November 05

Cash reward stands

ITANAGAR, Nov 04: The cash reward of Rs 2 lakh announced by the Arunachal Pradesh Police for giving information or clue leading to arrest of the assailant/s of Tongam Rina, Associate Editor of The Arunachal Times still stands. The identity of the informer/s will be kept secret.  The informer/s may contact Capital SP at tele. numbers : 09436040006


Five DNGC NCC cadets selected for pre-R-Day camp

ITANAGAR, Nov 04: Altogether 3 SD boys and 2 SW girls NCC cadets from DNG College, Itanagar  have been selected for the pre-RDC 2013 in the  combined annual training camp  which concluded at Mangaldoi College, Assam on Nov 4 last. A total of 36 NCC cadets (21 SD and 15 SW) from DNG college, took part in the ten days long camp conducted by the 5 Assam Bn NCC under Tezpur group headquarter. The Cadet from 1 AP Bn NCC unit Naharlagun led by under officers Tomo Taba and Nada Yaring of DNG College  won the 1st prize in group song, 2nd prize in group dance and Cadet Wangku Wangsu  won 1st prize in drawing competition.

Earlier,  UO Nyomi Namkang and Sgt Kabak John -- two NCC cadets from 1 APBn NCC unit DNGC had completed all India TSC (Thal Sainik Camp) organized by director general NCC New Delhi on Oct 9.


Hand over the buildings: AADVA

ITANAGAR, Nov 04: The All Arunachal Development Volunteer Association (AADVA) has written to chief engineer RWD stating that even though office of agriculture development officer at Sangram in Kurung Kumey was completed in the year 2010, it has not been handed over to the concern department. The FCI godown/store was also completed in 2012.   

Both the buildings were constructed under RWD, Laying Yangte division. The association has called for handing over of the buildings to the concern department at the earliest.


UAEA reiterates demands

ITANAGAR, Nov 04: Unemployed Arunachalee Engineers’ Association (UAEA) (electrical) has reiterated its demand for immediate re- advertisement of five JE (electro-mechanical) posts in the department of hydro power development.  The Association urged the hydro power development department to follow the present recruitment rules and look into its demand at the earliest and said that the matter should not create any misunderstanding among the different unemployed engineering wings.


APSCW team visits Koloriang for legal awareness

KOLORIANG, Nov 04: A three-member team from Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for Women led by its Chairperson Gumri Ringu recently visited Palin, Sangram and Koloriang to create legal awareness among masses.

The team held awareness cum interaction program with the public, panchayat leaders, gaon bura's, officers and NGOs at Koloriang on November 2.

Addressing the gathering, the APSCW Chairperson highlighted the role and activities of the commission, which objective is to represent the rights of women in the country and to raise voice against women atrocities.

She said that the suggestions given by the speakers will be pursued with the government.  APSCW member Meyo Taku emphasized on the women to do their best in every field and also highlighted on the various laws and rules relating to women. Another member Yapik Kulo spoke on Domestic Violence Act and its various features.

There were several speakers, who spoke on domestic violence, child marriage and bondage labour.

Ringu Kama, i/c DD ICDS and ADC Hage Takka also spoke on the occasion.  DIPRO  


Awareness campaign on safe drinking water

Bomdila, Nov 4: As a part of its month-long Campaign to educate and create awareness among villagers of the district on Safe drinking water and water quality monitoring under National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) cum Information Education and Communication (IEC), a third phase of mass training programme on handling of Field Test Kit (FTK) concluded on 4th November 2012 at Dirang under Dirang Block.

Addressing the gathering Assistant Engineer Tok Rana, spoke about water borne Diseases and source of contamination of the water. Further he stressed on awareness cum education among common mass to prevent contamination of sources and it sustainability for future. Meantime he appealed the participant voluntarily come forward and availed such opportunity for their respective society.

Addressing the mammoth gathering, District Consultant (PHED) Bomdila, Duter Taipodia said “you cannot trust the tap from where you have been fetching water since last 20 to 30 years because contamination can take place anytime, anywhere and any moment”. Meantime he gave the power point presentation on water borne diseases and how it can be mitigated. Further, he detailed about the parameter to be checked and tested before consuming the untreated water and appealed all the participants to practically exercise the knowledge gained from the training programme for better health and for better life.

Meanwhile  the team led by District Consultants along with Lab-Assistants and Block Coordinators manually demonstrated the trainees in practical session regarding FTK and how amateur can monitor the Drinking Water Quality.







112 days have passed. The culprits involved in the July 15 attack on The Arunachal Times associate editor Tongam Rina are still at large. 

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

All rights reserved.


Fire devours five houses, kills one GB at Kadu

PASIGHAT, Nov 04: Mintem Kadu, Gaon Burah (GB) of Kadu (Loglu) village was burnt to death in a devastating fire accident in Kadu (Loglu) village yesterday morning, reports DIPRO.

The houses of Mintem, Marjir Kadu, Jummar Kadu, Jumrik Kadu and Yaabom Kadu were completely gutted and properties worth lakhs of rupees lost in the fire accident that occurred yesterday morning at 4 am, sources said.

Kadu (Loglu) village is located 10 km from circle headquarter Koyu.

Reportedly, villagers rushed to the site of the accident to put off the fire before it spread to other places.

The devastating fire destroyed assorted items, including kitchen utensils, common household goods, local beads, groceries, food stuff and clothes etc.

Meanwhile, local MLA Tako Dabii, in a Fax message from Delhi asked the East Siang Deputy Commissioner to provide immediate relief to the affected families.

Taking stock of the post accident situation, EAC Ainstein Koyu, said that the value of properties lost/damage in the fire can be ascertained only after proper investigation and assessment.

Local leaders and villagers have extended all help to the affected families by providing food and shelter to the victims.

Ramle Banggo Welfare Society, Itanagar General Secretary Kayi Dabi while assuring all possible help to the victims from the Society, appealed to the people to extend their help in the process.

Meanwhile, Ramle Banggo Students Union        (RBSU)  deeply mourned the death of Kadu in the fire mishap. It conveyed deep sense of condolence to bereaved family.

Further, the Union appealed to the East Siang district authority to provide immediate relief assistance and compensation to the fire victims.



Tardy progress of highway works irks people


RUKSIN, Nov 04: The tardy progress of two-lane highway road construction works by Border Road Organization (BRO) citing paucity of fund and technical reason is causing a great deal of dissatisfaction among the people.

The commuters have been facing hardship due to slow-pace of reconstruction work of the National Highway (NH-52) between Sille and Saatmail near Pasighat and Mebo and Hawali as more than 30 km stretch of the highway in the district is yet to be reconstructed.

The BRO has completed a stretch of 11 km of the road from Ruksin to Sille and another 8 km near Pasighat town, while rest 15 km stretch remained in worn-out condition. Same situation is also observed in Mebo subdivision, where the longer portion of the hilly road between Mebo and Hawali is not yet touched by the BRO.

Though there was a proposal to divert about 15 km of the highway between Sille and Saatmail, it was finally cancelled and reconstruction has started on the earlier track.

Driving becomes almost impossible along the dilapidated portion of the road with large potholes and deep ditches.

The highway passing along the Assam-Arunachal border is the lifeline to East Siang, Upper Siang and parts of twin Dibang Valley districts as essential commodities to those areas are transported through this route. It links North Assam with East Siang, Upper Siang, twin Dibang Valley and Lohit districts ends at Sitapani junction near Saikhowaghat of Tinsukia district in Upper Assam.

The vital highway link came up at the time of Chinese aggression in 1962, for transportation and mobilization of security forces to the Indo-China border. But, even after five decades, it has not been improved.



DA rushes relief to victims of factional fights

KHONSA, Nov 04: District Administration of Longding has taken immediate steps to bring succour to all the families affected by NSCN factional clash in Ozakho village   and  provided them basic necessities, like food, blankets, utensils etc.

A company of 4 Rajput Rifles, placed at Ozakho is trying to re-build the confidence of the people.

The heinous act is being condemned by all the public and student union leaders of Longding. DIPRO

ACF appeals for calm

Meanwhile, expressing shock over destruction of numerous houses and properties of innocent Ozakho villagers in Longding district due to clashes between NSCN (IM) and NSCN (K), Arunachal Christian Forum (ACF) appealed to the leaderships of both the warring groups not to disturb the peaceful atmosphere in the area.

While appealing for calm and restraint after the incident, ACF offered prayers to the almighty to restore peace and harmony in the affected area. Meanwhile, representatives from Wancho Baptist Churches Association (WBCA) and the Diocese of Miao today visited the people and provided them with all necessary relief items. The ACF also contributed few amounts to the affected villagers through WBCA.

More than hundred villagers of Ojakho, 15 km away from Chasa village in Tirap district, were caught in Thursday's cross firing forcing them to flee for safety. Over 18 houses were completely gutted in the incident.



Revival silver jubilee celebrations concludes

ITANAHGAR, Nov 04: The three-day silver jubilee celebrations with theme  “Yahweh: Forever Faithful”, organized by Arunachal Pradesh Christian Revival Church Council (APCRCC) concluded at Indira Gandhi Park here this evening.

The Speaker Rev Jackson B Atkins from USA, Dr Vijay Benedict of Mumbai and Dr. N. Paphino, President NCRC shared the words of God with believers, who thronged the park from various parts of state, and offered prayers.

The three-day programme also was marked by varieties of colourful cultural presentations by the members of APCRCC. Attending the concluding session, Arunachal Pradesh Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board Chairman Jalley Sonam said, “Religion is a sacred path to serve the downtrodden and poor people of the world without discouraging other religions”.

Since India is a democratic and secular country, everyone has the equal right to practice, maintain and promote their own religion, asserted Sonam, while highlighting the major roles played by the Christian community in Arunachal Pradesh for the welfare of society, particularly for the youths. Further, he informed that many youths are devoting their selfless services as missionary and pastors for the greater interest of society.



Anganwadi workers can play crucial role in HIV/AIDS prevention’

ITANAGAR, Nov 04: Deputy Director (IEC) of Arunachal Pradesh State Aids Control Society (APSACS) Tashor Pali asked the Anganwadi Workers (AWW) to play crucial role in prevention of HIV/AIDS by creating mass awareness at the grassroots level.

Addressing the Anganwadi members in an advocacy meeting at Naharlagun today, the APSACS deputy director said that HIV/AIDS is a major challenge for every one of us. Since there is no definite vaccine or medicine is invented so far to cure the communicable disease, it can only be prevented by creating mass awareness on the disease, its various modes of communication, Pali said.  AWW members being the workers at grassroots level can play a crucial role in creating HIV/AIDS awareness among the people living at far flung areas of the state, he said. Any government policy and program can be disseminated to the grassroots level with the active participation of the Self Help Group and AWW members, Pali added.

Highligting the objective organasing HIV/AIDS awareness program, he asked the AWW members to learn about HIV/AIDS so that they can equip themselves with HIV/AIDS awareness to teach people at rural areas. He also asked the AWW members to disseminate information on the services being provided at Integrated Counseling and Testing Centres (ICTCs) and Anti Retroviral Treatment (ART) to prevent and control of HIV/AIDS in the state.

Resource person of the program, Dr. Moli Basar, Medical Officer, ART Centre, Arunachal State Hospital, highlighted the four routes of HIV/AIDS transmission and its preventive measures. He called on the AWWs members to come forward and donate blood to the needy people of the state.

Another resource person Toggul Gamno highlighted the basic of HIV/AIDS prevention and transmission. She also spoke about the STI/RTI prevention and treatment.

Yumrin Nokpa, General Secretary of Arunachal Network of Positive people shared his testimony and living positive life after tested positive for HIV. He also shared his experience of living with the virus and social implication post HIV. He said, he would dedicate his rest of life for the prevention of HIV so that others may not face the situation he is facing now.

More than 100 AWWs members representing various blocks of the state attended the program with the active cooperation from the Department of Social Welfare, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh.



The wish of the Literary Genius’

A Nostalgic Recollection

Tokong Pertin

Time does not remain constant… it has a realm and momentum to its swirl. It  passes away like a breeze that quivers one’s senses and has a lingering thought of what could be. My thought exactly at this moment is of total despair because I know I should have done something for the literary genius.

As I despair in my longing thought, I know I cannot turn back the clock and remedy the situation but I can at least share one incident, which is impeccably imprinted in my memory. It doesn’t even need a refreshing button, after all these years I still remember the warm brotherly hug that I received and the soft spoken clear words of the man himself speaking to me of what he wishes after he came to know that I am an Adi youth from the present Lower Dibang Valley District of Arunachal Pradesh.

Strolling down the memory-lane, I have come across the day it was Rongali Bihu celebration in the year 1993 at Jairampur, Changlang District of Arunachal Pradesh. I was posted as the Deputy Director Industries in Changlang in those days. When I came to know about the Rongali Bihu Sanmelan and the Guest for the day, I had packed my bags and was present at Jairampur at a go. At the first glance, when I met the man himself with a larger than life image, Late Bhupen da, I remained speechless but all of a sudden I found myself surrounded with a huge brotherly hug and thus, the wall of feeling inferior came crumbling down. Such was the presence of this man, a man who had fame and reputation to his stride but still a man with compassion and a very earthy manner. I spent most of the event sitting and talking to him.

Many of you might have read his close relationship with Arunachal Pradesh. At a time when there were no boundaries to divide the people of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, the then NEFA (North Eastern Frontier Agency), part of the then Bor Asom, he was born at a place near present Shantipur and Bolung village, present day Lower Dibang Valley District of Arunachal Pradesh. In his autobiography, he has described about his place of birth and how Adi girls from the nearby Bolung village (in his autobiography ‘Moi eti jajabor’, Pg No. 5&6) used to come and take him out for playing. In the same autobiography, he had also narrated an incident when he was about 9 months old and was taken by the Adi girls to play and because it had become too dark, they couldn’t bring him home for the night and how his parents had worried thinking of him to be lost. He was bought back the next afternoon by the girls and his mother had questioned the girls that his son was just a breast fed baby and what was he given while he was hungry at night before. The girls had told that he was breast fed with milk by various Adi mothers of Bolung village. Well! this was the incident that he narrated to me while we spent the time together during the event and had told me that he wished to visit Bolung village atleast once in his lifetime and wishes to pay his respect to the Adi mothers of Bolung village who had fed him that one night and made him an Arunachalee by blood. Further Dr. Hazarika disclosed that he was breasted by Adi mothers of Bolung gaon and in times his mother used to scold him that he was as that as sentimental like as that of Arunachalee tribal people. Perhaps due to this relation, Dr. Hazarika has immortalized the mountains, hills, rivers and the people of Arunachal Pradesh with his songs, to name a few like – ‘Siangore gallong, Lohitore khampti…’ ‘Kotojawanor mrityu haal…’ ‘Tirap himanta rupahi nai anta…’ ‘Hamara Arunachal, hamara Arunachal…’ etc. etc.   

They say life is a never ending experience, you keep on learning the ways and truth of life until your last breathe, and even then wisdom can never be attained on a whimper or on a platter of gold. One needs to bow down to the residues of time and search for the true meaning. Since time immemorial, the wise man speaks that time and tide waits for none. I know now that if I had acted upon the wish and possibly arranged a tour to Bolung, then I could have atleast made a worthy wish of a literary giant come true. This is one moment I will regret in my life…but like they say life is a circle, when you do good, good karma awaits you. Bhupen Da had not only touched the life but it has touched the very soul of all the people of Arunachal Pradesh.

As the General Secretary of Arunachal Pradesh Literary Society (APLS), I feel honoured to inform that the APLS was instrumental in bringing the urn of ashes of the musical maestro, Late Bhupen da to Arunachal Pradesh and immersing it in major rivers of Arunachal Pradesh as he was deeply connected to the mountains, hills, rivers and people of the State and as a respect for the man who found happiness in being just the person he is, nothing superficial. The APLS had deputed a 20 member contingent to participate in the last rites of Late Bhupen da which was later declared as the State Delegation to attend the last rites at Jhalukbari, Guwahati. A pot containing the ash of Late Dr. Bhupen Hazarika is under the safe-keeping of APLS for the future generation of our State to know and never to forget that a man with love and respect for this mystical place dwelt amongst us. The role of APLS is not immense as compared to what Late Bhupen da did for our State and I dedicate this piece of literary inscription to the literary genius of our region, Late Bhupen Da, who have genuinely made us proud and whose legacy will ever remain imbibed in the history of the nation for being a man of substance, a man who dreamt nothing less but only for love and peace to prevail. We think we have forever but alas, we don’t. There will never be another Bhupen Da, and time certainly has passed by.  (The author is the General Secretary of Arunachal Pradesh Literary Society and is  presently holding the post of Director Trade and Commerce, Government of Arunachal Pradesh).



Rainwater harvesting key towater crisis solution : DC

PASIGHAT, Nov 04: Deputy Commissioner Rajesh Kumar Mishra along with VN Pandey SE WRD (GW) Itanagar and his associate engineers today inspected both the Rainwater Storage Systems (48,000 Ltrs capacity) and also the ground water reservoir (20,000 ltr discharge P/H) installed at the General Hospital, Pasighat. The visiting SE informed the DC that  the systems were installed by the WRD under the 12th five years plan and were funded by the central government to meet the water crisis in the hospital.

While appreciating the venture, the DC Mishra commented that conserving water is an important way to protect the environment.

Rainwater harvesting system is an excellent way to provide clean and  safe drinking water. He advised that people should be made aware of  importance of  rainwater harvesting as demand for water is growing in the city. The PHED has their own limitation  to  provide drinking  water to the growing urban populations, he said.  The DC also advised to conduct pre and post monsoon maintenance of the reservoirs to prevent water borne diseases.

Mishra while talking about the groundwater irrigation system said it can play pivotal role in agriculture sector. He said instead of MIC, groundwater irrigation system should be developed and introduced effectively to welcome green revolution in the flood prone East Siang district.

In his reply, the Superintendent Engineer VN Pandey informed that the government is planning to provide thousands of subsidized hand-pumps and bore-wells in the districts soon. DIPRO


News Impact

Cyber war

War of new era between India and China

“India is unprepared for a new and potentially

dangerous war with China in digital space”

Gaurav Upadhyay

In  the  quest  of  the  Xiangshan Hills, 25km  of  north-west  of Beijing, lie the headquarters of the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Third  Department. The name is innocuous, the purpose is not.

The rows of buildings and the vast compound are the lair of what one Indian Intelligence official calls the Digital Dragon. This is the headquarters of China’s worldwide cyber operations.

Two nations are prime targets in this complex, ongoing steps that seeks a continuous stream of operation on many fronts, including business and utilities, as it prepares for potential military conflict. They are the United States which China sees as both partner and competitor, and its traditional Asian rival, India.

Fifty years after China inflicted Himalayan military defeat on India, the battlefield may have gravitated towards digital frontier. If China goes to war with India, analysts say, the opening salvos will not be fired of artillery and aircraft over to Himalayas on the Tibetian plateau that looms over Indian defence in a 4000 km disputed boundary arc between Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. It will come from the Third Department, headed by Major General Meng Zhuezheng, a bespectacled avuncular technocrat with receding hairline.

PLA’s cyber warriors sitting on computer could unleash crippling attack to paralyse India’s power grid by targeting malware against operating systems, attack on communication nodes by triggering off unseen ‘kill switches’, disrupt air traffic, power grid by targeting the software that controls power plants and water treatment facilities to ‘move like a knife through cheese’, as one undated Chinese propaganda video described PLA’s rout of Indian Army in 1962.This new warfare, however, could well be what 6th century B.C. Chinese strategist Sun Tzu call: “The art of fighting without fighting”.

The United States, a country far better to tackle such security threats than India, sounded an alarm over two Chinese firms, Huawei and ZTE. The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, in an October 8,2012 report said, they “cannot be trusted to be free of foreign influence and pose a security threat to the United States and our system”. The committee asked the U.S. Intelligence community to be “vigilant and focused on this threat”. The report prepared after an 11 month probe, was the severest indictment of the Chinese telecom firms yet, it established their ties with Chinese military and government.’ It’s not just the U.S. In March this year, Australia refused to allow Huawei to take part in a $38-billion broadband tender. The U.K says, it is examining Huawei’s ties with British Telecom. This month, Canada cited national security reason to ban Huawei from bidding in a contract for a secure communications network. India’s Armed Forces and Intelligence agencies, which seldom see eye-to-eye, have repeatedly red flagged Huawei Technologies and ZTE since 2007. Huawei Technologies has captured 60 percent of India’s Telecom sector since its arrival in 2000 and is headquartered in Gurgaon. Indian Telecom firms are unable to resist Huawei’s siren call, its telecom hardware-router and switches and other hardware are 25% cheaper than competitors. This is reflected in the balance sheets. Huawei’s net Indian sale last years was $1.2 billion (Rs 6,447 crore). Indian agencies raised many warnings against Huawei’s penetration to Indian telecom. Their worst fear is that Chinese firm could be a Trojan Horse, meant to infiltrate India’s network in peace time and disable it through remote ‘kill switches’ in war time, through hidden ‘trapdoors’ and malicious programs  that could open back a channel to its designers.

What raised red flags were Huawei’s founder chairman Ren Zhenfei’s deep link with the PLA’s Information Engineering Academy, part of the shadowy Third Department, has continued his military connections. These concerns, have been repeatedly voiced by intelligence agencies since 2007, were given to Home ministry, Telecom Ministry and Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), but were waved aside by dismissively byTelecom Minister Kapil Sibal. Huawei, he said at a press conference in June 2011, had offered its software architecture and design to the Ministry.

”There is nothing to fear,” said Sibal. His glib reassurance may have silenced the Indian Intelligence Community in public, but not in private. A senior member of India’s security establishment shrugs his shoulders and admits that the Government has had to “balance economic considerations with security”. Huawei’s officials say such fears are unfounded. “On the issue of security, we are part of the solution rather than the problem,” says Suresh Rangarajan, the Huawei India spokesman. “We are the first to offer the Indian Government our source codes that have actively co-operated with the Government on all aspects”, he said. A Huawei statement said that Ren Zhenfei retired from the Army decades back and has since independently established Huawei. He owns only one percent shares and the rest ate owned by 65,000 employees through a public trust.

One intelligence official says, Indian agencies lack equipment, knowhow or competence, to read a complete chip and scan for installed trapdoors or malware.” Hence the suspicions that hidden protocols will be executed when a chip is plugged into the Net,” he says.

In 2006, Chinese Premier Jiang Zemin coined a new word while asking the PLA to prepare for future war. He called it war under condition of “informisation”, fighting jointly and taking technology as a tool. China has invested bewildering array of new weapons, such as anti-satellite missiles, coupled with stealthy cyber fist. These weapons, designed to deter the US, have Indian planners worried.

The anxiety has triggered alarms of possible strikes against infrastructure. Just how concern Government is, emerged during the July 31, 2012, power grid collapse that affected over 600 million Indians. A team of experts from National Technical Research organization (NTRO) that operates under National Security Advisor (NSA) Shiv Shankar Menon, rushed to the National Load Despatch Centre in South Delhi to establish whether it was a cyber-attack. It wasn’t, but it gave experts an idea of what to expect in a military crisis.

“Cyber war is a grave threat because in the past few years, kinetic war has always been preceded by cyber war.

• The March 2009 Ghost net attacks targeted Indian embassy computers; the PMO was targeted on December 15, 2009, where an infected PDF document was sent to senior PMO officials.

•  A 2010 attack by suspected Chinese hackers targeted the NSA’s office, and computers of Air Force and Navy top brass. In each case, it opened up several small windows through which classified documents and presentation were whisked away.

On October 11 this year, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta called the Shamoon virus, which attacked and destroyed 30,000 computers of Saudi Arabia’s oil firm Aramco, “the most destructive ever to hit civilian commerce”. No computer is safe these days, but Indians are too complacent. Officials routinely carry secret files home and do not isolate secret computers. This laxity is rampant even in the armed forces.

Intelligence agencies say circumstantial evidence suggests that attacks originated in China. The 2010 attacks were traced to a group of hackers in Chengdu. But the diffused nature of the Net-the attacks are often bounded off third-country servers-make it hard to pin point the brains behind the attack. Indian intelligence officials believe the espionage is a bigger plan to scan India’s entire cyber network, building up a database of vulnerabilities, and planting malware in the system.

Cyber espionage attacks on Indian computers have become persistent and increasingly sophisticated. The Saburi virus, traced inside infected computers in India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) last year, was custom-designed to tap into encrypted diplomatic messages sent by MEA to foreign diplomatic missions. Its creators  state entities, possibly within China, who obviously had the ability to decrypt these messages and afford a price tag of over $ 4 million (Rs 25 crore) to write such a sophisticated virus. An immediate outcome of the Saburi attack was, hundreds of South Block computers had to be quarantined. Shivshankar Menon changed his email address after receiving malware.

Is India prepared to tackle any kind of digital threat?

India has no unified command or cyber warfare policy. Its offensive and defensive cyber warfare capabilities are scattered over ministries.

Army,Navy and Air Force each has small Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) reporting to individual service chiefs. Defence Information Warfare Agency (DIWA) Under Director General Intelligence Agency, who reports to the Defence Minister.

Most of the departments appoint freelance hackers or small team of trained cyber warfare experts who hack into computers and networks both within and outside national borders. But they don’t have any unified command and control and work at cross purposes.

Army, Navy and Air Force each has small cyber warfare teams. Intelligence Bureau has its own team of hackers. Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Research and Analysis Wing (R &AW) have a team of hackers. National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) has a 20 men ‘Information Dominance Group’ team that conducts hacking operations.

DRDO meant to support the defence forces with development of cyber tools and cryptographic technology now wants to get into active cyber operations.

On the other hand, the People’s Liberation Army drives China’s cyber warfare policy through an army of over 130,000 cyber warriors.

The Fourth Department of GSD (4 PLA) is used for offensive cyber missions and attacks while third Department of the GSD (3PLA) is used for protective missions.

Cyber battalions operate under the GSD where each is given various tasks ranging from stealing military secrets, commercial espionage to hacking foreign networks.

India’s security establishment, of which Menon forms a critical part, has slowly woken up to threat. An irony for a country where total software revenues are expected to cross$ 87 billion (Rs 4.6 lakh crore) this year is that India is hopelessly dependent upon foreign IT products, both software and hardware. It lacks indigenous software and chips, to vital areas that would secure its cyber frontier.

Technically or political somewhere there is certain lack of will. India’s capacity of cyber warfare is woefully scattered and inadequate. “We‘re also vulnerable, as the lowest level of government- intelligence agencies foot soldiers- are also responsible for cyber security,” says MP Rajeev Chandrashekhar, who has argued for a cyber-security  architecture under  NSA.

“We need five lakh professionals to protect our cyberspace. We only have a small fraction of this,” said J. Satyanarayana,secretary, department of IT. There is no over- arching India’s cyber security policy, nor a single agency to police the Net. The Computer Emergency Response Team-India (CERN-IN) is the nodal agency for computer attacks and operates under the Department of Telecommunication and IT. Its director general, who is also India’s Chief information security officer, has just 40 personnel. The National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), tasked with protecting vital cyber resources from attack has 90 staff.

Offensive and defensive computer warfare form wings within the very intelligence agencies that have been faulted for not sharing data to avert terror attacks. The Intelligence Bureau, Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), NTRO and Defence Intelligence Agency function in vertical silos within the PMO, Home and defence ministries, scattered between North and South Block, Sena Bhavan and the CGO complex. None of these cyber warfare wings talks to each other. Operations between these agencies are so uncoordinated, that, in one recent case, two agencies separately hacked into the same foreign military website in a span of few days.

Capabilities like language skills are not developed because of such scattered resources. India has no cyber expert fluent in Mandarin, and hence has little ability to penetrate the Great Cyberwall of China. “Everything is in Chinese, passwords, commands, login, responses…if you don’t know the language, you cannot get any information,” says an intelligence official.

Speaking after  releasing an Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis(IDSA) report on cyber warfare challenges in May this year, Menon hinted that the government was putting in place “capabilities and systems that will enable us to deal with anarchic new world of constant, undeclared cyber-attack, counter attack and defence“. But what his secretariat rolled out on October 16 was far from a cyber-command - a permanent Joint Working Group of the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) and private industry that will, over the years, build up India’s cyber protection and architecture. The Government has appointed a special cyber security officer under the NSA, who will coordinate among various intelligence agencies. Slow burn bureaucratic responses to a complex fast-changing face of war. (The writer is a student of B.Tech, NIT-Arunachal Pradesh)





Remembering Bhupen Hazarika

Pekba Ringu    

I’m not a superstitious man. But whenever I contemplate about my past meetings with the great maestro Late Bhupen Hazarika, I can’t help but think that the number ‘3’ has been very lucky for me.

I am a big fan of him. Like every Arunachalee of those bygone days, I too wanted to meet him. My wish was granted in 1977. I was studying in Pasighat Higher secondary school at that time. One day, during class hours we were informed all of a sudden that Dr. Hazarika would be coming next week to Pasigaht to perform a show.

A huge wave of joy and excitement suddenly swept the whole school. And the wave didn’t stop there. The entire Pasighat Township and its periphery were in its fold. Everybody was agog about the visit. In fact, it was the topic of discussion.

The name Bhupen Hazarika used to have that effect on people of Arunachal in those days.

During those days there were no TVs or CDs for recreation. Cinema halls were few and were located only in big towns. The radio was the main source of entertainment. The All India Radio (AIR) Dibrugarh used to air programs in local dialects for the people of Arunachal.

That was the time when Arunachal was in need of a person who could guide and inspire the young artists of that time as well as showcase its rich arts and culture to the outside world. Bhupen Hazarika was the man who took up that Herculean responsibility in addition to his numerous assignments in Assam and Mumbai.

In fact, Bhupenda was the unofficial cultural ambassador for Arunachal and the then NEFA during those times.

It was he who composed the song ‘Hamara Arunachal’, previously our state song and now, the anthem song of AAPSU. The first Arunachalee feature film ‘Mera dharam,meri maa’ was directed by him. In addition, he sang and recorded duets with the famed local artists of those times like Bengia Hemanta, Moge Doji and Jomnya Siram. The Hazarika – Hemanta duet ‘Pada ngujige’ (We, both young boys) back in 1974 in Nyishi was a big hit all over Arunachal at that time.

He visited every nook and corner of the state and sang with the local artists in functions and encouraged them.

A yearly visit by Bhupenda to Arunachal was almost mandatory. As a matter of fact, the legendary leader, late Daying Ering had said to Bhupenda once, “You don’t need a pass to visit Arunachal. Because you are one of us.”

So it was only natural that the news of Bhupenda’s imminent visit to Pasighat created an atmosphere of mass excitement and euphoria.      

Finally, the day came when he arrived at Pasighat circuit house. The whole town was abuzz with the news of his arrival. Everybody was waiting eagerly for the program to begin.

The evening came and the much awaited show began in the town club. The auditorium was jam-packed with the general public and who’s who of Pasighat.  

Bhupenda started belting one melody after another. In between songs he would share about his various experiences with the audience.

The audience sat simply mesmerized. They would laugh when Bhupenda laughed. And would clap cheerily at the end of each and every song.

I still remember how everybody looked at him with love and admiration as he continued singing. Amongst the various numbers which he sang on the stage, I particularly remember the song - ‘We are in the same boat brother.’ It was a song on unity and universal brotherhood. In other words, he tried to convey that Assam and Arunachal were actually one.

Interestingly, the entire program was in Assamese. That was the period when Assamese still was the connecting language of the state. In the NEFA days it was the medium of instruction. Though the medium changed to English in the early seventies, Assamese was still the language used in the meetings and functions including day to day dealings of the people in the seventies. Assamese songs and the ‘Bihu’ dance were a part and parcel of any cultural program.

As soon as the program ended, Bhupenda was surrounded by his admirers on stage. He was showered with gifts. Packets of different sizes piled up on his lap as he sat on a chair, profusely thanking every body. People shook hands with him as they took his autograph. And he didn’t disappoint anyone.

I too took my chance. Though I got his autograph, I couldn’t talk to him much because others were in line waiting for their turn. Besides, I was just a small kid then. A photo with him was simply not possible. Because unlike the present times with its profusion of cameras and mobile cameras, during those times a camera was a thing of real luxury. Only a few collegians of J.N.College used to have a camera. It was a simple Indian made camera called ‘Agfa click III’. And whoever had it used to flaunt it proudly for the whole town to see.

Though I was very young at that time, one thing about Bhupenda didn’t fail to catch my attention. As he was briskly signing autographs, the then DC of Pasighat Mrs. P. Singh came to meet him on stage. She had also watched the entire show. I remember there was smile on her face throughout the show. Undoubtedly, she was also a Bhupenda fan.

Immediately Bhupenda had apologized to her for not able to get up and greet her as because he was laden with the numerous packets on his lap. Madam Singh also graciously smiled and said that it was perfectly all right and that she didn’t mind at all. Later, like everybody else, she also took an autograph of Bhupenda.

That day I learned the true meaning of courtesy and humbleness from Bhupenda.  

My second meeting with him was at Dumdum airport, Kolkata in the mid eighties.

By that time Arunachal was slowly waking up from its long slumber of illiteracy and backwardness, thanks to the selfless efforts of the non-local (mainly Assamese) teachers and officers. Though the NEFA like atmosphere was still there, it was fast disappearing. Assamese was relegated to the backseat and it was no longer the connecting language of the state. And Bhupenda’s visits to Arunachal became less frequent, probably due to his busy schedule or the changing tastes of the Arunachalee public.

I was waiting in the Guwahati airport to catch a flight to Kolkata along with my good friend Dr. Joram Nisa, presently Deputy Director Dental Wing. We both were studying at Kolkata at that time.

As we were sitting in the security lounge waiting for our flight, the announcer announced that the plane was ready now and asked everybody to board.

People made a rush towards the door for the tarmac. As we also moved towards the door, suddenly I spotted Bhupenda in the rear silently waiting for his turn. He was with Kalpana Lajmi, the renowned film director. But nobody noticed. Everybody was scrambling towards the door.

I told Dr. Nisa and both of us hurried towards the crowd to meet Bhupenda. But by the time we reached the gate, he had already disappeared. We searched for him in the tarmac and in the passenger cabin. But he was nowhere to be seen. I guessed then that he must be in the executive class. Since the executive class was closed for the general class passengers, I decided to try my luck at Dumdum airport.

And I was really lucky this time. As we both alighted from the plane and made our way to the baggage section, suddenly we saw him. He was standing in a corner along with Lajmi waiting for his luggage to come through the conveyor belt.

Again nobody noticed him. Everybody was busy searching for their belongings.

Though I was a little apprehensive that he mightn’t like our unannounced intrusion, we went and introduced ourselves. To our pleasant surprise, he didn’t mind at all. He was rather pleased to know that we were from Arunachal.

He asked us from which part of Arunachal we belonged to and added that he too was an Arunachalee. The late Daying Erring had also said once that Bhupen Hazarika had Arunachalee blood in him.

There is reason behind the two statements. Bhupen Hazarika’s infancy was spent in Sadiya where he was born in 1926. His father, Nilmoni Hazarika was working as a teacher at the local M.E. school. It was the Adi ladies of nearby Bolung village (in Lower Dibang valley district) who helped Bhupenda’s mother in taking care of the then baby Bhupen.

Once they took him to their village. It is said that baby Bhupen was so cute looking (he was 9 months old at that time) that the whole womenfolk of the village became enamored of him. They sent him back home the next day only. When he was hungry, the local women of the village breast fed her.

Hence, Bhupenda’s emotional attachment for Arunachal can be understood in this context.

This time also I was lucky, more or less. He obliged both of us with his autograph. He even gave us his residential address of Kolkata and asked us to visit him.

But again I couldn’t take a photo with him for the simple reason that we didn’t have a camera with us.

What moved me most about our second meeting was his generous offer before our parting. As we shook hands and said goodbye, he offered to drop us in his vehicle.

I was really touched. But as our routes differed and it would’ve taken a long time for him to drop us, I politely declined. Moreover, it would’ve been extremely selfish on our part to advantage of his generous generosity.

To this day, I remember this magnanimous generosity of his to two unknown teenagers from far flung Arunachal.

My wish of snapping a photo with Bhupenda was granted at last when I met him for the third and last time.

That was in November 10th 2010.

An APLS team led by its President Y.D.Thongchi called on him at his Nijorapar residence in Guwahati to felicitate him for his undying love for Arunachal and for his selfless contribution towards the enrichment of Arunachali art and culture.

Though we arrived a little late, he didn’t mind at all. In the beginning of our meeting he was a little serious, but within no time he opened up and started chatting and laughing with all of us like long lost friends.

And in reality also, one of his old bosom friends, the veteran Arunachalee singer Bengia Hemanta was in the group. Hemanta was with Bhupenda during the entire shooting of the first Arunachali feature film ‘Mera dharam, meri maa’ in 1974.

During that time Bhupenda had camped for almost a month at Yazali IB. Hemanta had also stayed in the same room with him and helped Bhupenda in every possible way during that tenure.

It indeed was a rare sight watching both the old timers in deep conversation with each other. My mind immediately went back to nostalgic retro mood. In my mind’s eye, I could clearly visualize the duo, young and carefree, singing together ‘Pada ngujige.’

The entire meeting was filmed in the camera of the veteran journalist Taro Chatung.

When Chatung asked Bhupenda to say something for the people of Arunachal, he had hesitated at first and had asked, “In which language should I say?” Though we all said Assamese, interestingly, he spoke in English.

Somehow Bhupenda could sense the change that had taken place in Arunachal. It was no longer like the NEFA days when Assamese was understood by everybody. When life was good and simple minus the crime, corruption and pollution.

In his talk he had exhorted the Arunachalees to be bold and courageous in every field and again sang that number of his which I had heard him singing when I had met him for the first time in Pasighat way back in’77.

It was that song on universal brotherhood implying Assam-Arunachal unity, ‘We are in the same boat brother.’

With the felicitation and conversation parts over, now it was time for photographs and autographs. And I must say that he was really generous to all of us.

At last I fulfilled my fervent desire of taking a photograph with him in addition to the bonus of more than 45 minutes of togetherness with him. And that’s why I consider the number ‘3’ auspicious for me in respect to my meetings with him.

I remember Bhupenda smiling when I told him about it.

But the puzzling part of the meeting was Bhupenda’s autograph to me. I had specifically asked him to write a word of advice.

But he had scribbled a message for the whole of Arunachal. It was in Assamese – ‘Hukhi huwa Arunasol (May you always be happy Arunachal).

I was confused at first as to why he had written a general message in a private autograph.

My best guess is, he tried to convey his last wish for the place which he had loved so much and had frequented so often in his youthful days. At that time, he was ailing and knew that his time was short.

There was always a special corner in his heart for the people of Arunachal. His creative masterpieces had mention of Arunachal and its people.

Kamal Kotoky, his PA cum guitarist had told us after the meeting that Bhupenda had been really looking forward to meet us. In fact, it was he who had been waiting eagerly for the Arunachalee delegation since early morning.

Later on, after his passing away last year on November 5th, I came to know that he had very lovingly kept the statue of the ‘laughing Buddha’ which Thongchi had presented while felicitating him.

It was with him in his bedroom. And it was with him in the Mumbai hospital where he breathed his last.

With Bhupenda’s passing away, a beautiful and a golden chapter of Arunachal has passed away, never to return. The good old NEFA days, the Assamese connection, life simple and uncomplicated – probably these will never come back.

But it would do well for all of us to remember Bhupenda and his link with Arunachal, at times.

Some past we need to forget. And some, we need to cherish in our hearts, always, as long as we live.

This is one of them.