Spring is here

Flights Of Fantasy

[ M Panging Pao ]
Before we could realize it, spring is setting in, creeping towards the summer months with lots of sun and rain.
The previous month was marked by some noticeable events. The good news included the report that the Centre has assured to help set up 2046 mobile towers in Arunachal Pradesh. This is much needed as very poor internet/mobile connectivity is leading to bank transactions getting delayed, ATMs not working, swipe cards and cashless transactions not being possible, filing of GST returns becoming extremely difficult, and call drops becoming all to frequent.
Cellular services like Airtel, Jio, Vodafone and BSNL claim 4G connectivity; in reality the connectivity is not even 2G!
The other good news was the decision of the state government to finally set up the much-delayed Rajya Sainik Board to look after ex-servicemen’s affairs. This was long overdue, and Arunachal is one of the very few states in the country without a Rajya Sainik Board. Most Army/Navy/Air Force jawans retire very early – at about 35 years of age – and run from pillar to post looking for alternative jobs and employment, and many of them were suffering due to the lack of a Rajya Sainik Board.
Another positive news was the decision of the central government to introduce the much-awaited North East Industrial Development Scheme (NEIDS) 2017, with a financial outlay of Rs 3000 crore. In 2014, the same government had suspended a similar policy, named the North East Industrial & Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP), and many existing industries suffered consequently.
Under this policy, industries in the Northeast will be eligible for incentives like capital subsidy, free insurance, transport subsidy, working capital subsidy, etc. Without a supporting ecosystem in the Northeast, this policy will help industries of the region compete with other industries in mainland India.
The most amusing news was the recent ‘Madhavpur Fair’ celebrated in Gujarat to commemorate Rukmini’s journey from Arunachal to Gujarat with Lord Krishna.
The fair, organized by the union ministry of cultural affairs, was attended by Chief Minister Pema Khandu and MoS for Home Kiren Rijiju, along with cultural troupes from the Idu Mishmi tribe of Arunachal.
As per some stories going around, Lord Krishna married Rukmini, the daughter of King Bhishmaka, who is said to have ruled Bhismaknagar, which is sited near Roing in Arunachal Pradesh. However, as per archaeological research, the ruins of Bhismaknagar and Malinithan have been traced back to the 12th and the 13th centuries, and have been linked to the Chutiya kings of Sadiya.
It appears that the ‘historical matrimony’ between Lord Krishna of Dwarka (in Gujarat) and Rukmini of Arunachal is based more on folklore and not backed up by scientific research and data.
Pun aside, some more such ‘marital alliances’ may be needed to resolve the numerous caste-, tribe-, race- and religion-based acrimonies and conflicts within our nation and state. (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)