Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it — George Santayana.
Only recently I am learning a bit about this leadership in our society. This is not complete, but I share this in the hope to refine further as I learn better.
I wonder how many of the younger generation know the Panchayati System among us began as early as 1975. At that time, Simi (father of Sisahey) was the Anchal Samiti Member (ASM). Along with him five people served as Gram Panchayat Member (GPM): Late Lasayo, Late Hophaka (father of Jephasay), Duchasi, Yoaphu (incumbent ZPM) and Late Sifusi. They were the pioneers in this leadership. Unfortunately, subsequent to their term in 1980, all the privileges we had were withheld.
After twenty three years of depriving the Panchayati facilities, it was once again restored in May 2003, immediately after the then CM, Mukut Mithi took interest on our behalf. Two ASM positions were created for us. The Shidi seat was reserved for women, so Mrs Yomadwe (better known as Achimadwe) was elected as the ASM. From Dawodi/Hazolo, Ngwalosay took on the position. (Note: It took 8 years to restore Panchayati Raj after the Indian Citizenship was returned in 1995).
For the next term, Mr Phusa (President of YTWC) from Shidi and Mrs Yomanu from Dawodi/Hazolo led our people. They functioned from 2008 until recently.
The current term saw a big change. The Zilla Parishad Member seat was created for Vijoynagar Anchal Block. And Mr Yoaphu won the election. But the ASM seats remained the same; did not add as promised. Brothers Osini from Shidi and Ngwayosi from Dawodi/Hazolo became ASMs.
- Vijoynagar Anchal Block is going to function without infrastructures. There is no bank, no Block Development Officer (BDO), no Extra Assistant Commissioner (EAC), no Extension Officers (PA, Cashier etc). It looks like the authorities have provided this block for name sake.
- Why was no additional ASM seat allotted? I heard from various sources, the promised ASM seats were 6 for Lisu and 5 for Nepali. Now the authorities were saying “next term”. This is very intentional suppression for the people of Vijoynagar.
- I heard in other circles of the Khagam Block, one ASM was allotted for 500 head count. If ASM seat is provided as per the population, just among Lisu we should have at least seven.