An open letter to His Excellency

Source: By A. Ngwazah, Miao (Letters to the Editor, The Arunachal Times, 22 Nov 2011).

Dear Editor,

Your Excellency, it was indeed heartening to see you Vijoynagar and reactivate the Landing Ground.

It is good to hear you say that the people must not remain isolated in such an age. Indeed we have been isolated for too long a time. Lt Governor A. A. Raja was the only one who used the MV road in the middle ‘70s. After him no Governor or Chief Minister or public of Vijoynagar used the road with wheelers!

We thank you for giving us a glimpse of the socio-economic wellbeing of the people.

At this point I also like to mention a few things about the Yobins of Vijoynagar. We are sure that you took note when Alina Yobin shared a few things about us during the visit.

  • The Yobins have been the known aborigines of Dawodi or Vijoynagar. Dawodi have been our home before the Govt of India ever set foot in the valley.
  • The Yobins have manually built the ALG of Vijoynagar under the leadership of Assam Rifles, as you yourself have said.
  • Yobins were the only ones who were instrumental guides in the demarcation of Indo-Myanmar border around Vijoynagar.
  • Even now, Yobins are the only ones who know where each border-stone lay!

But the sad truth is that the Yobins are denied Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribe status till date. And in spite of our tribe being listed in serial no. 107 during 1981 census in accordance with the Presidential Order 1956 Para 2 of part II of Schedule III.

The Yobins enjoyed facilities like any other Arunachal Tribes till 1979. But then from 1980 onward, Yobins have been, without any official notification, denied ST certificate,Permanent Residence Certificate, Right to Contest Assembly Election, Right to jobs entitled to Arunachalee tribes.

As of now, Yobins have been marginalized in developmental, social, economic, educational and political life. Just to list a few of the discriminations that we the Yobins of Vijoynagar are facing:

  • You will not find one state-sponsored Yobin student.
  • You will not find one Yobin enjoying hostel facilities in Govt School or College hostels.
  • You will not find one Yobin Arunachal Police man or woman.
  • You will not find one Yobin doctor.
  • You won’t even find 20 Yobins in Arunachal Govt jobs.

Some Yobins have been successful in APCS exams, but had to back down for want of an ST certificate! My own cousin did well in Indian Army recruitment. Yet he had to come back for he did not have a paper- ST Certificate!

Yobins have been deprived for too many decades.

We would urge you to restore ST to the Yobins of Vijoynagar immediately.

What does India lose if Yobins of Vijoynagar are treated as a tribe of Arunachal Pradesh! And not as Burmese or Chinese refugees!

We want to know how long, oh, how long must we wait till we are treated a bonafide tribe of Arunachal Pradesh

Please correct this negligence immediately. This is our plea.

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