Signs of concern

The absolute hooliganism witnessed on the street of Naharlagun on Wednesday during a protest organized by a group of non-APST dwellers over the killing of one Dinesh Sahani in a road rage incident generated deep anger among the indigenous tribal communities of the state. The act of forcibly closing the shops and threatening to impose an economic blockade against Arunachal hurt the sentiments of the local people. However, the situation was brought under control by the authorities by swiftly pacifying the indigenous people. Capital SP Tumme Amo and his team did a commendable job in bringing the situation under control. The incident is a wakeup call for everyone, including the APST and the non-APST people.
For the indigenous people, it is a warning sign that the present generation of non-APST people may not be the same as the earlier generation who understood the uniqueness of the state and always respected the local sentiments. A new generation of young non-APST youths, who have better access to wealth and education, is not ready to play second fiddle in the state. They have the backing of their peers in the mainland and are feeling empowered. Their parents, who were the first-generation people to migrate to the state, had emotional attachment with the locals and always tried to coexist peacefully. However, the newer generation non-APST youths are restless and want equal share of the pie of development in Arunachal Pradesh. Perhaps the Naharlagun incident is a sign of things to come in the future.
With the increase in both APST and non-APST population, there will be bitter competition for jobs and other avenues. Conflicts like the one witnessed in Naharlagun might occur on a regular basis in the future. Such a situation is already being witnessed even in developed states like Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. There, the local Marathi and Gujarati communities have been demanding job reservation for the locals even in private jobs. Back home, in the NE region, in states like Tripura and Assam, there is constant battle between the indigenous communities and the settlers over various issues.