GSU, ATSU oppose MAR, PAC demand

ITANAGAR, Aug 6: Opposing the Mon Autonomous Region Demand Committee’s (MARDC) demand for creation of a Mon autonomous region (MAR) comprising Tawang and West Kameng districts, the Galo Students’ Union (GSU) said any aspiration which has a direct or indirection bearing on other communities “should be made after taking proper consensus from other stakeholders.”

In a statement it issued on Thursday, the GSU said: “In a multi-tribal state like ours, the yardstick to measure the level of economic development and progress, including socio-cultural preservation and development, is almost same for every region.”

It opined that the government’s support and subsequent creation of autonomous district councils exclusively for one or two regions within the state would naturally make other communities feel deprived.

The union said “the Galo community has also been deprived in considerate economic, social, political and physical developments since the last many years.”

The GSU has always strived for a pan-Arunachal identity, but if the government creates autonomous districts, it should also acknowledge the aspirations of the Galo community by creating a Galo autonomous council, it said.

“We reject the idea of creating selective autonomous regions in the state which will empower a few but deprive many,” the GSU said.

The union further urged the state government to strongly pursue the Centre to bring the entire state under the ambit of the 6th Schedule or Article 371(A) or Article 371(G) for constitutional protection of religious, social practices, customary laws, land ownership, and transfer and control under the Indian constitution.

Meanwhile, the All Tagin Students’ Union (ATSU) has expressed “strongest resentment over the recent move for creation of MAR and Patkai autonomous council (PAC),” terming the proposals “one of the blunder in dis-unifying the age-old integrity of the state’s brotherhood-ness.”

In a press release, the union said it feels that the “move of MAR and PAC are one of the biased move by the state government.”

While according to the 6th Schedule, autonomous region status is granted to deprived regions for advancement of socioeconomic, educational, political and cultural development, “West Kameng and Tawang are the most advanced districts of the state in every sector, and the Patkai region has a special department to deal with the developmental affairs of the region,” the union said.

It said it fails to understand the demand for the two autonomous regions when there are many other tribes and sub-tribes in the state “who are literally in pathetic and deplorable conditions in terms of every sector, as compared to other region.”

“Tagin inhabitants are much deteriorated in terms of transportation, communication, education and socioeconomic activities, and this actually needs the attention of the state government in the true sense,” it said.

The ATSU said that if the two autonomous regions are created, “the Tagin inhabitants should also be granted the status of autonomous council, in the name and style of Tagin Autonomous Council, comprising the entire Tagin-inhabited areas in the state.”

It appealed to the state government to drop the recommendation for the formation of the MAR and the Patkai autonomous council.