Ziro and the people


No, it’s not zero.

Ziro is my hometown, my birth place.

A small town, going on to a big town. Headquarters of Lower Subansiri in Arunachal Pradesh. Northeast India.

As I don’t want to reiterate what I said earlier, so I would like to quote a few lines from a piece I wrote for Arunachal Diary.

” The landscape of Ziro is full of wonder and always amazes me. No matter wherever place or spot you are, you’ll be surrounded by hills and it feels like you are being trapped amid hills. The perpetual green in profusion and the valley lush with paddy fields in summer, the unpredictable rain and the occasional rainbow, and the low-slung mist that resembles lake and deceives onlookers, not only enthrals but also nourishes soul.

Over the years, things have changed. The atmosphere of purity has waned a little. The rain no longer drizzles but pounds. The forest is being cleared and the paddy fields are receding rapidly to accommodate the growing population or to convert it into cash. With the forest diminishing at breakneck pace, the flora and fauna too had seemingly vanished”.

The sight of Ziro during rainy season still blows me away. Green – all over the place.

Ziro, definitely, is a place to see for tourists, especially for a cultural tourist. They will still see a lot of people with tattooed face in Ziro. Then, there is a typical village settlement and festivals of Apatani community. I’m sure the visitors will love it, but to be a denizen of Ziro – is another story.

In the past I would always look forward to my home-coming. Now I dread it. The moment I would enter the periphery of Ziro, I would feel as if I am not me. I have always felt as if someone else is leading my life.  I have always felt as if straps have been wound around me. I have always felt as if my wing had been clipped.

There is so much negative energy circling round  the Ziro atmosphere – fear of land-shark, land encroachment, Insatiable greed, dispute arising from property, not taking part in marriage or festival practices and their repercussion, High expectations and dependency, Division of community into Christian and non-Christian, Communal tension (inter and intra), insensible egoistic individuals and groups, Groupism, Corruption, irregularity in water supply and telecommunication,  apathetic bureaucrats, corrupt politicians, sycophancy, lack of civic sense, inflation, rash driving, prostitution, drugs, increasing suicidal rate and what not. It encompassed us all.

No matter how hard you may try, you get sucked into the whirlwind. I wish to know if our society really knows the meaning “living a life in peace, harmony and dignity” and letting others.

A sense of insecurity in one has pervaded the region. Their sense of insecurity had invaded others peaceful existence. Give up on me! For I have become psychotic.

Despite modern education and information technology boom, despite theological knowledge imparted by the Christian church, Views and Judgement of most people have not transformed. It is neither primitive nor modern. Status quo!

All I see in Ziro is – decline of ethic.

Whatever the fact may be, I am not justifying that I am a hallowed and wise, and the rest are evil and unwise. On contrary, I am such an idiot to believe that good things happen to good people. At least, I do not pinch someone else land and property. At least I do not hurt others intentionally. At least I do not take advantage of someone’s weakness. I obey traffic rules. I try to help people wherever I can.

A decade ago, I used to tell my friends that Ziro is like a morass and most people will rejoice seeing you sinking in it. My statement still stays.

Arunachal is a black hole.