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Arunachal Pradesh - an ornament of Bharat - Yuva Bharat

Editorial ()
1997 January

Title : Arunachal Pradesh - an ornament of Bharat
Author : Editorial
Publication : Yuva Bharat
Date : January 1997

Arunachal Pradesh is a beautiful ornament of Bharat. This gifted
State is a land of lofty mountains, green valleys, murmuring rivers
and of gentle and peace-loving people, who traditionally worship
Surya (DONYI) and Chandra (POLO), the Devatas that the rest of
Bharat irrespective of what faith the people profess, also accepts
and worships. The Bharatiya tradition of Soorya Namaskar and
worshipping Goddess Lakshmi on Full Moon Day correspond to the
Donyi-Polo tradition of Arunachal. Arunachal and the rest of
Bharat share a common civilisation, tradition and belief systems -
as a few illustrations would indicate.

(a) Excavations of Archaeological Survey of India in Malinithan in
Arunachal have revealed the ruins of Temples, as many excavations
in the rest of Bharat have revealed.

(b) The names of Malinithan, Ita, Bhishmak in Arunachal are
mentioned in the Mahabharat and Kalika Purana.

(c) Kalika Purana and Yogini Tantra also mention that bathing in
Lohitya (a river in Arunachal) washes away all the sins.

(d) Lohitya is mentioned in all Buddhist Nikayas.

(e) Parasuram Khund in Arunachal is the place where Parasurama was
believed to have washed off his sins.

These are only illustrative references and not exhaustive; and yet
these show the deep and firm bondage between Arunachal and the rest
of Bharatvarsh.

Arunachal, which receives the first rays of the Sun falling in
Bharatvarsh, is the Dawn of Bharat. It is in the eastern arm of
the Himalayas - the mountain of Wisdom.

A strategic border state of India

Arunachal Pradesh covers an area of 83748 Sq. Kms. It is bound by
international borders with China (known as the Mac Mohan line),
Bhutan and Myanmar, running to over 1630 Kms. Its innerline
borders are with Assam and Nagaland. nil 1971, this part of the
land was known as the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA). In 1972,
it became a Union Territory with the name Arunachal Pradesh. In
1987, it became the 24th State of India with its capital in
Itanagar derived from the historical Ita Fort.

Arunachal Pradesh is one of the most strategically placed States
because of its common international border with China, Bhutan and
Myanmar. Historically Bharat has paid a very heavy price for
neglecting her frontiers whether it is in the North-West or
North-East. Foreign invasions have taken place in the past on
account of such neglect. After independence, India's sense of
security was rudely shaken by the Chinese invasion through the
unprotected North-Eastern region. Arunachal is in fact the Gateway
to India in the North-East. After the Chinese aggression it has
become strategically most important. Additionally, armed
insurgency and anti-national activities in the neighbouring States
of Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram during the last two decades
or more have also made Arunachal vulnerable to such insurgency for
having left it unguarded. The geopolitical importance of the region
is such that it has naturally attracted the attention of foreign,
elements inimical to Bharat. Also, the entire region is rich in
minerals and other natural resources like oil and coal and in the
cultivation of Tea, Coffee and other cash crops. Revenue from
plywood and other forest products is substantial' and adds to the
economy of the region. All these valuable assets of the State also
attract the evil eyes of the greedy foreign elements.

Anatomy of Arunachal

According to the 1991 Census, there are about 3257 villages in
Arunachal Pradesh with a total population of 858,392. 80% of the
population is classified by the Government as "Scheduled Tribes".
There are about 26 major communities. Though there are differences
in social customs and manners between one community and another,
the life of all these communities on the whole follows a common
pattern. There are social variations but no other distinctions
exist. The Society is patrilineal. Racially the people are
regarded as Indo-Mongoloid. The various local communities are
Monpa, Sherdukpen, Aka, Khowa, Miji, Bangani, Solung, Nishi, Na,
Apatani, Hill Wiri, Tagin, Adi, Memba, Khamba, Mishmi, Khampti,
Singpho, Zakhring, Nocte, Wancho, Tangsa and Lizu. Many of these
major communities have sub-communities. The whole population of the
State can broadly be seen in three sub-cultural groups. The first
group which inhabits the West Kameng and part of the Lohit district
professes Buddhism. The second inhabits the Central region and
professes a local faith consisting of the worship of Nature in
general and the Sky, Sun and Moon (DONYI-POLO) in particular. The
third which inhabits the Eastern part of the. State bordering
Myanmar, owes allegiance to some of the Satras of Assam and are
Vaishnavaites by faith.

The State is politically stable and has a democratically elected
government. It is divided into 13 districts for effective and
viable administration.

Major threats - Christianity and westernisation

The Christian Baptist Mission and the Catholic Mission, over the
years, have been making concerted efforts to introduce alien faith
and culture into the traditional society of Arunachal Pradesh.
Missionary activities were very marginal, or almost nil, till 1962
in the State. However, these anti-national and divisive forces, in
different names and forms, have been working through various
agencies in Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border. Gradually and
stealthily, they gained entry into Arunachal Pradesh with the help
of the few local Arunachali students who had studied in Christian
Missionary schools is Assam and Meghalaya and got converted there.
By 1970, almost 8% of the people along the Assam - Arunachal border
had got converted to Christianity. However, they could not very
actively engage in proselytizing Arunachal in a big way due to the
Innerline Permit Restrictions on entry for non-Arunachalis imposed
by the government. But a sizeable number of simple people of
Arunachal had been lured away into Christian fold, in many cases,
through material temptations including offer of money, and by
threats. The Church has also engaged a number of local people as
paid agents to carry on pro-Christian propaganda through various
means, fair and foul. The infiltration of such alien ideas has
created disharmony in the traditional society. For one thing, the
peace and order that used to prevail among the Arunachal
communities have been disturbed because of conversion of sections
of people into the foreign faith. It has resulted in a rift among
the local communities and set the converted ones against the
traditional - the converted group adopted an alien culture, looking
down upon the traditional values and life in the society.
Secondly, conversion of locals into Christianity through subversive
methods has resulted in the people losing their moorings within the
area and their morals - drugs and drinks are becoming rampant.
These activities are undoubtedly antisocial and, to a large extent,
anti-national. The people of Arunachal are greatly concerned with
this problem and they have been urging the Government to take some
stern measures to curb the activities of the Christian missionaries
inside Arunachal and to preserve and promote the traditional
culture and the spiritual faith of the local people.

However, the political climate in the country could not help to
protect the people of Arunachal. In fact, after the Statehood was
conferred in 1987, the missionaries were officially permitted to
work in Arunachal. Since then, the population of Christianity has
risen from 8% to 30%; in a span of 10 years.

Another dimension to the already existing Christian conversion is
the large scale influx of Bangladeshi Muslims into Assam and
Meghalaya. This has had its impact on Arunachal also. By the
cascading effect of the infiltration, Bangladeshi Muslims have
found their way into Arunachal in recent years as cultivators and
household servants. They are given shelter as labourers by traders
and contractors. These infiltrators in due course get in touch
with the local tribals and then enter into wedlock with local girls
and gain permanent stay. Mosques, which were hitherto unknown in
Arunachal, have already come up in some of the district
headquarters on the land given by the local tribals. The impact of
this dangerous trend can be easily understood.

Need of the hour - a concerted resistance

In contrast, the Christian missionary activities, heavily funded
and politically encouraged from abroad, are ahead of all
nationalist forces in Arunachal. There is a calculated move by the
various denominations of the Christian missionaries which are
determined to proselytize the entire Arunachal Pradesh before the
turn of the Century by adopting fair and foul means. Fortunately,
there is a growing awareness, concern, and resistance among the
non-Christian Population of Arunachal. They find in this sinister
move by the Christians, a serious threat to their faith which is
part of the diverse and multi-dimensional Hindu Dharma. There is a
need for a concerted resistance by all nationalist forces to stop
this onslaught by the missionaries. All well-meaning people and
various service organisations inside and outside Arunachal should
raise their voice against this devious method of conversion adopted
by Christian organisations. They should also take very effective
steps to counter their moves by making aware more local Arunachali
people the danger they are facing and by bringing them closer to
each other and unify them through various activities. Towards this
end, the Kendra has instituted, long. term activities which it
proposes to expand to meet the increased challenge from
anti-national forces.

Formation of 'Friends of Arunachal'

No greater reason than simple national security makes it a bounden
duty of each and every Indian to ensure that the Christian
conversion, Muslim infiltration and other anti-national activities
which are destroying the social, cultural and religious fabrics of
this nation are challenged and resisted and all their calculated
moves are defeated. The first requirement to achieve this is to
make the rest of Bharat aware that it is the plan of the Christian
missionaries along with some of the foreign powers to proselytize
all the people of Arunachal as they have already succeeded in the
case of Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram and to a large extent in
Manipur. The whole of Bharat must know that their design is to
create a Christian majority region in Arunachal, a sensitive State
alone the China-Burma border, and destabilise and disintegrate
Bharat. Therefore, the time has come for us to change our style of
functioning from defensive to offensive for offence has to be met
with offence on the principle "Vishasya Visham Aushadham". We have
to succeed in halting the attempts of Christian missionaries and
save Arunachal from their clutches to prevent a major danger to
national- interest. Considering that China is no more a Buddhist
nation and has more intimacy with MNCs and USA than with Buddha,
Christian incursion into Arunachal will have far-reaching adverse
consequences to Bharat. With the objective of creating mass
awareness in the rest of Bharat about Arunachal, the Kendra intends
to form 'Friends of Arunachal' groups all over India. Therefore,
we appeal to all our nationalistic friends all over India to join
us as members of the 'Friends of Arunachal forum. It has been
decided to organise such groups in all important cities and towns
to make the people of India aware about the great threat posed by
Christian missionaries in Arunachal Pradesh.

Save Arunachal - Save Bharat - Save Dharma

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