Nat’l seminar on border communities

RONO HILLS, Mar 6: A two-day national seminar on ‘Border communities of western Arunachal Pradesh’, organized by Rajiv Gandhi University’s (RGU) history department, began here on Thursday.
Delivering the keynote address, retired history professor at NEHU, Imdad Hussain, highlighted the background of the McMahon Line, and spoke about the history of the frontier state “as a buffer zone during the colonial era.”
He encouraged social scientists and researchers from the state to carry out a specialized study on the economy and social changes.
“To achieve a better understanding of the history of the western communities of Arunachal Pradesh, it is equally important to study the cultural history of Tibet,” he added.
RGU Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Prof Amitava Mitra, congratulated the history department on being the only department of RGU to be recognized under the UGC- Special Assistance Programme (UGC-SAP), and on signing an MoU with the University of Missouri, USA, in 2017.
Delving into the demography and history of the district formation in the state, he highlighted the problems and challenges faced by the border communities of Arunachal.
Retired sociology professor at NEHU, AC Sinha, urged young scholars to “explore beyond their own communities and study the interface between their neighbours and different societies, which would allow them to talk about their own society with authority.”
Earlier, RGU History Department Head, Prof Sarah Hilaly, introduced the western border communities to the gathering, and touched on the previous two national seminars organized by the department, under the UGC-SAP, on the eastern and central border communities of Arunachal.
Social Sciences Dean, Prof Tana Showren, highlighted the importance of the seminar, and said “most of the work previously done on the tribal communities were by foreign anthropologists and researchers, who lacked sufficient knowledge about the native dialects and jargons, wherein crucial and significant details may have gotten lost.”
He encouraged young scholars to use their indigenous knowledge systems and produce credible work on their own cultures.