Mix reactions over IMC signboard at Itanagar underpass

NAHARLAGUN, Mar 30: A signboard installed at the Bank Tinali underpass on NH-415 in Itanagar by the Itanagar Municipal Corporation (IMC) which reads ‘IMC welcomes you to Hindi capital of North East India’ has created mixed reactions.

After the pictures of the signboard went viral on social media, the people of the Itanagar Capital Complex and other parts of the State have expressed mixed reactions to the act.

While Itanagar Municipal Corporation Commissioner Likha Tejji stood by the decision to term the city as ‘Hindi capital of Northeast’, a section of people and organizations have criticized the IMC for using the tagline in the signboard.

“In Arunachal Pradesh, every tribe has their own language for communicating to each other. The Hindi language is basically spoken by the Hindus and there is no Hindu population in Arunachal Pradesh. We do not accept Itanagar as ‘Hindi capital of Northeast’. And we condemn this act of the IMC,” All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) president Hawa Bagang told Arunachal News Live over the phone.

The Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) has also reacted against the decision of the IMC to use the tagline “without any discussion” with different organizations.

“If anyone writes a tagline using the name of the capital of the State, they should have a discussion with different bodies regarding the matter. And after the moral support from the majority of people, they can use the name in public places and officially too,” said APCC general secretary Gyamar Tana while talking to Arunachal News Live.

“The matter could also have been discussed in the Assembly and views taken from all the members,” he said.

Meanwhile, talking to Arunachal News Live, IMC Commissioner Likha Tejji said, “Arunachal is a State where everyone has adopted Hindi as a common medium of communication since there are many tribes living in the Capital region.”

“It’s a part of the campaign of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ (AKAM) commemorating the 75 years of a progressive India and the glorious history of its people, culture and achievements,” Teji said. 

Teji further said, “From the tourism point of view it was developed for inspiring and motivating domestic tourism as Hindi is a comfortable and convenient language.”

“Hindi is a national and official language. It has been adopted as a lingua franca of the tribal people here which is unique in itself. Nowhere in the Northeast, Hindi is spoken as a lingua franca. It reflects that we are more Indians than anybody in India. Moreover, why be so hypocritical about it when we speak Hindi? Why should we reject and avoid it?

He further said, “It’s true that we, the 26 major tribes, don’t have a lingua franca of our own but have adopted Hindi as our lingua franca. Our motive is to adopt this weakness of our own into strength through Hindi. It may be considered as our weakness but it can be turned into strength through our initiative.”

“Today, artists like Taba Chake, Mibi Nyodu and Jeli Kaye have become popular by converting our weakness into strength through musical forays from Hindi language,” he asserted.However, the IMC Commissioner said, “The signboard may be lifted after the campaign (‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’) ends this year.” 

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