Arunachal CM asks residents not to lose their unique identity


Itanagar: Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Saturday suggested to the state’s indigenous peoples, who have converted to other religions, not to completely cut themselves off from their roots in order to preserve Arunachal Pradesh’s unique cultural identity.

“India is a secular country. As a born Buddhist, I have the freedom to accept and follow any other religion I choose. No one can stop me. But then, I will always remain a Monpa, ”Khandu said.

Monpa is one of the main tribes of Arunachal Pradesh.

The chief minister was speaking at the Nyishi Baptist Church Council (NBCC) Golden Jubilee celebration at its headquarters in the model village near here. The CM said Arunachal Pradesh is known for its indigenous peoples who have a distinct cultural identity.

“This unique identity should not be lost at all costs,” he said while appreciating the Nyishi Christians for remaining attached to their culture.

The chief minister also affirmed that it is necessary to preserve the traditional costumes, festivals, traditions and native dialects, whatever faith one follows.

“If you can’t speak nyishi, how can you claim to be a nyishi?” He asked himself. He called on the leaders and elders of the Christian community to think about ways to preserve the Nyishi culture for posterity so that it is not lost as many indigenous cultures have done around the world.

“I admire you all. You haven’t left your culture because I can see you proudly donning your traditional outfits, ”Khandu observed.

Appreciating the goals set by the NBCC and mentioned by organizing president James Techi Tara that he will campaign against alcoholism and drug addiction, the Chief Minister called it a noble enterprise at the right time.

“Our government is committed to its fight against drug addiction, but government alone cannot win the battle. I salute the commitment made by the NBCC. Together we will overcome the ills of alcoholism and drug addiction, ”he said.

On another pledge from the NBCC to fight money culture in elections, Khandu informed that he was personally against money culture from the start.

He had previously, especially on the eve of the 2019 elections, fervently called on all community organizations (CBOs) and religious institutions to campaign against the use of money for votes.

“The impact of religious institutions on their followers is the hardest. Therefore, I call again on all religious institutions to sensitize the public against the culture of money during elections, ”he said.

The chief minister expressed optimism about the active role of community organizations and religious institutions, the 2024 elections will be conducted on the basis of performance, not monetary culture.

To mark the occasion, Khandu laid the foundation stone for a rehabilitation center for people with disabilities and a convention center to be built by the NBCC. He assured to contribute to the establishment of the center from his personal sources.

Also present on the occasion were the legislator of Itanagar Techi Kaso, the legislator of Doimukh Tana Hali Tara, the mayor of the Municipal Corporation of Itanagar Tame Phassang and the speaker of the occasion, the Reverend JM Ngulkhan Pau.

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