The PRC issue and its consequences

Dear Editor,
The Present geographical state of Arunachal Pradesh was nonexistent during the British rule in India. The Tribal people of the state lived an unorganised nomadic life. The British wanted to stop the influx to the Frontier Hill areas and to preserve the region with its unique cultural heritage than British Government wisely enacted the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation of 1873 ( regulation 5 of 1873). This regulation required possession of Inner Line Permit for the Non tribal people coming from other parts of the country. This ILP system is implemented in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland even after Independence. The sole motive of the ILP system by and large is to protect the Land and the people of the state of Arunachal Pradesh from being outnumbered /marginalised by outsider/non tribal.
The present Arunachal Pradesh was known as North East Frontier Agency (NEFA) which was administered from Shillong and later became Arunachal Pradesh with Union Territory status. The boundary of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh was demarcated by the Bordoloi commission in the lines of segregating the Tribal and the Non Tribal. When Arunachal Pradesh statehood bill was passed in the year 1987, the government of the day did not have a careful look at the bill but it was presumed that state of Arunachal Pradesh is a 100% Tribal state. The settlement of non Tribal communities like Adivasi, Deori, Ahom, Kacharis, Mishing, Moran, Nepalese, Karbi etc within the territorial jurisdiction of the state of Arunachal Pradesh could be a historical fact but it is also a fact that the organisations like the All Arunachal Pradesh students Union (AAPSU) under various leaders, some of them reached the policy making position under various state Governments. They had demanded the removal of Non Tribal from getting any socio-politico benefit under the state of Arunachal Pradesh. This is a legitimate demand and voices till this day. When we are protected by the inner Line Permit system and when the Boundary of the state was carved presumably in the line of tribal and Non tribal lands the matter of issuing Permanent Residential Certificate to the Non Tribal living under the territorial jurisdiction of Arunachal Pradesh will definitely open the floodgate for influx thereby defeating the intended purpose of BEFR 1873. If PRC is granted, the meagre tribal population of the state will be pushed to the wall and minority status has to be demanded in future. This is the matter of future extinction and deprivation of the tribal people, emotions and political interest should take back seat and protection of the land and people of the tribal community should be above all.
There was a time when the AAPSU leadership in the state had played the role of political opposition, they had stared the slogan like “Deoris Go Back”. Now this same Deoris with other Non APST community are demanding for PRC. It is well accepted that they are living within the territory of Arunachal Pradesh may be before independence also but the question before us is how to stop the influx of communities having same nomenclature and surname from outside of Arunachal Pradesh? As far as my understanding goes, maintaining of dossier of the present family living inside Arunachal will not be a practicable model for issue of PRC. It will be a herculean task in due course of time to differentiate between the Adivasi, Deori, Ahom, Kacharis, Mishing, Moran, Nepalese, Karbi living within the territorial jurisdiction of the state of Arunachal Pradesh and those living in the other parts of the country. This will slowly and slowly encourage the influx inside the different parts of the state and may become another Tripura like situation. It is known fact that the Tribal people of the state are yet to economically and intellectually develop compared to the Non Tribals in the country.
The state Government needs to have a serious look at this issue and see that historical blunder is not committed, which the future generation of the state may not be able to correct but suffer endlessly.
Nabam Vivek,
Midpu-II Vilage,
Papum Pare