November 14, 2014

CPS Discussion Meeting on

Dr. J. K. Bajaj visited some parts of Arunachal Pradesh during October 2014. The meeting was called to convey and discuss his impressions of the condition of Arunachal Pradesh.

The most striking feature of that state is its inaccessibility. Going from one place to another takes so much time that those who have spent several years there often say that at least half of those years have been wasted on the roads. This inaccessibility is not because of the terrain. With the help of a topographical map of the state prepared in the Centre, Dr. Bajaj explained that a large part of the state comprises plains and river valleys. The Himalayas in this eastern part are relatively low, and in any case the really high and difficult part of the terrain is on the other side of the border. The inaccessibility seems mainly because we have failed to pay attention and create the necessary infrastructure.

Lack of knowledge about the state is the other striking aspect of the situation. Geographically, much of Arunachal Pradesh is a part of the Brahmaputra plains; ethnically and socially, the people have much in common with the Ahoms of Assam. Even the vegetation in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh seems similar. But there is such a lack of information about the geography, history and sociology of the state that to most Indians, even to the highly educated amongst us, the state seems unknown and remote.

The third significant aspect of the state is that many organizations and individuals from the rest of the country have chosen to spend their lives there both as a mission and a career. But of course they cannot become naturalized residents of the state. And most importantly, the people of Arunachal Pradesh speak beautiful Hindi. But the state language is English.

Dr. Bajaj also presented tribe-wise data on the rapid Christianisation that is taking place in the state and mentioned some of his experiences in this regard.

The Centre has prepared several maps of the state based on satellite information. Dr. Bajaj showed some of these maps is posted here:







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