Putserng Meyor has never travelled beyond Tezu, headquarters of Arunachal Pradesh's Lohit district, but he knows that the red coat he wears on special occasions was given to him by New Delhi.
The coat gives him the power to preside over his village of three households and 18
people. The coat is the only symbolic link that Dong, the country's easternmost village,
has with India that is Bharat. The coat makes Putserng the gaon burrah, village chief.
"We are appointed by the government of India," Putserng says with understandable
pride. He shows a photograph of the Arunachal Pradesh governor handing the red coat to him
as confirmation of village chief-ness three years ago.
The 'official representative' has all the powers of adjudication in this small village,
the country's easternmost extremity, that sees the earliest sunrise in India every
At 1,240 metres, Dong is located at the confluence of the rivers Lohit (a tributary of the
mighty Brahmaputra) and Sati, strategically placed at the tri-junction of India, China...