Refugee in my own land

Source: By Phususa Yobin, New Delhi (Letters to the Editor, The Arunachal Times, 3 October 2011)

Dear Editor,

India completed 6 decades celebrating its freedom from British rule. The preamble, the soul of Indian constitution declared India to be a secular, democratic republic country and its citizens have equality and justice. Keeping it as the cornerstone of the constitution of India the founding fathers of the nation put their aim to abolish ill-treatment of the nation, social evils, and corruptions which were prevailing under colonial rule. To set us free from this social injustice, the freedom fighters paid their precious blood unsparingly. There was no portion left uncovered by their blood and suffering to get our rights and freedom. Now what we owe is the responsibility to protect and enjoy these rights freedom with reverence for the blood, which was shed for the whole nation.

However, has anyone ever wondered about how unbearable the feelings of forgotten tribe like Lisu/Yobin of Arunachal Pradesh could be? Decades ago, we were one of the Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribes (APSTs). But taking the advantage of our condition of having no educated people, government deprived our right before getting any benefit out of it. Since then politics became like a popular market for us and the fundamental rights and facilities turned into the commodities of the political market. We lost the meaning of ‘political rights’. The only way we had was to caste vote just to get our rights back. If this is not the exploitation of rights and social identity, what kind of facility shall we call it? Bit by bit memories of our agony is now becoming droplets of blood. If we have the right to express our feelings and ask, what method should we implement to feel the presence of freedom, equality, fundamental rights, and any form of social justice? There is a tremendous gulf between actual law and its implementation. Why it seems that the freedom of India was not for Lisu community? We adopted the peaceful way of asking, propagated by our nation father but we got confused what government silent attitude wants to suggest us beyond this. How can an indigenous tribe of the state tolerate being addressed “Refugee” often by their own state people? Why government is still hatching up to communal strife. Isn’t it our fundamental duty is to promote national harmony and common brotherhood and to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom? Then why should we belittle the precious blood of our patriotic martyrs and ask more blood from our brothers (Lisu people) for the same rights and freedom again? If we kill and nullify the vision kept by our nation founders then what is the difference between those who killed their physical body and those who kill their ideas?

Therefore, dear fellow Indians, bearing the thoughts of national brotherhood in mind, let us support Lisu/ Yobin tribe and let our democratic country be meaningful one. We love peace and harmony for that we need your support. Your co-operation and impartiality is what we need the most in this hour to get our Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribe status back. We don’t simply expect a safe tribe but we demand for our full rights and we know how to make a sound nation. Let all the leaders and fellow beings of the state unite together and abjure any idea that leads to communal conflicts. Let the promises made by the nation founders remain fulfilled by sharing the social equalities and rights impartially among the heirs who are under the same nation father. Let us toil together and let us live together.

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