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Wednesday, Dec 01, 2021
Outlook.com
Opinion

The Parable Of A Slaughter

What will Arunachal Pradesh be like under President’s rule? Will it be able to retain its fierce spirit during these uncertain times?

The Parable Of A Slaughter
Photograph by Dinodia (From Outlook Issue 15 February 2016)
The Parable Of A Slaughter
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Let’s begin at the very beginning, shall we? A mithun is not a cow, just like a Shivlinga is not a rock. Lassi is not spoilt milk and sambar is not yesterday’s dal gone a little bit sour. How does this relate to Arunachal Pradesh? Well, it is a difficult time to be from that place. As a matter of fact, it seems to have been so from the very moment the state came into being; the name itself is incongruous—so much ­unfounded optimism! Even the word is not homegrown but borrowed from Sanskrit, a ready metonym for the appropriation of its history.

Linguistic hegemony apart, even the existence of the state in the minds of Indians seems to solidify only in what a Discovery Channel programme titles the Worst Case Scenario. I mean, think about it: a courageous mother of two from the state conquers Mt Everest twice in 10 days, but doesn’t make headlines. A village boycotts elections­—the very basis of our democracy—and not a panel debate is heard on television, loud or otherwise. Our sportswomen and men win gold in ­international competitions, not even a bugle is blown, except in the local newspapers. Come to think of it, even when I was awarded the Rolex Awards for Enterprise (associate lau­reate) in 2009—one among only five Indians at that time to have won it—I was casually kept away from interviews, comments or any invitation to write a piece on the work we were doing. Nor was I to be seen in the letters page of the very magazine I am writing for now.

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