Arunachal Pradesh — a ‘Land of Possibilities’: IGRMS

By Pradeep Kumar

RONO HILLS, Feb 12: Terming Arunachal Pradesh as a ‘Land of Possibilities’, Bhopal-based Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGRMS) director Prof Sarit Kumar Chaudhury said that its huge cultural, historical and anthropological diversities have made it a vibrant but happening state.

This land-locked state could hugely contribute in national perspective, but its unique aspects are not known to the rest of India as its gets publicity for different irrelevant reasons, Prof Chauddhury told this daily in an exclusive interview here on Tuesday.

Prof Chaudhury, who worked with Rajiv Gandhi University for over a decade, was here to conduct a two-day national seminar on “Cultural heritage of Arunachal Pradesh” in collaboration with Arunachal Institute of Tribal Studies (AITS) of Rajiv Gandhi University since Monday.

“The IGRMS board had decided to give coverage to NE region in right perspective. Thus, the IGRMS team has been touring this region and this is the fifth state after Assam, Sikkim, Manipur and Nagaland,” said the director, who was accompanied by proggramme coordinator Dr S K Pandey, videographer I B S Parihar, cameraman DD Senapati and photographer Tapan Biswas.

When asked to comment about contribution of state’s present IGRMS representative Nyayir Riba since 2012 after the death of Geter Ingo, Prof Chaudhury said her contributions, particularly during annual national exhibitions. Riba has been showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the state to receive accolades, he said.

On his message to state’s younger generations, he was very specific:  They should know who they are, what are their roots?

Moreover, a mass awareness campaign within this region is essential as the age-old has been facing impacts of globalization and modernization.

In fact, Ingo was instrumental in building a Galo house in IGRMS also known as National Museum of Mankind) with materials and builders from this state but had died 27.12.11 while serving as teacher at Kamba.

Meeting point of 3 cultures: Prof Mibang

Former RGU VC Prof Tamo Mibang, addressing the valedictory function said that there cannot be history without culture and no culture without society. He termed this Himalayan state as a meeting point of South East Asia, great India and Tibetan (North) cultures.

The human civilizations have left behind tangible, intangible assets, artifacts and cultures, he said citing the examples of Taj Mahal, Great Wall of China and USA’s Statue of Liberty. He hinted that the state has very few such tangible assets, like Tawang Monastery and Parshuram Kund.

However, anthropological study indicated that civilization of those three cultures grew along foothills as proved by ruins of Malinithan, he said, adding that in-depth study would unravel more information. The state has total 45 tribal groups and 23 major tribes though wrong figures are quoted very often for which an ethnological study should be conducted.

Describing mithun as symbol of culture, he said that mithun also migrated from SEA along with other livestock of the migratory. State’s present mithun population includes 16%, 8% and 1% from Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram. However, mithuns being cultural symbol should not be sacrificed for pleasure, but with limit for socio-economic development as is being done in western countries.

Global intellectuals invited to this state during his tenure had predicted a bright future for the state located on diamond, which is justified by vast scopes for nature, adventure, religious tourism once vast available resources are exploited and wayside amenities are provided for tourists, he reasoned.

The village council or tribal council which was inherited from forefather for self governance and educating quick justice has a 140-year-old history as mentioned in 1875   Land Act. There were many studies, including by former union minister Daying Ering in 1964-67 as Ering Commission chairman. What have you gained? Have we done anything for its protection; he questioned?

State politicians are very dynamic in changing colour overnight like turncoats, but a bright future for the state would be ensures if they apply their dynamism to above aspects and if only 14 lakh inhabitants change their attitude to adopt work culture, he advocated.

Many such seminars are conducted whose outcomes are hardly accepted by the Govts, but the microscopic outcome would have far reaching impacts to help Arunachalees to stand on their own feet, he concluded with conviction.

Retired professors from various parts of India, research scholars, RGU faculty members and students were present.

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