War memorials to be built to commemorate wars and brave sons of Arunachal

ITANAGAR, 21 Feb: Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein said that “war memorials will be built to commemorate the wars and the brave sons of Arunachal in 12 places where battles between the locals and the British took place.”

Delivering his welcome address on the occasion of the 37th Statehood Day celebration here on Monday, Mein informed that the names of 220 unsung heroes, “including 18 heroes, 76 martyrs and 126 freedom fighters from various communities, have been recorded and documented.”

He said that the government honoured these unsung heroes posthumously with citations and medallions on the occasion of the 37th Statehood Day.

Mein informed that the state government has constituted “a core committee on unsung heroes” and entrusted the history department of Rajiv Gandhi University with the task of carrying out the research and documentation.

“They have carried out in-depth research work by carrying out field works, interacting with community leaders, academicians and intellectuals of the community, touring all the districts and visiting the historical incident places, researching and collecting the published books and articles and official gazette notification of those times that referred the incidences carrying out research works at various institutions across India, like the National Archives of India, New Delhi; the West Bengal State Archives, Kolkata; the Assam State Archives, Dispur; the Arunachal Pradesh State Archives, Itanagar; the Asiatic Society, Kolkata; and the Cellular Jail, Port Blair,” he said.

Mein further informed that “scholars have also visited the United Kingdom and collected records of archival documents and photos from the British Library, the British Museum, the British Archives, the Royal Geographical Society, the School of Oriental and African Studies and the Pitts Rivers Museum, Oxford.”

“As a result of the intense research work, the scholars have recorded and documented the various wars and freedom movements against the British,” he said.

Mein said that the research scholars have also recorded three major wars fought by the tribal people of Arunachal Pradesh. “One of the wars, popularly known as the Khamti Rebellion of 1839, took place much before the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857,” Mein said.

Other major field wars were the four Anglo-Abor wars of 1858, 1859, 1894 and 1911-12, fought by the Adis, and the ‘Ninu Massacre of 1875’ by the Wanchos, the DCM said. He said also that “many other incidences of resistance against the British invasion have also been recorded.”

Mein added: “After the completion of the research work, our research scholars will be writing our own history in our own perspective and will publish it in book form which will be introduced in the school curriculum, so that our children are able to read and learn about our own history.” (DIPR)