ITANAGAR- “On this festival of ‘happiness’ let us all resolve to make Arunachal Pradesh a happy state,” beckoned Chief Minister Pema Khandu joining the Mopin celebrations at Tarajuli near here today.
Khandu recalled the old times, when despite lack of modern day facilities, people in the villages were happy. If recorded, he said, the happiness index of Arunachal Pradesh must have been at the top.
“Modernity and development have sure made us discontent, angry, frustrated and unhappy. Today our happiness index is at the lowest,” he said.
The reason, Khandu pointed, is that people today have become materialistic. He said, bank balance or wealth do not bring happiness but spreading love, harmony and peace does.
“We spend our entire life working hard to become rich while forgetting to live a relationship, call up friends, love others and get loved. We need to change our attitude towards life and then will be happy. Arunachal Pradesh must become a happy state,” Khandu asserted.
He lauded the Galos, especially the organizing committee of the day’s celebration, for organizing a joint Mopin for the first time in the state capital complex. Earlier, the festival was celebrated separately at Itanagar and Naharlagun.
As per the weather forecast, heavy rains were predicted for the day. However, as the celebrations continued, it stopped raining and a pleasant weather followed despite dark overhead clouds.
Khandu, on a lighter note though, attributed the respite to the Nyibus (local shamans), who were chanting hymns since yesterday to please the rain gods and ward off heavy downpour.
“Each tribe of our state has their own distinct festival and each festival has its own rituals conducted by the priests since ages. The power of these priests and the rituals they perform cannot be overlooked. The institution of Nyibus has to be preserved,” he asserted.
Khandu, however, advocated that traditional practices need to be open to reforms that are beneficial to all without diluting the indigenous traditions.
Speaking on the developmental front, Khandu reiterated that Arunachal Pradesh has huge potential in the form of its abundant natural resources.
“The only bottleneck in converting our potential into revenue has been lack of connectivity, which is changing now. In the last seven years the state has witnessed improved roadways, airways and railways like never before. The change is right before our eyes,” he claimed while mentioning the sanction of more than Rs 500 crores for 25 road projects in the state by MoRTH.
Khandu admitted that still several villages in the state remain unconnected and assured the state government’s top priority to connect all such unconnected villages under the chief minister’s comprehensive road plan.
Informing of the ongoing survey for the Bhalukpong-Tawang and land clearance for the Murkokselek-Pasighat railway lines, he said that Arunachal Pradesh has acquired two HAL-built Dornier aircrafts for air-service within the state. These aircrafts, he informed, will be flagged off in a few days’ time from today.
“With the full-fledged airport operationalized at Hollongi within this year, we are going to witness an unprecedented growth in the state,” he assured.
Khandu further informed that the state government is committed to facelift the education scenario of the state. Mentioning that the state capital, comprising of Itanagar and Naharlagun townships, is bursting with population and that the only government college – the Dera Natung Government College, Itanagar – is not able to cater to all aspiring degree students, he said that the government is contemplating to establish one more college in the capital.
He requested local legislator, Techi Kaso, to locate and arrange a suitable land for it.
Responding to a memorandum submitted by the Galo Welfare Society (GWS) on the occasion, Khandu assured to sanction funds for construction of a multipurpose hall and a Galo Heritage building at the festival venue that GWS assured will be available for use by all tribes and for government events.
Khandu, however, put forth a condition that the community members must also contribute in construction of the said buildings.
“The state government will contribute Rs 10 crore for the project and the rest will have to be borne by you all,” he announced.
The festival was also joined by Education Minister Taba Tedir, MLAs Phurpa Tsering, Techi Kaso, Nyamar Karbak, Kento Jini and Kardu Nyikyor, GWS members and others.