Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mid-Day Meal for Visiting Central Team???

3 comments

I was quite shocked to learn from one of my teacher friend how the schemes under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) are run by the SSA Rajya Mission. I'm reproducing below what he wrote to me (for obvious reasons I'm not mentioning his name)

It was five of them, the BRC (Block Resource Centre) members, who came to our school today to instruct our Headmaster about Mid-Day Meal. They advised him [Headmaster] to serve mid-day meal to students for four days i.e., on 27th, 28th, 30th and 31st.

Reason: A central team is visiting schools in Ziro from 27th July to access the progress of various schemes under SSA (Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan). They also told him to prepare details of receipt of food grains and daily purchase made for mid-day meal from conversion cost (Rs. 2.00 per student per day provided along with food grain) for the previous year.

Interestingly, mid-day meal is not being served to students since the last two years. This is so because, schools are not getting their quotas of food grains and conversion costs in time. Last academic year, we got the food grains in the month of December and conversion costs in the end of academic year (i.e., in April 2007) which were subsequently distributed among the students.

I have learnt from some teacher colleague from other schools that they also got the similar instructions. I wonder if the instructions as conveyed by BRC members are from SPD (State Project Director), SSA Rajya Mission, Arunachal Pradesh.

It is to be seen here if the four days mid-day meal is served to the students in the schools in Ziro, if the Central Team is satisfied with the progress, and if the SSA is a success story in this way!

Huh!, too much to cover up for their [SSA Rajya Mission] mismanagement.

Mid-Day Meal for Visiting Central Team???

3 comments

I was quite shocked to learn from one of my teacher friend how the schemes under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) are run by the SSA Rajya Mission. I'm reproducing below what he wrote to me (for obvious reasons I'm not mentioning his name)

It was five of them, the BRC (Block Resource Centre) members, who came to our school today to instruct our Headmaster about Mid-Day Meal. They advised him [Headmaster] to serve mid-day meal to students for four days i.e., on 27th, 28th, 30th and 31st.

Reason: A central team is visiting schools in Ziro from 27th July to access the progress of various schemes under SSA (Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan). They also told him to prepare details of receipt of food grains and daily purchase made for mid-day meal from conversion cost (Rs. 2.00 per student per day provided along with food grain) for the previous year.

Interestingly, mid-day meal is not being served to students since the last two years. This is so because, schools are not getting their quotas of food grains and conversion costs in time. Last academic year, we got the food grains in the month of December and conversion costs in the end of academic year (i.e., in April 2007) which were subsequently distributed among the students.

I have learnt from some teacher colleague from other schools that they also got the similar instructions. I wonder if the instructions as conveyed by BRC members are from SPD (State Project Director), SSA Rajya Mission, Arunachal Pradesh.

It is to be seen here if the four days mid-day meal is served to the students in the schools in Ziro, if the Central Team is satisfied with the progress, and if the SSA is a success story in this way!

Huh!, too much to cover up for their [SSA Rajya Mission] mismanagement.

About

20 comments

1. What’s this blog about?

Initially, it started something like this:

“This blog is a small attempt to highlight issues related to Arunachal Pradesh as a whole and Ziro-Hapoli in particular that this author feels needs to be raised or the smallest of happening in this whole universe that has made this author ponder twice.”

But now, this blog has entries ranging from personal accounts to travellog to poems to photography to cartoons, sketches and digital illustrations and even tips on blogger besides issues related to what it (blog) started for. So, now the blog has become, should I say, ‘a little bit of everything’ with more emphasis on issues related to Arunachal Pradesh.

2. How all it started?

When I returned back to my hometown-Ziro (Hapoli), to my state-Arunachal Pradesh, after spending about a decade away from home, I was quite shocked to see the state of affairs here. Actually, I couldn’t understand how the system was running. I tried to reason out with the so called bureaucrats, technocrats, social workers, politicians and even the common populace, but in vain. All they were interested in was to stuff their coffers at the expense of development and the society and state as a whole. So, I thought, why not reach out to the younger generations, those pursuing their studies or working outside the state. May be I could connect with them and put my views forward; who knows, in future we may have a better society, a better system and a better Arunachal.

Apart from that I wanted to shed my inhibition in putting my views and had this urge to improve my writing. Hope I would be able to achieve that through this blog.

3. Who’s this AG?

Well, for now, I’m as concerned an Arunachalee as you are who want to see my state at par with other states of the country. Besides the above the question, I’ve been asked:

Are you a Journo?

No, I’m not.

Are you a philanthropist?

Donate me your money, and you bet I could turn one. Jokes apart, may be, say after a decade or so, I may turn towards philanthropic works but as of now ‘No’.

Are you a social worker?

Hmmm….some sort of. Don’t you think I’m doing social service by raising the issues that normally people would ignore, through my blog ;)

Why don’t you come out in open? Are you a chicken?

May be, but then, I’ve my personal reasons not to come out in open yet.

Guest Authors

28 comments

Well, I thought why not let you have an insight into the persons behind those beautiful articles that has put some quality into this blog. So, I asked them to write about themselves and here are they, in their own words:

ROTO CHOBIN

WHO? ROTO CHOBIN!

I was born at Hao po lyang or Hapoli (Arunachal) on February 27. When I was little I was fond of playing doctor – dissecting frog, rat, etc. Seeing me doing this, my father hoped I would become doctor someday and sent me to boarding school at Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh) when I was just 11 years old where I met ‘AG’ and some very nice fellow. While I am still at boarding school, my curiosity in anatomy gradually faded away as the magic of words and sentences began to fascinate me more. And the discovery of Enid Blyton, the Hardy Boys’ series and all, helped me greatly to opt for humanities stream after my matriculation. My father was bit upset when he learnt about my decision. I still love reading both fiction and non-fiction. My favorite authors are – John Grisham, Jeffrey Archer, Robin Cook, etc. As for the books; I love to read the biography of Lee Iaococca, the diary of Anne Frank, and so on and so forth. Lately I read Robin Sharma’s “the monk who sold his Ferrari” and liked it immensely.

After passing out of school, I went to Sri Venkateswara College (Delhi University) to do B.A. During my sophomore year at college, I learned that my father had a lung cancer and won’t live long to see me completing my graduation. I couldn’t attend his burial ceremony as he strictly said to me that I should come back home with a B.A. degree. Due to rampant corruption in the state, I was unable to land a good job for few years after my father’s death. I worked for my cousin sister as a salesman. Perhaps, two months later she shifted her shop to Itanagar. I tried my hand at Greeting card, but didn’t work out for me. And then opened a cafeteria, it did well but brought me a little money. Last year, to be precise, November 2006 was the month when I brought out the first copy of “ZIRO MIRROR” which implies that I worked also as Executive Editor, Managing Editor, News Editor, Copy Writer and Distributor. A few People appreciated it. The rest still remain unknown to it. There are piles and piles of copies of ZM lying at my room. And I’m still repaying the money I borrowed to start this. At present, I’m working as a teacher.

In regard to academic matters; I was not so bright, but I wasn’t so dull either. Just after my graduation, I was selected to do Garment Manufacturing Technology course at NIFT, Chennai. I couldn’t afford the fees. A couple of months later, I again got through in the exam for Public Relation course at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Calcutta. But fate decided otherwise.

I traveled to many places in India, especially northern India during my short stint as an escort. I had been to Jaipur, Shimla, Chandigarh, Kolkotta, Meerut, Nainital, Dehradhun, Mussoorie, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Shillong and Agra – saw the magnificent Taj Mahal. In retrospect; among all the places I had been to, I felt most unsafe in Jaipur and Delhi. I would love to travel to European countries someday.

My friends say that I am sensitive. But I think I am hyper-sensitive. I am a bit conscious about my short stature. And at five feet two inches, the world looks really big. I love listening to all kind music from Beethoven to John Denver to Ice Cube. I particularly liked the vocal of Freddie Mercury of queen band. Wished he could live a little longer.

That’s all. Me - in a nutshell.

-rotochobin[at]rediffmail[dot]com

His work can be found under the label Cho’s Take


GYATI TALLO

(To be updated)
Updated

Two years back, when AG asked me if I would like to contribute in his blog ‘the arunachal diary’, I accepted his offer readily. I wasn’t sure what I was going to contribute but I thought of using it as an opportunity to rediscover the hobby of my school days. Then I thought of using some fancy pseudonyms like most people do in net. “No,” I told myself. “I’m trying to rediscover my school days’ hobby – by using pseudonym I’ll be little too casual with what I’m doing – and I’ve to be responsible for what I write, if at all I do – so why under cover of pseudonym.” Therefore, I gave up the idea of using pseudonym. Umm…Why I am writing this? Actually, I am fed up with ‘PROFILE TO BE UPDATED’ written below my name, for almost two long years, in Guest Authors page of AD. So updating my profile…

-Gyati Tallo
His work can be found under the label G. Tallo's Take.


ARIF SIDDIQUI

He is an Engineer by profession and working as a Junior Engineer in Arunachal Pradesh Public Works Department and posted in Jairampur.

Apart from his profession as an Engineer, his passion is all about photography, nature and butterflies. Perhaps, he is the first man who brought Arunachal Pradesh in the Butterfly Map of world.

His work can be found here.

-arunachal[dot]arif[at]gmail[dot]com.
Website: Amazing Arunachal

Monday, July 23, 2007

Is it the case of Good Intentions going Wrong?

14 comments

Like any North-Easterner, when I first read this and some blog reaction over this issue, I thought, why Delhi Police, why? Why and what made them (Delhi Police) think that we northeasterner are uncivilized and insensitive towards the local populace? How our food habits are threat to social order? How it was deduced that the women from the region are of ‘loose morals’, always ‘provocatively dressed’ inviting rape? Why this guidelines for the people of Northeast alone, and not for others? Why this ‘social profiling’?

But when I went through this controversial 20 pages booklet titled Security tips for North East students/Visitors in Delhi published in an endeavor towards their ‘With You, For You, Always’ by West District Delhi Police which has had the Delhi Police accused of ‘social profiling’ or ‘othering’, of implying people of the North East as uncivilized and women of having ‘loose morals’; the fact that it was penned by an officer from North East made me ponder over the whole issue again.


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket(Image source The Telegraph)

The booklet contains tips on Traveling to Delhi.., Finding accommodation at Delhi, Admission to Institutions/Colleges, What to do when in distress, Caution for parents in North East, Personal safety, etc., etc., among others besides the tips on Food Habits and Dress Code (reproduced below) which led to this entire outrage.

FOOD HABITS AND PARTIES

  1. Bamboo shoots, Akhuni and other smelly dishes should be prepared without creating ruckus in neighbourhood.
  2. Your party should not disturb next door.
  3. Loud music should be stopped/discouraged after 10.00 P.M. (Supreme Court’s Order)

DRESS CODE

  1. When in rooms do as Roman does.
  2. Revealing dress be avoided.
  3. Avoid lonely road/by-lane when dressed scantily.
  4. Dress according to sensitivity of local populace.

Sans North-East in the title, the tip doesn’t seem that bad as is made out to be and in fact the tips would be helpful for others as well who are visiting or studying at Delhi. But the fact that it was especially drafted for people of North East put the people in poor light almost akin to people of the region being uncivilized, insensitive and of poor dressing sense, always in bad taste- to be told how to dress and what to eat.

And while drafting those guidelines, Robin Hibu (DCP-West), an IPS Officer from Arunachal Pradesh, wouldn't have anticipated that these security tips would snowball into a major 'ruckus', inviting strong criticism from the Northeast Students community at Delhi; after all, all he intended was only an 'elderly-brother' advice to Northeastern students and visitors from Northeast to remain safe at Delhi. In his own words

"I wanted to share my experience with young students. I have advised the students to dress according to the sensitivity of the local population and be wary of going to unknown places. When you come from that far, you tend to have difficulties in adjusting. It is not an order, just an elder-brotherly advice. If they don’t want to follow it, it’s up to them."


Now I wonder, if it is the case of all the good intentions going wrong, may be because of choosing wrong media (in the form of Booklet by Delhi Police) and with wrong authority (Police Officer)? An advice or tip for staying safe at Delhi from Robin Hibu, a fellow North-Easterner would have been much more appreciated than from Robin Hibu, an IPS Officer of Delhi Police and not in the form of booklet which put the people from North East in poor light.

(Cross posted)

Is it the case of Good Intentions going Wrong?

14 comments

Like any North-Easterner, when I first read this and some blog reaction over this issue, I thought, why Delhi Police, why? Why and what made them (Delhi Police) think that we northeasterner are uncivilized and insensitive towards the local populace? How our food habits are threat to social order? How it was deduced that the women from the region are of ‘loose morals’, always ‘provocatively dressed’ inviting rape? Why this guidelines for the people of Northeast alone, and not for others? Why this ‘social profiling’?

But when I went through this controversial 20 pages booklet titled Security tips for North East students/Visitors in Delhi published in an endeavor towards their ‘With You, For You, Always’ by West District Delhi Police which has had the Delhi Police accused of ‘social profiling’ or ‘othering’, of implying people of the North East as uncivilized and women of having ‘loose morals’; the fact that it was penned by an officer from North East made me ponder over the whole issue again.


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket(Image source The Telegraph)

The booklet contains tips on Traveling to Delhi.., Finding accommodation at Delhi, Admission to Institutions/Colleges, What to do when in distress, Caution for parents in North East, Personal safety, etc., etc., among others besides the tips on Food Habits and Dress Code (reproduced below) which led to this entire outrage.

FOOD HABITS AND PARTIES

  1. Bamboo shoots, Akhuni and other smelly dishes should be prepared without creating ruckus in neighbourhood.
  2. Your party should not disturb next door.
  3. Loud music should be stopped/discouraged after 10.00 P.M. (Supreme Court’s Order)

DRESS CODE

  1. When in rooms do as Roman does.
  2. Revealing dress be avoided.
  3. Avoid lonely road/by-lane when dressed scantily.
  4. Dress according to sensitivity of local populace.

Sans North-East in the title, the tip doesn’t seem that bad as is made out to be and in fact the tips would be helpful for others as well who are visiting or studying at Delhi. But the fact that it was especially drafted for people of North East put the people in poor light almost akin to people of the region being uncivilized, insensitive and of poor dressing sense, always in bad taste- to be told how to dress and what to eat.

And while drafting those guidelines, Robin Hibu (DCP-West), an IPS Officer from Arunachal Pradesh, wouldn't have anticipated that these security tips would snowball into a major 'ruckus', inviting strong criticism from the Northeast Students community at Delhi; after all, all he intended was only an 'elderly-brother' advice to Northeastern students and visitors from Northeast to remain safe at Delhi. In his own words

"I wanted to share my experience with young students. I have advised the students to dress according to the sensitivity of the local population and be wary of going to unknown places. When you come from that far, you tend to have difficulties in adjusting. It is not an order, just an elder-brotherly advice. If they don’t want to follow it, it’s up to them."


Now I wonder, if it is the case of all the good intentions going wrong, may be because of choosing wrong media (in the form of Booklet by Delhi Police) and with wrong authority (Police Officer)? An advice or tip for staying safe at Delhi from Robin Hibu, a fellow North-Easterner would have been much more appreciated than from Robin Hibu, an IPS Officer of Delhi Police and not in the form of booklet which put the people from North East in poor light.

(Cross posted)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Furore Over Draft Delimitation Proposal

4 comments
The people of the state has shown mixed reactions to the task of re-adjustment of territorial constituencies on the basis of census figures, without affecting the total number of seats allocated to each state in the Lok Sabha and the legislative assembly headed by Justice (Retd.) Kuldeep Singh. The delimitation proposal has been welcomed by some quarters and has been criticized by others and has given a spate of Bandhs in these recent days demanding status quo on earlier allocation of Assembly Constituencies.

The people of Ziro-Hapoli were also not left unaffected with the delimitation proposal. The publication of a joint signed letter of Chairman Delimitation Committees of respective constituencies of Lower Subansiri and the Associate Members of Delimitation Commission, Arunachal Pradesh to Delimitation Commission of India, in a local daily The Arunachal Times on 9th of July 2007, seeking status quo to be maintained for 17th Ziro-Hapoli constituency has created quite a stir in the Apatani Plateau. (Letter produced below)

The Delimitation Commission of India in its draft proposal published on 9th July, had proposed 2 constituencies for Ziro-Hapoli, viz., 17th Ziro (ST) Constituency and 18th Hapoli (ST) constituency, which was the dream of people for quite long and had struggled hard for it. And when they started thinking that now there would be 2 representatives in the state assembly from Apatani Plateau, they got a hard slap on their face with this representation where the Chairman of the Delimitation Committee had sought for maintaining status quo, stating that the "total radius coverage of 17th Ziro-Hapoli Constituency is only 7 km by 3 km and it’s a fully compact plain area", thereby not requiring another constituency. This has led to doubt the integrity of the Chairman of Delimitation Committee and MLA from 17th Ziro-Hapoli constituency, Nani Ribia, towards the welfare of the community, thereby summoning him for public explanation for his move on 15th of July.

Quite categorically, he denied his involvement in this entire episode and said that his signature was forged to mislead Commission.

“Denying that he had signed the 30th June memorandum submitted to the Delimitation Commission pleading to treat all earlier representations withdrawn, Ziro Hapoli Delimitation Committee Chairman and MLA Nani Ribia today claimed that his signature was forged.

Drawing the attention of the Commission in a letter today, Ribia also termed the claim of a meeting attended by local MLA, panchayat leaders, educated youth, village elders and workers of various parties of the district regarding the delimitation process as published in the local dailies on July nine last as misleading and fabricated.

Pointing out that there was an attempt to mislead the general public and the Commission through sub-mission of wrong reports, he called upon one and all not to be misled as he had submitted a representation clarifying that June 30 report was wrong and welcoming the 22nd June draft publication relating to Ziro and Hapoli Assembly constituencies (AC).

An FIR has been lodged with the police to investigate into the forgery, he said in a signed statement.”

-The Arunachal Times

For now, there is no other option, but to believe him and wait to see if indeed he has sent his representation so as to reach Delimitation Commission of India before 23rd and to wait for August 1st, where there would be public hearing of delimitation proposal at Siddartha Hall, Itanagar.

The entire episode has left me puzzled as to how they went about measuring Hapoli-Ziro Township and areas under this assembly constituency and came to conclusion that entire area is only 7x3 km?

I SAW, I ANALYZED, AND I HATED IT

4 comments

by Roto Chobin

Recently I saw a Bollywood flick ‘Dhoom 2’ at my friend’s home. The film didn’t appeal to me much as the entire scene seemed to be adapted from some Hollywood action movie. But one thing that struck my mind was: most of the cast was son of the established film star, director and producer. They linger on at the silver screen even after giving almost a dozen of flop film. And it made me think - how many people are there in the world that gets number of chances despite their repeated failure to make something big. Abhishek Bachchan and Hrithik Roshan along with many other film star children might be biting the dust like any one of us if it is not for their influential father and very friendly page 3 journalists as most of their films were below mediocre. For the people as wretch as us, opportunity knocks only once in our lifetime. And the darned adversity would not just allow us to open the door also while it knocks. In spite of their good education from abroad, these kids of yesteryear film star choose acting career. Do they think they cannot compete academically with the rest of the youth? As for the Indian film industry, perhaps, seventy percent of the Bollywood films are shot at foreign location. So, the exchequer goes definitely to the offshore inducing the rich to become richer.

In sports, it was Sachin Tendulkar who became the apple of journalist eye a few years ago, after that Sania Mirza was treated like a centre-piece and now Dhoni. Every time I turn on TV, a film star or cricketer will be seen endorsing a product from gutkha to hair oil to underwear. And the unethical journalists are so happy to beam their spotlight at these not-so-important sport and film star as if they have bagged gold medal for country from Olympic. There are so many unsung heroes who silently work and garner gold for country but went unnoticed without publicity.

Traditionally, journalists are supposed to play as a role of social critics – exposing the abuses. On the contrary; they are fervidly feeding us the news of affluent class who, in turn, manipulates them to get cheap publicity. By the way, aren’t they instigating the mass to become superstitious by showing the influential people performing pujas and Havan Kund who would do at any given opportunity? News channel like Star News, Aaj Tak, and Zee News are all alike – content of news item, presentation, everything save for the name and their logo. Sometimes, they would go too far that they would invade and jeopardize the private lives of citizen. I still remember the case of Gudiya which was some sort of scoop for these news channels a year ago. The story of Gudiya was that she married a soldier who was stationed at Kargil during Indo-Pak skirmishes and went missing. Gudiya thought her husband died at the conflict and remarried another man. But her former husband came back. So the news channel, who was reporting this news, want us to SMS them and decide for Gudiya with whom she should stay. It was indeed utterly sickening. Do we really have to decide what one should do and one shouldn’t do with lives of other? And in print media, the two most popular news magazines in India are - India today and outlook. Again it appears to me as one person is managing these two magazines. I see no reason why I should buy both magazines when everything is similar. I’ll spare the detail anyway. In short, we could say that media, be it a print or electronic, are alpha and omega of news/article related to urban, its dwellers, and their grievances, and the stories that fascinate them.

If I loathe any, more than anyone else, it is a politician. I wish they could satiate themselves with the things they have been indulging themselves for so long – Money and Power, Whore and Sex, and leaving the people alone so that the fellow citizen may not partake in the communal riots charter by them, as in Godhra events. And after the Godhra incident, even a photograph of Narendra Modi that frequently appears in a magazine or newspaper irks me. Had I been in Narendra Modi’s place when Godhra incident took place, I would look like a corpse today – filled with remorse and repentance. But, strangely enough, he seems to be in perfect health. Then there’s Mr. Tony Blair, PM of UK, who fanned the flame of WMD and let Mr. George Bush Jr. loose to wage war on small country and, as a result, Mr. George Bush Jr. who will always be known in history for killing thousand and thousand of innocent people for oil and experimenting their high-tech military weaponry on weak countries. And these two modern days Adolf Hitler (Modi and Bush) are the product of much hyped “the two largest democratic countries”. It was some sort of funny to me when US embassy refused to grant visa to Mr. Modi because one despot thinks that the other despot is more harmful. The majority of Indian population may not be well-educated, but I would like to think that the Americans are not. How could they elect a fascist as representatives who can send their country to the gallows? Are they fool? I guess the America had most probably fooled the world once already by announcing that the Neil Alden Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon. Considering the technology back then in 1969 and the problem face by engineer and technician at present day, wear and tear of vehicle while launching and repair of the space shuttle by astronaut et al, it’s becomes literally impossible to draw inference that any men could set foot on the moon when there’s so many difficulty in launching the vehicle into space today. Furthermore; in thirty eight years since Apollo 11, the America couldn’t repeat the saga again whereas it could be a piece of cake for them if they had really sent a man on the moon.

Whether a men and women may have been sent on the moon, on the mars or the sun, it doesn’t make much difference to the ordinary people. When we can’t handle the problems encompassing earth viz., global warming, so why should we bother about the space mission. Former US vice-president Al Gore has been apprising the people about the global warming through his documentary, An Inconvenient Truth – a Film on Global Warming. Suppose that Mr. Al Gore is elected as US president in the co
ming presidential election, would he sign the Kyoto Protocol then? A likely story, eh? There’s not even one country in this whole world that is selflessly ready to prepare a meal and serve it to other. On the contrary, everyone wants to be served on a silver platter. Let’s forget about the global warming as we cannot stop ourselves from emitting carbon dioxide excessively. So, let’s suffer and face the Armageddon together. But, I hope, we can certainly stop the fundamentalist for vandalizing property willfully. The hooliganism carried out by Hindu fundamentalist at Star News Office in Mumbai was indeed unfortunate for democratic country. Moreover; a group of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) storming into Chandra Mohan’s exhibition at M.S.University in Vadodara and vandalizing it deliberately was a sheer attack to the Indian constitution. In addition, there are many who were spanked by the communal forces viz., M.F.Hussein, Aamir Khan, Deepa Mehta, to name a few. Whenever dire incidents occur, a small number of people reluctantly comes forward and opposed the act of radicalism but the voice usually dies down after a month. However, Can we prevent such radicalism? Or, are we loving it? – like the tag on fast food company McDonald says.

Karl Marx said, “Religion… is the opium of the people.” It sounds perfectly a sound argument to me. The people are absurdly swearing, splurging, fighting and killing in the name of God and their religion. What will happen to them if they will learn that there’s neither heaven nor hell. Even a God doesn’t exist. Whatever the priest in temple, the clergyman in church, and the people who read namaz five times a day are doing is all in vain. And that we are merely a component of earth. Will the people like Amitabh Bachchan cease to believe that the priest could control the planet and the solar system by chanting few mantras? Whatever the fact may be, the biggest miracle on earth is that the human beings reside in a thatch house while the God have concrete houses with marble floor and stained glass window.

Furore Over Draft Delimitation Proposal

4 comments
The people of the state has shown mixed reactions to the task of re-adjustment of territorial constituencies on the basis of census figures, without affecting the total number of seats allocated to each state in the Lok Sabha and the legislative assembly headed by Justice (Retd.) Kuldeep Singh. The delimitation proposal has been welcomed by some quarters and has been criticized by others and has given a spate of Bandhs in these recent days demanding status quo on earlier allocation of Assembly Constituencies.

The people of Ziro-Hapoli were also not left unaffected with the delimitation proposal. The publication of a joint signed letter of Chairman Delimitation Committees of respective constituencies of Lower Subansiri and the Associate Members of Delimitation Commission, Arunachal Pradesh to Delimitation Commission of India, in a local daily The Arunachal Times on 9th of July 2007, seeking status quo to be maintained for 17th Ziro-Hapoli constituency has created quite a stir in the Apatani Plateau. (Letter produced below)

The Delimitation Commission of India in its draft proposal published on 9th July, had proposed 2 constituencies for Ziro-Hapoli, viz., 17th Ziro (ST) Constituency and 18th Hapoli (ST) constituency, which was the dream of people for quite long and had struggled hard for it. And when they started thinking that now there would be 2 representatives in the state assembly from Apatani Plateau, they got a hard slap on their face with this representation where the Chairman of the Delimitation Committee had sought for maintaining status quo, stating that the "total radius coverage of 17th Ziro-Hapoli Constituency is only 7 km by 3 km and it’s a fully compact plain area", thereby not requiring another constituency. This has led to doubt the integrity of the Chairman of Delimitation Committee and MLA from 17th Ziro-Hapoli constituency, Nani Ribia, towards the welfare of the community, thereby summoning him for public explanation for his move on 15th of July.

Quite categorically, he denied his involvement in this entire episode and said that his signature was forged to mislead Commission.

“Denying that he had signed the 30th June memorandum submitted to the Delimitation Commission pleading to treat all earlier representations withdrawn, Ziro Hapoli Delimitation Committee Chairman and MLA Nani Ribia today claimed that his signature was forged.

Drawing the attention of the Commission in a letter today, Ribia also termed the claim of a meeting attended by local MLA, panchayat leaders, educated youth, village elders and workers of various parties of the district regarding the delimitation process as published in the local dailies on July nine last as misleading and fabricated.

Pointing out that there was an attempt to mislead the general public and the Commission through sub-mission of wrong reports, he called upon one and all not to be misled as he had submitted a representation clarifying that June 30 report was wrong and welcoming the 22nd June draft publication relating to Ziro and Hapoli Assembly constituencies (AC).

An FIR has been lodged with the police to investigate into the forgery, he said in a signed statement.”

-The Arunachal Times

For now, there is no other option, but to believe him and wait to see if indeed he has sent his representation so as to reach Delimitation Commission of India before 23rd and to wait for August 1st, where there would be public hearing of delimitation proposal at Siddartha Hall, Itanagar.

The entire episode has left me puzzled as to how they went about measuring Hapoli-Ziro Township and areas under this assembly constituency and came to conclusion that entire area is only 7x3 km?

I SAW, I ANALYZED, AND I HATED IT

4 comments

by Roto Chobin

Recently I saw a Bollywood flick ‘Dhoom 2’ at my friend’s home. The film didn’t appeal to me much as the entire scene seemed to be adapted from some Hollywood action movie. But one thing that struck my mind was: most of the cast was son of the established film star, director and producer. They linger on at the silver screen even after giving almost a dozen of flop film. And it made me think - how many people are there in the world that gets number of chances despite their repeated failure to make something big. Abhishek Bachchan and Hrithik Roshan along with many other film star children might be biting the dust like any one of us if it is not for their influential father and very friendly page 3 journalists as most of their films were below mediocre. For the people as wretch as us, opportunity knocks only once in our lifetime. And the darned adversity would not just allow us to open the door also while it knocks. In spite of their good education from abroad, these kids of yesteryear film star choose acting career. Do they think they cannot compete academically with the rest of the youth? As for the Indian film industry, perhaps, seventy percent of the Bollywood films are shot at foreign location. So, the exchequer goes definitely to the offshore inducing the rich to become richer.

In sports, it was Sachin Tendulkar who became the apple of journalist eye a few years ago, after that Sania Mirza was treated like a centre-piece and now Dhoni. Every time I turn on TV, a film star or cricketer will be seen endorsing a product from gutkha to hair oil to underwear. And the unethical journalists are so happy to beam their spotlight at these not-so-important sport and film star as if they have bagged gold medal for country from Olympic. There are so many unsung heroes who silently work and garner gold for country but went unnoticed without publicity.

Traditionally, journalists are supposed to play as a role of social critics – exposing the abuses. On the contrary; they are fervidly feeding us the news of affluent class who, in turn, manipulates them to get cheap publicity. By the way, aren’t they instigating the mass to become superstitious by showing the influential people performing pujas and Havan Kund who would do at any given opportunity? News channel like Star News, Aaj Tak, and Zee News are all alike – content of news item, presentation, everything save for the name and their logo. Sometimes, they would go too far that they would invade and jeopardize the private lives of citizen. I still remember the case of Gudiya which was some sort of scoop for these news channels a year ago. The story of Gudiya was that she married a soldier who was stationed at Kargil during Indo-Pak skirmishes and went missing. Gudiya thought her husband died at the conflict and remarried another man. But her former husband came back. So the news channel, who was reporting this news, want us to SMS them and decide for Gudiya with whom she should stay. It was indeed utterly sickening. Do we really have to decide what one should do and one shouldn’t do with lives of other? And in print media, the two most popular news magazines in India are - India today and outlook. Again it appears to me as one person is managing these two magazines. I see no reason why I should buy both magazines when everything is similar. I’ll spare the detail anyway. In short, we could say that media, be it a print or electronic, are alpha and omega of news/article related to urban, its dwellers, and their grievances, and the stories that fascinate them.

If I loathe any, more than anyone else, it is a politician. I wish they could satiate themselves with the things they have been indulging themselves for so long – Money and Power, Whore and Sex, and leaving the people alone so that the fellow citizen may not partake in the communal riots charter by them, as in Godhra events. And after the Godhra incident, even a photograph of Narendra Modi that frequently appears in a magazine or newspaper irks me. Had I been in Narendra Modi’s place when Godhra incident took place, I would look like a corpse today – filled with remorse and repentance. But, strangely enough, he seems to be in perfect health. Then there’s Mr. Tony Blair, PM of UK, who fanned the flame of WMD and let Mr. George Bush Jr. loose to wage war on small country and, as a result, Mr. George Bush Jr. who will always be known in history for killing thousand and thousand of innocent people for oil and experimenting their high-tech military weaponry on weak countries. And these two modern days Adolf Hitler (Modi and Bush) are the product of much hyped “the two largest democratic countries”. It was some sort of funny to me when US embassy refused to grant visa to Mr. Modi because one despot thinks that the other despot is more harmful. The majority of Indian population may not be well-educated, but I would like to think that the Americans are not. How could they elect a fascist as representatives who can send their country to the gallows? Are they fool? I guess the America had most probably fooled the world once already by announcing that the Neil Alden Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon. Considering the technology back then in 1969 and the problem face by engineer and technician at present day, wear and tear of vehicle while launching and repair of the space shuttle by astronaut et al, it’s becomes literally impossible to draw inference that any men could set foot on the moon when there’s so many difficulty in launching the vehicle into space today. Furthermore; in thirty eight years since Apollo 11, the America couldn’t repeat the saga again whereas it could be a piece of cake for them if they had really sent a man on the moon.

Whether a men and women may have been sent on the moon, on the mars or the sun, it doesn’t make much difference to the ordinary people. When we can’t handle the problems encompassing earth viz., global warming, so why should we bother about the space mission. Former US vice-president Al Gore has been apprising the people about the global warming through his documentary, An Inconvenient Truth – a Film on Global Warming. Suppose that Mr. Al Gore is elected as US president in the coming presidential election, would he sign the Kyoto Protocol then? A likely story, eh? There’s not even one country in this whole world that is selflessly ready to prepare a meal and serve it to other. On the contrary, everyone wants to be served on a silver platter. Let’s forget about the global warming as we cannot stop ourselves from emitting carbon dioxide excessively. So, let’s suffer and face the Armageddon together. But, I hope, we can certainly stop the fundamentalist for vandalizing property willfully. The hooliganism carried out by Hindu fundamentalist at Star News Office in Mumbai was indeed unfortunate for democratic country. Moreover; a group of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) storming into Chandra Mohan’s exhibition at M.S.University in Vadodara and vandalizing it deliberately was a sheer attack to the Indian constitution. In addition, there are many who were spanked by the communal forces viz., M.F.Hussein, Aamir Khan, Deepa Mehta, to name a few. Whenever dire incidents occur, a small number of people reluctantly comes forward and opposed the act of radicalism but the voice usually dies down after a month. However, Can we prevent such radicalism? Or, are we loving it? – like the tag on fast food company McDonald says.

Karl Marx said, “Religion… is the opium of the people.” It sounds perfectly a sound argument to me. The people are absurdly swearing, splurging, fighting and killing in the name of God and their religion. What will happen to them if they will learn that there’s neither heaven nor hell. Even a God doesn’t exist. Whatever the priest in temple, the clergyman in church, and the people who read namaz five times a day are doing is all in vain. And that we are merely a component of earth. Will the people like Amitabh Bachchan cease to believe that the priest could control the planet and the solar system by chanting few mantras? Whatever the fact may be, the biggest miracle on earth is that the human beings reside in a thatch house while the God have concrete houses with marble floor and stained glass window.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Arunachal Diary Sports a New Look (Updated)

0 comments

For quite sometimes, I was thinking of enhancing the appearance of the blog and to include a navigation link tab. So, I decided to experiment with the CSS and here you are with a brand new look for Arunachal Diary. There are some issues to be resolved, though.

  1. Presently, the 'About' navigation link has not been linked to about page-which I would be doing soon. Done.
  2. Something is wrong with the 'Recent Comments widget'-got to debug. Resolved using hack by Ramani.
  3. 'Read More…' option is showing at all the posts. Resolved using hack by Ramani.
Hope I'm able to resolve the above issues soon.

Do put in your comments on how you find the new look.

Arunachal Diary Sports a New Look (Updated)

0 comments

For quite sometimes, I was thinking of enhancing the appearance of the blog and to include a navigation link tab. So, I decided to experiment with the CSS and here you are with a brand new look for Arunachal Diary. There are some issues to be resolved, though.

  1. Presently, the 'About' navigation link has not been linked to about page-which I would be doing soon. Done.
  2. Something is wrong with the 'Recent Comments widget'-got to debug. Resolved using hack by Ramani.
  3. 'Read More…' option is showing at all the posts. Resolved using hack by Ramani.
Hope I'm able to resolve the above issues soon.

Do put in your comments on how you find the new look.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Quite a Destination!

3 comments

Flight Delayed…. Flight Cancelled…..and you thought that’s too much. But wait, there’s more. What if you are disembarked at an altogether different destination you booked your tickets for and are left stranded? Quite unthinkable, right! Believe me, such goof-off does happen. Read on.

Goof off by Pawan Hans Costs passengers heavily

NAHARLAGUN, July 04: An elderly couple today expressed their strong resentment at the unprofessional and irresponsible attitude of Pawan Hans after they were flown to Naharlagun [Arunachal Pradesh] instead of Dibrugarh [Assam].

Ruksin-based Siang Tea Industries general manager A. Larken was not only issued tickets Nos. 12088 and 12140 (for his wife) costing Rs. 1,000 each for Pasighat to Dibrugarh today but was confirmed about the flight schedule early in the morning and asked to be on time to board the chopper.

Larken, scheduled to preside over an important meeting at Dibrugarh today, boarded Pawan Hans around 11 am along with his wife, but both were shocked to disembark here around 12.15 pm. As the chopper did not cross the mighty Brahmaputra River, Larken enquired and was told Naharlagun was the destination.

When asked, the operational staff here told him that Dibrugarh has not been in the flight schedule since yesterday and no possibility for tomorrow as the Jagson chopper was under maintenance.

Surprisingly neither the staff issuing the tickets at Pasighat knew about the schedule nor the pilots verified the passengers’ list which they should have done, wondered Larken, adding such goof offs and lapses on one pretext or the other have been experienced more often that not by him on the same route, he told this reporter at the helipad here.

“I have to pay for the hotel charges booked in advance at Dibrugarh for none of my fault besides missing the meeting despite commitment. Moreover, if I miss the Bangalore flight tomorrow it would cost me another Rs. 27,000. Who would compensate the losses,” he questioned?

Helplessly gazing at the distant sky from the helipad lounge after learning that there was no chance of chopper service either today or tomorrow, Mrs. Larken wondered: ‘Are not we in 21st century?’

Such complaints have been received too from senior government officers in the past. The complaints of cancellation of advance booking by passengers to accommodate VVIP’s are common.

Subsidized by the central government, Pawan Hans being the only mode of air communication in this land-locked state, its services demand professionalism, according to observers here.

-The Arunachal Times

I don’t know if Mr. A. Larken was compensated for his loss or not, but this incident has left me wondering though. What a professionalism on the part of Pawan Hans Chopper Service operators? Shouldn’t they imbibe some professionalism in operating this service? If not, shouldn’t they stick to what they are best at doing i.e., using these chartered Choppers from Pawan Hans Ltd. to ferry around VVIP’s alone? In that way, passenger wouldn’t be subjected to the woes of last minute ticket cancellation to accommodate the VVIP’s and of course, the changed destination. And people would just rely on surface transportation.

Next time you consider boarding Pawan Hans, think twice and cross check the flight schedule and destination, of course, before you board the Chopper, lest you end up in altogether different destination.;-)

Quite a Destination!

3 comments

Flight Delayed…. Flight Cancelled…..and you thought that’s too much. But wait, there’s more. What if you are disembarked at an altogether different destination you booked your tickets for and are left stranded? Quite unthinkable, right! Believe me, such goof-off does happen. Read on.

Goof off by Pawan Hans Costs passengers heavily

NAHARLAGUN, July 04: An elderly couple today expressed their strong resentment at the unprofessional and irresponsible attitude of Pawan Hans after they were flown to Naharlagun [Arunachal Pradesh] instead of Dibrugarh [Assam].

Ruksin-based Siang Tea Industries general manager A. Larken was not only issued tickets Nos. 12088 and 12140 (for his wife) costing Rs. 1,000 each for Pasighat to Dibrugarh today but was confirmed about the flight schedule early in the morning and asked to be on time to board the chopper.

Larken, scheduled to preside over an important meeting at Dibrugarh today, boarded Pawan Hans around 11 am along with his wife, but both were shocked to disembark here around 12.15 pm. As the chopper did not cross the mighty Brahmaputra River, Larken enquired and was told Naharlagun was the destination.

When asked, the operational staff here told him that Dibrugarh has not been in the flight schedule since yesterday and no possibility for tomorrow as the Jagson chopper was under maintenance.

Surprisingly neither the staff issuing the tickets at Pasighat knew about the schedule nor the pilots verified the passengers’ list which they should have done, wondered Larken, adding such goof offs and lapses on one pretext or the other have been experienced more often that not by him on the same route, he told this reporter at the helipad here.

“I have to pay for the hotel charges booked in advance at Dibrugarh for none of my fault besides missing the meeting despite commitment. Moreover, if I miss the Bangalore flight tomorrow it would cost me another Rs. 27,000. Who would compensate the losses,” he questioned?

Helplessly gazing at the distant sky from the helipad lounge after learning that there was no chance of chopper service either today or tomorrow, Mrs. Larken wondered: ‘Are not we in 21st century?’

Such complaints have been received too from senior government officers in the past. The complaints of cancellation of advance booking by passengers to accommodate VVIP’s are common.

Subsidized by the central government, Pawan Hans being the only mode of air communication in this land-locked state, its services demand professionalism, according to observers here.

-The Arunachal Times

I don’t know if Mr. A. Larken was compensated for his loss or not, but this incident has left me wondering though. What a professionalism on the part of Pawan Hans Chopper Service operators? Shouldn’t they imbibe some professionalism in operating this service? If not, shouldn’t they stick to what they are best at doing i.e., using these chartered Choppers from Pawan Hans Ltd. to ferry around VVIP’s alone? In that way, passenger wouldn’t be subjected to the woes of last minute ticket cancellation to accommodate the VVIP’s and of course, the changed destination. And people would just rely on surface transportation.

Next time you consider boarding Pawan Hans, think twice and cross check the flight schedule and destination, of course, before you board the Chopper, lest you end up in altogether different destination.;-)

Friday, July 6, 2007

Dree-Through the lens of my camera

3 comments
The Dree Altar


Shaman


Village elders participating in Miji-Migung Competition





Tiny-Tots performing

Dree-Through the lens of my camera

3 comments
The Dree Altar


Shaman


Village elders participating in Miji-Migung Competition





Tiny-Tots performing

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Dree Greetings

0 comments
Wish you all a happy Dree

Dree Mythology

5 comments

Dree, as we know today, is an agricultural festival of the Apatanis’ celebrated every year on 5th of July commonly by all villages of Apatani Plateau at a common ground since 1967. Dree-is the time for merry making, for the initial phase of agricultural cycle i.e., preparation of fields and transplantation of rice sapling from nurseries to the fields is over, and the sapling has turned lush green. It’s time to pray for healthy food crop everywhere for rich harvest and a world free from hunger and disease. But, little do we know about the mythology associated with the celebration of Dree by the Apatanis. One of the myths, among so many others, goes thus-

Abotani-the father of mankind, was happily married to Ayo Dilyang Diibyu and as the saying goes ‘behind every successful man there is a woman’, Abotani was successful and prosperous by virtue of able guidance of his wife Ayo Dilyang Diibyu. However, his prosperity wouldn’t remain so for long as he fell for Tini Rungya, who was after his wealth. Tini Rungya being crooked lady, made Abotani to divorce Ayo Dilyang Diibyu and marry her. Abotani, blindly fallen for Tini Rungya, spent his wealth leisurely on her and time came when he wasn’t left with even a grain of rice. Now the realization dawn upon Abotani that it was because of able management of his former wife Ayo Dilyang Diibyu that he was prosperous and successful and it was because of wicked Tini Rungya that he lost all his wealth. This realization made him drove away Tini Rungya and he tried to convince Ayo Dilyang Diibyu to return back to him. When Ayo Dilyang Diibyu did not agreed, Abotani requested to give at least some grains of paddy so that he may start cultivating paddy. But, Ayo Dilyang Diibyu refused.

Seeing no other option, he devised an idea to steal some grain from Ayo Dilyang Diibyu. When one fine sunny day, Ayo Dilyang Diibyu was drying her paddy on a Piiping (mat), Abotani asked his dog to go over to Ayo Dilyang Diibyu and roll over the paddy dried on Piiping and come back running to him. The obedient dog did as it was told but before it could go back running to Abotani, Aya Dilyang Diibyu caught the dog and cleansed off every bit of paddy grain stuck to the body of the dog before letting the dog go.

Finding his dog returning without a grain of paddy, Abotani was disappointed. However, on careful inspection, he found two grains in each of the ear of the dog. He had succeeded in his plan.

With these two grains, Abotani started afresh the paddy cultivation. However, the pests and insects and nature destroyed the plants resulting in very less produce and famine ensued. The next year also, the situation remained the same. This made Abotani to consult the God of Agriculture, Abo Liibo and Ane Donyi. The Agricultural God advised Abotani to perform series of rites for well being of the crops.

Following the advice of Agricultural God, he performed Chandii in the month of February/March when the soil was being prepared for cultivation. Kiidi (mother earth) and Miido (the sky) was propitiated for fertility of soil and for favourable climate throughout the season.

When paddy seedling started germinating, to protect the mankind from Pyodu Biinyi (Famine God), Metii was performed. And finally, when the saplings were transplanted from nurseries to the field, Dree was performed to protect the plants from pests and insects. It was supplemented by Tamu rite for destroying the pests and insects/worms inside the soil and Yapung rite to appease the Rain God, not to shower thunder or hailstorm to damage the crops.

Performing the above rites, Abotani had a bumper yield that year and since then these rites have been performed.

Dree, thus, is a festival, a ritual observed by the Apatanis' for a rich harvest. So come, let's celebrate Dree for rich harvest.