Category Archives: My Hapoli

Furore Over Draft Delimitation Proposal

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signed the 30th June memorandum submitted to the Delimitation Commission pleading to treat all earlier representations withdrawn, Ziro Hapoli Delimitation Committee Chairman and MLA Nani Ribia today claimed that his signature was forged.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 7×3 km?

Dree Mythology

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.

Would the proposed Technical & Medical University at Ziro see the light of the day?

The proposal for setting up of Technical and Medical University at Ziro had been doing round for quite sometimes now but the people has yet to see any initiative to this effect- the cabinet decision of which was taken during the year 2003. And when it was thought that the proposal had bitten the dust, ex-minister Padi Richo claimed that the state Government has agreed in principle to set-up Technical and Medical University at Ziro by allowing World Institution Building Programme (WIBP) to set up the same.

“The state Govt. has agreed in principle to allow the World Institution Building Programme (WIBP) to construct the proposed Technological and Medical University (TMU) at Ziro with its 100 percent funds, claimed Building & Others Construction Workers Welfare Board Chairman Padi Richo.

State Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu gave his consent during a meeting with him, Richo further claimed, adding the state Govt. would invite the WIBP representatives soon to finalize the draft legislation to be passed by the state assembly to pave the way for the TMU.

Though the state cabinet had taken a decision to this effect in May 2003 and the local people had donated about 150 hectare of land for the ambitious project, but the project couldn’t come through, Richo said in a statement, and hoped that it would see the light of the day now.”

-The Arunachal Times

Considering the lone NEC funded technical institution NERIST (North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology) the state has, to impart technical education; setting up of Technical and Medical University is all the more required, but the question is how much the government is committed now, when after cabinet decision during May 2003, the project couldn’t kick off even after 4 years? Would the land donors create hurdles as was done with the St. Claret College, Ziro? Or is it just another political gimmick considering the approaching assembly election which is hardly 2 years from now? Or indeed, finally the Technical and Medical University at Ziro see the light of the day?