Skip to content Skip to navigation

15 August - ‘Transfer of Power’ Day

A decade back, when in my mid-teens, I went on a trip to Kameng in neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh. I knew that my generation had been very successfully indoctrinated with the concept of Indian and India. So I was looking out for an old grandpa to know the unadulterated reality of erstwhile N.E.F.A (North East Frontier Agency). My wish was answered when I met a gaonburha (village headman), with his grandchild near a hanging rope bridge. I struck a conversation with the tiny tot and his grandpa. When I asked the gaonburha whether he thought himself to be an Indian or a Chinese, I got the most amusing answer I have ever come across till date. The grand old man said, “Xeitutu moi naejanu” (I don’t know that).

In the present day grand Indian socio-political and economic scenario, the gaonburhas are like microbes. They are there, but their existence cannot be seen nor felt. The local politicians and ministers are the jelly fish. They are there, they can be seen, but spineless, without a backbone to support themselves. The central ministers and the massive corporations and giant companies are the whales and sharks, ready to gobble up the numerous microbes and quite a many jelly fish any moment, any time. No doubt, mega dams is imminent in north-east. The pitiable ignorance of the microbes, the lack of assertion of the jelly fish and the disturbingly high ethno-diversity will contribute to the realization of mega dams by the whales and sharks of India. Their best prey being Arunachal Pradesh, followed by Assam.

During the British reign in India, the East India Company acted as the representive of the British Crown. Post 1947, the desi governments act as the representative of the corporate. Mega dams are symbols of greed, more than need. How do we substantiate the generation of more than 70,000 MW when the required stands at 400 MW? The British used the Assam for extraction of fuel (petroleum, coal) and tea production. The scheme continues till date. Nehru made use of Assam (the Assam of the 1940s) for immigration and settlement of refugees from East Bengal. Indira Gandhi continued with the same scheme in the 1970s during the Indo-Pak war 1971. Now Assam and Arunachal Pradesh will be used mega dams. The question is who decides for our resources? Pre-1947, it was the British. Now it is the power lobbies who call the shots from Delhi and their glitzy offices in the commercial capital cities of India. The ground reality has not changed after the British left India. What happened in 15 August, 1947 is more of a shift of power. This can be called ‘Transfer of Power’ Day (T.O.P. Day). It was on this day that the political decision making powers was transferred by the Whites to the Browns (or lets say the ‘Coloured’ to sound politically correct).

The numerous militant groups will defy the Independence Day. But even day can join in to celebrate the event as T.O.P. Day, since they are giving dictats from the ‘Top’. They might also enjoy the ‘transfer of power’ once they get ministerial posts, be it in the present political boundaries or those envisioned by the C-in-Cs. Going by the mode of operation, the percolation of message is from the bosses rather than the echo of the grassroots. While the leaders build fortunes in foreign countries and indulge in all delights, it is the village youths and their families who end their precious lives chasing the elusive mirages created by their respective bosses.

As for me, the next time I visit Kameng, the gaonburha and his village will be long gone. There will be a huge lake instead. The tiny tot might be in some urban pocket. And if I ever come across him, we shall be talking in Hindi. Some persons have decided everything for us. The resentment and aspirations of millions, the pride of existence of the grassroot populace hardly matter for this set of policy makers. Indeed, 15 August carries the essence of ‘T.O.P. Day’.

Author info

pallavibarua's picture


arunachali's picture

as an Arunachali i agree wid most of wht u say..we are like colonies also i find it sad we speak hindi with u assamese, we even speak hindi to our own parents
VoxPopuli's picture

Am I getting a sense of deju vu? The sentiment echo those uttered by Maniram Dewan. And those of Ambika Giri Roychoudhury. Both before our times. And in our times, those uttered by Bhrigu Phukan, Bharat Narah, Prafulla Mahanta, and other student leaders (not the politicians as they reincarnated!!) But there's not an iota of change of ground reality. In times to come, there would definitely be more such sentiments. But there may not be anyone caring or daring to voice it out. Yes, definitely we have to voice our feelings. Else we will be dubbed as a dead civilization. But are we not already!! Fate decided by those who dont belong to these parts, and hence has no feelings for these 'backward' areas, nee colonies... But scream, till your voice turns hoarse, and even burst to lose your voice. That's all we can do. Latest example, the volte-face of Mr. Jairam Ramesh. More will come in days, years and decades to come. But our civilization and culture would be long gone by then. Aztecs and Incas wont be the only dead civilizations. Till then, EXIST and SURVIVE, but dont ever expect to LIVE. Amen
gajendra patil's picture

your thoughts are correct power is shifted from british to Hindi spiking people on basis of large flux of illiterate people from hindi belt are grabbing land, power, jobs it is very dangerous situation in maharashtra we were 95% marathi speaking in 1960 reduced to 65% , it is essential that each state must be given more power and permit syustem for sttlement otherwise people like Milind deora, Priya datt,Vijay Drada,Suresh Kalmadi,Kripashankar Sing are notknow our basic destroying our culture and langauge using money. Spineless marathi leaders are acting as servants.
I love my india's picture

Hey I agree your thinking partially.Everyone of us have to work head to solve the mentioned problem.The same problem was not solved by the Suvash chandra Basu,but was solved by Jatir pita. Why was it possible at that time?, because he wanted every indian to be self independent.It not the matter of language or the matter of the place are you living but it is the matter of the attitude, diligence and love towards motherland.By making 'andolon' and making a new independent country that matters nothing but the matter is the progress of the people living in the country.The question is that ''Why did British govern over 200 years in india? Ans: The indian people were running behind the small self interest and neglecting the great interest towards the motherland.As for example "MIR JAFOR".So form my side I welcome all the people of India to make every moment of our life to work for our development of the country.. India. Jai Hind
arunachal citizen's picture

The central govt has been feeding arunachalis like goats and appeasing them with good grass (money), only to be butchered with dams now.
Truth is Bitter's picture

Gandhi succeeded because he knew that the British were a civilised nation. Look what Indians are doing to Kashmiris. The Indian army and paramilitary has unleased military terror in Kashmir. What India is doing to Kashmir in 2010 is worse than what British did to the freedom aspirants before 1947 in India. The British did not impose military rule in India. Just rememeber how masss genocide was committed in Punjab during Operation Bluestar. Just remeber how Indian govt ordered the killing to thousands of Sikh youths, children and old people also in Punjab. Had Gandhi used non-violence against the present Indian govt, he would be killed in a fake encounter in no time.
common man's picture

'I love my india' is suffering from govt fed hallucinations....Stop believing blindly, start thinking rationally.
indian's picture

I agree with the sentiments expressed partialy.However we must agree the development process ,its sequences and its effect on social,cultural & economical asspect of the society.The modern technology changed the boundary & ethnicty can not think isolated boundary for preservence of the society,look at andman tribes,Are u imagine to look & live like that?? we must make the system more vibrant & accomdative apart from the language,state & other virtual boundary.Last but not leat in our democratic system it is always possible to change the system with in the system.beleive me I am working as an engineer for mega Dam in arunachal & always try tokeep these vibrant societies pace tandem with the present sceniaro.
VoxPopuli's picture

Indian engineer, this article is not about what you are commenting. You have diverted the entire issue. It is not about matters like virtual boundary or Andaman Nicobar tribes. They are lone doomed. Bo language doesn't exist anymore. They are on the verge of becoming history. The issue is about mega dams and man-made destruction and govt imposed calamity which dams will bring in. Anyways, you are not expected to agree since you are an INDIAN ENGINEER, who takes part in the chorus of corruption.
common man's picture

Burma seperated from the umbrella of British India with the help of the Government of India Act 1935. Had the political leaders of Assam had some foresight, they could have used the oppurtunity. Now, with a massive Indian army and ruthless paramilitary force, hundreds and thousands of our youths have died in different mass movements after 1947.
Andre Blanchard's picture

Mega Dams are a violation of Human Rights. This issue will be taken to the global forum soon. Andre Blanchard Marseille France Andre Blanchard
citizen of Arunachal's picture

INDIAN talks rubbbish. The societies which these Indians find naive and simple have been made corrupt by Indian engineers, contractors and politicians. Showing Arunachali ministers greed of money, they are out to ruin both the host state for dams and neighbouring Assam.
Zhen Yi's picture

When Indian minister Jairam Ramesh was in Beijing, he said the Indian home minister's policy for China is paranoid and alarmist. When Indian media was against him, he sought support of China media. Now in India capital Delhi, the same man is bad-mouthing China. When Assam and Arunachal Pradesh is protesting dams, he is saying that it is because of China we are building dams first. Why do Indian ministers tell so much false and lie about China? Now he is telling lies like home minstry which Jairam Ramesh himself admitted in May. We are not so bad and corrupt like Indian ministers. We respect the life and rights of our brothers and sisters in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. We will never plan to kill them like Indian ministers in delhi. Our workers, scientists, engineers, businessmen follow the ideals of collective good and long term sustainable developement which is eco-friendly. We know how to harness energy with micro-dams in small river projects. We don't kill colony people in the name of development by mega dams. We will never harm Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Never. China will respect the life and share the concern of Assam and its Arunachal always. Chinese people are not as bad as Indian ministers and Indian media projects us.
Zhen Yi's picture

When Indian minister Jairam Ramesh was in Beijing, he said the Indian home minister's policy for China is paranoid and alarmist. When Indian media was against him, he sought support of China media. Now in India capital Delhi, the same man is bad-mouthing China. When Assam and Arunachal Pradesh is protesting dams, he is saying that it is because of China we are building dams first. Why do Indian ministers tell so much false and lie about China? Now he is telling lies like home minstry which Jairam Ramesh himself admitted in May. We are not so bad and corrupt like Indian ministers. We respect the life and rights of our brothers and sisters in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. We will never plan to kill them like Indian ministers in delhi. Our workers, scientists, engineers, businessmen follow the ideals of collective good and long term sustainable developement which is eco-friendly. We know how to harness energy with micro-dams in small river projects. We don't kill colony people in the name of development by mega dams. We will never harm Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Never. China will respect the life and share the concern of Assam and its Arunachal always. Chinese people are not as bad as Indian ministers and Indian media projects us.
VoxPopuli's picture

What 'development process' is the "Indian" talking about? Isn't there any alternative to hydro-power? What about Wind energy, Solar energy which are far more eco-friendly and heralds Sustainable Eco-Friendly Development? Look at how happy a country Netherlands is with the wind power potential tapped so beautifully. And look at the ugly Naxalism given rise by projects like dams in India. One of the core reasons of Naxalism is displacement and disorder which a dam brings in. But Indian ministers, businessmen and their power companies, contractors and engineers like the idea of mega dams as their construction involves hundreds and thousands of crores unlike wind and solar power projects. Can the Indian engineer try development through wind and solar power projects instead of hydro power in his trial to 'keep these vibrant societies pace tandem with the present sceniaro' (as commented by him).
Ropi's picture

The greedy ministers of Arunachal, the selfish govt employees and officials will make a lake of this state soon...but why do they have to worry...they have bought posh flats, luxurious appartments in delhi, bangalore, mumbai etc. But when their children will face racial discrimination and be called 'chinkis' on the Indian streets they will curse their greedy and corrupt parents. There will be tragedies like Bhopal gas tragedy in ARunachal and Assam. If it was a gas tradegy in Bhopal, it will be a water tragedy in Arunachal and Assam.
Indian's picture

I am thank full to all comments,at leat we started a dialogue regarding dam. Look only commenting anti etablishment & other development process is not gurantee the Pro Human right and Pro people approach. its jst a psycological satisfaction rather than hiding the face with the real society.Sitting in the guwhati Or Itanagr and commenting on the human right asspect is not acceptble. Just imagine the people living in Takla Phar area(dibang Valeey or Apptines people in Zeroh and people in Dhemaji.They are lacks the very basis eminites,medicla facilites,live hood probelm to survive their lives and other numerous probelms facing day by day.Hydro project by virtue of its design & topography located in this area and empowred the people with all the modern facilites,communication & enterpnership. I agree there is corruption in the system but on this lone fact you can not deny the right of the local people.You use the RTI Act,media and all other preventive measure to expose all these bad things.We must beleive that the resources,geography & all other geo polticla asspect before denying any process/development.Some of my chinse counterpart commenting about the system.I think they must aware the ground reality of Tibbet region & constructing the largest dam in the world by displacing the 10 crore of poulation foricbly. In india one can not even think to do this.So using the latest zizmos & enjoying other world class facility one can not keep the maojority of people in last centuary just to preserve the history for their so called intellectal satisfaction.
Ropi's picture

VoxPopuli's picture

Indian engineer has no answer to the question of alternative energy other than hydro-power? What stops wind and solar energy from being harnessed? China is defamed and brought in by Indians from time to time. All reports are not exact about China. Indian ministers and media manipulate a lot of data. As residentS of present India, we know what hell Indian forces presence has done to Kashmir. No where in the world, not even China such military rule has been enforced. Kashmir is a case of plain genocide. The govt sponsored military rule in Kashmir has mounted to massacre like proportions and soon may become genocide of young Kashmiri youths. The opposition to dams is not because of preserving history....THE INDIAN SHOULD KNOW IT BECAUSE OF THE CONCERNS OF FLASH FLOODS WHICH HAS BECOME A PROBLEM IN ASSAM. IF DAMS GIVE WAY, NOT EVEN GOD CAN SAVE ARUNACHAL AND ASSAM.
P. Konwar's picture

ALTERNATIVE WAYS FOR 'DEVELOPMENT'---- Ministers and bureaucratic officials in Arunachal Pradesh keep telling the people that these hydro power companies are not fools. Yes, these companies are not fools. Infact, they are far cunning than people of the north-eastern states can imagine. We stand no where when it comes to cunningness and making profit. However we all are equally corrupt. But when it comes to cunningness, people of north-east are not yet cunning enough. That is the reason we believe in the idea of development shown by these companies to us through bribing our state governments. These companywallas cite the example of Himachal Pradesh where hydro projects are coming up. But in that state, rivers are very few, the number of dams are also very few. Its not 784 as in Arunachal Pradesh. Most importantly, the size of the rivers is very small compared to the rivers in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. So drawing comparisons among rivers of Arunachal and those in Himachal is not a wise thing to do. These companies and the people who work for them say that, for development, the hydro power companies should construct the dams otherwise people have to live at the same stage where their forefather lived. At least the forefathers lived. With the number of dams looming over our heads and home, we don't know when we might face a catastrophe. Many countries have developed their economy based on agriculture and horticulture. Arunachal Pradesh can become the fruit basket of the world if we harness our agriculture potential. Small scale industries can be set up in each village and medium sized factories for fruit based products can come up and earn revenues and create sustainable development. But who wants to work hard in Arunachal? Everyone is happy with easy money. The grass called money has been fed well by the power companies for the time being to the naivette population of this tribal state.
Neil Lyngdoh's picture

Gajendra Patil comments, "power is shifted from british to Hindi spiking people". That may be the case in Maharashtra. But in north-east apart from Hindi peoples, the Bengalis also have formed a very strong lobby. All the Bengali Hindus who have migrated to north-east states have changed the demography of many areas in north-east, especially Tripura and Assam. Maharashtra faces only problem from Hindis. North-east faces problems from many peoples like Bengalis, Nepalis, Bangladeshis apart from Hindis. The foolish north-east people fight among themselves while these peoples are doing very very good business and also grabbing jobs and marrying girls for land in north-east states.
Ranu Gogoi's picture

Neil Lyngdoh is speaking the reality of the north-east. He rightly says that men from other parts of the country and refugees from Bangladesh are marrying our girls for land and settlement. Not only the boys, the girls of migrants like Bengalis, Nepalis, Marwaris, Biharis try their level best to hook onto Assamese boys or any boy from north-east states so that they can settle here forever and claim rights to landed property and real estate. Also north-east boys donnot take dowry. Even if there is little dowry, the quantity is very very less compared to other Indian communities. The families of these refugees support their girls to get educated and well-settled men from north-east and think them to be a prized catch. More than love marriages, for these migrants, marrying a north-east boy is 'laabh-marriage' (where love is based on 'laabh', that is, Profit).
Ropi Jamoh's picture

Damned 'DAM PRADESH' With 784 dams looming over Arunachal Pradesh, the government of India wants to make this land of ours the "Dam Pradesh" of India. We, the people of Arunachal will be the worst sufferers of this damned 'Dam Pradesh' in the 21st century. The quality of construction is also a matter of concern because of the rampant corruption in India. These projects will help the industrialists, ministers, contractors, engineers and bureaucrats rich by millions and billions. The security factor after completion of these projects will always be doubtful. If there is any Indo-China war in the future, the Chinese would first attack the dams. Once dams are attacked, the Indian army wouldn't be able to do anything.
Vox populi's picture

--Arunachal ministers Not Tribals Anymore-- Despite stiff opposition, the Arunachal Pradesh Government is adamant on continuing with the construction of dams. The CM of Assam Tarun Gogoi a least has a heart which has been proved by the heart surgery. Gogoi is somewhat considerate to the concerns of the grassroot peoples. But the CM of Arunachal Pradesh Dorjee Khandu is a robot employed by the ministers and industrialists of central government. The way poor villagers were mercilessly beaten in the Pongging near Pasighat will go down as a black day in the history of the Adi tribe and all the marginalized poor people of the world. No media covered this merciless attack which was no less than a massacre. Only a few days back, labourers in the NHPC dam project were also beaten mercilessly by the Indian army and Arunachal police. “We are happy and welcome the NHPC’s announcement that the Subansiri project would be commissioned in 2012,” MP from Arunachal Pradesh Takam Sanjay. Takam Sanjoy, Dorjee Khandu, Gegong Apang, Mukut Mithi, Bosiram Siram, all politicians of Arunachal Pradesh should not be tagged as tribals anymore. Their reservation facilities under the scheduled tribe category should be stopped. These ministers who are going against the spirit of democracy should be excommunicated and be regarded as outcast by the tribal forums of the state and the country. The United Nations Forum for Indigenous People should also de-recognise these politicians of Arunachal Pradesh as tribals. There lives have become far removed from the life and living of a tribal. A tribal man loves nature and not money. A tribal man fights for his environment, and does not sell out his land for apartments in Delhi, Mumbai, London and New York. The lives of the ministers of this so called tribal state has become far removed from the lifestyle of a tribal. They send their children abroad and have no concern for their state or people. They talk to them in Hindi and no longer use their tribal languages or Nefamese. They are torturing the tribal people in the villages and using armed force and police to beat poor villagers. Can the present ministers and politicians who have gone against the spirit of humanity for the sake of money and power be any longer called tribals? They can only be called the stooge of industrialists and the voice of the Hindi lobby from mainland India. These so called ‘tribal’ ministers of a tribal state have become as money-minded as a shopkeeper in Jaipur or Delhi. Even dowry in the demanded form is showing its ugly head in Arunachal Pradesh. Their only contribution to tribal ethos is the one-day drama where they come in the traditional waist coats to attend the traditional festival nowadays organized in the state capital by some students union.
Hayang's picture

LESSONS FROM DELHI FLOODS: Stop dam activities in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh Delhi faces fresh flood threats as Haryana releases more water from the Hathini Kund barrage. It is for the first time in last 100 years Yamuna is overflowing in such gigantic proportion..People staying in low lying areas are being asked to take shelter in high places. Delhi is a dryland where there is minimal rain. If such a place is facing this from a dam, what will happen to a flood prone Assam? Its time the policy makers in Delhi see the future of the north-eastern state of Assam and many parts of Arunachal Pradesh from the example of the ongoing Delhi floods. More than natural flood, the present catastrophe in Delhi is an example of man-made floods.
yadab das's picture

I liked this article very much, very nicely said. I was reading the Arundhuti Roy's "Walking the comrades". I do not like terrorism or any hate-ideology. But for that we need good leaders not selfish bureaucrats and politicians ready to sell anything comes in their way. I think it is time for us to get educated and help our own people to get educated so they can understand the world they are living. We are in a slavery mode and should get out of it through education and prosperity of our people. At least I am able to see this, which means the education helped me to realize this bitter truth.


Add new comment

Random Stories

Assam CM meets PM in Delhi

15 Jun 2010 - 7:53pm | editor
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Tuesday met Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh a day after the PMO called up Dr Hiren Gohain who is leading a group of peace brokers in Assam. Talking to...

APSC scam: another member arrested

29 Nov 2016 - 9:01am | AT News
The police team probing the APSC scam has arrested yet another member of the state autonomous body that selects candidates for the various Government departments. Identified as Basanta Doley, he was...

Sigh of relief for flood hit

30 Jul 2016 - 6:28pm | Syed Miraz Ahmed
Flood relief brings no less hopes for the flood affected in many parts of Assam who have been rendered homeless. Courtesy Markazul Ma’arif, Ajmal Foundation and Assam State Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind. In a...

South Asian Games starts at Guwahati

5 Feb 2016 - 10:50pm | AT News
The Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi today inaugurated the 12th South Asian Games, 2016 in a glittering ceremony at the Sarusajai Sports Complex in Guwahati before a rapturous and capacity...

Other Contents by Author

The Bodo community of Assam is the worst sufferer of the policy of illegal migration for rise in the number of voters. This group of people are the most affected by the ‘Vote-Bank’ scheme of the Government of India in collaboration with successive Governments of Assam (demo-cratically elected since post-‘independence’). The worst affected districts of Western Assam, due to such politically motivated “Chain Migration” has got an autonomous council, but only in name. The so called ‘minority’ calls the shots when a Government is to be formed at Dispur as well as Delhi. Parts of Western Assam are facing the brunt of such myopic policies of...
In the 7th century AD, when Buddhism was strengthening its hold over North India, a group from the priest class forwarded a new concept to arrest the growth of Buddhism. Gautam Buddha was declared the ninth incarnation or 'avatar' of Lord Vishnu (the Protector God of the Hindu Trinity). That gave a death blow to the expansion of Buddhist faith and ideals in the country of its origin. Likewise, the stories of Maoists forming forum to resist big dams cooked in the power corridors of Delhi to be fed to the masses through the'Tarun Gogoi's and 'Nabam Tuki's of weak states like Assam and Arunachal Pradesh holds no water. Here we can quote the famous lines of Abraham Lincoln, "You can fool some...
On December 19, the Assam Assembly adopted an unanimous resolution urging the Central Government of India to confer the highest civilian award ‘Bharat Ratna’ on Bhupen Hazarika posthumously. There are worthier things to do other than wasting the tax-payers’ money in assembly sittings for ‘resolutions’ of this type. Just as Jitumoni Kalita’s winning a dance competition, Debojit Saha winning a singing competition or Ananya Banajyotsna participating in talent ‘hunt’ shows is not going to help the masses of Assam, so also Assam MLAs begging for ‘Bharat Ratna’ to Bhupen Hazarika is not going to help the cause of the state and its people...
Home loan, car loan, education loan, health loan, travel loan….life on loan. 20 years down the lane of liberalization, this is where the great middle class in India finds itself. As if the burden of the three ancient ‘celebrations’ was not enough. The just mentioned trio is birth, marriage and death, of them, marriage being the most taxing. In village economy, the life of a Hindu family used to be caught in three debts owing to janma (birth), vivaha (marriage), mrityu(death). This was a cunning strategy of the priest and the ruling class to engage the working class in economic bondage. 20th century saw the springing up of cities in India. Situation remains the same, only...
Radhika Tanwar (20) is shot dead in Delhi. We see the perpetrator of the murder in the newspapers. We see protest marches brought out for the safety of women and girls. Any rape, any murder in the city. We see the criminals. Tarmetla, Chattisgarh. Hurre (20) is picked up by Indian government employed armed forces to the Chintalnar police station, stripped and sexually assaulted. But we donot see the perpetrators of the crime. May we request the government of the world’s largest democracy to disclose the names and pictures of security personals and policemen involved in crime? The most unfortunate thing is the unconsciousness of the Great Indian middle class towards the pathos,...
Once one lands in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), it makes one realize why Malaysia has the distinction of having the world’s best airport. The accomplishments of this small country in South East Asia is to be seen. Being on a strategic sea route position in the tropics, Malaysia has seen different groups of people trade and travel enroute its shores. In Ptolemy’s map, ancient Malaysia was shown as “Golden Khersonese”. In 2010, it looks so, prosperous and improving constantly. Malaysia has a tropical climate, if it shines in the morning, afternoon awaits rain. It was late in the evening when we reached Kuala Lumpur. Roads and the road-sides, all well-...
As soon as we landed at the Suvarnabhumi (pronounced ‘su-wan-na-poom’) Airport in Bangkok, the guide lead us to a tourist bus. In the bus, the tom-boyish jovial lady says to us, “Welcome to Thailand, the land of gold, the land of white elephant,.... .” Lets see for ourselves if these sobriquets are relevant. She went on, “In Thailand, 95% people are Buddhists. We eat meat.” The Buddhism in Thailand didn’t spread directly from India. The import was via Sri Lanka in 3rd century B.C. There more than 35,000 Wats (Buddhist monasteries or temples) in Thailand, a country of 513,115 sq. km. Whether these have been able to shape the life of the people in the...
Sept 23, 2010. All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary Rahul Gandhi comes to Guwahati campus of IIT and makes a statement, “Construction of big dams in the North East is not ‘anti-people’and the concern of the common man is being given top priority.” It is baffling to come across such an insensitive remark when mass protests are going on against mega dams in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Three ancient tribes of the two states will suffer the most-- the Adis, the Misings and the Deuris. It seems Rahul Gandhi has not done his home work well like most politicians in India or it might be because Assam has the same party in power as at the Centre. A...
Nemati ghat in Jorhat. This is one of the three main riverine routes to reach Majuli, the largest river island in Asia. The other two river fronts being Luit-Khabalu ghat from North Lakhimpur and Dhakuakhana from Dhemaji. This Bohag Bihu, we planned a trip to Majuli and reached Nemati ghat in Jorhat to avail the ferry service of 4:30 p.m. It is the last ferry for the day. The road leading to Nemati ghat was dusty, but the sight of the ghat was disappointing. It was mud, potholes brimming with water and a bumpy, unkempt place all around. This was the doorway to Majuli, the proposed UNESCO world heritage site. Once an island of 1250 sq. km., today Majuli is a shadow of its former self with...
1925. The Nagaon session of the Asam Sahitya Sabha. The then president of the premiere literary body of the state stressed the need for the spread of women’s education. Ironically, a bamboo-net barrier segregated the women from the men present in the conference. Chandraprabha went up to the dais and denounced the practice. She called upon the women to break down the barrier that confined them--- the fences were broken down and it stays so, never to come up again. This fiery lady is Chandraprabha Saikiani, the pioneer feminist in the modern history of Assam. Chandraprabha Saikiani was born on March 16, 1901 in Doisingari village of Kamrup district in Assam. Her father Ratiram...