What Kind of MLA Do We Need?

The last two decades of our franchise exercise did not meet the aspirations of our people to reality. The two leaders we have had during this period, Samchom Ngemu and Kamlung Mossang, have not given sufficient priority to our needs. Look at this:

  • Scheduled Tribe (ST) Status: Both did deliver the desperate need for ST. They just did sketchy attempts and clearly did not take our case seriously. Now we know the status of our ST is in a mess. Particularly, I was surprised to hear Kamlung lying to our public about the ST status, again and again. Plus at one point he has convinced some of our public leaders that ST is secondary; PRC is important (a non sense).

  • Miao – Vijoynagar Road: The road was through once and few four-wheeled vehicles plied between Dec 2012 and Feb 2013. Later, the GoAP secured PMGSY funds for its construction, which remains frozen to this day. My point is, it took two decades to initiate construction since our voting rights was restored. That too, not by political process, but by the then Deputy Commissioner, Dr. S.B. Deepak Kumar, combined with high recommendation of the Gen (Rtd) J. J. Singh, Governor of Arunachal Pradesh. So where were our local representatives who held Cabinet roles in GoAP?

  • Land Demarcation with the Namdapha National Park: They have no idea how to resolve this issue. You cannot rely on them. I don’t know Samchom’s position on this issue, but Kamlung encouraged the villagers of Ngwazakha to continue even upto 27th Mile. But when the actual dispute arose with the wildlife and administration in Nov 2011, he was no where.

I clearly see they are no hope for our future. If they cannot give solutions to our basic survival and identity needs as above, how can they bring developments which are above survival?

We need visionary leaders who can shape the direction of our community and the lives of the people under Miao Assembly Constituency. Someone who can address our survival and identity needs and also provide solutions to our other struggles in the areas of medical (health), education, stronger administration, security and peace in the region.

My urge to all our people is to be very cautious in how we go about in the next State Assembly election. Use discretion and be wise. Let us not be waylaid by offers and incentives, thereby losing the community. Let our dreams live.

Recommendation Letters for ST: By Samchom Ngemu

Source Details

Recommending authority:
Mr. Samchom Ngemu
Minister (RWD), Government of Arunachal Pradesh

Reference: UO. NO. MRWD -10-95 Dated: 20-12-95

Addressed to: The Hon’ble Chief Minister

Content of the Recommendation

    • The Indian Citizenship was restored to the Yobin in 1994. The main objective of that restoration is for the all round development of the tribe. This can be achieved only when they are recognized as Scheduled Tribe of Arunachal Pradesh.
    • The Yobin leaders have been demanding for ST and have submitted various memoranda.
    • The Yobin leaders have been demanding for ST and have submitted various memoranda.

My Comment:

Sir Ngemu is a visionary. I am particularly impressed that he looks at the wholistic development of our community. Not just the community but the whole Vijoynagar Circle.

Influencers on Lisu Society: Samchom Ngemu

Political Career

If you look at the list of AAPSU leaders in the 1970s, you will find his name. He had been a leader since his student days.

He came to the political picture in 1978 when he challenged the reigning, Jungpum Jugli (PPA Party) as an Independent candidate. Though he lost that battle, but to rise again in 1980 when he defeat the PPA candidate, Mr Nongtu Lungphi. By then he joined Indian National Congress (INC) and continued till 2004 when he was denied its party ticket.

The following election in 1984, he lost to a woman contestant, Mrs Kamoli Mossang, by a margin of four percentage. Till this election, the constituency came under “25 Noadihing Nampong Assembly Constituency”.

After this election, it seems there was bifurcation of the constituency. He contested for the current constituency “5 – (ST) Miao Assembly Constituency” and for the next three consecutive terms (in 1990, 1995 and 1999) he captured that position, defeating the two opponents, KK Muklom and the rising Kamlung Mossang.

Interestingly in 2004 when he was denied the INC party ticket, he did not contest, rather backed KK Muklom who lost. He challenged Kamlung Mossang the latest in 2009 when he lost perhaps once for all.

During his reign, he took up several roles as Cabinet Minister. The last portfolio he held was PHED Minister.

His Contribution for Lisu

In the annals our history, his name would remain in bold letters as one who helped us restore our Indian Citizenship in 1994. He spent much energy for us. A High Power Committee was constituted on our behalf. He mediated with the then Chief Minister to help us. This particular contribution changed our history forever. We can never thank him enough.

The Panchayati Raj system was restored. We had our first ASMs in 2004 with Yomadwe and Ngwalosay.

During his tenure, the Government of Arunachal Pradesh sent a list of 20 Scheduled Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh to the Government of India in 2000. The same was included in the Lok Sabha debates in Dec 2002.

Vijoynagar Circle was proposed as a border block as early as 1994.

I am also very impressed with him for working through our society leadership, YTWC. From prior to our citizenship and until the last election, he consistently respected our community body. In that process, he updated any development he has undertaken accordingly.

I wish

When the Indian Citizenship was declared, the matter on our Scheduled Tribe status was silent. Some of us went to the Deputy Commissioner to apply for ST certificate. The officer had to clarify his higher authority about that. Only then we realized that privilege was withheld from us.

I wish our ST was declared along with the Indian Citizenship, because our Indian Citizenship and ST were not withdrawn in stages. It should then be restored together at once.

References

25 Noadihing Nampong Assembly Constituency (Election Commission of India, 1978-1984).

50 (ST) Miao Assembly Constituency (Election Commission of India, 1990 – 2004).

List of contesting Candidates in Assembly Election 2009 from Changlang District (Changlang.nic.in).

Arunachal: 15 Cong heavyweights denied tickets (NE News, Sep 15, 2004).

Miao (ST) Assembly Constituency and Leaders

Our people came in contact with this political constituency in 1995, after a gap of fifteen years. Since we became heavily involved with its political processes. I summarize basic information about our constituency.  

  • Two Circles, Vijoynagar and Miao, make up this constituency. Population of Vijoynagar is 3,988 and Miao 20,266 (Wikipedia), which is about 17:83 ratio. Perhaps, this delimitation came in 2008 (Delimitation  Of Parliamentary And Assembly Constituencies Order, 2008).
  • Congress Party dominated this power seat. Data available from 1990 till date, Congress candidate took over. So unless another stronger political party comes to the picture, the Congress will continue to hold the power in the days to come.
  • From 1980s till now, two Congress candidates ruled: Samchom Ngemu and Kamlung Mossang. Ngemu was in power till 2003. During his tenure, no one could win him. But strangely, he no more contested. I wonder why. After that Kamlung Mossang came in power and he is still the current MLA from our constituency. KK Muklom is the only one who challenged both of them as Independent candidate but lost both times.
  • In the 2004 State Assembly election, Miao Constituency had 16,018 voters. 10,523 casted their votes and Mossang overtook Muklom by a margin of 651 votes.

Highlights of the two leaders:

  • Ngemu: at the start of his career, we saw the cut off of our Indian citizenship. But our basic right of citizenship was restored in 1994. We began to participate in Panchayati Raj. He also proposed a separate border block for Vijoynagar in the cabinet. He worked with the YTWC.
  • Mossang: He helped many patients – many got medical treatments. He helped some students; I was one of those whom he helped. Vijoynagar Anchal Block was declared in March 2013. He secured a settlement for Lisu at the LC Line. The construction of the MV Road started. He strengthened the Congress in our society and worked only through the Congress workers.

Both did not answer for our Scheduled Tribe status.