Prominent Assamese writer and Sahitya Akademi award winner Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi opposed the idea of Inner Line Permit (ILP) and strongly made a pitch for the mingling of the people of different origins
Guwahati: Prominent Assamese writer, an Arunachali by native, Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi opposed the idea of Inner Line Permit (ILP) arrangement, which is presently applied to three north-eastern States namely Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. Attending the ‘Guest of the Month’ programme of Guwahati Press Club on October 4, 2016, the Sahitya Akademi awardee author strongly made a pitch for the mingling of the people of different origins and argued that free movements of native citizens inside a country should not be opposed.
Answering queries from the scribes in the interactive session, Thongchi clarified that he would not comment on the present movements going on in Manipur and Meghalaya for the ILP, but he is convinced that the present laws in his home State are effective enough to safeguard the interest of the indigenous people. The prolific author argued that the initial idea of imposing ILP was to prevent criminal and anti-locals entering into a particular State, but today the concept is changed. Now the threat is no longer from the outsiders, but the alternate media which poses a real danger to the indigenous cultures across the globe.
What is Inner Line Permit?
A retired top-ranked bureaucrat, Thongchi started his literary pursuit right from his school days. Although his mother tongue is a dialect called Sherdukpen spoken by few thousand families in Arunachal, Thongchi started practising his writings in Assamese language as it was the medium of instruction in North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) schools those days. The soft spoken gentleman, while speaking about the replacement of Assamese language in Arunachal Pradesh's medium of instruction, Thongchi clarified that it was not because of any conspiracy hatched by the ‘Hindi lobby’. The widely recognised author disclosed that actually, the English replaced it as the medium. Hindi is taught in Arunachal schools as a subject only.
Born in 1952 in west Kameng, Thongchi completed his schooling in Arunachal Pradesh and later shifted to Assam for higher education in Cotton College and Gauhati University. After graduation, Thongchi was appointed as an Arunachal Pradesh Civil Service officer and later inducted to the Indian Administrative Service in 1992. Immensely popular with Assamese readers through his literary works like ‘Mauna Oath Mukhar Hriday’, ‘Sonam’, ‘Beeh Konyar Deshat’, ‘Shaw Kota Manuh’, ‘Moi Akou Janam Lom’, ‘Papor Pukhuri’, ‘Banh Foolar Gondha’ etc, Thongchi has received a number of awards including Bhasha Bharati, Phulchand Khandelwal Sanghati, Basudev Jalan besides Sahitya Akademi.
Thongchi was honoured with a traditional Assamese Zapi and Gamocha at the beginning of the interactive session, which witnessed the presence of many senior journalists like Rupam Barua, Ranen Kumar Goswami, Girindra Karjee, Nava Thakuria along with writer Jagadindra Raichoudhury, Surya Das, Ahsan Majid, Archana Bhattacharya and others.
— Organiser Bureau