Veteran Congress leader, pioneer journalist Tasso Grayu passes away at 75

ZIRO/NAHARLAGUNMar 24: Veteran Congress leader, pioneer journalist of Arunachal Pradesh, Tasso Grayu, who was the first Editor of The Arunachal Times, passed away at TRIHMS, Naharlagun on Thursday.

He was 75.

Born to Late Tasso Tangu and Late Habung Yallu Tasso at Hari village in Ziro under Lower Subansiri district in 1948, Tasso Grayu was a first-generation octogenarian from the Apatani community, who was loved and respected throughout the State for his multi-talented personality as a journalist, entrepreneur and politician.

After his graduation from DHSK College at Dibrugarh in Assam in 1974, Grayu got training in journalism and broadcasting at AIR Dibrugarh.

He also qualified the UPSC-conducted exam for the post of Programme Executive Officer of AIR Dibrugarh in 1975 but quit the same to try his luck in politics. Grayu was appointed as the general secretary of the District Congress Committee, Ziro in 1975 and contested the 1978 and 1980 Assembly elections. From 1978 to 1997, Grayu was the Congress general secretary and vice-president of Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee from 1998 to 2004.

Tasso Grayu is also one of the pioneers in the field of mass communication in the State. He not only worked in All India Radio (AIR) as announcer, translator and Editor but became the founder Editor of the State’s daily newspaper The Arunachal Times in 1984 in partnership with Vijoy Krishna Nath of Assam.

He was also one of the advisory members of telecommunication in NE States during the 90’s and in 2000, he represented Arunachal Pradesh as a journalist in Air India sponsored All Northeast India Journalist Exposure Meet in Thailand.

Grayu was also the first vice-chairman of Khadi and Village Industries Board, member in the Board of Director for Industrial Development and Financial Corporation Ltd., member in the Board of Director of Arunachal Pradesh Apex Bank Ltd., chairman of Youth Development Cooperative Society Ltd., Ziro, chairman of Arunachal Pradesh Consumer Cooperative and Supply Federation Ltd., one of the executive members of Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC), chief advisor of Supung Jugo Council Ziro and Advisor to Popi Sarming Society and Meder Nello Council, Itanagar.

Grayu also has the distinction of being the only political leader in the State, who has been loyal to the Congress party throughout his political career and never shifted party loyalty.

Meanwhile, attending the funeral of Tasso Grayu at his native village Hari, senior Congress leaders including former Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president and former minister Padi Richo, former MLA Nani Ribia and APCC vice-president Nani Rajen described Tasso Grayu as a fine gentleman and a true Congress leader who had never shifted party loyalty and remained in the Congress party from beginning to end of his political career while also being a successful entrepreneur and a renowned Apatani shaman whose vacuum would be difficult to be filled by anyone else.

Also, Lower Subansiri Deputy Commissioner Bamin Nime, Gyati Tajang and Hage Komo, president and general secretary respectively of Hao Lanker, the apex body of Hari village where Tasso Grayu was born, Hari Employees and Pensioner’s Welfare Association (HEPWA) president Tasso Butung also expressed shock and grief at the demise of Tasso Grayu.

Tasso Grayu’s demise has been deeply mourned by Agriculture, Horticulture, AH, Veterinary & Dairy Development and Fisheries Minister Er Tage Taki, APCC president Nabam Tuki, vice-president Nani Rajen and others.

In his condolence message, Minister Taki said: “It is shocking to learn that Tasso Grayu, a veteran political leader, is no more. With his demise, the last of the pioneers and a living encyclopaedia of our community has fallen.”

Tasso Grayu was among the tallest first generation politicians of the state. “He became a household name due to his oratory skill in his voice, made popular as a news reader of All India Radio then based in Dibrugarh. With his vast knowledge of Apatani traditional and culture, he became a revered shaman towards the later part of his life,” the minister said. “He is known in the media world as one of the longest serving editors of The Arunachal Times, the premier daily of the State. During the unfortunate event, my heart goes out to the bereaved family members. I convey my deep and heartfelt condolences to them,” he said.

The vacuum created by Tasso Grayu’s demise will never be filled but his legacy will live on, he added.

APCC president and Sagalee MLA Nabam Tuki in his condolence message said: “I am deeply saddened to learn about the demise of veteran & vibrant Congress leader Tasso Grayu, who breathed his last on March 24, 2023 at TRIHIMS, Naharlagun.”   

Tasso Grayu was a very simple, versatile, humble and a man of discipline & principle. He is known for his spirited attitude, social and political leadership with great leadership quality and integrity. As a loyal and worth emulating Congress leader, he contributed significantly in shaping the Congress party in Arunachal Pradesh, Tuki said.

“We appreciate and treasure Tasso Grayu’s selfless contribution to the party.  His zeal and diligent attitude towards party works has always been a great source of inspiration to us,” the former CM said.

As a committed leader and torch-bearer of the Congress party in the State, he made selfless contribution for the greater interest of INC party in various capacities, Tuki said.

His contribution for the Indian National Congress party in the State and devoted service for the welfare of the people and Subansiri District in particular will always be remembered and will continue to inspire and motivate the next generation of young leaders. His demise is a great loss for the Congress party in particular and State as a whole, he added.

“I extend my deepest condolences on behalf of the Indian National Congress party to the bereaved family members & loved ones and prayers to give them comfort and strength to bear the irreparable loss caused to them.  May his great soul rest in eternal peace in heavenly abode,” Tuki further said.

APCC vice-president Rajen Nani in his condolence message said: “I am deeply grieved by the demise of veteran & stalwart Congress leader and my elder cousin brother Tasso Grayu, who breathed his last on March 24, 2023 at TRIHMS, Naharlagun.” 

Rajen Nani informed that Tasso Grayu completed his LP education at Laji-Bogya, Reru & Hari-Byara LP schools, ME education in Suluya School Ziro, High School education in English High School, Hapoli and Khonsa High School.

He completed his Pre-University from Jawaharlal Nehru College, Pasighat and graduated from DHSK College, Dibrugarh (Assam) in 1974.

“Throughout his political career, he has been loyal to the Congress party. During 1977 when Janata Party came to power in the Centre and all Congress (I) leaders joined the Janata Party, he was the only leader, who had remained in the Congress party. In the 1978 election, he was the only Congress (I) candidate from Ziro Assembly constituency (now 17-Ziro-Hapoli A/C). In 1980 also, he fought for Member of Legislative Assembly on Congress party ticket during the second election to the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly,” he said.

“Though he could not become Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), his able leadership played a significant role in shaping the hold of Congress party in the State. He served the party in various capacities as General Secretary of District Congress Committee Ziro in 1975, APCC general secretary from 1978-1997, APCC vice-president from 1998-2004, chairman of Disciplinary Action Committee from 2000-2007 and Executive Member of APCC Press & Publicity committee and served as party Election Observer in Panchayat and Assembly elections. He was Advisor to Chief Minister Late Dorjee Khandu from 2008-2010 and again in Nabam Tuki-led Congress government in 2014-15,” he added.

“At local level politics or Panchayat Raj system, he was elected as Vice President in 1980 from Ziro-I Anchal Samity constituency. He was again elected as Vice-president unopposed from Ziro-I Anchal Samiti Constituency in 1984. He had also remained as Anchal Samiti Member of  Patho Anchal Samiti constituency of Hari village from 1987 to 1997,” he added.

He had been supporting and participating in the delimitation movement for additional constituencies for Ziro-I and in 2006-2008 , he was one of the members of the delimitation committee for Ziro, Nani further said.

He also served as Chairman, Member, Board of Directors of various committees, Boards, Corporations of the Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh.

He has left behind his wife, 5 sons and 1 daughter.

“His versatility is not only famed for being the most loyal and worth emulating veteran Congress leader but for his vast and versatile erudition in tradition or culture and other contemporary fields as well. His leadership lineament, reformist vision for society and strong sense of social responsibility are quite evident. In his death, the State has lost an eminent political leader and a great personality,” he added. “I extend my deepest condolences and sympathies to the members of bereaved family & friends and pray to Almighty God to give them comfort, strength and courage at this time of sorrow. May his great soul rest in

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