ITANAGAR, Jul 31: Close on the heels of the AAPSU’s call against the creation of autonomous councils, the Nyishi bodies led by the community’s apex body - the Nyishi Elite Society (NES) too have expressed its tough resistance to the proposed creation of Mon Autonomous Council (MAC) and termed it an “ill-conceived” demand.
Stating that the movement is wrongly timed when the state is under the grip of COVID-19 pandemic and also and under threat of external aggression from the Red Dragon, the Society was of the view that the Government, political party leaders, the MLAs and our three parliamentarians should immediately come out with their respective stand on the ground and rationale of granting autonomy so as to diffuse the confusion and speculation of the people of the state.
The NES, in a release, said: “The much famed Hamara Arunachal Abhiyan launched by the State Government on 2nd October, 2019 with much fanfare has lost its relevance with the emerging situation. There is no political, economic and social deprivation, rather, Mon Region atop in all developmental and civic services fronts, the highest beneficiaries of the state and therefore, an ill conceived demand.”
Substantiating its point, it said: “Mon region is economically vibrant by virtue of its ‘heaviest tourist circuit;’ Charduar-Bhalukpong-Bomdila-Tawang and ‘military base’ with small population of aborigines. And politically, out of three Union ministers, Arunachal is blessed with two, who hail from a tiny Mon region in terms of population and geographical area.”
The Society also said that in the infrastructure and services sectors, the Mon Region is blessed with “best” road connectivity, better health care facilities and schools, Govt funded cultural and religious institutions with a designated department - Department of Karmik & Adhyatmik Affairs for the purpose.
Instead of recommending for autonomy, it asserted saying, we would pitch for creation of ‘Department of Backward & Remote Areas’ (DoBRA) to take care of the developmental needs - road, air & electronic & telecommunication connectivity, infrastructure and basic services in the identified remote pockets and most backward areas in the State.
Further, it said, we, the CBOs are here to bind Arunachal together and not to disintegrate our fellow brethren of the state on narrow communal, regional, religious, cultural and ethnic considerations (or) self political interest!
Meanwhile, the All Nyishi Students’ Union (ANSU) has also rejected outright the demand for MAC, saying is not in interest of the Pan Arunachal as visualized by the Chief Minister.
Describing it as “complete misutilization” of sixth schedule of Constitution of India, wherein it aims to protection of tribal cultural identity and to bring a sense of security and belongingness to them and are for socially, economically backward, ANSU, in a release, said: “The sixth schedule provide rights for autonomous council in order to safeguard the practice of customary laws but Arunachal Pradesh being a tribal state already enjoys those rights. So there is no any requirement of autonomous council.”
ANSU while failing to understand the logic behind the demand said: “If it is based on ethnicity then all the tribes in state are ethnic in nature and this demand will not only lead to division but also financial crisis. It will open floodgates for similar demand by all tribes in the state. Overall this move is marginalization of already marginalized State.”
In the meantime, the Nyishi Ethnic Students' of Arunachal (NESA) has also opposed the demand for MAC.
The NESA, in a release, said: “If the autonomous councils are created, the socio-economic and overall development in the Nyishi inhabited areas will be deprived. We too want to ensure that our culture, ethnicity and other rights are being preserved.”
While endorsing its stance, the NESA said: “The eastern districts especially Longding, Tirap and Changlang are declared disturbed by government of India because of the insurgency problem. However, the flow of funds has not been stopped to these districts. In fact, more funds have been given under the DoTCL, BADP besides funds specific to these districts.
Arunachal Pradesh being the total tribal state, any such development should be inclusive and all communities should be made part of the development process, it asserted.
The state government must act with caution in such sensitive matters and should not allow a fault line to be drawn on the basis of region or community, it added.