For those engaged in power games, it is just a tactic and perhaps even fun. But for us it is life and threatens our very existence.
This particular insight is better described in a book called “Walking with the Poor” by Bryant Meyers of World Vision. Here is a quote on why poor remain poor:
… the identity of the poor is distorted, and is kept distorted, by a “web of lies” that entraps the poor in ways far stronger and insidious than physical bonds or material limitations”.
How true this is in the history of the Yobin tribe.
- The Yobin people became homeless in their hometown when the Assam Rifles forcefully settled in our own villages. And all those villagers were then sent to join the villagers of Shidi (now Gandhigram). To reproach further, the Assam Rifles and shamefully the local administration, named Shidi a “Refugee Camp”. Our land became land for Settlers and they proudly lie that they had been settled in a “no man’s land” to justify to the Central Government’s direction to settle in Vacant Land.
- Further distortion efforts were on. All our villages where Settlers were allotted were renamed to erase Yobin’s footprints from history. Just see how many pictures have seen published from the 1961 Srijitga Expedition. I saw just two photos in 2013 from a publication. That’s it. Because efforts were endless in order to erase our memory.
- The Yobin’s citizenship and ST status was cut off in the late 1970s, making lame excuses and leaving us no clue what actually happened. Some older people told the government made false stories that Yobin “ran away” from Chinese atrocities. This first step of marginalization made our tribe struggling for our identity as Indian citizen and as Arunachalee in the last 40 years.
- Another lie from the Namdapha Authorities. Our land was unilaterally taken and declared us “encroachers, hunters, smugglers” overnight. Thus making us look bad. We were greatly surprised to find from the intelligence department, the lies and distortion of stories the Namdapha people had branded our people.
The list is endless. The GoAP is in no mode to correct this distortion. Why do Yobin people remain poor? It is because the Government of AP:
- Does not do anything regarding our land that was robbed and given to Settlers free of charge. Nothing is free in this world.
- Does not WANT to rectify our ST inspite of pushes from Central Government.
- Want to keep us cut off from the rest of the state both in rights and distance. MV Road does not seem to be in plan to complete.
How should we move ahead? Lets use other avenues that challenges those lies and distortions.