A two-day national seminar on ‘Border Communities of Western Arunachal Pradesh’ organized by Rajiv Gandhi University’s History department began at the university’s mini auditorium hall at Rono Hills in Doimukh on Thursday.

Delivering the keynote address at the inaugural session, former head of History department, NEHU, Prof. Imdad Hussain, gave an exhaustive background of the McMahon Line and spoke about the history of the frontier state as a buffer zone during the colonial era.

He encouraged social scientists and researchers from the state to carry out a specialised study on the economy and social change.

Prof. Hussain also said “to achieve a better understanding of the history of the western communities of Arunachal Pradesh, it is equally important to study the cultural history of Tibet”.

RGU’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor Prof. Amitava Mitra congratulated the History department for being the only department to be recognized under UGC-Special Assistance Programme and for signing an MoU with the University of Missouri, USA, in 2017.

While delving into the demography and history of the district formation in the state, he highlighted the problems and challenges faced by the border communities of Arunachal Pradesh.

Former professor in the department of Sociology, NEHU, Prof. AC Sinha, while attending the session as the guest of honour, urged the young scholars “to explore beyond their own communities and study the interface between their neighbors and different societies which would allow them to talk about their own society with authority.”

Earlier while welcoming the gathering, the head of History department, Prof. Sarah Hilaly introduced the western border communities to the gathering.

“She also touched upon the previous two national seminars organized by the department under UGC-SAP on the Eastern and Central border communities of Arunachal Pradesh,” said Prem Taba of the department of mass communication, Rajiv Gandhi University.

Prof. Tana Showren, dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, while highlighting the importance of the two-day national seminar argued that most of the work previously done on the tribal communities were by foreign anthropologists and researchers who lacked sufficient knowledge about the native dialects and jargons wherein crucial and significant details may have gotten lost.

He encouraged young scholars to use their indigenous knowledge system and produce credible work about their own culture, said Taba.

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