By Mintu Tamuli
PASIGHAT, Oct 25: The second foundation day celebration of Abotani Clan Organization (ATCO)-cum- Tani Festival got underway at Donyi Polo central ganging ground here on Thursday with its inauguration by APCC president Takam Sanjoy.
Sanjoy, in his address as chief guest, lauded ATCO for organizing the event to unite descendents of Abo Tani communities besides efforts to preserve their age-old tradition and culture.
Expressing happiness over huge participation irrespective of caste and creed, he exhorted the GenNext to shoulder responsibility in preserving cultures and traditions of Abotani descendants.
Arunachal Pradesh Forest Co-operation Pvt Ltd chairman Talo Mugli as guest of honor gave a clarion call to all progenies of Tani tribes to work together with unity and integrity for overall development. Developing a script would harbinger to unite all scattered Tani tribes he observed.
Underscoring significance of having Tani script to unify state’s all Abotani tribes, ATCO president Yumra Taya said it would also facilitate preservation of language of all clans.
In a memorandum to Sanjoy, he sought erection of Abotani statue in all district headquarters of Tani belts, construction of Tani Bhawan in all districts, establishment of Tani Heritage Village and declaration of October 25as state holiday, among others.
On Abotani Heritage Village, Taya announced that he will donate land free of cost if state Govt grants fund to thunderous applause of the huge gathering. Likabali MLA Kardo Nyichor, PPA president Kahfa Bengia,ADC Tado Borang, Mrs India International Biri Shanti Nido, NPP youth secretary Bage Kamsi, TCS president Tabu Paktung also addressed.
Thousands thronged the venue to relish local cuisines, be part of the fun and entertainment, take part in games & sport, cultural, literary and drawing competitions besides special displays of culture and traditions of Abotani communities.
A common langue/script key to unite Arunachal
By Pradeep Kumar
ITANAGAR: Arunachal Pradesh boasts of speaking in 200 languages/dialects, highest in the world, but there is no record of how many dialects have been lost.
However, only Khampti-Singpho and Monpa respectively use Tai-Khampti and Bodi language having script.
The Tai languages have their own unique scripts, as illustrated in the picture of a Tai Ahom manuscript.
Both Singpho and Tangsa belong to the Tibeto-Burman language family. Singpho as spoken in Assam consists of four varieties, Turung, Numhpuk, Diyun and Tieng. Turung people are of mixed Tai and Singpho ancestry, and their language contains many Tai words and other influences of Tai, but it is at heart a Singpho variety. In Upper Assam, among the Numhpuk, Diyun and Tieng Singphos, traditional Singpho songs are still sung by the older people. The resources are based on Ahom texts transcribed, transliterated and translated by the Ahom Dictionary Resource Project.
Tony Koyu had evolved Tani Lipi, in 2001 with left-to-right alphabetic script consisting of 26 letters (Tani script) but was hardly accepted for use.
It is believed that lack of a common language with script has been serving as a drag for uniting all indigenous communities of the state. Thus, former state Chief Secretary Tabom Bam, a tribal himself, gave a momentum by his clarion call at Palin on 26.02.06 for unification of all Abo-Tani descendants having same cultural affinities in all respects, but geographically separated. And that was why the maiden attempt was by then RGU Vice Chancellor Prof. Atul Sarma to develop a pan-Arunachalee identity by initiating Unity Festival, a three-day cultural festival (Feb 15-17, 2006) to prove how zealously the tribesmen have been guarding their cultural heritage, ethos, moorings and indigenous delicacies while the tribal girls proved their excellence in both reflecting their calibre to assimilate anything good without drifting away from their origins. Sangeet Natak Academy chairman Ram Niwas Mirdha, as chief guest, was overwhelmed to announce India has lots to learn from Arunachal Pradesh. “Do not detract from your objective ‘unity in diversity’, which you have reflected through your consensus desire and you would succeed,” he had advised as innumerable ethnic groups with their ek se bad kar ek riti, riwaj aur parampara and harmonious lifestyles in the lap of nature have made Arunachal Pradesh a unique cultural garden of India.
It was a matter of sheer coincidence that 250 delegates from 42 countries spread over five continents representing 257 traditions met at Jaipur (Feb 5-10, 2006) at International Conference of World Elders of Ancient Traditions and Culture had proved beyond doubt that peoples irrespective of their caste, creed, religion and region were one as they represented one race—human. Striking similarities in designs and patterns on dresses and ornaments worn by people of different traditions in the world and their Sun and fire centric rituals for the welfare of humanity convinced the Arunachal delegates that they were not living in isolation.
It was Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who, in his foreword to ‘A Philosophy for NEFA, by Verrier Elwin’, wrote: “People should develop along the lines of their own genius and we should avoid imposing anything on them. We should try to encourage in every way their own traditional arts and culture”.