Strengthening national integration through experience
‘Bharat Mera Ghar’ tour concludes
Bharat Mera Ghar, a tour programme for teachers from Arunachal Pradesh concluded in Guwahati on November 8. As part of the National Integration initiative, some of our Arunachalee brothers and sisters go to other states and experience all-round development there through a tour programme named ‘Bharat Mera Ghar’.
This year’s programme was organised for teachers to study various educational experiments being conducted in Maharashtra. A group of 23 teachers from nine districts of Arunachal Pradesh visited Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur from October 28 to November 8. The group first reached Mumbai where they were accorded a warm welcome from Mumbaikars. The group visited Elephanta caves, Pagoda, Gateway of India and Juhu beach.
The teachers also visited Keshav Srishti, where they learnt about medicinal plants. In Pune, a training programme was organised at Jnana Prabodhini, a renowned institute working on gifted children. Sessions on Geography and History helped the group to clear the basic concepts as well as various tools and methodologies, which should be used by taking benefits of local surroundings.
Heritage walk, a morning walk in Central Pune, conducted by Shri Mohan Shete, brought back the live memories of freedom fighters like Veer Savarkar, Lokmanya Tilak, Chaphekar Bandhu, Rajguru, etc by visiting their residences. In Itihas Samshodhan Mandal, the teachers recognised the importance of keeping history in written form. The group was also trained in play-way methods and child psychology in Jnana Prabodhini. The group gained an advantage of sharing and discussing educational scenario in Arunachal Pradesh for three days with Vishwas Lapalkar and Vivek Ponkshe.
Lastly, the group visited RSS headquarter in Nagpur, where they visited the birthplace of Dr Hedgewar. The group also visited service projects run by RSS and its associated organisations like Hedgewar Blood Bank, Goshala Prakalp, Vivekananda Hospital run in a Vanvasi belt in Maharashtra. By seeing the Goshala Prakalp, the group came to know about the number of medicinal uses of the cow uirine as well as why our culture believes the cow as ‘Gomata’.
The group also visited Dikshabhumi, where they saw the photo gallery of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. Each teacher went to different houses for lunch to celebrate Diwali in Pune and Nagpur. In all, the group took the tour very educative, entertaining and country loving. The group feel it proudly Bharat Mera Ghar.
Sarhad ko Swaranjali by Sanskar Bharati
Dedicated to national awakening through arts, Sanskar Bharati has decided to celebrate 50 years of the immortal song, Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon…, with a difference. It has organised a three-day special event, Sarhad Ko Swaranjali, in Itanagar, the capital of Arunachal Pradesh. The programme has been organised under its Vision 2020 project, which aimed at striving to rejuvenate the cultural scene in north-east comprising of eight states—Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and Sikkim—through different activities.
The event has a special significance as it is being organised in the State which faced the brunt of the aggression (then, NEFA). More than 200 Indian army personnel were martyred during the 1962 war. In 1963, renowned poet Pradeep penned a song Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon and was sung by Lata Mangeshkar. At the same time Dr. Bhupen Hazarika wrote, composed and sung Koto Jovanar Mritu Hol (Assemese). Both the songs brought an unprecedented patriotic fervour throughout the country. This is the fiftieth year of these two immortal songs.
During the three day mega event, district level and then State level song competitions will be held in all 8 states of the north-east based on these two songs. On the first day of the event i.e. on November 22 competition amongst the winners of the State level competitions will be held on the northeast level and the judges are invited from amongst the best singers of the country.
Youth from border areas of the eight states, Janjati cultural heads and army personnel have been invited. The Sanskar Bharati hopes that about 2,000 of them will come. On second day i.e. November 23, the programme will start at the sunrise and will continue for 24 hours. It will start by Dev Awahan by the priests of all states. Rakshasutras and mementos, thus anointed by uninterrupted sur-lal-laya will be sent to the families of the martyred jawans of 1962 war.
On third day ie. November 24, the concluding sessions will start at 10 am. All those present will recite a vow to defend our culture and our borders. The session will end with Vande Matram. —Bureau Report
Conversion poses grave threat to indigenous faith—Torik Osik
“The major threat to indigenous people of Arunahcal Pradesh, their culture, religions, faiths, and traditions is from the Christian Missionaries and Church organisations. They are pouring in money, men and material in an unmatched fashion to convert the Janjati population to Christianity. But, we, under the auspices of Indigenous Faith and Cultural Society of Arunachal Pradesh (IFCSAP) are contesting their efforts to a great extent. But in view of our limited resources, we look forward to our brethrens in India to help us preserve our traditions and culture and faiths.”
This was an earnest appeal from a group of 24 teachers who had come on a tour of Maharashtra under the project ‘My Home India’.
Osik, who is also the Vice-President of IFCSAP and District Sewa Pramukh of Rashtriya Sayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is a champion of indigenous faith and undertakes lots of efforts to convince local people to reject conversion tactics of the Christian missionaries.
He said the IFCSAP has been trying to thwart and stop conversion attempts by various Christian denominations in various parts of Arunachal Pradesh under the multi-faceted programmes of IFCSAP. There are followers of different indigenous faiths in Arunachal Pradesh including the Buddhists of Kameng, Tawang, the Singphos of Tirap and those who pray to Donyi-Polo i.e. Sun and Moon, the principle deity of the Tani group of people. In absence of any written literature, scripture and places of worship, these indigenous people are easy prey to the proselytising tactics of Christian groups.
It may be noted that Arunachal Pradesh had passed the ‘Indigenous Faith Law’ prohibiting conversion of indigenous people to alien religion, especially Christianity during the tenure of the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1975. In spite of that legislation, the number of conversions have increased manifold. “Among the Tani group of people, 20 per cent have been converted to Christianity”, said Kido Lollen, a teacher from Allong.
He further emphasised that “The Missionaries come to our people and easily lure them to their faith with attractions of money, jobs, and other such things.”
All the teachers expressed gratitude to the selfless workers of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for their devotion, dedication and determination to work with them to preserve their rich cultural and religious traditions.
Darthawma, freedom fighter of Mizoram, felicitated
Shri Darthawma, a freedom fighter of Mizoram, was felicitated at a programme jointly organised by the Heritage Foundation, Guwahati and Young Mizo Association, Sub Hqr. Lunglei on October 30. The programme was organised at Young Mizo Association’s Conference hall at Lunglei.
Shri Jaleshwer Bramha president of the Heritage Foundation presided over the function. Others present on the occasion included Shri V Sapchhunga IAS, DC Lunglei, Shri Hurui Zeliang of Domapur and Major Gourav Bharadwaj, 28 Assam Rifles, Lunglei Mr. Lalrotluanga Secy.
Shri Darthawma was felicitated. The members of the Heritage Explorer were also honoured by the DC Lunglei. Padmashree Lalthangfala Sailo, president of Mizoram Academy of Letters Hqrs. Aizwal, Shri Chhuanvawra, vice president of Mizoram Academy of Letters Hqrs. Aizwal and Shri Lalthengliana (Thankura) a renowned artist, were also honoured on the occasion.
Shri Jaleshwer Bramha said the towering personality of Shri Darthawma would guide the youth in future also. The citation was read out by Dr Tarani Kanta Sharma, an eye specialist of Guwahati. A newly composed patriotic group song on the life of Shri Dartwma was presented. It was composed by Shri Lalthengliana (Thankura).