Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Friday stated that school textbooks should contain chapters on the State’s history and culture, “so that students grow up knowing about their state and its past”.

Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu said that about 80-90% of the people of the State are not aware of their history and rich cultural diversity.

Pema Khandu was speaking at the launching ceremony of the book “Flights of Fantasy: Heroes of 1962 Indo-China War, Abu Tani’s Speaking Tree and other articles’, authored by Group Captain (Retd) Mohonto Pamging Pao in Itanagar.

Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu said that it is his Government’s priority that the younger generations are made aware of their own state and its cultural diversity from the very early stage.

“I have already instructed the education department to compile and introduce chapters on the state in the primary level to begin with,” Pema Khandu said.

Further, informing that the General Council Meeting of NITI Aayog is scheduled for Saturday, which will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pema Khandu assured he would urge for inclusion of the history and culture of the North Eastern Region in the NCERT syllabus.

“If done, people from outside the region would come to know about the rich history and culture of the North East. Unfortunately even today most of the people of other states are unaware of the North East, its contributions to the freedom struggle and its rich cultural diversity,” he said.

Lauding the author Group Captain (Rtd) Mohonto Panging Pao, the Chief Minister observed that the book, which is a collection of articles on Arunachal Pradesh, unsung heroes of the 1962 war and folklores, would go a long way in educating not only people of the state but others to on Arunachal Pradesh and the North East.

Citing the recent laying of foundation stone of the memorial of Major Ralengnao ‘Bob’ Khathing at Tawang, Khandu said till the time of the event, 90% of the people including those in Tawang were not aware of Bob Khathing or his contributions to Arunachal Pradesh.

“There would be many unsung heroes like Major Khathing, we need to honour them and write about them so that people recognize and appreciate their contributions to our history,” he said.

The Chief Minister assured Panging Pao that the state government will procure copies of the book and distribute to the state and all district libraries. He requested the author to print at least 5000 copies of the book exclusively for the state government.

‘Flights of Fantasy: Heroes of 1962 Indo-China War, Abu Tani’s Speaking Tree and other articles’ contains 91 articles in 10 chapters penned by Group Captain (Rtd) Mohonto Panging Pao in five years. Most of his articles were earlier published in leading newspapers of the state.

The book release event was also attended by MLA Pasighat Kaling Moyong, renowned authors and Padmashree awardees Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi and Mamang Dai, Adi Baane Kebang President Getom Borang and members of Arunachal Pradesh Literary Society (APLS).

DAMIEN LEPCHA

Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: lepcharaul@gmail.com