ITANAGAR, SEPT 26 – The Ziro Festival of Music (ZFM) is facing the looming threat of a boycott and protest, as the Apatani Student Union (ASU) has demanded the suspension of the festival. In a representation submitted to the Deputy Commissioner of Ziro on Sept 25, the ASU expressed its discontent with the festival organizers.
The ASU claimed that a meeting was held on Sept 15, chaired by the District administration and attended by festival organizers and others. During this meeting, it was decided that the ZFM organizers would incorporate the logo of “Zero drug Ziro” in all promotional materials for the festival. “Zero drug Ziro” is a campaign initiated by the Apex community organization. The ASU alleged that by not complying with this directive from the district administration, the festival organizers displayed a lack of respect and insulted the stakeholders present at the meeting.
Condemning the organizer’s attitude, the student union has demanded the suspension of the Ziro Festival of Music, cessation of financial support to the festival organizers, and the initiation of an open tender process for the celebration of ZFM, considering it is a state government-supported festival.
Furthermore, the ASU has issued a stern warning of a democratic movement scheduled from September 28 to October 1st if their demands are not met.
Responding to the situation, Lower Subansiri Deputy Commissioner Bamin Nime stated that preparations for the festival are almost complete, and he is considering the grievances expressed by the festival promoter. He emphasized that the preparations have progressed smoothly, with accommodations arranged for over five thousand attendees, additional accommodations being managed by tourists themselves, and ample security personnel on hand.
He also mentioned that two ASU members approached him on Monday with the request to suspend the ZFM, but he informed them of his inability to do so. As of now, no issues have arisen that would warrant the festival’s cancellation, and measures have been taken to address concerns, including the regulation of the DJ Night, which was a specific demand from the ASU.
This year marks the 10th edition of the Ziro Festival of Music, and extensive preparations have been made to ensure its successful celebration and completion. Chief Minister Pema Khandu is expected to attend the festival on September 28, and Air Marshal of the Eastern Air Command will also be present as a guest.