Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Trouble with Arunachal

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The political instability in Arunachal Pradesh is disturbing especially because it borders China which claims some of its territory as its own. It is good that after some turmoil a new Chief Minister has taken office. However, one cannot tell if the choice of Nabam Tuki will put an end to continuing infighting in the state Congress. His predecessor, Jarbom Gamlin lasted not more than six months. His incompetence antagonised his own party leaders. The dissidents in the Congress were led by none other than Nabam Tuki. Tuki was a minister in the previous Cabinet apart from being the state Congress Chief. It is to be hoped that Tuki will not be a victim of party dissensions as well. The Congress Party has a two-thirds majority in the state legislature and the Opposition hardly counts. The real enemy of stability lies in the Congress itself.

There is one other reason why factional rivalry in the state Congress has to be brought to an end. Governance and the rule of law in Arunachal Pradesh have gone to sixes. Relations between different ethnic groups have soured significantly. Ethnic identity has a key role in the running of Arunachal politics. Belonging to a major ethnic group is not enough for the Chief Minister. He has to rise above it. Tuki must ensure that factional rivalry in his party does not undermine ethnic unity in the state. The common people also have a role to play in helping him achieve this objective. They must not allow shady politics to threaten the social and cultural fabric of the state. Electing representatives to govern is but one step. It is the people of Arunachal who have to put a check on politicians going off the straight and narrow.

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