Monday, February 25, 2008
The Last Traditional War
Did you know that the last traditional tribal war in Arunachal Pradesh was fought at Ziro? The war broke out over the naming of the present Tajang Secondary School. The following is excerps from the leaflet released by the organizers of the school's 36th Foundation Day on February 22, 2008:
"Tajang village boasts of a secondary school, located at Lempia, one of the most picturesque spots of the area. The present site of the school is variously known as Sii Lut (grazing ground of the cows), Sojañ Lapañ (community platform) and Riime Arañ (beside the riime tree). The whole hillock of Lempia was originally owned by the three clans of Tajang village namely, Miso-Hajiñ, Tayañ-Milo and Tabyu, and was under dry cultivation where mainly maize and millet were grown. It now forms an extension of the Tajang village.
The history of the Government Secondary School, Tajang dates back to year 1969-70, when the winds of change was wafting by and the importance of education dawned upon the minds of the senior students and the Gaon Buras of Bulla (comprising of Tajang, Reru and Kalung villages). They dreamt of having a common public ground at a suitable place, where a school could be established. The dream was soon materialized when the owners of the agricultural plots at Lower Lempia voluntarily donated their land for the noble cause. An OBT building was constructed on the ground and in 1971, an English medium school was being voluntarily run by Late Millo Pilya, ex-VLW, and Late Tage Dollo, then a student of middle Standards.
Meanwhile, however, a spark of controversy was smoldering concerning the naming of the school. It was being proposed that the school should be named the Tajang School. This was objected to by the people of Reru and Kalung villages. The Bulyañ (the members of the Apatani traditional village council) of Reru and Tajang tried to solve the impasse at several sittings, but to no avail. The case, at last, was referred to the court of the Deputy Commissioner, Ziro.
Due to the delicate nature of the case, the Deputy Commissioner, too was dilly-dallying in giving a firm decision, during which time, the OBT building at Lempia was burnt down by the people of Reru village. As the situation was quickly deteriorating, the Supuñ Bulyañ - the members of the traditional councils of the whole Apatani villages, was called to intervene. The Supuñ Bulyañ sat at Millo Lapañ and condemned the burning down of the building. They instructed the people of Reru village to reconstruct an OBT building at the original site. A building was accordingly constructed, but was rejected by the people of Tajang village on the ground that it was neither at the original site, nor of satisfactory quality.
On February 21, 1972, the Deputy Commissioner, summoned the representatives of the Tajang and the Reru villages, apparently to give a final verdict on the vexed issue. The people of both the villages turned out in large numbers at the District Court with great expectations. But, as ill luck would have it, the magistrate again wavered in giving a decision and the frustrated people of Reru gave vent to their anger by destroying the Radhe Lapañ at Lempia. The people of Taiang retaliated by destroying the Nani Lapañ there.
February 22, 1972 was, ironically, a sunny day. Precipitated by an indecisive judiciary, the people of Reru and Ka1ung villages attacked the Tajang village on that day with traditional weapons. Thus, a gyambo - a war, had been declared which was to be the last traditional war in the area. It was not before at least three hours that the para-military forces intervened and separated the two warring groups. It was, however, too late by then. The war had already taken a heavy toll. A number of people on both sides suffered injuries and a young man from Tajang village, Ngilyang Grayu, had fallen martyr to the cause of his village.
The neighboring people of Tajang, Reru and Kalung, all of whom are intimately bounded to each other by one or the other relationship, experienced a rude shock. When they saw the cruelty of death and the misery of the injured near and dear ones that their adamancy had brought about, better sense prevailed and the institution for which so much of blood had been shed was named the Tajang School.
The present Tajang School has literally risen from the ashes like the Sphinx. A thatched building and an OBT quarter for the teacher were again constructed by the villagers of Tajang on self-help basis in 1972. An initial batch of seventy-seven students was enrolled. An educational institution again started functioning, this time under the able guidance of Late Rubu Tana and Sri Rubu Koyan, who were the seniormost students and the first graduates from the village. Late Millo Pilya and Late Tage Dollo taught the students voluntarily. The school functioned in this way till 1974, when the enthusiasm of the people impressed the government and it was recognized as a Primary School with minimum facilities. Two dedicated teachers, Sri D. Gogoi and Sri Michi Abing, were posted on regular basis and the school started its long Journey.
The School fulfilled the dream of the people by giving quality education to their children and the students fulfilled the expectations of the government and their parent by excelling in various extra-curricular and academic activities. It paid rich dividends when the then Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Sri Gegong Apang graced the school on July 4, 1981 and upgraded it to a Middle School. Late Gyati Takka, who was then the Deputy Minister for Cooperation, took special interest in the upgradation.
As the school continued its hallowed journey, the public continued showing exceptional enthusiasm and the students continued their outstanding performance in all fields, the then Chief Minister, Sri Gegong Apang again did the school proud by gracing here to upgrade it to a Secondary School on August 19, 1995. This time again it was Sri Kuru Hassang, then Vice-Chairman, Khadi and Gramodyog, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, who made relentless efforts for the upgradation of the school.
In the thirty six years of its existence, the Tajang school is proud of having exhibited excellent performance in all spheres. The school celebrated the Silver Jubilee on February 22, 1997. "