PPA flays ruling Govt, demands removal of Aboh for alleged link with insurgents

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, Jan 11: The People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) has alleged the Tuki-led government of using threat and intimidation to coerce the MLAs of Tirap, Changlang and Longding to gain support for the government and demanded immediate removal of Minister, Food & Civil Supplies, Tirong Aboh and asked CM Nabam Tuki to step down from his office on moral ground.

Saying that the kidnapping of Panngam Ngandam, nephew of Pongchau-Wakka MLA, Honchun Ngandam by one Johnny Longriam, a member of NSCN (K) on Dec 31 was carried out allegedly at the behest of Aboh and CM Tuki, PPA President Kahfa Bengia questioned as how could a Minister who has alleged links with the insurgent groups and who takes their aid be allowed to remain in the government? Bengia was addressing the media persons during a press conference held at the Press Club here today.

While referring to the People’s rally held at Rajiv Gandhi stadium on January 4 last, Bengia said that the Tuki-led government is misusing the public money and exploiting the youths for their vested interest by organizing such huge rallies whose participants mainly comprised of students’ groups. He also expressed concern over the rising lawlessness in the state.

He further blamed the state government of not addressing the more pressing and contentious issue of granting of citizenship rights to Chakma/Hajong refugees. ‘The GoAP hired incompetent counsels who poorly represented the state in the Apex Court regarding the Chakma/Hajong issue while, on the other hand the CM hired noted counsels like Harish Dave and Ram Jethmalani for defending his case, it clearly shows where the present government’s priorities lie’, he alleged. He further accused the AAPSU, the apex student body of the state of being inept and working for the government.

Blaming the Congress and BJP government for not taking up the Chakma/Hajong refugee issue on priority, PPA Chairman Kameng Ringu further said that the party has appealed the state government, BJP and NCP to join hands and rise above party lines to address the contentious issue which could have lasting implications on the state’s demographic set up.  

PPA state General Secretary Kaling Jerang was also present on the occasion.



Aboh hits back, dismisses allegation as figment of imagination

ITANAGAR, Jan 11: Minister for Department of Tirap, Changlang and Longding Affairs Tirong Aboh today hit back at MLAs Honchun Ngandam and Thangwang Wangham over allegation of kidnapping case. In a press statement Aboh stated that he is ready to face any type of legal action and modern technology available to reveal the truth. Strongly refuting the allegation made by MLA duo from Longding district, Aboh condemned them for dragging his and that of Chief Minister’s name in the alleged kidnapping case.

“Once again I would like to refute the false allegation made by my seniors Honchun Ngandam and Thangwang Wangham. I reiterate that there is no iota of truth whatsoever in the statement of Ngandam and Wangham. I dismiss their statement as a figment of the wildest imagination. The question of using UG group by government does not arise as we at the government have been putting sincere effort to put an end to this decade old problem,” stated Aboh.  Further he added, “As a minister in-charge for the Department of Tirap, Changlang and Longding affairs,  I would like to sincerely appeal my esteemed senior colleagues to come forward and immediately return to state capital or to their respective constituencies to find ways and means to mitigate the sufferings of common people in the insurgency infested district instead of making wild allegations sitting in the comfort of air conditioned hotels far away from their beloved people and their places. I would also like to inform them that war of words in print and social media is not solution for the vexed insurgency problem that we have inherited from our predecessors.  It is totally out of context to mix up the present political situation with the decade long insurgency imbroglio. This does not serve anybody’s cause. I am deeply hurt and flabbergasted by unwarranted, uncalled for and immature statement made by such seasoned politicians like Honchun Ngandam and Thanwang Wangham on such a sensitive issue like insurgency.”

He also dismissed allegation that Chief Minister is giving step-motherly treatment to Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts. “CM Nabam Tuki has a soft corner for the people of TCL districts. He has taken up number of development schemes mainly for benefit of the people of three districts. It may be recalled that during the current financial year DoTCL fund has been almost doubled from Rs 25 crore to 40.31 crores which speaks volumes about present government’s concern for the development of TCL,” Aboh added.



BJP urges Governor to take measures to tackle law and order situation

ITANAGAR, Jan 11: The Bharatiya Janata Party, Arunachal Pradesh, in a memorandum, has urged the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh to take appropriate measure by exercising the power vested upon him under Article 371 (H) to contain any breakdown of law and order in the state, particularly Capital Complex, due to the current political situation.

The party expressed the apprehension that there may be a serious law and order problem after the High Court hearing on January 12 and the state government might not be able to tackle such situation. The State BJP also apprised the Governor about the alleged ‘serious’ law and order problems in the state, particularly Capital Complex and its nearby areas in view of the ongoing political turmoil and uncertainties looming large over the state.



Clean Arunachal Fortnight from February 1

ITANAGAR, Jan 11:  With the motto and the theme “My city, My pride! I’ll Clean It”, the “Clean Arunachal Fortnight” will be observed from February 1 to 13 as a curtain raiser to 30th Statehood Day celebration on February 20.

A brainchild of Chief Secretary Ramesh Negi, this campaign aims at keeping Arunachal Pradesh clean for a healthy environment where each and every citizen of the state is a stakeholder.

A preliminary meeting was convened by Chief Secretary with Commissioner GA, Secretary Finance, Secretary Planning, Secretary Art and Culture, DC Capital, Chief Estate Officer, and representatives of Urban Development and PWD as members in the latter’s office this afternoon. Action plan to materialize the campaign is being worked out and the deputy commissioners will work out the plans for their respective districts.

However, there will be nine zones in Itanagar and four zones in Naharlagun to ensure complete cleanliness drive where every stakeholder will render one hour of social service in the morning during the fortnight. The students will take part in this campaign within the school and neighbourhood.

The state government appeals all the NGOs and citizens to actively participate in this campaign to make it a grand success.



No student should talk between us: APYC GS

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, Jan 11: “It is a political matter and no student should talk between us”, said Arunachal Pradesh Youth Congress (APYC) general secretary Kalley Rijuju replying to All West Kameng Students’ Union (AWKSU) and All Sajolang (Miji) Students’ Union (ASSU) and termed their statements as immature and politically motivated.

Both the unions had disowned the claims made by the APYC GS against the MoS.

“They being student leaders should not get involved in politics,” he told media persons at Press Club this evening.  The unions had disowned the claims made by the APYC general secretary for leveling serious allegations against MoS Kiren Rijiju.

Kalley said that he had never introduced himself as the president of All Aka-Miji Students’ Union and had only spoken as the party worker of Congress.

It may be mentioned here that during the January 4 People’s rally at Rajiv Gandhi stadium, Naharlagun, Kalley Rijuju was introduced as the president of All Aka-Miji Students’ Union by the organizers.

“Changing of my name should not be an issue,” he said on the unions’ claim that the APYC GS had changed his name.




Itanagar to host workshop on Acting, Direction and Cinematography

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, Jan 11: Itanagar will host a 20 days’ workshop for Acting, Direction and Cinematography from January 21 to February 10 next. Organized jointly by Gonyabin Cine Production and Department of Art and Culture, GoAP, acting will have two categories, film and theatre.

For the 20 days workshop, many film makers and actors from Bollywood, South India and North East as well are being roped in.

A total of 25 participants will be trained by a total of eight film makers and actors from Bollywood, South India and North East.

Among the film makers will be Srikanth Puppala, a film maker from South Indian films who has worked under the acclaimed film maker Teja in 1000 lies (a Telugu film production of 2013) and Partha Borgohain, a freelance film maker and cinematographer, who has worked on many international projects.

Muhammad Zeeshan Ayyub of Murari fame in Raanjhanaa among his many acts and Vikram Kochhar who has worked in Matru ki Bijli Ka Mandola with Imran Khan and Pankaj Kapoor will look after the acting skills.

Informing this in a press conference at Press Club this afternoon, Director of the workshop, actor Riken Ngomle, who will also be among the resource persons of the event, said that the workshop will be a gateway for the people aspiring to be in the film line.

“Though there is potential in our people to work in this line but it is not being utilized to the fullest. We need to explore more,” said the National School of Drama alumni also adding that the workshop will help out the aspirants in this line.  Also speaking, Director Art and Culture R D Thungon while saying that most of the directors in the state are not trained called on them to join the workshop and improve themselves.

Director of the workshop Riken Ngomle further informed that a theatre production will be presented on the last day of the workshop.



NCP defends Tuki

ITANAGAR, Jan 11: State Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has termed uncalled for the allegation leveled against Chief Minister Nabam Tuki that he and his cabinet Minister Tirong Aboh instigated the NSCN (K) to kidnap the nephew of MLA Honchun Ngandam.

“Tuki who is running the State Govt. as Chief Minister for development and peace in the state cannot act as criminal,” said the state NCP in a press statement while defending the chief minister.

“The dissident MLAs of Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts should cooperate with the Chief Minister and Minister Aboh instead of playing blame for all round development of the so called undeveloped Patkai region,” the party said.

 The State NCP also said that the State Govt. should try to ensure safe return of the kidnapped person at the earliest.

The party appealed to the people of the state not to be swayed away by the rumors monger that Tuki Govt. will be toppled by the dissident group.

“His Govt. is stable and the court judgment will go in favour of Tuki led govt., because he is in right direction,” the party added.



Apex Bank goes high-tech

ITANAGAR, Jan 11: The Apex Bank has introduced Micro-ATM to reach the people of far flung areas of the state. This was informed by Apex Bank, Managing Director, Tsering Thongdok during the inaugural function of Mahadevpur and Namsai Branch offices.

Inaugurating the new branch building at Namsai, ADC, M K Deory called on the employees of the bank to be liberal in dealing with the customers and provide all support in opening of bank accounts as the most of the people are illiterate and innocent. He said that the bank plays a great role in economic and social development and cooperate each other.

Earlier, Apex Bank, MD, Thongdok also informed that Apex Bank is also going to start issuing ATM Cards for KCC, Mudra and PMJDY account holders. The bank is also opening PMJDY accounts and providing social security schemes under PMJJBY, PMSBY and APY. The Bank has launched various promotional Loan Schemes like MMPVY, CMEG Programme, CM’s Farm Mechanisation Programme etc.

EAC, H N Dubey and ZPM Jogesh Taye also spoke in the inaugural function of the bank branch. The function was attended by HoDs, public leaders, Bazaar Committee, members of SHG and Farmer Clubs members and huge gathering of general public.



16th Galo Foundation Day celebrated

ITANAGAR, Jan 11: The 16th Galo Foundation Day was celebrated yesterday at Mopin Solung Ground, Itanagar by Galo Welfare Society, Capital Unit, Itanagar with great pomp and show. The celebration was  attended by Gojen Gadi, Minister, PWD, Jomde Kena, Minister Transport and Nyamar Karbak, Parliamentary Secretary Civil Supply.

In his addressed Gadi stressed for strengthening the functioning of GWS Capital Unit by raising fund for welfare of needy people like patients who are helpless. He assured to extend cooperation to GWS for successful conduct of Galo Baane Keba to be conducted at Daari, West Siang district. He appealed his fellow ministers and MLAs to donate generously for betterment of the society.

Speaking on the occasion, Jomde Kena expressed dismay on the poor attendance of Galo people in the social activities. He asked all Galos to actively participate in the ensuing Galo Baane Keba at Daari.

Mokir Ori, Secretary General, GWS presented his annual report and also the future action plan. Dr Emi Rumi, President, GWS, gave his presidential address.

Many senior members of Galo community like Tape Bagra, retired IAS, Kadu Taipodia, Ex-Minister, Jarjum Gamlin Ete, ex-President GWS, Tony Koyu, Managing Director, APIFC, Dr Takop Zirdo also  attended the programme.



District level football and volleyball tournaments for CM’s Trophy begins

AALO, Jan 11: The district level football and volleyball tournament (for men and women) for Chief Minister’s Trophy got underway at General Ground here today.  

Teams from six constituencies of West Siang district will vie with each other for the top honours during the competition. The winning teams will represent the district at State Level Competition.

West Siang Additional Deputy Commissioner Tamik Talom, who attended the opening ceremony, described the event as a big platform to expose the hidden sporting talents. He exhorted the participating players to take up sports sincerely as government has already kept 10 percent job reservation for meritorious sportspersons in various govt. departments.

Tumto Loyi, DASO highlighted in details about the organization of the event at constituency level starting from Likabali to Mechukha from December 21 to January 5.

The winner of football and volleyball for both men and women will be awarded cash prizes of Rs. 50,000 and 25, 000 respectively along with trophies, medals and certificates. DIPRO



Tirap DC calls for coordinated efforts

ITANAGAR, Jan 11: Tirap Deputy Commissioner, Ravi Jha has urged all the government officials to work in close coordination with a missionary zeal. The DC was addressing a coordination meeting of various departments on Jan 11 in DC’s conference hall, Khonsa.

While reminding the HoDs of all the departments including Assam Rifles and CRPF regarding the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojana launched in Tirap district, the DC requested them to open accounts in the names of their Group-D staff by paying the first premium from their side to ensure 100% coverage of Group-D and other low-paid staff by the end of January.

Assuring all possible assistance from his office, the DC appealed all the HoDs not to leave station during the conduct of UDC, LDC and Peon written test on Jan 30th.

Speaking on the preparation for the ensuing Republic Day celebrations at Khonsa, Jha asked all the concerned departments to make arrangements to ensure a grand celebration. He also informed that a cleanliness drive would be carried out in the Khonsa Township on Jan 24th.

Meanwhile lamenting about the improper filing and noting procedures in the DC office, Jha called for a total overhaul and streamlining of the system. He further asked the senior and experienced Dealing Assistants to impart basic training to the new comers.



Awareness prog on the Conservation of Biodiversity

ITANAGAR, Jan 11: An awareness programme on Conservation of Biodiversity was organised by Centre with Potential for Excellence in Biodiversity, RGU at Chaglagam in Anjaw and Wakro in Lohit on Jan 8 and 9 respectively.

The programme was very enthusiastically attended by the inhabitants of the particular villages. Resource persons comprising of M.Sc students of Rajiv Gandhi University imparted knowledge on the importance of biodiversity and the need for its conservation. The programme also highlighted the prospects and concern on biodiversity conservation through presentations.

At Chaglagam, the programme was focused on the conservation of important medicinal plants like Paris Pollyphyla, Coptis Teeta and especially on Amentotaxus Assamica which is a critically endangered one. At Wakro, the programme was conducted at Apna Vidya Bhawan School and Kasturba Gandhi Vidyalaya. The school students showed their keen interest on the important medicinal plants and animals of the Anjaw and Lohit district.

Numerous questions over the topic raised by the students were answered by the resource persons. The M.Sc. students of Rajiv Gandhi University included Hawtoo Khoiyang, Neelam Gap and Ritanso Khambrai along with the Ph.D scholar Pankaj Bharali.



KVK SAC meeting held

ZIRO, Jan 11: The Scientific Advisory Committee meeting of Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Yachuli, Lower Subansiri district was held at Hapoli on January 10 and 11.

Chairing the meeting, ADC Nending Chatung stressed on developing demonstration plots wherein farmers will be able to practically view the new methodologies and practices in the agriculture sector and test grow new varieties of seeds before introducing them on large scale. He also felt the need to encourage and assist farmers clubs in all possible ways.

District Horticulture Officer Komri Murtem, lauded the efforts put in by the progressive farmers of the district and suggested cultivation of kiwis and cardamoms on large and commercial basis.

Dr. Hage Talley, DVO, stressed the need of Subject Matter Specialist for veterinary sciences in the district.

Earlier, Dr AN Tripathy, Program Coordinator, KVK gave an over view of KVK activities.

Participating in the meeting, award winning progressive farmer Kago Kampu volunteered her plot for developing it as demonstration field. Another progressive farmer Gyati Riniyo also shared her experiences on multiple cropping.

Later during the technical session, SMSs presented their achievements and action plan for 2016-17.

Various localized research issues, cropping system and cropping sequence was discussed in detail.

The meeting was also attended by Duyu Tadu, DTO (Training), ADO Leegang Ania, Hage Tachang, SD AIR, progressive farmers and farm women besides officials from various line departments. DIPRO



APPDSSU general conference held

ITANAGAR, Jan 11: The fourth general conference cum cultural meet, 2016 of All Pakke Kessang, Pijerang, Dissing-Passo, Seijosa Students’ Union (APPDSSU) was held from January 7 to 10 at Govt. Higher Secondary School, Pakke Kessang, East Kameng.

Attending the inaugural function of the conference, BC Tok, Ex-ZPM and founder member of APPDSSU, informed the gathering about the formation of the union in 1981 and various activities carried out by the union since its inception to bring together the students of Pakke Kessang and other areas under one platform.

He explicitly outlined the ways on how to develop the relationship among the members of the union, the intellectuals and parents or senior leaders of the areas to promote peace and foster unity for all round development of the area.

He also suggested the gathering to avail all the schemes of the State Govt. including the Chief Minister’s Universal Health Insurance Scheme which has been enhanced from Rs. 2 Lakhs to Rs. 3 Lakhs per household. He asked the unemployed youth to avail the skill development program conducted through job melas in every district.

ANSU general secretary Nyanya Golo gave words of advice and encouraged the delegates to be united, focus and dedicate in their studies.

Sunil Nabam, social worker, suggested the delegates to maintain strict remain discipline and utilize their youthful energy in constructive works for the betterment of the society.

Earlier, an audio album titled ‘Ngulam Dwr Bukke’ was released by Tok. It was dedicated to the people of Pakke Kessang assembly constituency.

Renowned singers, including Taba Yall Nabam, Ngurang Yaper Nabam, Ashok Sonam Tajo, Neelam Pop, Bengia Beeron, Panye Tadap lent their voices for the album.

Lyricist Biki Para Tok was the main composer of all the songs.



Orgs demand high-level enquiry

ITANAGAR, Jan 11: A conglomeration of organizations comprising of Nyishi Youth Welfare Association, Arunachal Pradesh United Youth Organisation, Save Arunachal Youth Association, Arunachal Student Federation and Tagin Justice Forum have called for CBI or NIA investigation into the allegation made by Congress leaders Honchun Ngandam and Thanwangh Wangham.

The investigation by top agencies is needed to find out truth about alleged nexus between Chief Minister Nabam Tuki, Minister Tirong Aboh and NSCN (K).  The organizations demanded booking of alleged culprit under national security act.




DLTFC meet for selection of  beneficiaries under PMEGP held

TAWANG, Jan 11: The District Level Task Force Committee (DLTFC) meeting for selection of beneficiaries of Tawang District under Prime Ministers’ Employment Generation  Programme (PMEGP) scheme for the financial year 2015-16 was held in the office chamber of the Deputy Commissioner, Tawang today.  

A total 62 applicants from the 3 sub-divisions, namely Lumla, Jang and Tawang attended the interview. Projects applied for included Traditional Dress Making Unit, Automobile Servicing Unit, Dairy Products Manufacturing Unit etc. amongst others. DIPRO.



Meeting held for Republic Day celebration

YUPIA, Jan 11: A meeting to discuss the celebration of forthcoming  Republic Day in Papum Pare District was conducted today at DC’s Conference hall, Yupia. Chairing the meeting, DC Tai Kaye requested the officers to make proper arrangement to celebrate the day in a befitting manner. He directed all officers to ensure the presence of their respective staffs during the day.

While presenting an overview of all preparations, Dr. M Komut, EAC (GA) requested all head of departments to cooperate with the district administration in making the necessary arrangement for the day. Head of Departments, administrative officers, Dy.SP and Assistant Commandant ITBP attended the meeting. DIPRO



ACS calls for strict security measures in Capital Complex  

ITANAGAR, Jan 11: Concerned over the safety of the citizens from anti-social elements, Arunachal Civil Society, an NGO has submitted a representation to the Chief Secretary in this regard.  

Citing apprehension of underground elements in the state, particularly in the state capital due to the current political situation, ACS stated that the state Capital is in danger and innocent citizens do not feel secure at all. Accordingly the ACS requested for various measures to be taken up by the state government for checking the anti-social elements.

The ACS called for submitting resumes of the occupants of rented apartments and hotels to the Police Stations for search of doubtful people from Dec 1, 2015 to Jan 8.

Requesting the state government to deal the elements with an iron hand, ACS added that intervention of the Governor is needed if it is not done.

It also requested for banning any rally or gathering as the UGs can find an opportunity to act and commit unwanted activities.



ATI training on Pension Rules

ITANAGAR, Jan 11: A five days training programme on Pension Rules and Retirement Benefits has commenced at ATI Naharlagun today.

Altogether 30 ministerial staff from various districts are participating in the training. The training is being conducted exclusively for district administration ministerial employees who are dealing with pension cases under sponsorship of State Plan Fund.

Attending the training, key resource person and Director, Audit & Pension, Md. Abdul Basit emphasized the importance of the pension rules which invariably affects every employee irrespective of status and category. He advised the trainees to take full advantage of the training and to interact and share their problems and clear doubts. Director ATI, Pate Marik, Dy. Director ATI, Priscilla Tayeng, Asstt. Director ATI, Nani Khambo and Course Director-cum Resource Person, Tanyang Tatung (FAO), Audit & Pension also spoke on the occasion.



Training on scientific feeding management in piggery production

ITANAGAR, Jan 11: Training for SHG members on improved management practices including scientific feeding for enhancing productivity of pig farms was conducted by ICAR, KVK, Anjaw on January 9.

The subject matter specialist in Animal Science explained about different types of feeds, balanced feed, nutrient requirements, inappropriate and over feeding, feed ingredients and feed formulation etc.

Three Yorkshire piglets--2 female, 1 male—was given to a progressive farmer.


January  12






Pakistan should stop supporting terror group

With Taliban once again emerging as major force in Afghanistan, it is deeply worrying the entire world. Ever since NATO forces started to leave country, the Afghan government has come under severe pressure from Taliban’s.  The militant group has launched multiple attacks in various parts of country and has managed to capture some districts. Especially for India this is worrisome development. It is widely known that section of Pakistani establishment supports Taliban. Also Pakistan sponsors those groups operating in Afghanistan which works against India. Indian interest has been targeted on various occasion. Latest being recent attack on Indian consulate at Mazar-i-Sharif. Despite such setbacks India is constantly contributing in the development process. It is in the interest of India that Afghanistan remains peaceful.

Therefore in this context, the ongoing peace meeting on Afghanistan being held at Islamabad is very crucial. Delegates from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States are participating in the talks aimed at establishing a roadmap for peace between Afghanistan and the Taliban. Delegates hope that talks, hosted by Pakistan, will help pave the way for negotiations with the Afghan Taliban. However, the Taliban, who are divided by factional infighting, are not attending. Peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban last year collapsed, after news emerged that Taliban leader Mullah Omar had in fact died in 2013. Perhaps the most significant aspect of these talks is the participation of the US and China, which can to an extent dilute Kabul's scepticism about Pakistani motives. But the complexity of links between Pakistan and the Taliban are likely to make the reconciliation process trickier and protracted. The Afghan government which is locked in a bloody conflict with Taliban militants wants Pakistan to stop giving shelter to Taliban. USA and China should put pressure on Pakistan to stop supporting anti-Afghan and anti-India forces. Unless Pakistan end support to the terror groups, peace will continue to elude SAARC region.







Readers’ Forum




High time we raise our voice against all forms of casteism

Dear Editor,

Since the opinion of Mr.Sujit De and myself will not converge at a common point revolving the issue of surname, I desire to rest my case after responding on two points raised by the former in his letter titled “Cooperation instead of conflict”(January 9).

It has become a “fashion” in the non-Muslim world to paint the whole Islam religion in a terrorist colour. But if anybody dares to point out the examples of Hindu, Sikh(in the Khalistan days of Punjab) or Christian terror(Ireland of not too distant past); the anti-Islam lobby instantly dubs it as “exceptional”! Thanks to such biased mindset prevailing in the society, Mr.De immediately terms the ordeal of my ‘Malkhandi’ cousins as an “exceptional” case of torture on a Brahmin through exploitation of surname! It is highly tragic to notice how Mr.De is trying to suggest that all Dalits of India have to discard studies following taunts revolving their surnames! But the fact remains that innumerable Dalits have prospered exceptionally well in education sphere. Yes, many have been forced to quit studies, but that is due to economic factors and such cases of drop out can be found in many impoverished families of “high caste” vintage also! Moreover casteism does not mean atrocities of “higher” caste group upon those lying at the “bottom echelon” of the caste system only. The reverse discrimination is also nothing but sheer casteism. Does Mr.De know how the people from “upper” castes have got discriminated in South India and now facing step-motherly treatment in Hindi-speaking heartland of North India? It is high time we raise our voice against all forms of casteism irrespective of the caste status of the perpetrators. 

Mr.De also supports ban of surnames as many of it suggest their “lowly” family occupations and the bearers of it have to face ostracism or abuses. But Mr.De is perhaps not aware of the fact that people, irrespective of their surnames, get discriminated on the basis of their profession also. For example, a doctor or a judge, however corrupt he/she may be, will get much more respect from the society than a “mere” night guard or an auto driver inspite of his/her impeccable honesty. Moreover when a Dalit ‘Pramanik’ office director gets many unfair advantages in the society just because of his glamorous professional status, the Brahmin ‘Chatterjee’ peon remains deprived from many entitled dues  in this supreme class-conscious “liberal” land named India! Yes, in today’s society, people get judged more by their professional status, university degree, income, houses and cars than caste status. Also far from dreading about facing ostracism, now Dalits proudly announce their typical surnames so as to take advantage of the quota system prevalent in educational and service sector. Why doesn’t Mr.De update himself? 

So prohibition on usage of surname will hardly serve any purpose. Again I reiterate that immediate steps be taken to change the mindset of people through implementation of strict laws banning discrimination on the basis of race-language-caste-region-profession and introduction of moral education in schools so that the adolescent minds can be uplifted from all divisive credentials and enlightened about the supreme or only truth of humanity 


Kajal Chatterjee,





Surnames and an unfortunate nation

Dear Editor

Apropos to the excellent discussion on surnames, I would humbly like to add that although the ideas portrayed by the authors are excellent and greatly appreciated. However, if they could ever be implemented based on the ground realities of the rigid Indian caste divisions across the nation is an important question to answer. India is possibly the only nation in the world where many communities voluntarily want to be declared socially backward to benefit from reservation in jobs and education. However, such efforts have only helped a handful creamy layer while vast majority of the down trodden caste and communities have been deprived of the economic boom and modernization that India evolved through decades. The socio-political situation of the Indian democracy is not that strong to completely eradicate discrimination and prejudices from the society in the next three to four decades. Inter caste and inter religious marriages are still being unofficially prevented and couples are hounded and killed mercilessly by their own community or family members across the nation. Every political party of the nation has survived by playing caste politics and dividing people. However, I believe the division has worked as the separate feeling and caste hatred has remained with the communities for centuries. Horrific Incidents of caste discrimination and prejudices, deaths and riots detrimental to be acceptable in any modern, democratic society have been reposted across the nation for decades without any change. The politicians just exploited that angle for their long term interests. Lack of education and awareness in vast majority of rural and remote corners of India is a big gap to be sociologically bridged; and is a humongous task that none of the governments since independence has been successful. Under such unfortunate circumstances of socio-economic and socio-political apathy, surnames and accompanying prejudices are going to survive in this unfortunate nation for decades to come.


Saikat Kumar Basu

Lethbridge AB Canada


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