political turmoil, when I reached Itanagar. There wasn’t any hint of political unrest. All I could see was some activity at the Raj Bhawan where new Governor was to be sworn in that day. And at a simple function later that day, K. Sankaranarayanan was sworn in as the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh.

However, the incident at Akasdeep Shopping Complex at Ganga Market the next day indicated that the state was indeed in a deep political turmoil and it made me ponder how the politics makes people stoop so low as to term fellow brethren a foreigner.

It so happened that some group of youngsters (was it Gegong Apang’s supporter) gathered at the Shopping Complex and burnt effigy of Dorjee Khandu, who along with other MLA’s and Ministers were camping at Delhi to persuade the party high command for change in leadership, demanding that they would never accept a foreigner to take control of state affairs and threatened to shoot himself if Chief Ministership was given to person other than those from Tani group. I care a dime, if Apang or Khandu or for that matter anybody else from that stock is made C.M. as it would be same as serving same old stale food in a different platter. But the incident has left questions in my mind.

When China is claiming Tawang, is it right to term fellow brethren a foreigner, may be just for a little political leverage? Does Arunachal comprise only of the area inhibited by Tani groups? Would the person really shoot himself if Dorjee Khandu made the C.M.? (I bet he wouldn’t)

Well, leaving all the unanswered questions behind I thought of visiting the Center for Buddhism Studies at Siddharta Vihar, Itanagar for peace of mind. It was soothing to find Lamas sitting around chorten immersed in their own spiritual world without a hint of what’s going on politically around them.


After spending around hour and a half I headed to State Musuem. Having visited these places, I would recommend, those visiting Itanagar to visit these two places besides other place of interest at Itanagar like Ganga Lake (Gekir Sinyi), Itafort-around which the capital was named Itanagar, etc. Later in the day, sec 144 of Cr. PC was imposed at the capital for a month.

The next day on 9th April, under the central observer P.R. Das Munshi and Oscar Fernandes, Apang stepped down from the post of C.M. and Dorjee Khandu took charge of the state with the vow to root out corruption, revive APEX Bank and making PDS effective.

Now that new C.M. has been instated, I don’t know if sec 144 of Cr. PC has been lifted at Itanagar or not or if the person who had threatened to shoot himself if Dorjee Khandu was made C.M. has shot himself or not but it feels good to be back to Home Sweet Home

Trip to Itanagar-in the midst of political crisis

0 comments
I would say, it is the least right time to make trip to a political hub when political crisis was looming large over it, but I had to leave all my work behind (posting at the blog included) to head to Itanagar for a short trip and it didn’t seemed to me at all that the state’s political hub was in political turmoil, when I reached Itanagar. There wasn’t any hint of political unrest. All I could see was some activity at the Raj Bhawan where new Governor was to be sworn in that day. And at a simple function later that day, K. Sankaranarayanan was sworn in as the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh.

However, the incident at Akasdeep Shopping Complex at Ganga Market the next day indicated that the state was indeed in a deep political turmoil and it made me ponder how the politics makes people stoop so low as to term fellow brethren a foreigner.

It so happened that some group of youngsters (was it Gegong Apang’s supporter) gathered at the Shopping Complex and burnt effigy of Dorjee Khandu, who along with other MLA’s and Ministers were camping at Delhi to persuade the party high command for change in leadership, demanding that they would never accept a foreigner to take control of state affairs and threatened to shoot himself if Chief Ministership was given to person other than those from Tani group. I care a dime, if Apang or Khandu or for that matter anybody else from that stock is made C.M. as it would be same as serving same old stale food in a different platter. But the incident has left questions in my mind.

When China is claiming Tawang, is it right to term fellow brethren a foreigner, may be just for a little political leverage? Does Arunachal comprise only of the area inhibited by Tani groups? Would the person really shoot himself if Dorjee Khandu made the C.M.? (I bet he wouldn’t)

Well, leaving all the unanswered questions behind I thought of visiting the Center for Buddhism Studies at Siddharta Vihar, Itanagar for peace of mind. It was soothing to find Lamas sitting around chorten immersed in their own spiritual world without a hint of what’s going on politically around them.


After spending around hour and a half I headed to State Musuem. Having visited these places, I would recommend, those visiting Itanagar to visit these two places besides other place of interest at Itanagar like Ganga Lake (Gekir Sinyi), Itafort-around which the capital was named Itanagar, etc. Later in the day, sec 144 of Cr. PC was imposed at the capital for a month.

The next day on 9th April, under the central observer P.R. Das Munshi and Oscar Fernandes, Apang stepped down from the post of C.M. and Dorjee Khandu took charge of the state with the vow to root out corruption, revive APEX Bank and making PDS effective.

Now that new C.M. has been instated, I don’t know if sec 144 of Cr. PC has been lifted at Itanagar or not or if the person who had threatened to shoot himself if Dorjee Khandu was made C.M. has shot himself or not but it feels good to be back to Home Sweet Home

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Our Feathered Friends are in Danger

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-Gyati Tallo

A man from Delhi who visited Ziro told his friends, among other things, that in the vast area of mountains and hills covered with trees and grasses, he did not saw any bird on his way from Kimin to Ziro which is about three hours drive. He wondered if there were no birds in this part of the world.

“No wonder,” one Arunachalee student of Delhi University said. “Ours is a land of hunters. To expect of birds-even rats and snakes are not spared.”

The old folks of Yazali, Yachuli and Ziro, however, felt that the area is still quite rich in bird populations. Sight of birds in roadside and jhum or cultivated area depends on the different times of day and the different seasons of year. They also acknowledged having spotted almost all the bird species mentioned and illustrated in the Salim Ali’s ‘FIELD GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF THE EASTERN HIMALAYAS’ in the area, though not all of them have local names. They also agreed upon the fact that the numbers of various bird populations are dwindling due to hunting or may also be due to addition of more and more of forest land under cultivation area.

The bird populations, frequented in vicinity of cultivated area, are different species of pigeons, wagtails, kites, hawks, eagles, kingfishers, hoopoes, owls, hornbills, jungle fowls etc. A good number of migratory birds also visit this area. The birds such as heron, ducks, cranes and others used this area, especially the Ziro valley, as a stop over for their long journey from Siberia or Tibet to the plains of India and back. This author is told that some species of the migratory birds (also known as game birds) are conspicuously missing since last four – five years. “Now they seemed to have changed their path for the fear of hunters,” Said one bird lover.

Hunting is quite popular in the area, particularly in Ziro valley. Ring road in Ziro has served at least one purpose- easy access to otherwise undisturbed wooded forest some four years ago. Today one sees hunters roaming about here with improvised guns, round the clock, and hunting whatever they see on their way- deer, monkey, birds and so on. Birds being the most easily visible prey are the soft target.

In fact hunting is a popular sport of the people of Arunachal. Along with illiterate and uneducated villagers, government officials and public leaders with improvised guns have joined the race. Such a culprit has been booked and punished elsewhere in the world but the law enforcing agencies of the state are, to some extent, blind to such activities.

“What a rubbish!” said an old man from Hari village when this author told him that the killing of birds such as hoopoe, hornbill etc., which are the threatened species, is offence against the law. “If birds are not to be hunted and relished, what is it for?” He is an illiterate lot. He is not aware of what we were taught in our schools; that every living organism has their own role in an ecosystem.

In fact birds are benefactor of man in many ways. They exercise a very important role of biological control. The birds such as flycatcher, hoopoe, woodpecker and others (in fact most of the birds) control the population of insect pests by feeding on them. In their absence, these pests would multiply in numbers and cause havoc to our commercial trees and crops. We can imagine how devastating these pests could be from the fact that when locusts move on in swarms, extending many kilometres, devour anything of grasses and leaves that come their way. Some birds known as the birds of prey such as owl, hawk eagle etc., kill and devour thousands of field mice, rats, ground squirrel etc., which are menace to our agricultural crops. Besides, they are an important agent of seed dispersal and thus conserve the forest. The man did not plant those huge trees of the woods; it is the birds, wild animals and some natural agents that did it. The bird that feeds on fruits of the tree also engulfs their seeds which come out with their droppings in some distant places and sprout out into seedlings.

Needles to mention, birds enhance the natural beauties of the area.

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Moreover, in these days of eco-tourism, Arunachal Pradesh has huge potential to become its destination and bird watching and bird hunting (with cameras not with guns) are very much the part of the eco-tourists. Once we stop killing birds for our pleasure, restore their habitat and they are coming back in good numbers, we will be able to attract many such tourists, especially the foreign tourists, which will boost the tourism industry of the state.

Do we need to think twice before shouldering our responsibility? Let us save and protect our feathered friends. Hunting surely is an exciting sport. What a noble idea it would be to hunt birds and wild animals with cameras in place of guns!