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C-20 conclave at Namsai: looking back to look ahead

The message from the C-20 conclave was eloquent and clear, it dealt with revitalizing culture, respecting indigenous traditions, balancing development...............

A Year in Longding District of Arunachal PradeshC-20 conclave at Namsai: looking back to look ahead By Nyatum Doke –  No one will disagree with the fact that Arunachal is changing and moving ahead. I am sure five or ten years back no one would have imagined even in their wildest dream about the idea of an “international Summit in a small town like Namsai”. Today, it’s a reality; to be specific Namsai District is probably one of the most happening and fast-growing districts in Arunachal Pradesh. In addition to the sobriquet- ‘Land of Pagodas; Namsai will soon be called a ‘Land of Conference, Summits and Conclave’: The Conference Town of Arunachal.

As I reached the Dirak gate to attend C-20 Conclave at Namsai I was astonished to see the intricately and beautifully designed welcome gate. Then, as I moved further, it was fascinating to see the entire stretch of Namsai, festooned and decorated with colorful flags, placards and banners- hanging, flying and greeting- ‘welcome to C-20 conclave’.

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As our CM Pema Khandu said ‘’C20 summit serves as an ‘exceptional platform for dialogue, knowledge sharing, and collaboration among civil society organizations from around the world’ which aims to promote ‘social and economic development with the vision that no one should be left behind’’.C-20 conclave at Namsai: looking back to look ahead

C-20 is a people-to-people platform of G-20 group for generating “seed ideas’’ through effective deliberations,  as Keynote speaker S Gurumurthy said .

I agree with PD Sona speaker Legislative Assembly when he said the Theme of the C20 conclave seminar ‘Diversity, Inclusion and mutual respect’, is most relevant for a state like Arunachal which is a mosaic of different culture, language etc. living in harmony and brotherhood.

The message from the C-20 conclave was eloquent and clear, it dealt with revitalizing culture, respecting indigenous traditions, balancing development and environment, relooking at the ethnocentric and anthropocentric approach to ensure that there is ‘one world’, one life which would include all sentient beings.

The main crux of all the deliberation was to ensure that no one is left behind and creating a harmonious society in place of a homogenous society by encouraging and accepting differences. So many questions popped up and lingered in my head after the rigorous four plenary sessions in two days. I believe the C-20 conclave served its purpose in the sense that it led to sprouting of thought and questions within the minds of the people like me.

C-20 conclave at Namsai: looking back to look ahead

As the panelists were continuously deliberating about the importance of diversity, mutual respect which will result in a harmonious and peaceful society. I was wondering what should be the path that should be taken to ensure mutual respect when intolerance is at the peak, there was no discussion on the ‘path’.

They said “there is a need to move from ‘I’ to ‘we’ as a path to cosmopolitanism or Vasudeva kutumbakam. Isn’t it dangerous to emphasize too much on ‘we’ or ‘oness’? Won’t it result in eroding the ‘I’ or the individual culture which is the very virtue of diversity and mutual respect. While some were speaking about the end of globalization and its ill impact on the society, isn’t the submit like G20 or the focus one oneness and one world a result of globalization led increased connectivity.

One panelist classified culture into ‘desert culture and river culture’ and stated that desert culture like desert ecosystem is devoid of diversity; whereas River culture with rishis and Munis are better and richer. I am curious, which culture can be regarded as desert culture? Can any culture be devoid of diversity? Are deserts devoid of any diversity. Also, aren’t such artificial classifications antithetical to the very core of Cosmopolitanism that we are trying to promote and embrace.

Apart from these there are some questions which some skeptical people raise: why is such a big event involving so much resources important? What is the outcome? First of all, Arunachal Pradesh being considered as a venue to host such events itself can be counted as one of the biggest achievements of the present Govt led by CM Pema Khandu.

C-20 conclave at Namsai: looking back to look ahead

Also, such events may not have immediate tangible results but such events broaden the horizons of our thought process from local to global. It provides much needed experience and confidence for taking up bigger responsibilities (even at the international level). Then, Arunachal which is bestowed with rich traditions, culture, nature and heritage gets an opportunity to showcase its potential to the global world.

Therefore, such events have both intrinsic as well as instrumental values for the state; in the long run it will come handy for the state. CM Pema Khandu very Aptly appealed to all the delegates ‘be an ambassador of Arunachal, a place of true diversity, inclusion and mutual respect’.

Namsai is truly becoming an epitome for other districts to emulate, a small town capable of accommodating such a huge national and international gathering without any hiccups is praiseworthy. The District Administration headed by DC C.R Khampa deserves appreciation. Then, the people of Namsai, who are eveready to march hand in hand with the challenges and opportunities, need special appreciation. I was surprised to see the number of Homestays and the hospitality of the people during the last Literature festival.

Lastly, as Padmashree Nivedita Bhideji opined human progress is not linear but spiral, we need to balance our outer development with inner development otherwise there will be a confusion. It’s not just tolerance but the aspiration for harmony which is needed in the society- lets accept differences and respect and accommodate diversity. Then, it must be understood that there is a very thin line between ‘Oneness and Homogenous’; if we do not take a nimble footed approach, we may fall into the other side of the fence which we are actually trying to avoid: falling into the “hubris’ against which Sherpa C-20 India Vijay Nambiar cautioned the world.

(The writer is DIPRO Longding)

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