The Apatani or Tanw has always been known to have one of the most well organized and close-knit societies since time immemorial. BufaÒ or the traditional village councils not only ensured such order but also provided the legal framework that primarily addresses to the conscience of the people.
After independence, the role of formal administration increased and the government established its system with the appointment of Gaon Burahs (GBs) and Public Interpreters (PIs). Subsequently, electoral politics also made their entry with institutions like the Panchayati Raj and later the state Legislative Assembly. These factors adversely affected the influence and effectiveness of the traditional village councils. As a result, educated youths started shouldering more and more social responsibilities. The unified celebration of the Dree festival in a common ground in 1967 was one of the first such initiatives by the educated youths. In 1974, the first formal social organization came into existence with the formation of the Apatani Youth Association (AYA) with Dr. Dani Duri and Koj Tajang as the founder President and General Secretary respectively. For more than a decade after its formation, AYA was seen as the representative organization of the Apatanis.
The late 1980s saw the formation of many prominent social organizations of the Apatanis. Notable among them are the Apatani Cultural and Literary Society (ACLS) which was formed in 1987 with Hage Kojeen as the President and Tasso Sai as the Secretary with its headquarters at Ziro. The next year in 1988, the Apatani Socio-Cultural Welfare Society (ASCWS) was formed with its headquarters in Itanagar with Padi Kani as the founder Chairman and Tage Habung as the founder General Secretary. The same year, the Popi SarmiÒ Society (PSS) was also formed with Habung Tago as the founder Chairman. During the year 1997-98, the Apatani Career Guidance Forum (ACGF) was formed with Dr. Hage Lodor and Er. Khoda Gyati as the founder Chairman and General Secretary respectively.
Since the ACLS was based at Ziro, it functioned as the representative organization of the Apatanis since its formation. However, occasional conflicts of interests cropped up as its membership is confined to government employees only and it was not formally mandated as the apex body. It was then that the need for a formal apex body was felt. Discussions towards this started as early as the year 2004-05. During the year 2005-06, Taru Talo as one of the senior members of ACLS was entrusted to prepare the draft bye-laws. Concrete steps towards the formation of the apex body was initiated with the selection of Dr. Hage Tam and Er. Tapi Tai as the President and General Secretary of ACLS respectively in 2012.
The following is the chronology of events leading to the formation of the Tanw Supuñ Dùukuñ:
November 3, 2012: Circulation of format for submission on individual proposals on the contents of the bye-laws and structure of the apex body. The time given for such submission was till December 15, 2012.
December 16, 2012: Compilation of draft bye-laws submitted in the format circulated, which was subsequently circulated again to all NGOs and individuals for feedback. The circulated version underwent various stages of scrutiny by the Advisory Board and the Central Executive Body of ACLS.
May 2013: The final draft bye-laws of the proposed Apex Body, approved by the Advisory Board and the Central Executive Body of ACLS was circulated to all NGOs and individual Apatani intellectuals for the final comments. The time given for submission of such comments was till July 31, 2013.
August 3, 2013: The final Draft Bye-laws was compiled by incorporating the views of the NGOs and the individuals.
September 8, 2013: The public referendum was conducted to form the Apex Body and to adopt the Bye-laws of the Apex Body. The public referendum was unanimously in favor of the formation of an apex body and the adoption of the bye-law. A Search Committee, under the Chairmanship of Shri Hage Kojeen, was constituted to select the five key office bearers and adopt a suitable name for the organization. It was also resolved in the Public Referendum that the Apex Body shall be launched in the first week of November 2013.
October 26, 2013: The first meeting of the Search Committee was held in the Conference Hall of Hotel Ashok Donyi Polo, Itanagar in which the nomenclature of the Apex Body was finalized as Tanw SupuÒ D˘ukuÒ (TSD) or the Apatani Apex Council and the five key office bearers were selected.
August 3, 2014: The second meeting of the Search Committee was conducted in the Conference Hall of Hotel Ashok Donyi Polo, Itanagar and the details of formal launching of the TSD worked out. Subsequently, members were selected to fill up the remaining posts of the Central Executive Body.
November 29, 2014: The Tanw SupuÒ Duk˘uÒ (TSD) was formally launched in the Subansiri Stadium, Ziro.