Seppa: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Tuesday appealed to the people of the state to broaden their perspective and rise from being individual-centric to a pan-Arunachal school of thought for the overall development of the state.

“On the government’s part, we are striving hard for unification and development of the state based on pan-Arunachal mode. Our elected representatives may be from different political parties but for me all 60 assembly constituencies are my own, and it’s my responsibility to ensure equal development. After all people are our own and we are here to serve them,” Khandu said.

The chief minister was addressing the Golden Jubilee Nyokum celebrations at Seppa, the headquarters of East Kameng district.

Referring to his last visit to the district when he toured Chayang Tajo and Bameng constituencies by road, Khandu informed that paper works have been completed for reconstruction of the Seppa-Chayang Tajo and the Pakke-Bameng roads.

“Very soon construction works on the ground will begin. My appeal to the people would be to let the executing agencies do their job unhindered. Please do not raise hurdles,” he requested.

The CM urged civil society leaders, especially the East Kameng Social Welfare and Cultural Organization (EKSWCO), to take the responsibility of ensuring smooth completion of the two road projects.

“People have suffered much. This time let’s give them the roads,” Khandu appealed.

Informing that the literacy rate of the state has touched 82% as per latest reports, the chief minister, however, said the focus should be on quality education rather than on number of literates.

He said the government, under the leadership of education minister Taba Tedir, has initiated several measures to revamp the education system in the state with the focus on quality, not quantity.

Khandu also hailed the Nyishi community for preserving and practicing their age-old customs and celebrating Nyokum with traditional rituals headed by the local shamans or the Nyibus.

He said that the adage ‘Nyokum hai toh Nyishi hai, Nyishi hai toh Nyokum hai’ is in principle believed and practiced by the Nyishis.

Stating that Nyokum has been celebrated at family and individual levels since time immemorial, Khandu said celebrating the festival at community level on a common platform began with the objective of passing the tradition to the next generation.

He called out to all community members to preserve and practice indigenous rituals and festivals irrespective of their faith or religion.

“Festivals like Nyokum and the rituals associated with it are the identity of the Nyishis. Therefore, all Nyishis including those following different religions must celebrate Nyokum and proudly preserve their identity, which they are doing and my respects to them,” Khandu said. 

Observing that several persons were attending the festival in shirt and pants (western clothes), Khandu appealed to them to wear their traditional attires at least during festivals. He urged them to come in traditional attires to the festival ground on February 26 (the main day of the festival) when Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda will be joining as chief guest.

The chief minister also called on the youths studying in colleges and universities to lead from the front in preserving indigenous culture of Arunachal Pradesh.

The state government, he said, is seriously working to promote and preserve the indigenous culture of the state’s 24 major tribes and more than 100 sub-tribes and cited the creation of an independent department of indigenous affairs a couple of years back.

“This department is working in close coordination with community based organizations, civil societies and indigenous groups in making policies that would promote and preserve indigenous culture of all tribes of the state,” he informed.

Further congratulating the successful state civil service aspirants and other newly recruited government employees, Khandu said that he felt good seeing Nyishi youths emerging successful in large numbers in recent competitive examinations conducted by the state staff selection board and state public service commission.

“Today, job creation is in our hands but giving jobs is not in our hands. With the new system in place, people will get jobs only on merit. No political backing or backdoor tactics will work,” he asserted.

Responding to few demands of the public, the chief minister assured funds for a new circuit house at Seppa, a state-of-the-art auditorium and construction of Seppa township roads.

He also assured to pursue with the Union Law Ministry, which is headed by Kiren Rijiju, for establishment of a district court at Seppa. 

The golden jubilee Nyokum celebration, which began on February 17, was also attended on Tuesday by education minister Tedir, forest minister Mama Natung, legislators of the district Tapuk Taku, Hayang Mangfi and Goruk Pordung, Itanagar Mayor Tame Phassang, DGP Satish Golcha, Nyishi Festival Council vice-chairperson Tadar Yedir and others.

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