The three-day Tawang Festival, one of Arunachal Pradesh’s most anticipated tourism and cultural extravaganzas, has been cancelled as a mark of respect for Lumla MLA Jambey Tashi, who died on Wednesday.
The event, which was set to begin on Friday, was resuming after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Tawang Festival Committee announced the cancellation as a “homage and tribute to the great leader” Tashi, whose brother Tsetan Chombay is the Festival Director.
Tashi was a patron of the festival and was actively involved in its planning and growth, which drew tourists from all over India and abroad, according to festival chief coordinator Namgey Tsering, who added that artists from Nepal, Bhutan, and Bollywood would perform at the festival.
Tawang Deputy Commissioner Kesang Ngurup Damo told PTI over the phone that Tashi’s contribution to the festival’s growth was unparalleled, and his departure would leave a void that no one could fill.
This “Festival of Dreams” is an effort to highlight the tourism potential and rich heritage of the pristine Tawang Valley, as well as to broaden North-East India’s cultural representation.
It also promotes the state’s vibrant culture, sports, dance, food, and Buddhist way of life, and in 2019, it attracted over 40,000 visitors. The festival’s first edition took place in 2012.
Tashi has served in the legislature three times since 2009. Thousands of people have flocked to his Lumla home to pay their respects to the late leader. His last rites would be performed on Monday, according to the deputy commissioner.