Well established religions should not convert indigenous believers: Tedir

From Ravi Kumar

BASAR, Nov 09: “Well established religions should not try to religiously convert people practicing indigenous faiths rather should strive to promote and protect them,” said Indigenous Affairs Minister Taba Tedir.

Tedir said this here on Saturday in his inaugural address to five-day 6th edition of state level Indigenous Youth Festival, organized by Indigenous Faith and Cultural Society of Arunachal Pradesh.

Hundreds of delegates representing various tribes of the state are taking part to showcase their rich culture and tradition.

Expressing apprehension that number of  indigenous faith believers is diminishing with the passing of time, he said that the locals should not forget who they are, especially youth, and consider it as their own responsibility to protect and preserve their indigenous culture and tradition. He suggested active participation in International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples observed annually on August 9.

Pointing out that indigenous culture and traditions are deeply aligned with the nature and calls for respect by one and all, Tedir said that there are many indigenous traditions which restrict hunting, felling trees during certain period which are nature-friendly.

The GoAP led by Chief Mminister Pema Khandu has initiated many steps to protect and promote indigenous culture and tradition is evident from the fact that indigenous affairs department exist and adequate funds have been allocated to achieve the goal, he said.

Responding to a memorandum of the organizing committee, he said that plea for a Donyi-Polo Cultural Hall here being genuine would take up with the CM.

“Losing money is nothing as it can be reearned, losing character is a substantial loss while losing culture is losing everything,” Liromoba MLA Nyamar Karbak said.

The indigenous people who don’t practise their culture and tradition cannot be called indigenous, Karbak said, adding the people should avoid such religions which discourage its followers from practising their indigenous culture and traditions.

He expressed his gratitude to the organizers for celebrating the festival in a grand manner to provide a platform to the revelers to witness culture and tradition of various tribes of the state under one platform.

Local MLA Gokar Basar, in his address, stressed on respecting, protecting and promoting local cultures and traditions. The traditional games should be incorporated in annual events of educational institutions and in state Olympic events, he said.

Besides exhibition and local cuisines stalls, cultural extravaganza, literary, games and sports events, seminar and symposiums, etc will mark the festival.

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