---- Editorial ----
Incident of bridge collapse on rise
21 school children along with a teacher suffered injury after an hanging bridge collapsed
at Jumuni village under Desali Circle of Lower Dibang Valley district on August 15
morning. This is not for the first time that hanging bridge has collapsed in the
state. Such incident even leading to death has taken place in Seppa. Earlier in February
this a year suspension bridge collapsed in West Siang district and seriously injured
seven people. The repeated incident of bridge collapse is matter of deep concern.
Proper investigation should be done to find out the cause of the collapse.
In most cases allegation of poor quality work leading to collapse of bridge has
been made by the citizens. But no one is held responsible by the authorities. This
has to change and strict action should be taken against officials and contractors
if they compromise with the quality of work. Innocent people should not be made to
suffer because of the greed of govt officers and contractors. Also its time government
conducts a survey to check longevity of all the major bridges of Arunachal. Many
of the bridges constructed years ago have out lived their utility and need urgent
repairing. The best example is Barapani Bridge in Naharlagun whose condition is deteriorating
day by day thereby posing serious threat to life of the capital denizens. Likewise
there are several such bridges across state which needs immediate attention of authorities.
Before it's too late, government need to intervene and figure out all such bridges
and start renovation work at the earliest.
---- Readers Forum ----
Fear and phobias
Generally, we have a very long list of fears ~ of losing what we already have at
present, like our lives, our near and dear ones, jobs, savings, properties, health,
youth, beauty, fame, reputation and so on. There is another list consists of our
fears for the future that we may not be able to achieve in proportion to our ambitions,
efforts and expectations. With the advancement of our age, the length of the second
list gets shorter and the first one bigger.
Also, there is a third list that contains our phobias ~ from claustrophobia (morbid
dread of close spaces) to agoraphobia (morbid dread of open spaces), from aquaphobia
(morbid dread of water) to pyrophobia (morbid dread of fire) and from astraphobia
(morbid dread of lighting) to nyctophobia (morbid dread of darkness). It is difficult
for us to select just one item as our worst fear. But what we need only to fear is
the fear itself because it only makes the matter worse in crisis situations. We must
remember what the Mother (spiritual collaborator of Sri Aurobindo) said about fear,
~ “Fear is always a very bad adviser.” We can only manage a crisis by keeping ourselves
cool. But how can we overcome fear? How can we control a rapid hammering heartbeat?
The Mother said, “You can be entirely free from fear only when you have driven out
of you all violence.”
To drive out violence from within is very difficult for us as we are enamoured of
macho qualities. Thanks to B - grade movies and some loud TV channels, we have been
brainwashed into thinking that loud talk as well as dhooshoom dhooshoom is a signature
of leadership qualities. However, the world is slowly realizing that only cooperation
and compassion can take humanity forward. This is the reason why Helen Keller and
Stephen Hawking are shining bright in our Who’s Who. This is the reason why many
countries have graduated themselves from police states to welfare states.
Is there any exact location of fear? Sri Aurobindo said, “Really speaking, fear is
in the vital being. When you have thrown it away from your mind and other parts of
your being you can see it still passing through you, below the navel. There is a
connection between fear and your intestines.” Interestingly, to have butterflies
in someone’s stomach means that someone has a nervous feelings. Indeed, fear causes
To overcome fear and to become free, we are to realize what Sri Aurobindo had said,
“Infinite, we are free from death; for life then becomes a play of our immortal existence.
We are free from weakness; for we are the whole sea enjoying the myriad shock of
its waves. We are free from grief and pain; for we learn how to harmonise our being
with all that touches it and to find in all things action and reaction of the delight
Sujit De, Kolkata
The art of chai-pani
Chai-Pani is a well known term and a very relevant culture of our state. It is an
art mastered by only one in a crowd of thousand. For the fraction of people who doesn't
know the term and often wonders which tea brand or mineral water is costing lakhs
of rupees; here is a testimony.
Sadly and truly in Arunachal, our inglorious Chai-Pani costs lakhs of hard earned
common man's money in the name of favour although one is more than deserving enough
for a work or job. Higher the pitch investment, higher is the return. Now, one can
only guess what or how much money is pitched in the name of Chai-Pani at the higher
level by ministers, contractors, engineers, etc. God only knows.
From getting a signature in our STs/PRCs to receiving our hard earned appointment
letters; chai-pani is everywhere. One has to comply with it or else, face the oblivion
of the concerned.
Chai-Pani is all pervading. And why it shouldn't be. The sorcery of chai-pani is
the best way to climb the success ladder. It is the easiest way to get super rich.
People don't mind indulging in a bit of chai-pani. For he who masters the art of
chai-pani, masters all.
In Arunachal, every job has a price tag just like the items displayed at showroom.
But in showrooms, the price can fluctuate as at times there are discounts, but price
tag of jobs are ever on the rise. These ever rising, demanding jobs are all of the
lower level posts. For those of upper level and the rest, common citizen will never
know. Here, meritocracy, qualifications, experience do not matter much. Money speaks
and it knows no discrimination/distinction.
Common folks say that as long as there is rich in Arunachal, this culture will not
stop. But again, knowledgeable people say that somewhere along the line; we the people
are to be blamed for such rampant practice of Chai-Pani. But all fingers are still
pointed towards a class of citizens who are haves. They say, the Babu's or officers
are not always to be blamed for. Maybe, people themselves are indulging and boosting
such immoral practice.
There's many explanations but here is two typical prototypes:
That in a bank/police station/offices because our officers, contractors or haves
who know the value of their time: because they don't want to be in queue with the
common folks; they give tips or incentives to the concerned person of so and so bank,
office or PS, so that their papers or complaints or files are processed at the earliest
without further delay. And our respected concerned receives the token with a mischievous
smile and automatically complies, thereby eluding others who have their works pending
That, lastly but the crux, somewhere along the employment queue, there are some well
to do people, who, because they think that their children was so much molly-coddled
from the start; that their child will not be able to compete with others; because
they are used of getting everything they ever wanted; therefore in every recruitment
they do the talk through money even though their cash exceeds the required sum for
Chai-Pani. Here our Babu's are left helpless; their mouths are sealed and choked
by the cash these people provides. For who doesn't want money, money inspires confidence;
money takes one above religion. Money is honey.
And not to mention nepotism and favouritism.For who does not indulge in a bit of
both evils. And who would not, afterall we are humans. There is no man who does not
help his family or his close friends. And as long as human relations exists; the
above said evil will not diminish, instead would thrive.
Truly, our chai-pani culture has looted so much of our money earned by the sweat
of our brows. It has been the cause of so much pain and misery to many dedicated
aspirants and parents. That for a time people had lost all hope in the system. But
now it seems that HOPE is starting to blossom again slowly but surely enough.
It's really a gloomy world for Have-Nots. One can only hope and pray. But amidst
all the pessimistic atmosphere, our Honourable CM surprises us every now and then
with a glimpse of cloud no. 9. Just few days ago his cabinet has scrapped the interview
for recruitment to lower level posts. In plain words, our PK has put a full stop
or an exclamation mark to the Chai-Pani culture in recruitment process. Well, its
a welcome step. It is a succour for underdogs or the common man and many thousand
thousands hopes are built upon it.
The chai-pani phenomenon is a very exhaustive and multi-faceted subject. The above
elaboration is just a rough sketch and a miniscule fraction of the main body. It
would take a scholarly research to completely understand the various naunces, subtleties
and to completely unveil it in its full glory.
For a time being, Chai-pani had become so bullying and overpowering that it was unstopable.
Chai-pani is the antecedent and the mother of all corruption. So much misery and
havoc it has catalyzed. Infact, if it weren't for Chai-Pani, the word 'corruption'
and it's connotation could have been obsolete.
One would take the recent decision as a gift from CM and his team to the people of
Arunachal on the auspicious occasion of 71st Independence Day celebration. Kudos
to honourable CM for such a people centric initiative in scrapping the interview
in recruitment to lower level posts. On a concluding note, it is felt that government
should also monitor all the departments so that the recent cabinet decision is strictly
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