All unsung freedom fighters must be documented: Mein

Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein on Monday asked the members of the sub-committee formed to identify and recognise the “unsung freedom fighters” of the state to make sure that none of the war heroes are left out during the research and documentation process.

“The sub-committee has been given a big responsibility to re-write the history of Arunachal Pradesh in the local context. Conduct thorough and extensive research and make wide consultations with every community and see that no war heroes are left out,” Mein said.

The deputy chief minister who was addressing a joint meeting of the core and sub-committees at the civil secretariat here said that the findings will remain an important record/document for future reference and it would also be included in the text books in the near future.

“Our fathers and grandfathers have defied British rule and fought against them even before the freedom struggle started in the country, the records of which are available in the archives of British and national libraries. But as most of them are written by the British and the foreign missionaries in their own context, we need to re-write them in the context of Arunachal and based on the original records and documents,” Mein said.

The deputy chief minister further suggested conducting the research work in two phases — first collection and submission of substantial documents by June 2022 for the celebration of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahatsov’ while the second phase may continue for the next one or two years which may involve compilation of the documents and its publication in the form of books.

Echoing Mein, education and cultural affairs minister Taba Tedir said that efforts are on to include the culture and history of Arunachal Pradesh in the state’s school textbooks.

The books which would come out from the present research can also be included in the college and universities textbooks in the future, he said while adding that Late Matmur Jamoh and Late Moje Riba have already been officially recognized as martyrs by the government.

Advisor to the chief minister Tai Tagak suggested building war memorials and museums in honor of the war heroes.

“The outcome of the research work should be a foundation for the history of Arunachal Pradesh,” he said while adding that the books brought out should be legally referable and remain a book of reference for colleges and universities.

Sub-committee chairman Prof Sarit Kumar Chaudhuri briefed the house on the methodologies and strategies to carry out the research work.

He also placed demands for funds to purchase tools and equipment to carry out the research work to which Mein assured and also provided Rs 10 lakh from his own sources to initiate the work.

Among others, Rajiv Gandhi University vice-chancellor Prof Saket Kushwaha, registrar Dr N T Rikam, core-committee member secretary Dani Salu and OSD to deputy chief minister Anupam Tangu participated in the meeting.

The Arunachal Pradesh government had earlier this month formed a five-member core committee headed by deputy chief minister Mein to conduct a research on the contribution of various personalities of the state in the country’s freedom struggle.

The committee would collect and examine authentic documents, archives, journals, etc., available in libraries and other places, seek comments of eminent personalities and others in this regard, visit places of relevant historical interests and take steps as deemed fit to give recognition to the unsung freedom fighters of Arunachal.

The research works and documentation after being compiled and completed would be forwarded to the state government.

Chief Minister Pema Khandu who has been spearheading the initiative had told the assembly last month that the state government would build a memorial for all the “unsung” freedom fighters from the state, besides requesting the Centre to also honor them.

The chief minister had also stated that his government would introduce chapters on Arunachal’s history in the school curriculum that would help the children recall the heroics of their forefathers.

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