Bulyang Day Celebration: Torch bearer of Apatani community bulyang need to be revived and rejuvenated: Tage Taki
ZIRO- The Supung Bulyang needs to be revived and rejuvenated not only in the interest of Apatani community but also to give due recognition to aged-old traditional justice delivery system of tribals of Arunachal Pradesh, said Minister Agriculture and Allied Tage Taki at Abotani Hall here today.
Attending the Bulyang Day celebration as the chief guest, Taki said time has now come to revive the lost glory of bulyang which had been the custodian of Apatani customary laws during the nascent period when there were no modern laws and courts, and which had projected Apatani society as a vibrant democratic set up of its own to rest of the world.
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While urging for re-drafting, review of the bye-laws and the proposed ‘Nikung Dapo’ of the bulyang to make it relevant and practical in 21st century, Taki suggested a ‘signature campaign’ of every Apatani person aged above 20 years and above to approve the ‘Nikung Dapo’ in order to seek approval from Govt.to obtain legal recognition and codification as Apatani customary law.
Specifying that bulyangs were invested with inherent traditional powers while gaon buras were Govt. appointees, guest of honour and Lower Subansiri Deputy Commissioner Bamin Nime suggested a ‘symposium’ involving participation of people from other tribes as well to evolve a strong and vibrant customary law keeper body as bulyang. He also evoked the need to urge the courts to hand over local disputes to ‘Dispute Redressal Centers’ which expedites local cases instead of the lengthy court cases.
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Narrating the history and origin of bulyang, chairman Supung Bulyang Council (SBC) Retd. chief engineer Nani Tatung informed that the role of bulyang had been aptly described by well-known ethnologist Christopher Von Furer Heimendrof in his book ‘Apatani and their neighbours’ written in 1962 which described bulyang as collective upholders of Apatani tribal law and spokesman of their own clan or clan-group unlike a village headman, invested with absolute authority, are indeed representatives of their own clan or clan-groups which collectively constituted a very effective system of local-self governing democratic institution in Apatani community to maintain peace and harmony, law and order and provide social justice since time immemorial’.
Presently there are 159 bulyang members representing each clan or clan-group in the Apatani society, informed Tatung.
Citing Battle of Kure in 1949 as watershed in the history of bulyang for its downfall, Tatung also informed that the first general conference to revive the SBC had been held in 2012 under the leadership of state’s first pilot officer Lt. Kuru Hassang. On behalf of SBC Tatung also submitted a memorandum to the local MLA and DC appealing for giving legal recognition to ‘Nikung Dapo’ and codification as Apatani customary law already submitted to Govt. in 2010, and giving legal recognition to bulyang as traditional self-governing village council under the provision of Assam Frontier (Administration of Justice) Regulation Amendment Bill 2023.
Special invitee and Tani Supung Dukung President Retd. IAS H.K Shalla, SBC chief advisor and senior citizen Mudo Nyikang, SBC general secretary Hage Sira Obing and SBC advisor Tapi Takha also spoke on the occasion.
Representatives of several NGO’s including Apatani Women Association of Ziro (AWAZ), Popi Sarmin Society, Apatani Cultural and Literary Society, Apatani Youth Association and Apatani Students Union also attended the function.