HAPOLI, Dec 01: Like the recently-conceptualized local gurukul school at Seppa, which teaches the cultural ethos and practices blended with modern NCERT English education to young high school students, we need more such gurukuls in our districts to educate our young generation with value-based education comprising both tribal and modern, said local legislator and Agriculture Minister Er. Tage Taki here today.
Attending as the Chief Guest at the Indigenous Faith Day celebration at the Donyi Polo Ground, Taki said such local gurukuls will play pivotal role in educating the younger generation of their traditional values, ethos, culture, social practices and local dialects blended with modern English education which will give a sound foundation to a student to be realistic in life and rooted to its own tribe.
Articulating the need to involve the participation of the young generation in such social occasions where one’s roots and traditions are showcased in full potent, Taki appealed to the Apatani denizens to stand united for good social causes, irrespective of caste, clan or political lineages.
On the occasion, Taki also spelt out the significant encompassing roles of Donyi Polo in the lives of the tribals of the State. He also donated electric kettles to all the Meder Nellos of the district including a few from other districts.
While advocating participation of the young generation and maintaining a ‘uniform dress code’ in such social occasions, the Guest of Honour and Lower Subansiri Deputy Commissioner Bamin Nime announced to provide 100 supreme ornate chairs and help to upkeep the Donyi Polo society library.
Counsellor in the department of Indigenous Affairs and prominent Apatani elderly citizen Lod Kojee dwelt at length on the topic of protection, preservation and promotion of one’s culture and traditions.
Spelling out that the Apatani dress code was rich, varied and famed all over India which had even fascinated Prime Ministers Late Indira Gandhi and Narendra Modi, Kojee voiced against forceful conversions and urged the district administration against grant of permission to use government general grounds for religious activities.
The president of the Apatani Supun Dukung (TSD), the apex body of Apatanis, Hage Khoda Shalla said Danyi Polo was the earliest and biggest religion of the world which had evolved before any other religion came to light.
He also expressed hope that the modest honorariums given to tribal shamans like gaon buras would further attract more tribal people to take up shaman as their profession.
While reiterating that ‘loss of culture is loss of identity’, another prominent Apatani senior citizen Dr. Hage Tabio said a person cannot escape the identity of his birth to a particular community, place of birth, traditions and the dress code. Hence, we need to regard and respect our identity and culture in which we are born in this world, he explained.
President of Apatani Donyi Polo Meder Nelo Council (ADPMNC), Ziro and senior citizen Nending Chatung welcomed the gathering and explained the importance of celebrating the Indigenous Faith Day.
Rubu Taming narrated the history, growth and development of Donyi Polo religion in the State.
The vice-president of ADPMNC, Ziro, Habung Apo suggested annually observing December 1 as Donyi Polo Day.
On the occasion, Late Gyati Pada was remembered and felicitated for his long and untiring works for growth of ADPMNC, Ziro and as a dedicated Donyi Polo faithful worker posthumously while singers Tage Tanyo and Tilling Kari were felicitated for their extraordinary works in the field of research and reformation works for preservation of the Indigenous faith.
Also, Engineers Nani Chilyang and Dani Gambo were felicitated for their generous donations of a Mithun each during the Indigenous Faith Day celebrations.
Earlier, the Chief Guest along with dignitaries hoisted the ADPMNC flag and inaugurated its new office building.
The day-long celebration witnessed showcasing of several colourful dance items by Apatani, Nyishi, Galo, Tagin and Missing tribes.A mega dance comprising all the tribes and exhibition of Apatani traditional dresses, tools and equipment was another added attraction to the huge gathering of Donyi Polo believers, said an official statement.