Hello, 2023

Flights Of Fantasy

[ M Panging Pao ]

Yet another new year dawns! The sun’s rays over Dong in Arunachal Pradesh ushered in another New Year: 2023. The world bid farewell to 2022, maybe one of the most eventful year during recent times.

Internationally, 2022 was marked by waning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ukraine-Russia war, the China-USA tensions over Taiwan, the North-South Korea tensions, etc. The calamitous Covid-19 pandemic finally lessened, allowing flights, travel, businesses, industries, hotels, tourism, etc, to resume normally. 2022 was also manifested by extreme weather phenomena around the world, like flooding, winter storms, heat waves and hurricanes caused by global warming. The ongoing Ukraine-Russia war killed thousands, displaced millions and led to further economic downfall to add to the already weakened world economy due Covid-19 pandemic. Many nations of the world are predicted to undergo economic recession this year.

Nationally, 2022 saw many new luminaries elected to office, including the first tribal president, new vice president, CDS, etc. The yearend saw Sino-India clashes at Yangtse near Tawang.

Nearer home, good achievements in Arunachal includes inauguration of the Donyi Polo airport in Hollongi near Itanagar in record time, commencement of multiple flights from Hollongi, Pasighat, Tezu, Ziro and Mechuka to other cities, inauguration of the 600 megawatt Kameng hydropower station, the Assam-Arunachal border disputes being resolved, and massive improvement in roads. Other achievements include approval of another sainik school in Tawang, a pilot initiative to develop three border villages – Kaho, Kibithoo and Meshai – as model villages, export of oranges from Dambuk to UAE, Tenzin Chonzom from Tawang clearing civil services examination and excellence by many Arunachali athletes in national/international level sports like national games, NE Olympics, etc.

Other major events include Everester Tapi Mra and companion Niku Dao missing while climbing a peak in East Kameng, and introduction of the Agnipath scheme to recruit soldiers into the armed forces. Initiated by activist Sol Dodum, the year was also marked by padayatras undertaken to different destinations like Itanagar, Delhi, Tuting, etc, by various groups/persons to achieve different goals.

Bad news included two army helicopters crashing in Arunachal, killing five armymen, power failures in many parts of central and eastern Arunachal, loss of forest cover in Arunachal, continued abductions of Arunachali youths by China, Sino-India clashes at Yangtse, etc.

The APPSC and APSSB cash-for-job scams led to major protests across the state. The APPSC scam led to arrests of thirty plus middlemen and candidates, and resignation of all members of the APPSC. There were multiple bandhs and protests across the state. All the cases have been handed over to the CBI and the SIC. Finally Arunachali citizens are fighting against rampant corruption and nepotism.

However, let’s usher in the New Year with positivity and hope. Let the New Year usher in more development across all fields, peace, stability and lesser natural disasters like floods, river erosions, landslides, storms, and lesser corruption.

Wishing all readers a very happy New Year, 2023. By the way, what’s your New Year resolution? (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)