Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The 'Apatani Protagonist'

2 comments
This past week had been quite hectic for me keeping me out of regular blogging and making me itch to be back on the net to update my blog.

The week witnessed first disaster of the new year, where around 28 houses at Bulla Village (Reru) were reduced to ashes and another around 27 were dismantled (to prevent spread of fire) in the fire on the Republic Day. No loss to human lives were reported.

Do you remember, I promised in my earlier post to introduce you to 'The Apatani Protagonists'? This past week was quite fruitful in the sense that finally, I was able to coax them to come out in open and here they are.

Hope they would address the issues of Ziro Hapoli in particular and entire Arunachal Pradesh as a whole.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Facts or Fiction...

0 comments

Ecologist Hilaluddin writes in his article Illicit Staple on Down to Earth Magazine -

"It’s the second week of March 2002. Morum, the annual Apatani spring festival, is in full swing at Hapoli, district Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh. The feasting includes voluminous amounts of barking deer meat."

Morum (sic) during the second week of March? Was he referring to 'Myoko' as 'Murung' is observed during the month of January? In any case, I don't remember if Apatanis ever savors on "Barking Deer Meat" and that too in voluminous amount during these festivals. Imagine, 150-200 houses in a village offering barking deer meet to their guests during 'Myoko', phew... where on earth did they manage to hunt such large number of barking deers? Did he mistook beef for "barking deer meat"? I wonder.

Facts or Fiction...

0 comments

Ecologist Hilaluddin writes in his article Illicit Staple on Down to Earth Magazine -

"It’s the second week of March 2002. Morum, the annual Apatani spring festival, is in full swing at Hapoli, district Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh. The feasting includes voluminous amounts of barking deer meat."

Morum (sic) during the second week of March? Was he referring to 'Myoko' as 'Murung' is observed during the month of January? In any case, I don't remember if Apatanis ever savors on "Barking Deer Meat" and that too in voluminous amount during these festivals. Imagine, 150-200 houses in a village offering barking deer meet to their guests during 'Myoko', phew... where on earth did they manage to hunt such large number of barking deers? Did he mistook beef for "barking deer meat"? I wonder.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Mercury Dipping

0 comments

I guess we Hapolian are witnessing one of the coldest days these past few days this winter season.

Once during my journey back home from Delhi, one co-passenger, who had been to Ziro during winter season remarked, "When you pee at Ziro during winter season, it freezes before it reaches ground and you have to break it to remove the pee." I thought, what a crap, back then, but after witnessing the cold these past few days, I would say he was not that exaggerating when he said that.

The temperature these past few days has dropped to such an extent (though I have yet to confirm from meteorological department how much the mercury has dipped these past few days) that you find water collected in the bucket the previous night frozen in the morning and you have to break the layer of ice before you are able to use that water.

The car with layer of frozen ice over windows and body was parked outside, the whole night.



Ice or Snow?

Development of Sports Complex?

1 comments




Quite an activity...eh!

I thought development of ground and construction of stadium, for which foundation stone was laid way back during the month of April, 2002 is in progress, when I overheard two person talking.

Person 1: Hmm…. plowing the ground to reap money during March.

Person 2: Yeah! it seem so. But would they finish this activity?

Person 1: Why should they? March is near and they just have to show some activity to pass their bill as is done with the roads at Hapoli.

God forbid, let what the person 1 said may not become true. As then, we wouldn't be having proper ground for this year's Dree Football Tourney and then people wouldn't get that once in a year opportunity to hang out.

Mercury Dipping

0 comments

I guess we Hapolian are witnessing one of the coldest days these past few days this winter season.

Once during my journey back home from Delhi, one co-passenger, who had been to Ziro during winter season remarked, "When you pee at Ziro during winter season, it freezes before it reaches ground and you have to break it to remove the pee." I thought, what a crap, back then, but after witnessing the cold these past few days, I would say he was not that exaggerating when he said that.

The temperature these past few days has dropped to such an extent (though I have yet to confirm from meteorological department how much the mercury has dipped these past few days) that you find water collected in the bucket the previous night frozen in the morning and you have to break the layer of ice before you are able to use that water.

The car with layer of frozen ice over windows and body was parked outside, the whole night.



Ice or Snow?

Development of Sports Complex?

1 comments




Quite an activity...eh!

I thought development of ground and construction of stadium, for which foundation stone was laid way back during the month of April, 2002 is in progress, when I overheard two person talking.

Person 1: Hmm…. plowing the ground to reap money during March.

Person 2: Yeah! it seem so. But would they finish this activity?

Person 1: Why should they? March is near and they just have to show some activity to pass their bill as is done with the roads at Hapoli.

God forbid, let what the person 1 said may not become true. As then, we wouldn't be having proper ground for this year's Dree Football Tourney and then people wouldn't get that once in a year opportunity to hang out.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Taku Tamu

2 comments
I don't know if I've spelled or pronounced it (Taku Tamu) right, but the video below (not a great video though) shows what I meant by comic act or dance in my earlier post on Murung & Penii


If you are unable to view full video, you can find it here.

Taku Tamu

2 comments
I don't know if I've spelled or pronounced it (Taku Tamu) right, but the video below (not a great video though) shows what I meant by comic act or dance in my earlier post on Murung & Penii


If you are unable to view full video, you can find it here.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Fiddling with my camera

0 comments
Cutie Pie


Fiddling with my camera

0 comments
Cutie Pie


Monday, January 15, 2007

Murung Festival- 'Penii' through my Camera

5 comments

Come January - this sleepy little twin township of Ziro-Hapoli and the villages around this township swings into life, for its carnival time-time for performing “Murung” ceremony, time to take part and to watch ‘Penii’, which is a procession originating and ending at the house where ‘Murung’ ceremony is performed, after going round the villages. People in different attires and costumes participate in this procession, chanting “HO..ho..” and entertaining the spectators gathered at all villages with their comic dance and acts.


Head Shaman leading the procession

Penii being welcomed and offered 'O'-Rice Beer and Beverages

Children dressed as an old couple.



MIB
Say cheese..


The Clowns

The Motorists

'Gaon Buras'

Pangsau Pass Winter Ferstival, 2007

0 comments

The Arunachal Times reports: -

"In his inuagural address (Siang River Festival) as the chief guest, Sena said that tourism would be the biggest industry from 2010 onwards in Arunachal."

Juxtaposing Siang River Festival 2007’, ‘Pangsau Pass Winter Ferstival, 2007 and the governments claim about tourism in the state, I find it too tall a claim to digest. Where Siang River Festival 2007 is being splashed all over the local dailies, I failed to notice any dailies that mention anything about the Pangsau Pass Winter Festival 2007 which is going to be held from 20th to 22nd of this month at Nampong to showcase about the Tangsa’s of Arunachal Pradesh. I came to know about this Festival not from any local dailies, not from the Government sites but through Arif Siddiqui who wrote in via e-mail.

“Pangsau Pass Winter Festival 2007 is going to be held on 20 Jan'07 to 22 Jan'07 at Nampong to boast eco-tourism and enhance cross border affinity with Myanmar. The Pangsau Pass Winter Festival is dedicated to showcase the distinctive cultures, strange customs, elegant traditional dresses, magnificent folk dances, haunting melodies, delicious cuisines of the Tangsa’s, to uncover the historical WW II cemetery, to explore the mysterious Lake of No Return, to admire the glimpses of the rare flora and faunas of this province, above all to enjoy the warm hospitality of the Tangsa People. It's an imperative and diminutive effort to boost eco-tourism in this region. More details of festival are here.”

The request to include the information about this winter festival in the government website by Arif, fell on deaf ears, which has made me wonder, if at all government is serious about projecting this state as a global tourism hot-spot.

Murung Festival- 'Penii' through my Camera

5 comments

Come January - this sleepy little twin township of Ziro-Hapoli and the villages around this township swings into life, for its carnival time-time for performing “Murung” ceremony, time to take part and to watch ‘Penii’, which is a procession originating and ending at the house where ‘Murung’ ceremony is performed, after going round the villages. People in different attires and costumes participate in this procession, chanting “HO..ho..” and entertaining the spectators gathered at all villages with their comic dance and acts.


Head Shaman leading the procession

Penii being welcomed and offered 'O'-Rice Beer and Beverages

Children dressed as an old couple.



MIB
Say cheese..


The Clowns

The Motorists

'Gaon Buras'

Pangsau Pass Winter Ferstival, 2007

0 comments

The Arunachal Times reports: -

"In his inuagural address (Siang River Festival) as the chief guest, Sena said that tourism would be the biggest industry from 2010 onwards in Arunachal."

Juxtaposing Siang River Festival 2007’, ‘Pangsau Pass Winter Ferstival, 2007 and the governments claim about tourism in the state, I find it too tall a claim to digest. Where Siang River Festival 2007 is being splashed all over the local dailies, I failed to notice any dailies that mention anything about the Pangsau Pass Winter Festival 2007 which is going to be held from 20th to 22nd of this month at Nampong to showcase about the Tangsa’s of Arunachal Pradesh. I came to know about this Festival not from any local dailies, not from the Government sites but through Arif Siddiqui who wrote in via e-mail.

“Pangsau Pass Winter Festival 2007 is going to be held on 20 Jan'07 to 22 Jan'07 at Nampong to boast eco-tourism and enhance cross border affinity with Myanmar. The Pangsau Pass Winter Festival is dedicated to showcase the distinctive cultures, strange customs, elegant traditional dresses, magnificent folk dances, haunting melodies, delicious cuisines of the Tangsa’s, to uncover the historical WW II cemetery, to explore the mysterious Lake of No Return, to admire the glimpses of the rare flora and faunas of this province, above all to enjoy the warm hospitality of the Tangsa People. It's an imperative and diminutive effort to boost eco-tourism in this region. More details of festival are here.”

The request to include the information about this winter festival in the government website by Arif, fell on deaf ears, which has made me wonder, if at all government is serious about projecting this state as a global tourism hot-spot.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Just a poll…

2 comments

Can Arunachal become global tourist 'Hot-Spot'?

To catapult this state into a major tourist destination, in recent years the government has been organizing Mahotsavas and Festivals in the state. After the "Buddha Mahotsava" at Tawang and 2 days "Youth Festival" at Mebo, "Siang River Festival 2007" kick-started at Tuting the day before yesterday. The aim of these mega events as the government puts-is to attract tourists-both domestic and foreign and to woo potential investors to this state.

But with poor infrastructure, all sorts of formalities to enter the state like ILP (Inner Line Permit), RAP (Restricted Area Permit), PAP (Protected Area Permit) etc, and lack of professional approach towards promotion of tourism sector of the state (the official website of Tourism Department, Government of Arunachal Pradesh hasn't so far mentioned anything about the ongoing Siang River Festival), can Arunachal become tourist 'Hot-Spot'?

Or do you feel just by inviting Bollywood Celebrities and Political Bigwigs (as the government is doing now) would attract tourists-both domestic and foreign to this state?

Just put in your comments.

Just a poll…

2 comments

Can Arunachal become global tourist 'Hot-Spot'?

To catapult this state into a major tourist destination, in recent years the government has been organizing Mahotsavas and Festivals in the state. After the "Buddha Mahotsava" at Tawang and 2 days "Youth Festival" at Mebo, "Siang River Festival 2007" kick-started at Tuting the day before yesterday. The aim of these mega events as the government puts-is to attract tourists-both domestic and foreign and to woo potential investors to this state.

But with poor infrastructure, all sorts of formalities to enter the state like ILP (Inner Line Permit), RAP (Restricted Area Permit), PAP (Protected Area Permit) etc, and lack of professional approach towards promotion of tourism sector of the state (the official website of Tourism Department, Government of Arunachal Pradesh hasn't so far mentioned anything about the ongoing Siang River Festival), can Arunachal become tourist 'Hot-Spot'?

Or do you feel just by inviting Bollywood Celebrities and Political Bigwigs (as the government is doing now) would attract tourists-both domestic and foreign to this state?

Just put in your comments.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Are the days of Corrupt Officials numbered?

0 comments

The Arunachal Times reports-

“No lackadaisical attitude, no lame excuse in providing information on matters of public service would provide any escape route to the officialdom any more in Arunachal Pradesh for, State Information Commission (SIC) under the Right to Information Act, 2005 has began taking note of things with its full-pledged sitting.”

Further, it reported that this 4 member Commission had disposed off five cases in a day, summoned few Deputy Directors of School Education (in connection with information sought on misappropriation of fund under SSA) to appear before it and warned all State Information Officers/PIO’s/APIO’s to update themselves with the knowledge of RTI Act and furnish the information sought by the public; non-compliance of which would attract penal action as per provision of the Act.

Does this mean, corruption in the state will be checked and corrupt officials booked and there will be transparent dealings? Are we heading towards corruption free society? Or the Commission would also fall into the gallows of corruption?

P.S.- Once itya remarked if I could write about the issues related to backdoor appointment, but I couldn't. Hope the constitution of SIC and RTI, which has come as a boon to the people seeking information, would be made use by the people to check the illegal appointments in government departments.

Are the days of Corrupt Officials numbered?

0 comments

The Arunachal Times reports-

“No lackadaisical attitude, no lame excuse in providing information on matters of public service would provide any escape route to the officialdom any more in Arunachal Pradesh for, State Information Commission (SIC) under the Right to Information Act, 2005 has began taking note of things with its full-pledged sitting.”

Further, it reported that this 4 member Commission had disposed off five cases in a day, summoned few Deputy Directors of School Education (in connection with information sought on misappropriation of fund under SSA) to appear before it and warned all State Information Officers/PIO’s/APIO’s to update themselves with the knowledge of RTI Act and furnish the information sought by the public; non-compliance of which would attract penal action as per provision of the Act.

Does this mean, corruption in the state will be checked and corrupt officials booked and there will be transparent dealings? Are we heading towards corruption free society? Or the Commission would also fall into the gallows of corruption?

P.S.- Once itya remarked if I could write about the issues related to backdoor appointment, but I couldn't. Hope the constitution of SIC and RTI, which has come as a boon to the people seeking information, would be made use by the people to check the illegal appointments in government departments.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Credits

0 comments

Now that the new look of my template is almost done, I must give credit to those, with whose hack ideas, this new look could have been possible. I thank Annie for Peek-A-Boo Nav Bar, Pretty blockquote and Fluid 3-Column template and Beta Blogger for Dummies for hack on how to add image on blog header.

Just put in your comments on how you find the new look of Arunachal Diary.

Credits

0 comments

Now that the new look of my template is almost done, I must give credit to those, with whose hack ideas, this new look could have been possible. I thank Annie for Peek-A-Boo Nav Bar, Pretty blockquote and Fluid 3-Column template and Beta Blogger for Dummies for hack on how to add image on blog header.

Just put in your comments on how you find the new look of Arunachal Diary.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Road Safety Week

0 comments

I was driving back home when all of a sudden I saw a student blowing whistle and waving me to stop the car. I lowered my window, the boy said, "Sir, you are driving without your safety belt on, please put on the belt for your safety." I thought, how right and I quietly obliged.

That was yesterday, when NCC cadets of Government Higher Secondary School, Ziro in association with the state police department took on the streets to observe the Road Safety Week to educate the motorists of this township about the road safety.

This made me wonder, shouldn't we as a motorist understand our responsibility and drive safely following the traffic rule or should we be told of our duty to drive responsively?

Road Safety Week

0 comments

I was driving back home when all of a sudden I saw a student blowing whistle and waving me to stop the car. I lowered my window, the boy said, "Sir, you are driving without your safety belt on, please put on the belt for your safety." I thought, how right and I quietly obliged.

That was yesterday, when NCC cadets of Government Higher Secondary School, Ziro in association with the state police department took on the streets to observe the Road Safety Week to educate the motorists of this township about the road safety.

This made me wonder, shouldn't we as a motorist understand our responsibility and drive safely following the traffic rule or should we be told of our duty to drive responsively?

Friday, January 5, 2007

W for War; W for Water

2 comments

The Chief Minister Mr. Gegong Apang, observed that the future war will be fought for water. I ponder hard over its possibility and I came to conclusion that it seems probable. I have a feel that this war will not be fought amongst nation, but amongst states and within state. The neighbour will turn against neighbour, the poor against rich and the plebian against government-in the name of water. Take Narmada and Cauvery river for instance, these two rivers are the source of disgruntlement in the western and southern India. In USA, the Hurricane Katrina, that claimed many lives in august 2005 and exposed the helplessness of over-confident super power America in dealing with the disaster, which goaded enormous resentment from public for government And the poll conducted by an Associated Press in early August shows that 67% of Americans disapproved of the way President Bush and his administration handled the Katrina affair. During December 2004 tsunami in which more than 200,000 lives were lost, there were stories that Tamils in Sri Lanka were meted out to biased relief work which could only foment ire and amplify the tension in ongoing struggle between LTTE and Sri Lankan government. In July17, eighteen months after the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami, more than 500 people killed when a giant wave struck the Indonesian island of Java. People were indignant at the failure of Indonesian leadership to set up a tsunami warning system. Besides, thousands of big and small mutinies from Rajkot in Gujarat to Sri Ganganagar in Rajasthan, were reported in the past in which farmers have died defending their first right over water. The abominable flood in Mumbai, Bihar and Assam-the list of woe caused by water is exhaustible. Because there were so many hubbub and commotion around water, therefore, I daresay, is a sign of prognosticated war.

And the government recent move to hike the water tariff in the state are viewed as an agent to cull money from public to cover up the mismanagement of fund. I had to agree as the hike in water tariff left me totally gobsmacked. The tariff is absolutely immoderate and to large extent, it could induce inflation. The restaurateurs will have no option but to increase the cost of its product. So are the barber and other entities. Considering the quality and quantity of water supplied by PHED (Public Health Engineering Department) in Ziro particularly-the tariff looks more like a legitimate extortion. I am not averse to tax or revenue collection as long as the capitals generated from payers is utilized to improve the infrastructure or development of infrastructure. But the stories tell us something else. Let me cite some of the several instances. For starters, it is deemed that the PHED supplies water for two hours, twice a day but we never get running water for more than ten minutes. Second, on a rainy day, the undrinkable water becomes more undrinkable as the mud with leeches and earthworms are sure to flow in with water. And sometimes, a grain of cooked rice too. On numerous occasions, I even found a wisp of human hair which seldom leads to misunderstanding and quarrel at home with the women folk for being careless in making their tresses. The PHED do not even bother to filter the water, let alone, the treatment of water. Sometimes, I fancy that the people of Ziro are dying all of a sudden as some miscreant had poured a bottle of poison in the water tank. And it’s frightening and feasible too.

The talk that new tank is being built in Ziro and going to operate it soon and the scarcity of water will no longer haunt the people of Ziro and so on-has almost become rhetoric. I wonder how long it will take to materialize. Even if the dream project realized at scheduled time, there’s a prospect we will be hit hard by the expenses again-the expense we bear or incur on procurement of pipe and appurtenances. Besides the expenditure, the road has to be dug to lay the pipe which means another bout with PWD officials. I cannot comprehend why the PHED would not install a pipe that carries water on both side of the road. And I’m not ready to subscribe to the notion that there is a shortage of pipes as I have often seen the Puja Pandal being built with water pipes. If PHED agrees to set water on both sides of the road, it would not only prevent the people from digging up the road which adds up to the numerous potholes that lay strewn in the road but an easy access to water connection also-thus, more revenue for the government.

In reference to the revenue; unlike our state, the metros like Delhi, with millions of population and scanty rainfall, are better equipped, if not best, to provide water to its residents. According to Delhi Jal Board revised water tariff, the DJB bills their consumers on the basis of actual consumption of water (read Volumetric Water Charges) with nominal access charge. And to calculate the consumption of water, the concerned authorities install a meter at every premises at the expense of consumer and the cost of meter is payable in four equated monthly installments. If paid in lump-sum, a rebate of 15% is offered to the consumer. Besides, the rates of the Volumetric Water Charges are quite affordable as compared with the water tariff in our state. For above 6 kl and upto 20 kl, the Board charges Rs.2/- per month under category I and consumption of water upto 25 kl is Rs. 10/- per month for category II. Whereas we are hardly able to collect 150-200 litres of water a day (i.e., 4.5 kl – 6 kl in a month) in our houses and we are paying Rs. 100/- for it. And it may seem a paltry sum for those who are working in a government department as they get their revised in every five years. But, it’s not for the plebeian who don’t have any resources to meet the expenses but share the burden anyway.

The government needs to bear the common and poor people in their mind before they formulate policy to generate public revenue. And if the government and bureaucrat at the top echelon cannot provide job and equal opportunity to all without any bias, then their expectation to generate fund from common people is absolutely invalid. And the threat of war will hover as long as the people are made to pay exorbitant price for basic and essential items. Until then, people’s effort is required to take a pre-emptive action to tap the rain water in order to shun war, save money and bureaucratic hassle.

-Contributed by Roto Chobin, Editor of the fortnight
ly ZIRO MIRROR, published from Ziro. He can be contacted at rotochobin@rediffmail.com

W for War; W for Water

1 comments

The Chief Minister Mr. Gegong Apang, observed that the future war will be fought for water. I ponder hard over its possibility and I came to conclusion that it seems probable. I have a feel that this war will not be fought amongst nation, but amongst states and within state. The neighbour will turn against neighbour, the poor against rich and the plebian against government-in the name of water. Take Narmada and Cauvery river for instance, these two rivers are the source of disgruntlement in the western and southern India. In USA, the Hurricane Katrina, that claimed many lives in august 2005 and exposed the helplessness of over-confident super power America in dealing with the disaster, which goaded enormous resentment from public for government And the poll conducted by an Associated Press in early August shows that 67% of Americans disapproved of the way President Bush and his administration handled the Katrina affair. During December 2004 tsunami in which more than 200,000 lives were lost, there were stories that Tamils in Sri Lanka were meted out to biased relief work which could only foment ire and amplify the tension in ongoing struggle between LTTE and Sri Lankan government. In July17, eighteen months after the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami, more than 500 people killed when a giant wave struck the Indonesian island of Java. People were indignant at the failure of Indonesian leadership to set up a tsunami warning system. Besides, thousands of big and small mutinies from Rajkot in Gujarat to Sri Ganganagar in Rajasthan, were reported in the past in which farmers have died defending their first right over water. The abominable flood in Mumbai, Bihar and Assam-the list of woe caused by water is exhaustible. Because there were so many hubbub and commotion around water, therefore, I daresay, is a sign of prognosticated war.

And the government recent move to hike the water tariff in the state are viewed as an agent to cull money from public to cover up the mismanagement of fund. I had to agree as the hike in water tariff left me totally gobsmacked. The tariff is absolutely immoderate and to large extent, it could induce inflation. The restaurateurs will have no option but to increase the cost of its product. So are the barber and other entities. Considering the quality and quantity of water supplied by PHED (Public Health Engineering Department) in Ziro particularly-the tariff looks more like a legitimate extortion. I am not averse to tax or revenue collection as long as the capitals generated from payers is utilized to improve the infrastructure or development of infrastructure. But the stories tell us something else. Let me cite some of the several instances. For starters, it is deemed that the PHED supplies water for two hours, twice a day but we never get running water for more than ten minutes. Second, on a rainy day, the undrinkable water becomes more undrinkable as the mud with leeches and earthworms are sure to flow in with water. And sometimes, a grain of cooked rice too. On numerous occasions, I even found a wisp of human hair which seldom leads to misunderstanding and quarrel at home with the women folk for being careless in making their tresses. The PHED do not even bother to filter the water, let alone, the treatment of water. Sometimes, I fancy that the people of Ziro are dying all of a sudden as some miscreant had poured a bottle of poison in the water tank. And it’s frightening and feasible too.

The talk that new tank is being built in Ziro and going to operate it soon and the scarcity of water will no longer haunt the people of Ziro and so on-has almost become rhetoric. I wonder how long it will take to materialize. Even if the dream project realized at scheduled time, there’s a prospect we will be hit hard by the expenses again-the expense we bear or incur on procurement of pipe and appurtenances. Besides the expenditure, the road has to be dug to lay the pipe which means another bout with PWD officials. I cannot comprehend why the PHED would not install a pipe that carries water on both side of the road. And I’m not ready to subscribe to the notion that there is a shortage of pipes as I have often seen the Puja Pandal being built with water pipes. If PHED agrees to set water on both sides of the road, it would not only prevent the people from digging up the road which adds up to the numerous potholes that lay strewn in the road but an easy access to water connection also-thus, more revenue for the government.

In reference to the revenue; unlike our state, the metros like Delhi, with millions of population and scanty rainfall, are better equipped, if not best, to provide water to its residents. According to Delhi Jal Board revised water tariff, the DJB bills their consumers on the basis of actual consumption of water (read Volumetric Water Charges) with nominal access charge. And to calculate the consumption of water, the concerned authorities install a meter at every premises at the expense of consumer and the cost of meter is payable in four equated monthly installments. If paid in lump-sum, a rebate of 15% is offered to the consumer. Besides, the rates of the Volumetric Water Charges are quite affordable as compared with the water tariff in our state. For above 6 kl and upto 20 kl, the Board charges Rs.2/- per month under category I and consumption of water upto 25 kl is Rs. 10/- per month for category II. Whereas we are hardly able to collect 150-200 litres of water a day (i.e., 4.5 kl – 6 kl in a month) in our houses and we are paying Rs. 100/- for it. And it may seem a paltry sum for those who are working in a government department as they get their revised in every five years. But, it’s not for the plebeian who don’t have any resources to meet the expenses but share the burden anyway.

The government needs to bear the common and poor people in their mind before they formulate policy to generate public revenue. And if the government and bureaucrat at the top echelon cannot provide job and equal opportunity to all without any bias, then their expectation to generate fund from common people is absolutely invalid. And the threat of war will hover as long as the people are made to pay exorbitant price for basic and essential items. Until then, people’s effort is required to take a pre-emptive action to tap the rain water in order to shun war, save money and bureaucratic hassle.

-Contributed by Roto Chobin, Editor of the fortnightly ZIRO MIRROR, published from Ziro. He can be contacted at rotochobin@rediffmail.com

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Donyi-Poloism – Is it really an indigenous faith or an alternate form of Hinduism?

12 comments

Quite sometimes back, I came across a report which stated that penetration of Christianity in and around Lower Subansiri District was negligible (Joshua Project Report 2000). Then, at that time, I thought, with such an orthodox population that worships nature, would any religion make headway in the conversion process? But, I was wrong. Looking now, as in the case of Apatani plateau, conversion to Christianity has been rapid in these past few years and in case of Hinduism too, the conversion has also been going on, though not done overtly as Christianity.

This has made me think, isn’t it easy to manipulate and play around with simple, though at sometimes complex, highly orthodox Arunachalee peoples’ mindset and their outlook? I wonder, it is; and if it is on the line of their faith and belief, the easier it is. This was evident from the attendance it garnered during the recently concluded “Donyi Polo Day” (or rather Indigenous Faiths Day as was earlier known) observation on 31st last month at Donyi-Polo ground Hapoli.

What is Donyi-Polo and Donyi-Poloism?

Literally, Donyi means Sun and Polo means Moon. The descendants of mythical “Abotani”, which by and large follows animism, considers Donyi-Polo as one of their supreme powers among so many benevolent and malevolent supreme powers that governs their life. These supreme powers, in some way or the other, had some relation with the mythical Abotani as the folklore suggests. And since time immemorial, the descendants of Abotani had a ritual to erect altars of these supreme powers and make sacrifices in order to appease them, whenever these supreme or supernatural powers interfered with their lives. And this has been their religion.

But, in Indian perspective, animism is not recognized (I still remember the look on the face of interviewer when I said I don’t have any religion rather I’m an animist, in response to their question during my interview for a job – they were far from believing me, thinking either I was Buddhist or a Christian), and in order to have definite religious identity and to preserve the indigenous traditional faith, Donyi-Poloism was born and now it is recognized as a religion. And now, well, may be I guess I would say I follow Donyi-Poloism whenever I’m asked about my religion.

The Present Scenario

Going by what Donyi-Poloism stands for today, I may not say that I’m follower of Donyi-Poloism but would rather say that I’m an animist, if ever I’m asked about my religion. Why? Because it is totally devoid of the rituals that have been performed since time immemorial. Now, it has definite place of worship called “Medar Nello” or “Nyider Namlo” and has an idol too. So far, as I remember, the Apatanis or for that matter I presume even Adis or Nyishis (descendant of Abotani) had ever idol worshipped and in a designated place of worship called “Medar Nello” or “Nyider Namlo” as it is done today. Though as suggested above, only symbolic altars were erected whenever certain ceremonies or rituals had to be performed. Going by the way the rituals, that are performed now-a-days, in the so called place of worship vis-à-vis the rituals that are performed at temple, I wonder if it is akin to Hinduism or has influence of Hinduism. But then, with so many Hindu missionary leading the Medar Nallo, no wonder, if the rituals performed in the Medar Nello has Hinduism tone. And in some way or the other Donyi-Poloism has always been linked with Hinduism-Donyi with Surya Devta and Polo with Chandrama. But would someone tell those missionaries that Sun is feminine (Ayo Danyi) and Moon is masculine (Ato Piilo) unlike otherwise in Hinduism?

If Donyi-Poloism is akin to Hinduism, why people are thronging at Medar Nello?

As suggested in the previous para, the conversion to Christianity has been growing at a very rapid pace among Apatanis in these past few years and to put check on this conversion, Hindu missionary has simultaneously been trying to convert the population to Hinduism, albeit with little success. Those converted to Christianity, altogether not only stopped performing the earlier rituals but also started branding those practising the Traditional Rituals as the son of “Satan” as I’m told. This irked the highly orthodox Apatanis who performed the Traditional Rituals. And the Hindu Missionaries, which were working covertly on conversion, cleverly took advantage of this irked mindset by encouraging them to join Donyi-Poloism and to attend Medar Nello as it was their indigenous faith.

With their traditional ethos hurt and countering conversion of population to Christianity being the other motive, the people quite played into the hands of Hindu Missionaries and started attending the so called place of worship. After all, it had a Donyi-Polo tag, enough to let them believe that they are following their traditional form of faith and worship and not being almost converted to Hinduism.

Is Donyi-Poloism really an indigenous faith?

I would say no in the present context, but an altern
ate form of Hinduism. It has played into the hands of missionary and now has evolved into altogether different form of faith and practice with nothing indigenous about it.

Conclusion

With blatant rate of conversions- be it to Christianity or to Hinduism or to Donyi-Poloism (neo-Hinduism) and with the people who still orthodoxically follows the age old rituals and practice, I fear, in near future it may flare up communal tensions based on the religion and we would be witnessing riots due to the difference in opinions among them. Also, I fear, would we be able to retain our age old traditional custom, culture and faith for preservation of which, Donyi-Poloism was created?

What do you say?

Donyi-Poloism – Is it really an indigenous faith or an alternate form of Hinduism?

11 comments

Quite sometimes back, I came across a report which stated that penetration of Christianity in and around Lower Subansiri District was negligible (Joshua Project Report 2000). Then, at that time, I thought, with such an orthodox population that worships nature, would any religion make headway in the conversion process? But, I was wrong. Looking now, as in the case of Apatani plateau, conversion to Christianity has been rapid in these past few years and in case of Hinduism too, the conversion has also been going on, though not done overtly as Christianity.

This has made me think, isn’t it easy to manipulate and play around with simple, though at sometimes complex, highly orthodox Arunachalee peoples’ mindset and their outlook? I wonder, it is; and if it is on the line of their faith and belief, the easier it is. This was evident from the attendance it garnered during the recently concluded “Donyi Polo Day” (or rather Indigenous Faiths Day as was earlier known) observation on 31st last month at Donyi-Polo ground Hapoli.

What is Donyi-Polo and Donyi-Poloism?

Literally, Donyi means Sun and Polo means Moon. The descendants of mythical “Abotani”, which by and large follows animism, considers Donyi-Polo as one of their supreme powers among so many benevolent and malevolent supreme powers that governs their life. These supreme powers, in some way or the other, had some relation with the mythical Abotani as the folklore suggests. And since time immemorial, the descendants of Abotani had a ritual to erect altars of these supreme powers and make sacrifices in order to appease them, whenever these supreme or supernatural powers interfered with their lives. And this has been their religion.

But, in Indian perspective, animism is not recognized (I still remember the look on the face of interviewer when I said I don’t have any religion rather I’m an animist, in response to their question during my interview for a job – they were far from believing me, thinking either I was Buddhist or a Christian), and in order to have definite religious identity and to preserve the indigenous traditional faith, Donyi-Poloism was born and now it is recognized as a religion. And now, well, may be I guess I would say I follow Donyi-Poloism whenever I’m asked about my religion.

The Present Scenario

Going by what Donyi-Poloism stands for today, I may not say that I’m follower of Donyi-Poloism but would rather say that I’m an animist, if ever I’m asked about my religion. Why? Because it is totally devoid of the rituals that have been performed since time immemorial. Now, it has definite place of worship called “Medar Nello” or “Nyider Namlo” and has an idol too. So far, as I remember, the Apatanis or for that matter I presume even Adis or Nyishis (descendant of Abotani) had ever idol worshipped and in a designated place of worship called “Medar Nello” or “Nyider Namlo” as it is done today. Though as suggested above, only symbolic altars were erected whenever certain ceremonies or rituals had to be performed. Going by the way the rituals, that are performed now-a-days, in the so called place of worship vis-à-vis the rituals that are performed at temple, I wonder if it is akin to Hinduism or has influence of Hinduism. But then, with so many Hindu missionary leading the Medar Nallo, no wonder, if the rituals performed in the Medar Nello has Hinduism tone. And in some way or the other Donyi-Poloism has always been linked with Hinduism-Donyi with Surya Devta and Polo with Chandrama. But would someone tell those missionaries that Sun is feminine (Ayo Danyi) and Moon is masculine (Ato Piilo) unlike otherwise in Hinduism?

If Donyi-Poloism is akin to Hinduism, why people are thronging at Medar Nello?

As suggested in the previous para, the conversion to Christianity has been growing at a very rapid pace among Apatanis in these past few years and to put check on this conversion, Hindu missionary has simultaneously been trying to convert the population to Hinduism, albeit with little success. Those converted to Christianity, altogether not only stopped performing the earlier rituals but also started branding those practising the Traditional Rituals as the son of “Satan” as I’m told. This irked the highly orthodox Apatanis who performed the Traditional Rituals. And the Hindu Missionaries, which were working covertly on conversion, cleverly took advantage of this irked mindset by encouraging them to join Donyi-Poloism and to attend Medar Nello as it was their indigenous faith.

With their traditional ethos hurt and countering conversion of population to Christianity being the other motive, the people quite played into the hands of Hindu Missionaries and started attending the so called place of worship. After all, it had a Donyi-Polo tag, enough to let them believe that they are following their traditional form of faith and worship and not being almost converted to Hinduism.

Is Donyi-Poloism really an indigenous faith?

I would say no in the present context, but an alternate form of Hinduism. It has played into the hands of missionary and now has evolved into altogether different form of faith and practice with nothing indigenous about it.

Conclusion

With blatant rate of conversions- be it to Christianity or to Hinduism or to Donyi-Poloism (neo-Hinduism) and with the people who still orthodoxically follows the age old rituals and practice, I fear, in near future it may flare up communal tensions based on the religion and we would be witnessing riots due to the difference in opinions among them. Also, I fear, would we be able to retain our age old traditional custom, culture and faith for preservation of which, Donyi-Poloism was created?

What do you say?

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Facelift

2 comments
I'm in the midst of facelifting my blog and with the connection that is available at Hapoli and the knowledge that I've about xml (I'm novice in this field) it may take quite some time till you see the blog site that I intend to present. Till then do bear with me.

update: Ah! finally, somewhere near what I intended but still lotsa tweaking has to be done. Hope to tweak more in a days to come.

Facelift

2 comments
I'm in the midst of facelifting my blog and with the connection that is available at Hapoli and the knowledge that I've about xml (I'm novice in this field) it may take quite some time till you see the blog site that I intend to present. Till then do bear with me.

update: Ah! finally, somewhere near what I intended but still lotsa tweaking has to be done. Hope to tweak more in a days to come.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

New Year Celebration at Hapoli

0 comments
I am just out of New Year Party hangover which lasted till wee hour of 1st of January and it would be unfair of me if I didn’t write about the New Year celebration at Hapoli in my 1st Post of this Year.

For Hapolians, this New Year eve was like any other New Year Eve elsewhere. Time to bid adieu to the year that has gone by and to welcome the New Year. Time to organize family picnics, for late night parties and for couch potatoes to channel surf the New Year special programmes on Idiot Box (is it really idiot, though?).

And this New Year eve, too, was not different. People scurrying to shop for New Year Cakes, goodies meant for late night parties and for picnic etc. However, this New Year eve, Hapolian saw some sort of amalgamation - amalgamation of young with old and of tradition with modernism. It seemed as if the entire population of the township were divided into two-young and old gathering at Donyi-Polo Ground to observe “ Donyi Polo Day, 31st being designated as "Donyi-Polo Day” and Gen-Next gathering at Wool House for an entry free New Year eve Concert, both braving the chilly weather.

This New Year Eve Entry Free Concert by a local band called “Rubber Band” has been going on for quite some years and with the support of local sponsors, it has almost become an Annual event drawing huge crowd. Centered around the theme ‘Peace and Harmony’, this New Year eve, the band crooned Bollywood hits and belted out Bollywood oldies and English hits to the delight of the audience gathered to witness the Concert. The main road around the venue of the concert was jam packed bringing the traffic to standstill and making the policemen (or was it police women) hard to divert the traffic to other route.

I’ve tried to capture the moment but due to the limitation of my camera and the visibility outside, I was only able to come up with these not so great pictures below


Performance by the band

Performance by the band


Crowd cheering the band

As the clock struck 0000 hrs, cakes were cut, mobiles rang, crackers burnt and Hapolians wished each other a very Happy New Year 2007.

New Year Celebration at Hapoli

0 comments
I am just out of New Year Party hangover which lasted till wee hour of 1st of January and it would be unfair of me if I didn’t write about the New Year celebration at Hapoli in my 1st Post of this Year.

For Hapolians, this New Year eve was like any other New Year Eve elsewhere. Time to bid adieu to the year that has gone by and to welcome the New Year. Time to organize family picnics, for late night parties and for couch potatoes to channel surf the New Year special programmes on Idiot Box (is it really idiot, though?).

And this New Year eve, too, was not different. People scurrying to shop for New Year Cakes, goodies meant for late night parties and for picnic etc. However, this New Year eve, Hapolian saw some sort of amalgamation - amalgamation of young with old and of tradition with modernism. It seemed as if the entire population of the township were divided into two-young and old gathering at Donyi-Polo Ground to observe “ Donyi Polo Day, 31st being designated as "Donyi-Polo Day” and Gen-Next gathering at Wool House for an entry free New Year eve Concert, both braving the chilly weather.

This New Year Eve Entry Free Concert by a local band called “Rubber Band” has been going on for quite some years and with the support of local sponsors, it has almost become an Annual event drawing huge crowd. Centered around the theme ‘Peace and Harmony’, this New Year eve, the band crooned Bollywood hits and belted out Bollywood oldies and English hits to the delight of the audience gathered to witness the Concert. The main road around the venue of the concert was jam packed bringing the traffic to standstill and making the policemen (or was it police women) hard to divert the traffic to other route.

I’ve tried to capture the moment but due to the limitation of my camera and the visibility outside, I was only able to come up with these not so great pictures below


Performance by the band

Performance by the band


Crowd cheering the band

As the clock struck 0000 hrs, cakes were cut, mobiles rang, crackers burnt and Hapolians wished each other a very Happy New Year 2007.