NIRJULI ( By Pradeep Kumar )- “Arunachal Pradesh now has turned a consumer state by depending totally on outside supply contrary to olden days when our forefathers despite living with nature were self-reliant in roti, kapda aur makan (food, cloth & house) by cultivating their vast land,” said Agriculture & Horticulture Minister Tage Taki.
Addressing revellers of eight-day Longte Festival’s concluding function here on Friday as chief guest, Taki said, “execution of many infrastructure projects of this young state gave earning sources but would end soon. But what is next is a matter of great concern for every Arunachalee, particularly those who have left agri-horti cultivation.
“This state spread in about 84,000 sqkm has only about 14 lakh population and all stakeholders should ponder seriously to take up agri-horti cultivation by using traditional cultivation methods or seeking help from Krishi Vigyan Kendra to not only become self-sufficient but supplier too,” he said with conviction.
“Present Chief Minister Pema Khandu and DyCM Chowna Mein with commitment are promoting agri-horti sector which offers scopes for all Arunachalees to avail the opportunity before the time runs out for us to repent,” he said, and recalled that Abotani, progenitor of Tani tribes had begun rice cultivation by drawing a barricade between them and evil spirits to leave peacefully to prosper.
Informing that Department of Indigenous Affairs (DIA) was created in 20116 with the objectives of documenting to protect, preserve, promote and popularizing rich cultural heritage, age-old traditions, folklore and folktales of 26 major and over 100 sub-tribes of this state, including tangible and intelligible as each has its own uniqueness, its director Sokhep Kri said as guest of honour.
He enlisted decisions of present Govt, including introduce local dialects as third language in classes VI to VIII from next academic session to protect languages; promote archery, an Olympic game, as many state archers have won laurels; formed 12-member Arunachal Pradesh Indigenous Affairs Council to guide on various aspects of cultures and traditions; tribal culture centre has been set up in each district with sanction of Rs one crore each while Shi-Yomi one would be ready this year; Rs 20 lakh each sanctioned to set up 80 prayer halls, like Namlo, Nyedar Namlo, Gangging, Rangfra etc. for the believers; grants for celebrating various festivals; Rs three crore granted as honourarium for 2,571 priests (Nyibus) last year hiked to Rs four crore in 2022-23 to be paid by respective DC and if any priest is left our may apply to the DC.
The Govt is giving grant-in-aid to gurukul like ashram, Nyubu Nyagam Yarko, first set up by Katung Waghe near Seppa in East Kameng district for revival of the Donyi-Polo faith movement while two more are proposed; the DIA toeing state Govt’s announcement of 2023 as year of e-governance would implement projects, like uploading short songs and documentaries to its website, he said and urged festival organizing committee to make an 8-9 minutes video of Longte for the people to learn its specialties.
Highlighting Longte mythology, NES GS (protocol) Lokam Kani earlier underscored its relevance being the only bloodless festival of the state and fences human inhabited area since time immemorial for bumper crops, free human being and domestic animals from diseases to live peacefully.
Members of Capital Complex Longte Celebration Committee (CCLCC)-2022, guests and senior citizens earlier installed the barricade to protect all evil spirits from venturing into human inhabited areas and aimed at facilitating bumper crops. The event, which saw a mega dance by 180 artists (22 boys) in their best traditional attires, continued till late evening.