ITANAGAR, 7 Jan: Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein on Friday handed over archival materials and manuscripts (MS) of about 2,000 pages on various tribes to the nodal department (history) of Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU).
The documents were collected from the National Archives of India (Delhi), the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (Delhi), the Indian Council of Historical Research (Delhi), the State Archives of Assam, the British Library and Museum, and various other sources by Nepha Wangsa and Chow Bilaseng Namchoom.
The items were handed over during a joint meeting of the Core Committee on Unsung Heroes of Arunachal Pradesh and the research subcommittee of RGU at the civil secretariat here.
Stating that many engagements of the indigenous people with the then British government are still unknown and untraced, Mein urged everyone engaged for the purpose to shoulder the task responsibly.
“The British accounts, their official correspondence, missionary writings and other documents found in the archives are the main sources of information regarding engagements with the British government,” he said.
Citing Arunodoi, the first Assamese magazine published in 1846, Mein said
that “the Khamti-British war of 1839 and Mishmis are categorically reflected in the magazine published in 1848, while other documents depict the four Anglo-Abor wars, Wancho engagements with the British at Ninu, other engagements of the Nyishis, Singphos, Akas, etc,” he said.
“Such documents speak volumes about our people of those times, who are not known to the present generation,” Mein said, adding that, “with the help of such documents, we need to rewrite our history and make it known to the world.”
He urged the nodal department to prepare its report with utmost care within a stipulated time under the leadership of RGU VC Prof Saket Kushwaha. Mein assured of all possible support from the state government “in the process of the execution of the blueprint.”
“The nature of the work to get the unsung heroes of Arunachal Pradesh recognized is challenging but it will be historic once the compilation and extensive research work is done in our perspective and included in the NCERT books,” the DCM said.
He urged the research committee members to work as a team “without giving any scope for criticism in future.”
Core committee member Tai Tagak suggested establishing a martyrs’ memorial in Itanagar. He also spoke about the fallen soldiers of the Sino-India war of 1962, in which many Arunachalee jawans were martyred in the line of duty.
“There are also many porters who volunteered to aid the Indian soldiers during the wartime. Such heroes should also find a place for recognition,” Tagak said.
Research scholar Nepha Wangsa informed that he has been doing research work on the Wancho-British war at Ninu since 2015. He expressed gratitude to the DCM for helping him in carrying out his research work and collecting the archival materials from various repositories in India and abroad.
Prof Kushwaha said that the university along with the history department is trying to do its best to execute the work, and Prof Ashan Riddi highlighted “the progress on the work and field visits carried out by the research subcommittee for research works in various districts of the state.”
He presented “a timeline of the research subcommittee” and said that the submission of the final report to the core committee on the unsung heroes will be done in June this year.
Among others, core committee member secretary Dani Salu, RGU Registrar Dr NT Rikam, Controller of Examination Dr Bijay Raji, History Professor Tana Showren, Prof Shyam Narayan Singh, Political Science Prof Nabam Nakha Hina, AITS Professor Jumyir Basar and AITS Assistant Professor Dr Wanglit Mongchan also expressed their views. (DCM’s PR Cell)