National seminar on ‘Border communities’ | Villagers continue to migrate from Indo-China border, who bothers?

By A O News Service

RONO HILLS, Mar 30: Expressing his happiness over whole-hearted participation of students, scholars, faculty members of Rajiv Gandhi University and journalists for presenting knowledgeable papers, former RGU history HoD Prof S Dutta said that the multi-faceted two-day national seminar on “Border communities of central Arunachal Pradesh” has created a landmark for history department.

Addressing the valedictory function here on Saturday, he said that the questions posed by many presenters on prospects and problems, particularly former VC Prof Tamo Mibang and senior journalist Pradeep Kumar are very relevant indicating practical and meaningful approaches.

All talk about border communities whose agonies continue, he said and advocated submitting the valuable outcome to the state Govt to act to facilitate their development for development of this land-locked state to take a full circle, he said with conviction.

Recalling that former state tribal welfare minister Kalikho Pul had cautioned in New Delhi on 28.10.14 about ‘Kargil like situation’ as non-demarcated Indo-China border areas were getting vacated with border villagers migrating to urban areas for China to occupy, senior journalist Pradeep Kumar, in his paper on “border communities were trapped between basic needs and wrong policies”, said that search of greener pastures to earn their livelihood was behind such migration.

Interestingly, Union MoS Kiren Rijiju had announced on 16.03.17 to develop 18 border villages with sanction of Rs 2 crore each and Chief Minister Pema Khandu on 11.03.18 to develop 53 border villages to halt such migration, but nothing was visible the way ‘Look East’ and ‘Act East’ policies remain unimplemented.

Thinning of border areas is a fact, former RGU VC Prof Tamo Mibang, listening carefully, said and expressed concern.

Can you believe border trade continues even today as people of Damin in Upper Subansiri district crossing snow-fed mountains go to Tibet to collect essentials of life? he questioned before producing photographic evidence to prove his claim.

Lawmaker Gabriel D Wagsu was the first to convince border villagers of his Kanubari Assembly constituency to come to lower region where he had provided all facilities following former president Dr A P J Abdul Kalam’s ‘Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas’ (PURA) model to bring a sweeping change in life of border villagers.

Moreover, National Youth Project president H P Biswas, of which I am the vice president, had convinced 22 opium cultivators of Anjaw district to take up large size cardamom cultivation to earn Rs 1.72 crore from their first harvest in 2008 to make them horticulturists. This could be a model for employment generation, he argued.

Informing about Puroiks, who were slaves earlier and their population is about 3,000 but live in isolated hilly areas, he informed that chief secretary Satya Gopal on his persuasion had sanctioned Rs 10 core in 2017-18 budget for their rehabilitation.

In all 14 papers by research scholars, students, faculty members of RGU and were presented.

Education department faculty Dr Siva Sankar highlighted on language disorder of the state. He was right as probably largest number (200) of languages/dialects spoken in this state are under threat. The UNESCO has said that 42 Indian languages or dialects, including Mra & Na in Arunachal, are facing extinction, but it could be more.

Lauding Kumar for posing so many questions, particularly if India is a democratic nation for the scholars to find replies, Prof N C Roy, in his presidential address, said India is thousands better than Kleptocracy, means often authoritarian in nature and may comprise a dictatorship or warlordism, prevailing in South Africa.

QAC coordination Prof A Mitra said that the seminar has achieved its objective and urged history department to maintain its tempo.

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