By Vivekananda Chakma
The way a well-cooked dish tastes good, the way a beautiful house captures everyone’s heart, living in Arunachal Pradesh has its own tasty experience. A dish tastes delicious when it has the appropriate amount of all the essential ingredients mingled. The same goes for the building of beautiful house too. When I talk about the beauty of Arunachal, my focus goes beyond those green hills, mountains, rivers, flora, and fauna etc. But let me explore each ingredient that reflects the eternal beauty of the state according to me. So, let me move out beyond the scenic attractions surrounding me.
What, I believe, goes missing when people talk about the ‘beauty’ of the state is ‘Unity in Diversity’, a term that makes every Indian proud representing the whole nation in the eye of the entire world. So confining to this beautiful state, I find what deepened the beauty of Arunachal is co-existence, warmth, acceptance, peace, and harmony among various communities living together in the state.
These are the factors that safeguard the state and prevent disharmony and communal riots. And because of them ‘Arunachal Pradesh’ today enjoys the status of being one of the most peaceful states of the country. Now to keep the peace and harmony prolonging in the state, every community has the moral responsibility and obligation to come together and set themselves inside a circle of humanity, wholeness, and inclusion.
However, in recent times, this peaceful state became a subject for national debate when the issue pertaining to citizenship of both Chakma and Hajong surfaced after Supreme Court giving order for the grant of citizenship to these two deprived communities. Considering one side of the coin, it is obvious and understandable that other tribes enjoying all kinds of rights and privileges would voice against the order. But if things are well analyzed, observed closely and thought rationally, granting of citizenship to Chakma and Hajong communities will neither hamper the local populace nor adversely affect the state’s economy at all.
For instance, in a prolonged period of 50 years since the settlement of Chakma and Hajong communities in Papum-pare or Changlang districts, not even a single incident leading to communal disharmony has been reported so far. Whatever are there in the record book, those are the petty issues and some of them are partially fabricated too.
Focusing on Changlang, the district where a majority of Chakma and Hajong people are concentrated particularly in the circles of Diyun and Miao along with two other tribes-the Singphos and Khamtis-two fellow Buddhist communities loving together. It will be a remark of the fool to say that there is an on-going animosity among those tribes. But during all of my growing years, I found the cultural acceptance, mutual respect, and also few inter-caste-marriages.
Chakmas, Khamtis and Singphos are participating together in a religious event in Bangalore
Singphos and Khamtis have vast acres of land and they do not cultivate food crops but depend on the Chakmas. They invite Chakmas to cultivate their lands based on sharing the total output as produce equally. In major markets like Diyun, Manabhum, and Miao, most of the vegetable sellers selling different kinds of vegetables in the market are Chakmas. They play the significant role in shaping the local economy of the Changlang district. So, all in all, one can say that all the tribes are inter-dependent on one another. Besides, in some of the good private schools run by Chakma entrepreneurs, many students from every community are currently studying, acquiring the quality education.
Even in Innao Government higher secondary school, the majority of students studying and excelling in studies are Chakma students who have taken the pride and name of the school to next level. The same case is also with Diyun School. Considering all these scenarios, who can say Chakmas and Hajong people residing in the state for more than five decades will be a burden for the state to offer equal citizenship?
Therefore, just for clearing the air, we should not be pessimistic, rather let’s all come together, accept one another and engage in changing Arunachal Pradesh into one of the prosperous states of the country, keeping aside all the hesitation.