Tom Simai | Jairampur

Nampong 20th January: Phusum Kimhun Chairman DoTC strikes the traditional gong to inaugurate the long awaited 2nd Pangsau Pass Winter Festival 2008 here in Nampong today. On this propitious occasion he released the POI (souvenir) and two audio albums. He further added that this kind of festivals augments cross culture relations and exposes tourism potential of the area. The other guests were DC, Changlang, SP Changlang and many others were also present in the inauguration.

Chief Guest Sri Poshum Khimhun inugurating the PPWF by striking the Gong

It has been highlighted that the PPWF 2008 is the gateway to the shrouded paradise of Arunachal Pradesh and it has been able to showcase the disparate tribes of the state. For the first time the locals and the guest have been able to witness such huge throngs of tribes belonging to different part of AP. Breathtaking performances by the indigenous groups mesmerized the audiences.

Setong Sena, Speaker Arunachal Pradesh Assembly in his speech extended his apologies on behalf of Tako Dabi, who cancelled his trip due to bad weather and thanked Sri. Khimhun for gracing the occasion in such a short notice. He also extended his appreciation to all the crowds and the workers who made this festival a reality. Further more, he said that this kind of cross cultural festivals will definitely enhance the relationship with Myanmar. Sri Tonko Bahadur Rai, Speaker Assam Assembly also graced the occasion and inaugurated the Indigenous Food Fiesta.

The traditional dances presented by the various tribes of AP enthralled the audiences specially the Foreigners who were high in numbers loitering around the festival ground appreciating the breathtaking displays of ethnicity. The Masses also enjoyed the performances of the Myanmar’s cultural troops.

The dignitaries signed for Peace, a signature campaign entitled “We stand and Sign for Peace and Unity”. It was a successful campaign as almost all the visitors present in the festival ground left their signatures and massages.

Sri Setong Sena and Sri Tonko Bahadur Rai, Speakers from Arunachal and Assam signing the “We stand and sign for pece and unity campaign” organised by PPWF

The VIP entourage than went to visit the Tangsa Hut where the people belonging to various sub-tribes of Tangsa performed SAWI (old traditional songs) that elaborated the histories of migration. Thereafter he inaugurated the Photo Exhibition presented by Arif Siddiqui. The timeless pictures of Stillwell Construction period and Contemporary Jairampur, collected from various sources, throughout the day it was the major attraction of the visitors.

The Pangsau Pass Winter Festival has so much to proffer. The extravagant event unveils the shroud from the concealed world of the Tangsa. The warm smiles of the Tangsas let forget the freezing temperature. Appreciate and admire the simplicity and hospitality. The myriad sub-tribes of Tangsas hypnotizes with the foot tapping beats of drums to the haunting melodies.

The grand event fascinated the visitors and the locals alike. The blazon of Tangsas spirit was on full swing. The multi-cultured traditions flaunted. The brandish of age-old traditions captivates the imaginations. The PPWF highlighted the cultures and cuisines of the Tangsas and the various tribes of AP. The War Cry and gunshots of the Tikhaks enthralled the audiences and the haunting song of the Pangwas, which expressed the saddest thoughts, compelled to recuperate the bygone era of nomadic life.

As the festivals attracts hundreds of visitors from in and out of AP, the remaining two days promises many more visitors from far and near. Practically its economic boom for local traders and if the things persisted the way it is now than the future of this festival is bright enough to enhance the economy and cross border relations.

Nyishi’s to get its right nomenclature soon

The long felt demand of the Nyishi’s for nomenclature change, which had created quite a stir sometimes back, may finally see the light of the day. The Union Cabinet has approved to amend the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950 with Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2008 which would be tabled during the coming budget session.

“A meeting of the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, gave its approval for the introduction of the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2008. The Bill seeks to amend the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi told media persons that the modified list of ST’s in Arunachal Pradesh would satisfy the aspirations of the “Nyishi” community regarding removal of the term Dafla and insertion of Nyishi in the list of STs in Arunachal Pradesh.”

-The Arunachal Times

Despite having been termed as ‘anti-Nyishi’ by ANSU and removal from his post for a while, CS Tabom Bam was quite instrumental in pursuing the cause of Nyishi for nomenclature change. Now that a Bill to amend the constitution has been approved to be tabled during the coming budget session, I hope the dual between the CS and various Nyishi organizations viz., ANSU, NES, ANYA and NFC would end and there wouldn’t be any stand by these organizations to remove the CS. Or would there be?

(My earlier posts on CS-ANSU imbroglio-1, 2, 3, 4 and 5).

Guwahati ain’t no Bangkok

Quite true to my apprehension, the government didn’t bothered to make the most out of the North East India Investment Summit at Guwahati.

The Arunachal Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) today expressed resentment over the state government’s ”half-hearted” approach towards the recently held North East India Investment Summit 2008 at Guwahati, organised by the DoNER ministry.

Claiming that the summit was basically in continuation of the Bangkok summit held in October last year, the ACCI said that galaxy of ministers, MLAs and other officials from the state thronged the summit, but the same which was held at Guwahati was not represented by the state government.

”At least one secretary could have been deputed to represent the state in such an important function,” commented ACCI Vice-President Dominic Tadar in a communiqué here today. ”We are discouraged to see no representative from the state attended the summit, while other states were represented by their chief ministers and other ministers,”he added.

But then, why would Minister’s and MLA’s of the state be so keen to attend the summit? Guwahati ain’t no Bangkok, after all.

See also:
Was the Bangkok trip a Success Story or a Farce?

Ziro-Hapoli witnesses first Bandh of the year….and counting….

Guess, how did the residents of Ziro-Hapoli township made their day yesterday?

With shops closed and vehicles off the road, some seized this opportunity to turn the road into a cricket pitch; some made the pavement- a gambling den, playing cards and simultaneously enjoying the warm sunlight in this chilly winter without a trace of worry of being run-over by vehicle or stumbled upon by the pedestrian and for some it was forced confinement at their homes.

Yes, the so-called moral police, social guardian and custodian of the society are back at what they does best-giving ‘Bandh’ call at a drop of hat. And yesterday people of Ziro-Hapoli Township witnessed the first Bandh Call of the year, thanks to Apatani Students’ Union (ASU). The reason-poor mobile network provided by the lone service provider BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited).

Ziro-Hapoli Township had been subjected to quite erratic mobile network this past month, with no network most of the time, which the BSNL reason- is due to damage done to OFC (Optical Fibre Cable) linking Itanagar Swtiching Centre to Ziro Exchange by road cutting work at Hoj-Doimukh road. And despite their assurance of linking Ziro exchange with Itanagar via satellite to improve the connectivity, they failed to link the exchange and switching centre at the time stipulated by the Students’ body leading to this ‘Bandh’. The consequences at the end of 12 Hr Ziro-Hapoli Bandh-vandalism by students’ body at BSNL office-cum exchange at Hapoli and at Old-Ziro.

Quite surprisingly, majority of the people (read BSNL mobile subscribers) felt that the students had done the right thing which made me wonder, what’s the connection? What’s the poor mobile network got to do with students’ affair? Wasn’t it the subscriber’s who would have been affected by this network problem? Or was the students’ mere puppets at the hands of ‘Cell-One’ and ‘Excel’ subscriber’s to raise their voice on their behalf? When would people stop pointing gun from other’s shoulder? And when would the students’ body stop being puppet to some people who use them for their own gain?

Another question that comes to mind is-would this vandalism lead to better mobile service at Ziro? I doubt, considering the technical or administrative hurdles that may lay ahead with the BSNL authorities at Ziro, to improve the service overnight. Hadn’t it been a better option had the subscriber’s lodged a complaint at Consumer Court and made BSNL pay heavy compensation for the loss incurred to them owing to disrupted mobile network? With thousands of subscriber’s, I guess, BSNL would have thought it a better proposition to improve the connectivity and maintaining it well rather than part with huge sum of money as a compensation.


Tom Simai | Jairampur:

The final countdown of 2nd Pangsau Pass Winter Festival (PPWF) 2008 has commenced. Six more days (20th to 22nd January) and the spectacular PPWF 2008 will be officially unveiled for the whole world to glimpse the spectacular display of cultural carnival, traditional sports and indigenous delicacies. The ethnic extravaganza is geared up to enthrall the guests from across the globe. Its festive time as the New Years begins blended with ethnic amusement celebrating ethnic diversity. The dedication, determination and perspiration of the locals have created a magnificent stage for the ethnic cultures to hurtle the hurdles and triumph over the emotions. The concept of the PPWF is not to get contained within an area & favor a tribe, but it desires to spread its wings and fly beyond the horizons to disclose the mysteries of amazing AP.

Sri Tako Dabi, Minister for Water Resources Development and Parliamentary affairs has consented to grace the occasion as chief guest and will inaugurate the three days Winter Festival at Nampong starting on 20th January.

The decisive moment has arrived that the youths of Arunachal consider and defend sincerely their ancient heritage because it’s a marvelous endowment from the exodus era. Few years back who might have thought that the forgotten customs of the isolated tribal people dwelling far away from the maddening crowd would fascinate the urban masses to travel around the secluded countryside just to witness the indigenous dances, traditional dresses and taste a glass of U or Apong? It’s a moment of truth, a triumph of tribal heritage and a time to celebrate ethnicity. Disregard the craze of highlife, overlook being highly qualified, forget the appetite of urbanism but be proud and be grateful that somehow ethnicity still survive and thrives in this part of the world. So, be there to celebrate the moment of pride. Don’t be stunned or surprised of inheriting the primeval legacy but be pompous and proud that you are one of the tribes that still can cause ripples worldwide.

Unfortunately, AP is not renowned for its nightlife or fast life but it is famous for the lively tribes, the organic foods, the terrace cultivations, the incredible landscapes, the thatched bamboo houses, the unique dialects, the innocent smiles, affable natures etc. The PPWF 2008 is working on this track to promote or showcase the matchless characteristics of tribal peoples and the indigenous resources used for survival. The cultural carnival is sure enough to mesmerize with its colorful presentation.

As PPWF is synonyms to Eco-tourism thus the ADC Sri M.Roy, Jairampur, has decided to keep the entire area POLY FREE ZONE and in this regard he has prohibited the use of POLY BAGS within the Festival area. This will gradually be implemented in entire Sub Division very shortly. It is a huge step towards creating an unpolluted and greener environment.

Curious Children looking at the hoarding of festival: The Nampong and Jairampur are excited and inspired for the 2nd PPWF – Photo : Arif Siddiqui

Find more on Pangsau Pass Winter Festival here.

An Insight into Arunachal Pradesh