Saturday, February 23, 2008

Reflection-Through Arif's Lens

10 comments
Sharing this wonderful photo of Ziro, mailed by Arif to me. Enjoy!

Paddy field at Ziro

Thanks Arif, for the pic.

Wanna know who Arif is? You can find about him in the Guest Authors page.

Reflection-Through Arif's Lens

11 comments
Sharing this wonderful photo of Ziro, mailed by Arif to me. Enjoy!

Paddy field at Ziro

Thanks Arif, for the pic.

Wanna know who Arif is? You can find about him in the Guest Authors page.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The dilemma of the Wancho's

1 comments
The Wancho’s of Tirap district is caught in a ‘Catch-22’ situation and the government seems to be of little help in bailing them out of the situation. They have to live in constant fear of intimidation by the UG elements on the one hand and on the other of being violated by the army of having being links with the UG elements active in Tirap and Changlang districts.

This became apparent when after failure of police and district administration to act upon the FIR (First Information Report), the WSU (Wancho Students’ Union) wrote to the Chief Minister to secure safe release of 39 kidnapped students, some as young as students of primary standards, from the clutches of NSCN (K). However, when no effort seemed forthright from the government towards safe release of the abducted boys, the WSU stated in a press on 4th February that they [Wancho’s] are in a situation they don’t want to be in (where they are always under scanner of being supporting the UG elements) and that they have no other option left but to go for talks with the UG elements for the safe release of abducted boys and a protest rally on 10th of February.

One wonders, how abduction of such large number of youths could have been possible from right under the nose of the army? Where were the army, the police and the district administration when the demand notice for making available 227 youths for recruitment was in circulation? It may be mentioned here that Tirap and Changlang districts are the two districts that is declared ‘disturbed’ in this otherwise peaceful state and where the ‘draconian’ Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA), 1958 is in force. The kidnapping of such large number of youths only makes you question the effectiveness of this ‘draconian act’.

The move for demand of safe release of abducted youths has ever since been joined by various students’ bodies and organizations and by the Apex Students’ body of the state, AAPSU (All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union) who had boycotted the ‘Statehood Day’ yesterday by giving a ‘Bandh’ call in the wake of failure of their 10-day ultimatum served to the government for securing safe release of abducted youths.(The 'Bandh' call at Ziro-Hapoli Township was total with business establishment downing their shutters and vehicles off the road. With this Ziro-Hapoli Township witnessed second 'Bandh' of the year).

On government’s part, the Khandu government has given a distress call to Prime Minister and union Home Minister for a concerted effort to drive out ultras out of the state and for securing safe release of the abducted youths, since the issue had assumed international dimension with the hostages being taken deep inside the forest of Myanmar.

Now, giving a twist to the story and contrary to what WSU (Wancho Students’ Union) had claimed, NSCN (K) has denied the kidnapping theory. They claimed that all the youths came voluntarily to them in response to their recruitment drive call for 227 members. And that reported as being managed to escape was actually sent back as because either they didn’t fulfill the recruitment criteria or they were minors and that they don’t recruit ‘minors’.

Whatever the case may be, the situation hasn't improved for the Wancho's and with government doing little to bail them out of the situation they are still under 'Catch-22' situation-join the outfit either voluntarily or under threat, bear the brunt of the army; if not, bear the brunt of UG outfit.

Footnote: - I’ve only tried to attire the Apatani protagonist as Wancho. In no way, the attire/costume of the protagonist may be construed as the true representation of attire of the Wancho’s.

The dilemma of the Wancho's

1 comments
The Wancho’s of Tirap district is caught in a ‘Catch-22’ situation and the government seems to be of little help in bailing them out of the situation. They have to live in constant fear of intimidation by the UG elements on the one hand and on the other of being violated by the army of having being links with the UG elements active in Tirap and Changlang districts.

This became apparent when after failure of police and district administration to act upon the FIR (First Information Report), the WSU (Wancho Students’ Union) wrote to the Chief Minister to secure safe release of 39 kidnapped students, some as young as students of primary standards, from the clutches of NSCN (K). However, when no effort seemed forthright from the government towards safe release of the abducted boys, the WSU stated in a press on 4th February that they [Wancho’s] are in a situation they don’t want to be in (where they are always under scanner of being supporting the UG elements) and that they have no other option left but to go for talks with the UG elements for the safe release of abducted boys and a protest rally on 10th of February.

One wonders, how abduction of such large number of youths could have been possible from right under the nose of the army? Where were the army, the police and the district administration when the demand notice for making available 227 youths for recruitment was in circulation? It may be mentioned here that Tirap and Changlang districts are the two districts that is declared ‘disturbed’ in this otherwise peaceful state and where the ‘draconian’ Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA), 1958 is in force. The kidnapping of such large number of youths only makes you question the effectiveness of this ‘draconian act’.

The move for demand of safe release of abducted youths has ever since been joined by various students’ bodies and organizations and by the Apex Students’ body of the state, AAPSU (All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union) who had boycotted the ‘Statehood Day’ yesterday by giving a ‘Bandh’ call in the wake of failure of their 10-day ultimatum served to the government for securing safe release of abducted youths.(The 'Bandh' call at Ziro-Hapoli Township was total with business establishment downing their shutters and vehicles off the road. With this Ziro-Hapoli Township witnessed second 'Bandh' of the year).

On government’s part, the Khandu government has given a distress call to Prime Minister and union Home Minister for a concerted effort to drive out ultras out of the state and for securing safe release of the abducted youths, since the issue had assumed international dimension with the hostages being taken deep inside the forest of Myanmar.

Now, giving a twist to the story and contrary to what WSU (Wancho Students’ Union) had claimed, NSCN (K) has denied the kidnapping theory. They claimed that all the youths came voluntarily to them in response to their recruitment drive call for 227 members. And that reported as being managed to escape was actually sent back as because either they didn’t fulfill the recruitment criteria or they were minors and that they don’t recruit ‘minors’.

Whatever the case may be, the situation hasn't improved for the Wancho's and with government doing little to bail them out of the situation they are still under 'Catch-22' situation-join the outfit either voluntarily or under threat, bear the brunt of the army; if not, bear the brunt of UG outfit.

Footnote: - I’ve only tried to attire the Apatani protagonist as Wancho. In no way, the attire/costume of the protagonist may be construed as the true representation of attire of the Wancho’s.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Shapawng Yawng Manau Poi celebrated

3 comments

Arif Siddiqui | Jairampur

Miao - The 24th Shapawng Yawng Manau Poi (festival) of the Singpho community was celebrated at Miao on February 14th with full gaiety and religious fervor. The festival was marked by colorful traditional dances, folk songs, and display of Gongs. The Minister for RWD, Sri chowna Mein graced the occasion as the chief guest which was also attended by Sri C.C. Singpho minister for health and family welfare, Sri Kamlung Mossang MLA and other dignitaries including government officers and officials.

Sri Chowna Mein has called upon the visitors from outside to experience the varied and rich culture, customs and exotic flora and fauna of vast Aruanchal Pradesh from East to West. He emphatically said it is time to develop and prepare ourselves for a better tomorrow. He also advocated for documentation of the traditions and culture of the community and said that Arunachal Pradesh being a state inhabited by numerous tribes and sub tribes is like a flower garden, full of different fragrances. “Arunachalee are more patriotic than any other Indians and AP will always remain an integral part of India” said Chowna Mein on the recent Chinese statement.

Chowna Mein said that the Historical Stilwell in Nampong has great momentous in the future prosperity of the District. He includes that the opening of Border Trade will enlarge the economy of the region and may boom the below par timber industries of the District.

Sri Mein lauded the Singphos for their rich cultural heritage and exhorted the youth to take keen interest for preserving it. He further appealed the elite and elder group of the community for involvement of the younger generation so as to render them platform to realize about the importance of the festival

On this auspicious occasion C.C.Singpho who is also the Chief Patron of the festival and the Chief Advisor of SDSI extended his gratefulness to all the dignitaries, guest and local participants for their contribution in this festival and making it a success “Our youth are misguided and going in to the wrong direction with intake of Opium” said Sri C. C. Singpho. He has shown a serious concern over consumption of drugs and narcotics by the Singphos’ new generation and advised them to refrain from it by involving themselves in more creative works. Shapawng Yawng festival could be organized as an international festival because Singpho community though a little but has its wings span spread in abroad in countries like Myanmar and Thailand, he added. He praised the activities of the Singpho development society and said that it could be the main platform for serving the Singpho community.

Photographs of the event through Arif's lens:





Shapawng Yawng Manau Poi celebrated

1 comments

Arif Siddiqui | Jairampur

Miao - The 24th Shapawng Yawng Manau Poi (festival) of the Singpho community was celebrated at Miao on February 14th with full gaiety and religious fervor. The festival was marked by colorful traditional dances, folk songs, and display of Gongs. The Minister for RWD, Sri chowna Mein graced the occasion as the chief guest which was also attended by Sri C.C. Singpho minister for health and family welfare, Sri Kamlung Mossang MLA and other dignitaries including government officers and officials.

Sri Chowna Mein has called upon the visitors from outside to experience the varied and rich culture, customs and exotic flora and fauna of vast Aruanchal Pradesh from East to West. He emphatically said it is time to develop and prepare ourselves for a better tomorrow. He also advocated for documentation of the traditions and culture of the community and said that Arunachal Pradesh being a state inhabited by numerous tribes and sub tribes is like a flower garden, full of different fragrances. “Arunachalee are more patriotic than any other Indians and AP will always remain an integral part of India” said Chowna Mein on the recent Chinese statement.

Chowna Mein said that the Historical Stilwell in Nampong has great momentous in the future prosperity of the District. He includes that the opening of Border Trade will enlarge the economy of the region and may boom the below par timber industries of the District.

Sri Mein lauded the Singphos for their rich cultural heritage and exhorted the youth to take keen interest for preserving it. He further appealed the elite and elder group of the community for involvement of the younger generation so as to render them platform to realize about the importance of the festival

On this auspicious occasion C.C.Singpho who is also the Chief Patron of the festival and the Chief Advisor of SDSI extended his gratefulness to all the dignitaries, guest and local participants for their contribution in this festival and making it a success “Our youth are misguided and going in to the wrong direction with intake of Opium” said Sri C. C. Singpho. He has shown a serious concern over consumption of drugs and narcotics by the Singphos’ new generation and advised them to refrain from it by involving themselves in more creative works. Shapawng Yawng festival could be organized as an international festival because Singpho community though a little but has its wings span spread in abroad in countries like Myanmar and Thailand, he added. He praised the activities of the Singpho development society and said that it could be the main platform for serving the Singpho community.

Photographs of the event through Arif's lens:





Friday, February 8, 2008

Spark is Being Neglected

4 comments

- Gyati Tallo

On the fateful day of the January 19, 2008, the people of Ziro Valley were shocked at the news of the gruesome incident of murder of a young boy by his friends. The turn of events that followed was no less shocking to the mute spectator of the valley:

Apatanis working in Raga area suffered the backlashes. They and their relatives back home spent two long days under mental agony. They were harassed for no fault of their. A motor bike of one of them which was parked in front of his quarter was damaged. There were instances of some people forcibly entering the houses with intent of grievous physical harm. Thanks to the few good people there in Raga but for whose timely intervention things could have gone worse. Finally, on the January 21, Apatanis of Raga and its adjoining area have to flee for their life.

Just as Apatani people were fleeing from Raga area, a mob of people, apparently the relatives of the deceased, who arrived Ziro the previous day, loaded in Tata mobile vans and motor bikes, all armed with daos, took the body of the deceased and buried it inside the Subansiri Stadium (more commonly known as General Ground). District administration did nothing to stop them. Moreover, on the same day, three cows were slaughtered by the mob. Two near the burial place and one in roadside at Nenchalya, old Ziro, on their way back to Raga. For the innocent owners of the cows it was like attempt on their life.

However, the silver lining in the entire episode was that the victims of the backlashes and their relatives lived up to the age old reputation of the Apatanis. They patiently turn to the District Administration for justice instead of turning their anger and frustration on the innocent people from Raga area residing and working in Ziro.

Now, more than two weeks have passed since but the District Administration is still indecisive about whether to allow the construction of cemetery at the burial place or to exhume the body and shift it to different location. Neither has it initiated any action against the ones who harassed the innocent people and damaged their properties. However, in an apparent show of boldness, S.D.O Raga on the behalf of District Administration told the victims of the backlashes to go back to their respective working places.

That was how the incident of January 19 has unfolded so far. Whether the body of the deceased is exhumed or not, I expected that the District Administration will take appropriate action against the person involved in harassment of innocent people and destruction of their properties. I also expected that the general public of Raga area and their leaderships, particularly, will come out in open to criticize harassment of innocent people. Unfortunately, neither has happened. Can any sensible person go back to their working places in remote areas under such circumstances?

District Administration seems to work on this principle: the time will heal the wound so put everything into closet for the time being. I feel, in that process a spark is being neglected. With rumour mills doing around, I just hope it does not flare up into flame.

Related reading:-
Are we heading towards (un)civilization?

Spark is Being Neglected

4 comments

- Gyati Tallo

On the fateful day of the January 19, 2008, the people of Ziro Valley were shocked at the news of the gruesome incident of murder of a young boy by his friends. The turn of events that followed was no less shocking to the mute spectator of the valley:

Apatanis working in Raga area suffered the backlashes. They and their relatives back home spent two long days under mental agony. They were harassed for no fault of their. A motor bike of one of them which was parked in front of his quarter was damaged. There were instances of some people forcibly entering the houses with intent of grievous physical harm. Thanks to the few good people there in Raga but for whose timely intervention things could have gone worse. Finally, on the January 21, Apatanis of Raga and its adjoining area have to flee for their life.

Just as Apatani people were fleeing from Raga area, a mob of people, apparently the relatives of the deceased, who arrived Ziro the previous day, loaded in Tata mobile vans and motor bikes, all armed with daos, took the body of the deceased and buried it inside the Subansiri Stadium (more commonly known as General Ground). District administration did nothing to stop them. Moreover, on the same day, three cows were slaughtered by the mob. Two near the burial place and one in roadside at Nenchalya, old Ziro, on their way back to Raga. For the innocent owners of the cows it was like attempt on their life.

However, the silver lining in the entire episode was that the victims of the backlashes and their relatives lived up to the age old reputation of the Apatanis. They patiently turn to the District Administration for justice instead of turning their anger and frustration on the innocent people from Raga area residing and working in Ziro.

Now, more than two weeks have passed since but the District Administration is still indecisive about whether to allow the construction of cemetery at the burial place or to exhume the body and shift it to different location. Neither has it initiated any action against the ones who harassed the innocent people and damaged their properties. However, in an apparent show of boldness, S.D.O Raga on the behalf of District Administration told the victims of the backlashes to go back to their respective working places.

That was how the incident of January 19 has unfolded so far. Whether the body of the deceased is exhumed or not, I expected that the District Administration will take appropriate action against the person involved in harassment of innocent people and destruction of their properties. I also expected that the general public of Raga area and their leaderships, particularly, will come out in open to criticize harassment of innocent people. Unfortunately, neither has happened. Can any sensible person go back to their working places in remote areas under such circumstances?

District Administration seems to work on this principle: the time will heal the wound so put everything into closet for the time being. I feel, in that process a spark is being neglected. With rumour mills doing around, I just hope it does not flare up into flame.

Related reading:-
Are we heading towards (un)civilization?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Joint Indo-US recovery mission of WWII MIA's at Arunachal soon..

0 comments

'Where there is a will, there is a way' goes the age-old adage and this could not have been exemplified better than by sheer will shown by Gary Zaetz, nephew of 1st Lt. Irwin 'Zipper' Zaetz who disappeared along with the entire crew of B-24 Bomber somewhere over the 'hump' during the year 1944, to recover the mortal remains of crew members of that ill-fated aircraft. It was for his will and effort that finally an agreement between India and US was reached to extend cooperation in recovering the remains of the missing US personnel in India's North-East (read Arunachal).

I was more than happy for Gary and the families of crew members of "Hot as Hell" when he wrote in to tell that preliminary work of identifying the crash sites and helipads for operations (slated for April May this year) has already begun as reported in the 1st February issue of India Today.

I wanted to let you know that Shri Sandeep Unnithan, the Assistant Editor of India Today, interviewed me over the phone about the "Hot as Hell" case about a week ago, and has written a superb article about it in the February 1 issue of that publication. The name of the article is "Ghosts of War." Along with the article is an outstanding graphic, done by Shri Ram Chamdran.

The article's central theme is the new agreement between the US and India for recovery of the remains of American military service personnel in India's Northeast.

I was indeed very happy to read in Mr. Unnithan's article that "IAF helicopters flying out of Assam have already begun preliminary work in identifying crash sites and helipads for the operations which are slated to begin between April and May this year."

-Gary Zaetz
Nephew of 1st Lt. Irwin G. Zaetz, navigator of the "Hot as Hell"

Hoping that finally after over five decades, the crew members of "Hot as Hell" would get a 'proper resting place'.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Joint Indo-US recovery mission of WWII MIA's at Arunachal soon..

0 comments

'Where there is a will, there is a way' goes the age-old adage and this could not have been exemplified better than by sheer will shown by Gary Zaetz, nephew of 1st Lt. Irwin 'Zipper' Zaetz who disappeared along with the entire crew of B-24 Bomber somewhere over the 'hump' during the year 1944, to recover the mortal remains of crew members of that ill-fated aircraft. It was for his will and effort that finally an agreement between India and US was reached to extend cooperation in recovering the remains of the missing US personnel in India's North-East (read Arunachal).

I was more than happy for Gary and the families of crew members of "Hot as Hell" when he wrote in to tell that preliminary work of identifying the crash sites and helipads for operations (slated for April May this year) has already begun as reported in the 1st February issue of India Today.

I wanted to let you know that Shri Sandeep Unnithan, the Assistant Editor of India Today, interviewed me over the phone about the "Hot as Hell" case about a week ago, and has written a superb article about it in the February 1 issue of that publication. The name of the article is "Ghosts of War." Along with the article is an outstanding graphic, done by Shri Ram Chamdran.

The article's central theme is the new agreement between the US and India for recovery of the remains of American military service personnel in India's Northeast.

I was indeed very happy to read in Mr. Unnithan's article that "IAF helicopters flying out of Assam have already begun preliminary work in identifying crash sites and helipads for the operations which are slated to begin between April and May this year."

-Gary Zaetz
Nephew of 1st Lt. Irwin G. Zaetz, navigator of the "Hot as Hell"

Hoping that finally after over five decades, the crew members of "Hot as Hell" would get a 'proper resting place'.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Conspiracy Theory..??

3 comments

What’s the ‘buzz-word’ doing round these days in the political circuit of the state? ‘Conspiracy theory’-it is.

A scam is unearthed and it becomes ‘conspiracy’ to bring down the government, because it is unearthed now and not before. Good logic.. may be. An UG operative is arrested from former minister’s residence at Itanagar and it becomes ‘conspiracy’ to tarnish the image of the former minister as the minister didn’t knew the identity of the UG operative while allowing him to stay at his residence. May be. And, when this conspiracy bug is biting the politicians of the state, would the ‘Apatani Protagonist’ be spared from being affected by this conspiracy bug? Watch below.


[click on the image for larger view]

Conspiracy Theory..??

4 comments

What’s the ‘buzz-word’ doing round these days in the political circuit of the state? ‘Conspiracy theory’-it is.

A scam is unearthed and it becomes ‘conspiracy’ to bring down the government, because it is unearthed now and not before. Good logic.. may be. An UG operative is arrested from former minister’s residence at Itanagar and it becomes ‘conspiracy’ to tarnish the image of the former minister as the minister didn’t knew the identity of the UG operative while allowing him to stay at his residence. May be. And, when this conspiracy bug is biting the politicians of the state, would the ‘Apatani Protagonist’ be spared from being affected by this conspiracy bug? Watch below.


[click on the image for larger view]