February 02

5th IRBn celebrates ‘Raising Day’

PASIGHAT, Feb 01: The 5th Indian Reserve Battalion (IRBn) celebrated its first Raising Day with a two days programme by organizing various activities at battalion headquarters here.

The battalion has more than 700 officers and jawans in six companies. They are currently deployed in six districts, namely Lower Subansiri, West Siang, Lower Dibang Valley, Lohit, Namsai and East Siang (BHQs).

Central Range, Deputy Inspector General of Police, LH Shanliana, who inaugurated the function on Saturday, exhorted the jawans to re-dedicate themselves for security and safety of the people of the State and perform duties sincerely and with dedication.  

East Siang Superintendent of Police, Devendar Arya made a presentation on discipline and motivation to boost their morale.

“The personnel of the Battalion have been rendering services in and outside the State with punctuality, dignity and respect to the nation. They would always remain sincere and dedicated towards the duties assigned and extend full cooperation in establishing peace and harmony in the state in particular and the nation as a whole,” said the SP said.

Later, he distributed trophies and cash rewards to the winning and runners up of the volleyball competition.

Roing lifted the trophy beating Namsai in the volleyball competition. Pisa Tabok was adjudged as the best player.  The participants were felicitated with commendation certificates.

Commandant Vijayanta Arya assured to develop the campus with plantation and flouring and to construct running track to encourage daily physical activities of the jawans.

Earlier, the officers and jawans of the battalion organized a cleanliness drive at the battalion headquarters. DIPRO


Tawang students to get 10% discount

Tawang, Feb 1: In what can be termed as the most befitting New Year gift for the student’s fraternity of the district, All Tawang District Students Union (ATDSU) declared 10% discount on all passenger vehicle fares for students and collegians of the district.

The declaration comes after a meeting was convened at the chamber of the Tawang deputy Commissioner on Friday last. Chaired by Tawang DC, Abishek Dev, the meeting was attended by Tawang ZPC, Jambey Tsering, AAPSU social service secretary, Tsangpa Tashi, Urgen Dorjee, President, ATDSU and Tawang Taxi union members.

"The students can avail the benefit from all the transport counters operational in the district, Tsangpa Tashi said.

"They simply need to enroll themselves at Tawang Himalayan Holidays counter and get an identity card to avail the benefit", he added. The concession comes as a breeze of fresh air for the students’ community, marred with hiking transport fares, principally for the collegians who study at various colleges in and outside the state, due to the absence of a district college.


Photo walk and legal awareness

ITANAGAR, Feb 1: Arunachal Photography Club in collaboration with Nikon School, Kolkata today organized the first ever DSLR-cum- Photo walk programme and legal awareness in a city based hotel.

Nikon School Kolkata was represented by Kumar Kishore Kalita (Area Manager), Rajib Dutta (Regional Manager), AnindoBasu (Senior Executive Tech) and Kamlesh Goel (Distributor North East). They dealt at deep about the technical and finer aspects of good photography. Many photo enthusiasts from all over the state who attended the workshop benefitted from the interactions. Many cleared their doubts about the fine subject of photo shooting and technical details of DSLR camera. A field workshop-cum-photowalk at the Buddhist monastery was followed on.  The legal aspects of copyrights and property rights pertaining to photography were discussed at length by the Arunachal Pradesh State Legal Services Authority headed by Budi Habung; District & Sessions Judge-cum-Member Secretary APSLSA), Dani Belo Under Secretary, Department of Law and Sunil Mow (Advocate).

The photo enthusiasts who attended the workshop felt that such photo workshops will nurture and hone the hidden talents for better tourism promotion through the art of photography.



ITANAGAR, Feb 1: The Governor of Arunachal Pradesh Lt. Gen (Retd) Nirbhay Sharma has extended festival greetings to the people of the State on the festive occasion of Ali-Aye-Ligang, the festival of the Mishings. He expressed hope that the festivity will usher in good harvest and prosperity in the society. On the joyous occasion, the Governor has conveyed good wishes to people of Assam on behalf of all Arunachalees.

May the festivity heralds a new era of harmonious relationship in the whole of the Northeastern region, the Governor wished in his message.


GPF questions state, central leaderships

ITANAGAR, Feb 1:  Galo Peoples’ Federation (GPF) has questioned the State Govt. and the Central Congress leadership for not allotting Congress party ticket to a family member of former Chief Minister Late Jarbom Gamlin.

It accused the Congress Party chief in the state, Chief Minister and AICC President of conspiracy for not allotting ticket to the family member of Late Gamlin.  

Besides, the GPF further called for equal development and prosperity amongst all the tribes of the State by rising above the tribal affiliation.

Reiterating its demand, the GPF appealed to the State Govt. for the establishment of premier institutes of IIT or AIIMS in West Siang District.


Lower Subansiri district level CM’s Trophy competition concludes

ITANAGAR, Feb 1: The district level football and volleyball competition for Chief Minister’s Trophy concluded at Subansiri Stadium, Ziro yesterday.

Yazali Zilla Segment lifted men’s football, women’s football and women’s volleyball championship titles while Kamporijo-II Zilla segment lifted men’s volleyball title.

The winning teams will represent Lower Subansiri district in the state level tournament.

Tater Mize, district tourism officer distributed the prizes to champion teams.

Earlier, on January 28, Lower Subansiri Deputy Commissioner Kanki Darang kicked off the district level 2nd edition of the CM Trophy at Subansiri Stadium.


MMMG meet held

ITANAGAR, Feb 1: Megu, Mibang, Mingki and Gammeng Welfare Society meet was held at Mangnang village, East Siang District yesterday.

On the occasion, Megu Welfare Society President Robo Megu urged the members to maintain cordial relation with all people. He also advised the students to avoid drugs and other addictive substances and urged them to devote in their study.

AKO General Secretary Taho Mibang and its chief patron Tabong Mibang and Dr Takar Mibang also appealed the members to work for the welfare of the society. They also advised the students to stay away from Drugs and alcohol.

Earlier, the members observed two minute silence as a mark of respect to former AKO President late Onyok Tamuk and pray for the eternal peace of the departed soul.


News Impact

Reh begins on a colourful note

ROING, Feb 1: The forty-eighth Reh festival celebrated by Mishmi community of Arunachal Pradesh began today with much fanfare here. The three day celebration was announced open with the hoisting of Reh flag by Tanga Byaling, Minister (Home) in presence of Gum Tayeng, Parliamentary Secretary (WRD).

In his address to the Reh gathering, the Byaling spoke highly of the Mishmi skills in designing colourful textile designs and handicrafts.  Speaking on the importance of the festivals, he said "Festival gives colour to one's tradition and culture. It remains as long as we keep our culture intact. The festival is our Identity Card and we must protect our identity and culture.

He advised the people of Lower Dibang Valley to uphold communal harmony in the district. "Why is it necessary for people to fight in the name of tribe? Why can't we have intermarriage to foster harmony?

We have to choose the path of development," he said.

Parliamentary Secretary, Tayeng in her speech said that different tribes in the state may celebrate different festivals, but the spirit of the celebrations remains the same. "We all are bonded by this commonality, and we must nurture it to see that it brings in us peace and unity amongst all tribe of Arunachal."

She advised the younger generation to preserve the old age traditions and customs. "I request the young people not to drink too much, and be aware of the harmful habits. It is they who must be the guardian of our culture.

This year Reh celebration witnessed record number of legislators visiting as guests. The Home Minister was accompanied by Zingu Namchoom, Chairman, Bamboo Mission, Wanglam Sawin, Chairman, Forest Corporation, Tirong Aboh, Chairman, DOTC, Tsering Tashi, MLA Tawang, Laisam Simai, MLA Nampong, Tesam Pongte, MLA Changlang North and Paknga Bage, MLA Dumporijo. Dr Hatobin Mai of Spice Board of India announced that a Spice Board Office will be opening soon in Roing, district headquarters of Lower Dibang Valley. He hoped that with the opening of such office it will help the local farmers much needed support and expertise of the board.

Earlier, guests were accorded a traditional welcome with the crowd cheering 'Meyebo', meaning 'guests have arrived'. They were escorted by a traditional dance troupe towards the podium where the Reh flag waited to be hoisted. The unfurling of Reh flag was followed by the Reh flag song - 'Aatudri adu-ci reh machi ashahla', which was composed by late Ahuki Pulu and Ingori Linggi.

It was followed by the traditional 'Keyeli (sowing of paddy) dance led by an Igu (priest). Local sportsmen displayed bow and arrow shooting followed by a display of traditional sports. The guests also attended an Igu dance performed by a female priest in the Rehko (the house where Reh is conducted).

Late Ita Pulu, regarded as the founder of 'Kebambo Reh (Community Reh)' was honoured with the garlanding of his statue in the Ita Pulu Cultural Hall by Byaling.

In his welcome address, Enju Linggi, President, Central Reh Celebration Committee (CRCC) 2015 said Reh festival in its original practise is hosted by an individual. But to bring unity and fraternity in the community, late Ita Pulu initiated the community Reh in 1968.

According to the mythology, Reh ritual was first performed by a slave named Apiju to appease the almighty to free himself of an illness. Preparation of Reh requires several months, and the celebration is held for five days, according to the narration of Reh mythology.

This year, 15 delegates from Singa, Upper Siang are participating in the central Reh. They displayed a Khamba dance that speaks lots about the cultural interchanges that have taken place in Singa where the two tribes - Mishmi and Khamba inhabit. It was informed that in Singa, both the tribe celebrates Losar and Reh jointly exhibiting cultural unity.



Arunachal Press family condemns police atrocity on media persons

ITANAGAR, Feb 01:  The Press fraternity of Arunachal Pradesh led by members of Arunachal Press Club (APC), Arunachal Pradesh Union of Working Journalist (APUWJ) and Arunachal Electronic Media Association (AEMA), have strongly condemned the alleged police atrocity on a woman scribe and a video journalist inside the Latasil Police station, Guwahati, Assam on Saturday.

Terming the incident as a matter of serious concern for the freedom of press in a democratic country, they extended moral support to the ongoing protest by the media fraternity at Guwahati.

In an emergency meeting in the Press Club here today, APC president Chopa Cheda, APUWJ president Azing Pertin and AEMA president Taro Chatung demanded fair justice for the victim and urged the Assam Government to take stern action against the guilty police personnel to set an example and ensure that voice of the media guaranteed by the Constitution of India is not muzzled.

In a letter to the Electronic Media Forum of Assam, they conveyed that Arunachal media fraternity extends moral support for the greater interest of media fraternity of the region while wishing speedy recovery of both the journalists injured in the incident.



PPP mode needed to revamp education sector

ITANAGAR, Feb 1: Addressing at an event remembering Don Bosco in the Bicentenary Year of his birth here on Saturday, Bamang Felix, Parliamentary Secretary for Education reiterated the Government’s determination to revamp the educational scenario of the State by encouraging private institutions to adopt government schools.

“It is high time that private and Government educational institutions join hands in Public Private Partnership to raise the standard of education in our State,” he emphatically said.  

“The government schools in Arunachal Pradesh need the services of private educational institutions to excel in education” said Felix who was addressing a gathering of over 1500 youth and Don Bosco Fathers, Sisters, Cooperators and Don Bosco Alumni, all gathered to celebrate the Feast of Don Bosco in the Bicentenary Year of his birth here on Saturday. Felix expressed great happiness over the services rendered by Don Bosco institutions in the field of education and encouraged the Salesians to adopt educational institutions in the neighborhood and thus enhance the Government educational institutions as well.

The Parliamentary Secretary also made a substantial assistance to Don Bosco College for updating its library.  

Kime Aya, IPS, Suprio Deb, retired Director IPR and Bengia Cicilia, President Don Bosco Alumni also spoke on the occasion and recounted the wonderful years of formation and education they received at the hands of the Salesians of Don Bosco and requested the Salesians to continue with greater enthusiasm, the mission of Don Bosco for Arunachal Pradesh.

Youth from Jollang Village, Don Bosco School, Don Bosco College, Don Bosco Youth Centre and students of Auxilium Convent, Gohpur Tinali presented cultural items to the delight of the crowd gathered. Earlier during the day, Holy Mass was celebrated at Catholic Church Jollang by Fr. C.D. Mathai SDB., Parish Priest of Itanagar and twenty other Priests from far and near in which prayers were offered for peace and prosperity of Arunachal Pradesh. A memorial to Don Bosco was also unveiled by Felix and senior Don Bosco Alumni Members. A book authored by Fr. Mathew Narimattom SDB which contains lessons for life for all, especially youth was also released by the Parliamentary Secretary to mark the occasion.



Need to maintain old relation between Assam & Arunachal: Thongchi

Pekba Ringu

Famed writer YD Thongchi has emphasized on the need to maintain the age old relation between Assam and Arunachal.

He said this while attending a meeting of AASU (All Assam Students’ Union), Harmutty branch at Harmutty at their invitation.

He requested Samujjal Bhattacharjee, Chief Advisor, AASU, who was also present in the meeting to find an amicable solution to the vexed boundary issue of the two states.

“Harmutty is the perfect example of amity between Arunachal and Assam. We are dependent on you for our daily food items like potatoes, onions and other vegetables. And by providing our necessities the people of Harmutty earn their livelihood in return,” said Y.D.Thongchi, who is also the President, APLS (Arunachal Pradesh Literary Society) Bhattacharjee on his part promised to do his best to find a solution to the boundary problem. He also revealed that there is a proposal to make Thongchi as an Advisor to AASU in finding a permanent solution to the vexed issue and other challenges confronting the entire North-East amidst the cheering crowd. He further requested likeminded citizens and other organizations from Arunachal to come forward and work with him in finding an amicable solution to the boundary issue and the illegal Bangladeshi problem of the North-East. “I need your help and co-operation. Let us work together to find a solution,” Bhattacharjee said.

The other highlights of the programme were the colorful procession and presentation of dances of different tribes of Assam including Arunachal and inauguration of ‘Swahid Bedi’ and ‘Swahid Bhavan’ by Bhattachrjee along with the release of commemorative journal of the AASU, Harmutty branch by Thongchi.

Also present in the meeting were Lingdam Tasch, executive member IFCSAP (Indigenous Faith and Cultural Society of Arunachal Pradesh) and Dr. P. Ringu, Convenor cum Assistant General Secretary APLS.



Swachh Vidhyalaya Abhiyaan by SLHEP is the best in India’

ITANAGAR, Feb 01: The progress in construction of toilets in schools under Swachh Vidhyalaya Abhiyaan being implemented by Subansiri Lower Project of NHPC has been adjudged as the best amongst the various power sector entities in India.

This was declared by Devendra Chaudhary, Special Secretary (Power) Government of India during his review meeting with officials of various power sector entities like NTPC, NHPC, PGCIL, NEEPCO, REC, PFC, etc, according to an NHPC release.

The meeting was conducted on January 30 through video conferencing mode and participated by other officials of Ministry of Power, besides representatives from all power sector PSUs. The Special Secretary (Power) reviewed the progress in construction of toilets of all power sector PSUs operating in 11 states in India.

Subansiri Lower Project of NHPC has undertaken the responsibility of constructing 124 toilets in 107 schools of Arunachal Pradesh and 2228 toilets in 2026 schools in Dhemaji, North Lakhimpur and Sonitpur districts of Assam making an expenditure of around Rs. 40 cr rupees from its CSR-SD fund.

For effective implementation of this mission being implemented under CSR-SD scheme of the Corporation, Subansiri Lower Project has formed 12 teams of its employees and each team has been assigned a cluster of schools in which they shall conduct survey, sign MOU with School Management Committees/ Development committees (SMCs/SMDc) and monitor the construction activities.

For optimal utilisation of resources, SMC/SMDC of respective school has been entrusted to undertake construction activities. Provision of water through bore-well has also been kept in the schools as per requirement.

Within two months of launching of the Swachh Vidhyalaya Mission, Subansiri Lower Project has signed MOUs with more than 600 schools in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh for construction of around 750 toilets, of these, construction of toilets have  already started in more than 300 schools.



PPA alarmed at suspension of coal mining due to insurgency

ITANAGAR, Feb 1: People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) said that the suspension of coal mining at Namchik Namphok in Changlang district by Centre due to insurgency is a matter of grave concern which needs to be taken up by each and every citizen of the state.

“This is an issue which needs to be taken up by each and every citizen in the state cutting across party affiliations. The state, instead of fighting for ownership rights over its own resources, had to plead the Centre for mining rights!” PPA said in a release

PPA President Kahfa Beniga appealed to the intellectuals, all national political parties, student community and various other civil organizations to demand for giving Article 371-A status to Arunachal Pradesh which is the only panacea to make the state economically self sufficient and self reliant. Bengia said this while reacting to Geology and Mining Minister Kamlung Mosang’s reported confession that he along with the Chief Minister Nabam Tuki had pleaded the Centre for lifting suspension of coal mining at Namchik Namphok in Changlang district.

"Growth of insurgency in certain parts of the state is because of poor economic growth and growing regional imbalance in the development process of the state. This can be taken care of if the state owns its own resources like land, water and forest including the underground mineral resources and the youths are made stake holders in the development of the economy.

“Unless such an arrangement is constitutionally made valid, the 'dependency syndrome' of this state over the Centre will linger on for generations to come,” the party president opined.

PPA sought support in its resolution to demand and fight to incorporate the state under Article 371-A of the Indian Constitution.



Donggin Mythology

Tashor Pali


As per mythology of Adi Bori community, there was a tree called Rondo Neteh (a kind of Peepal Tree) in a village. The tree starts growing rapidly and disproportionately thereby covering the entire space of human habitation. In order to get rid of the tree, a meeting was convened by the village folk where Takar Yapir, a smart hunter from the village, was assigned to cut down Rondo Neteh. Accordingly, Takar Yapir cut down Rondo Neteh. Suddenly, a noise starts coming from the trunk of the felled tree. On close observation, Takar Yapir found a Tachchin (a kind of insect)which was making noise from inside the felled tree. Out of curiosity, Takar Yapir brought that Tachchin home. But that Tachchin again starts to grow rapidly taking the shape of a Wild Boar like creature. Takar Yapir reared that Wild Boar like creature in his Pig Sty. But that Wild Boar like creature become very violent and ran away from Takar Yapir’s Pig Sty.

When the incident was reported, the village folk took that as a challenge and decided to hunt down the Wild Boar like creature by Kiruk (A Traditional Community Hunting in Adi). After two days of Kiruk, the Wild Boar like creature was finally hunted down and eaten up by the villagers. After a while a Tankung (Quail/ wild bird) in search of food landed in the place where the Wild Boar like creature was killed. When The Tankung starts foraging using its legs an Egg like object appeared in that place which was again spotted by Takar Yapir. Out of curiosity, Takar Yapir, brought that egg like object home again. But this time also, that egg like object starts troubling the village. Where ever Takar Yapir places that egg like object, there start landslides and other calamities.  

In order to get rid of that egg like object, Takar Yapir, took that object to several people to get it destroyed but no one could break or destroy that egg like object. So it was decided to parcel a Konying (a specially made needle/poker) from Kojung Jango(Tibet) to poke and break that egg like object. Finally, with the help of the Konying, that egg like object was poked and broken. When it was broken, an insect with very loud noise appeared and fled away. The villagers, decided to name that insect Berbi. ( Cicada, a seasonal insect)

Since then the Berbi heralds the season of Donggin. When the Berbi which is regarded as the harbinger of new season, starts singing in the Jungle, village folks understands that the season of festival has arrived to appease supreme deities through ritual activities.

Among the supreme deities, Podi Meteh, is believed to be the deity of Domestic Animals, Togu Yugon, the deity of wellbeing and prosperity, Miti Mitak the deity of Food Grains, Miring Mising the deity of wealth and Pirne Toneh, the deity of Harvest.

Donggin does not imply a single festival. Within the umbrella of Donggin Festival falls many festivals like LIIH, TAPU, GANEH, Solung and Mopun. These festivals are observed to appease various benevolent deities and ward off the malevolent ones so that people enjoy good health and prosper in their lives. Among all such festivals within the month of Sobo Yere, Sobo panon (Mithun Sacrifice) is treated as the main and the most important festival which come to be known as DONGGIN by the people of Adi Bori community.

All the rituals and ceremonies observed by the village folk for the wellbeing of mankind that falls within this season is termed as Donggin.

In the olden days Donggin Festival was celebrated for 6 days.

Day 1. The Day 1 of Donggin was called Binter. On this day, women folk of the village collect the food grains from the Kunsung (Granary) and get it dried in the sun followed by husking and grinding. When all the rice and other food stuffs are ready for the festival with collective effort of women folk a party is thrown on the occasion which is called Binter.

Day 2. The day 2 of the Donggin was called Esing Eko which means gathering of materials from jungle which are required for the festival. Esing Eko means firewood and Jungle leafs. During the second day, the youngsters of the village ventured out in a group to collect firewood, jungle leafs used for packaging food items, bamboo etc which are required for the festival. During such occasion, food, Apong (local beer) are served to youngsters by the host family of the festival.

Day 3. The day 3 of Donggin was called Siling Tanon. On this day, special kind of tree Aamit Esing is cut down and split into small pieces and dried In the sun. These Siling Tanon is used for the decorative items and firewood as well during the festival days.

Day 4. The day 4 of Donggin was called Sokang Ranon. On this day, village folk collectively construct the Sokang (Alter for Mithun Sacrifice) in the Lotteh (Corridor), Batung,( Near Staircase), Kunsung (Near Granery) of the host family.

Day 5. The day five of the Donggin was called Sobo Panon. This is the most important day of the festival. On this day, the actual sacrifice of the domestic animals (mithun, Pigs etc) to appease various deities is being carried out. The specially entrusted priest is engaged the whole day to chant the mythology related to Sobo Panon. The priest also narrates the history of the past achievement of forefathers of the host family in chronological order where their genealogies are also narrated in detail. The priest here plays the role of communicator and the mediator between the mortal humans and the deities.

The last day or day 6.The concluding event of the Donggin is done after 3 (three) days of Sobo Panon, which is called Gumbo. 3 days of social taboo called Nyonon is observed by the host family immediately after Sobo Panon (Mithun Sacrifice Day). After the 3 days of Nyonon, the youngsters of the village collect 4 numbers of very long bamboos for Gumbo. (Specially decorated bamboo). The Gumbo is decorated and sprinkled with Apong,(Local rice beer) Etting (Rice Powder) etc and then they are erected two pieces on each side of the host’s roof which are made to join each other at the top of the roof. This marks the conclusion of the festival of Sobopanon in Donggin. On this day the priest through his ritual chanting bid farewell to all the deities and urged them to shower the choicest blessings to human kind and especially to the members of the host family.

In the olden days when there was no fixed monthly calendar, there was no particular fixed date for the Donggin festival. People had to count on the season for the festival. The winter season which falls within modern day calendar of February to March was the season for such festivals which is also called as the Sobo Yere Polo in local dialect, the months of domestic animals.

In the due curse of time, it has taken the shape of modern days Donggin Festival which is being observed officially on 2nd February every year.

“Agon pe”.

(This article is conceptualized by Takit Tabang President, DFCC, Aalo, 2014-15 and written and edited by Tashor Pali.)



Copyright © 2008, The Arunachal Times Publications Pvt. Ltd., Siang House, Sector - E, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh - 791111, India

All rights reserved.


---- Editorial ----


Election without development agenda

With just four days left for campaign to end, the high octane campaigning in Delhi assembly polls reached its crescendo on Sunday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal pulled no punches in taking on rivals. Though political pundit believes that it is two ways straight fight between BJP and AAP, the Congress is trying hard to make its presence felt.

Party president Sonia Gandhi today launched aggressive campaign by terming PM Modi as "pracharak" and Kejriwal a "dharnebaaj". However, sadly except launching allegations and counter allegations at each other, none of the leaders including Prime Minister Modi presented any vision to the voters for development of Delhi. From all account it seems this election is being fought on personality basis and development agenda have taken back seat. Voters of Delhi will have to tread-carefully while exercising their adult franchise and don’t get swayed away by high voltage speeches of the politicians.

---- Readers Forum ----


Polygamy: a curse and its cure

Dear Editor,

Polygamy is prevalent in almost every culture, in many of them, it has even got social sanction. The moral reasons for this social evil may be human’s lust and greed. But I think the fundamental fault lies in the way we have traditionally viewed woman especially when it comes to their role and status in marriage and society. The primitive sense of understanding the relationship between man and woman in marriage can be best explained with the analogy of correlation between man and his field - the former being the owner and the latter owned.

Firstly, a man owns a field where he sow his seeds expecting it to bear fruits, however, if the field turns out to be barren (unable to bring forth offspring), it is natural for him to look for greener pasture somewhere else. In Hindu society, it is a curse for woman if she is unable to conceive. In Adi society, there is a system of ‘Magbo gidung’, in which the men do not bring their wives home immediately after marriage. Night after night, the bridegroom has to go to bride’s house to consummate the marriage; this can go on for months or years, sometimes until their children grow up. It ends when the girl’s parents finally allow her to leave home and live with her husband. Verrier Elwin in his book ‘Philosophy of NEFA’ observed that the practice was originally followed in order to make sure that the woman is not barren, before being taken as wife (in olden days, a wife was brought to her husband’s home only when she is able to bear children).

Secondly, an owner can own as many fields as he wishes. It’s only a question of having the wherewithal. More field, more the produce, therefore, more prosperous the owner will be! In Mishmi society of Dibang Valley, a man’s status was traditionally equated with the number of wives he can keep. Like it happens in Nyishi society, it is an expensive affair for a mishmi man to find a wife considering the numbers of mithun he has to give away as bride price. So, possessing more than one wife was a symbol of opulence!

Thirdly, the owned cannot choose its owner. Even in Galo society where Polyandry was practice in olden days, the wife could be shared only among siblings and not with anyone outside the family. It has more to do with the consent of the husband than the choice of wife.

Even today, when a man commits adultery, his act is viewed with some kind of leniency that almost borders on acceptance. But if a woman commits the same, it is treated as if she had done something unthinkable – a taboo. As per Jewish and Muslim traditional law, a woman who commits adultery was punished by stoning her to death. The logic is simple: if the owner goes after more fields, it is enlarging his estate and if the field looks for someone other than the owner, it is facilitating encroachment!

So what is the solution? The foremost step should be to correct our traditional prejudiced view of women. God created an (not many) Eve for an Adam and vice versa. Monogamy was the intended design. According to Bible, the reason for creating man and woman was that, one was incomplete without the other. The roles of man and woman, especially in the context of marriage, were meant to be complimentary like that of co-helpers where the helper provides strength to the helped in the area where it is lacking. For example, there are many roles in my family where I can’t be as efficient as my wife however hard I try and the same goes true for my wife. So, the status of husband and wife in marriage is not that of owner and owned but of partners; the relationship between them is not of competition but of team work; the pursuit for them, therefore, should not be domination of one over another but that of mutual respect and admiration.

The solution offered here is from a Christian perspective.


Dipten Ratan




Salute to brave personnel in uniform

Dear Editor,

Tears well-up in our eyes and the heart of every Indian would bleed after seeing the picture of the brave daughter of Col. M.N.Rai paying her last respects  to her martyred father who was killed in a fierce gun battle with the militants in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district just a day after his name was announced for the gallantry medal. Many of the Armed forces personnel are cut off from their family and children for months together as they are currently guarding our borders, patrolling our coastlines and protecting Indian airspace, to keep India safe and secure. But let us not forget that they too have their own dreams and hopes, joys and sorrows, but it is their olive green, Navy White & Air force Blue uniform, which camouflages all their emotions.

Some Armed forces personnel lose their life at a very young age leaving behind their loved ones or some lose their limbs while fighting terrorists, which leaves them emotionally and psychologically traumatised. In a fraction of a second their life changes and they have to spend the rest of their life as a cripple. Here begins the second and more arduous battle for them and their families. But they and their families know that after the tears dry up they have to find the inner strength to move on in life because they know that despite their handicap their spirit remains unvanquished because the heart that beats inside is the heart of a soldier.


T S Karthik







All email and surface mails must be accompanied with contact numbers and full postal address. Do keep writing but please make sure that letters are short and to the point.