Hello, 2020!

Flights Of Fantasy

[ M Panging Pao ]

Yet another New Year and new decade arrived with the sun’s rays over Dong in Arunachal Pradesh ushering in 2020.
There were many hits, misses and landmark decisions during the preceding year. On the positive side, the good news included the launch of the moon mission, Chandrayaan 2; a significant improvement in the pass percentage in the Class 10 examination in Arunachal to 41 percent from 21 percent; approval of the 2880 mw Dibang Multipurpose Project; Ipupu Mena qualifying as the first Army officer from the Mishmi (Idu) community; AFSPA being removed from three districts of Arunachal; young weightlifters winning medals at the Youth National Weightlifting Championship; Joti Mane becoming the first athlete from Arunachal to win a gold medal in any national athletics championship when she won the 5000 mtr race in the girls’ U-20 category in the 31st East Zone Junior Athletics Championship; and the inauguration of the bridge over the Sissiri (or the Sisar), connecting Dambuk and Roing with Pasighat.
On the flipside, the not-so-good news included the dastardly killing of sitting Khonsa West MLA Tirong Aboh and 10 others by suspected NSCN members; crash of An-32 aircraft on 3 June near Mechuka and death of 13 IAF personnel; continuing decline in Arunachal’s total forest cover; and the continuing imbroglio at the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission with the Itanagar bench of the Gauhati high court directing that the APPSC exam be held afresh.
Other landmark decisions/events included the BJP sweeping the parliamentary elections and state elections held in April-May, 2019, with absolute majority, leading to the BJP forming majority government at the Centre and in Arunachal. In a surgical strike, India hit back at Pakistan after terrorists carried out suicide attack on a CRPF convoy, killing 40 CRPF personnel in Pulwama by hitting terrorist camps in POK/Pakistan at Balakot, Muzaffarabad and Chakothi areas with precision guided bombs. Other landmark decisions included the revoking of Articles 370 and 35 (A) from Jammu & Kashmir, leading to creation of two new union territories – Jammu & Kashmir, and Ladakh. Another landmark decision was the completion of the NRC in Assam, which identified almost 19 lakh illegal persons. This was followed by the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which resulted in bandhs and protests across Assam, the Northeast and many parts of India.
At home, the landmark event was the rioting and arson caused by the decision to grant PRCs to non-natives, which continued for almost 3-4 days, leading to massive loss of properties and lives in the capital complex. Another event was the change of the chief secretary and the DGP of the state with Naresh Kumar and RP Upadhyaya taking over as the CS and the DGP, respectively.
Live moves on. The incoming new year and decade should be ushered in with new hope. The hope list includes good governance leading to development and progress in all sectors. Let’s hope for better roads, steady electricity supply, more airports and civil flights, more railways, more industries, better performances by students and sportspersons, and more jobs. Let the new year usher in better health and more happiness!
To paraphrase Robert Frost: The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but Arunachal has promises to keep, and miles to go before Arunachal sleeps, and miles to go before Arunachal sleeps. (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)