Veteran Congress leader & pioneer journalist Tasso Grayu passes away

ZIRO, 24 Mar: Veteran Congress leader and pioneer journalist of the state, Tasso Grayu, passed away at his native village Hari here in Lower Subansiri district on Thursday.

Born to Tasso Tangu and Tasso Yalu in Hari village in 1948, Grayu was a first-generation octogenarian from the Apatani community who was loved and respected throughout the state for his multi-talented roles as a journalist, an entrepreneur, a politician, and a shaman.

After graduating from DHSK College in Dibrugarh (Assam) in 1974, Grayu underwent training in journalism and broadcasting at the AIR Dibrugarh. He also qualified the UPSC exam for the post of programme executive officer of the AIR Dibrugarh in 1975, but quit it to try his luck in politics.

Grayu was appointed as the general secretary of the Lower Subansiri District Congress Committee in 1975 and contested the 1978 and 1980 assembly elections.

From 1978 to 1997, Grayu was the Congress general secretary. He was the vice president of the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) from 1998 to 2004.

Late Grayu was also one of the pioneers in the field of mass communication in the state. He not only worked in All India Radio as an announcer, translator and editor, but was also the founder editor of The Arunachal Times.

He was also one of the advisory members of telecommunication in the NE states during the ’90s, and in 2000 he represented Arunachal Pradesh as a journalist in the Air India-sponsored All Northeast India Journalist Exposure Meet in Thailand.

Grayu was also the first vice chairman of the Khadi & Village Industries Board, besides being a member of the board of directors of the Industrial development and Financial Corporation Ltd, a member of the board of directors of the Apex Bank, chairman of the Youth Development Cooperative Society Ltd, Ziro, and chairman of the Arunachal Pradesh Consumer Cooperative and Supply Federation Ltd. He was also the adviser to the Supung Jugo Council Ziro, and adviser to the Popi Sarming Society and the Meder Nello Council, Itanagar.

Grayu also has the distinction of being the only political leader in the state who was loyal to the Congress party throughout his political career.

Attending Grayu’s last rites in his native village, senior Congress leaders, including former minister Padi Richo, former MLA Nani Ribia and senior Congress leader Nani Rajen described Tasso Grayu as “a fine gentleman and a true Congress leader who had never shifted party loyalty and remained in the Congress party from beginning to end of his political career while also being a successful entrepreneur and a renowned Apatani shaman whose vacuum would be difficult to be filled by anyone else.”

Deputy Commissioner Bamin Nime, Hao Lanker president Gyati Tajang and its general secretary Hage Komo, and Hari Employees and Pensioner’s Welfare Association president Tasso Butung also expressed shock and grief over Grayu’s demise. (DIPRO)