State

Rajnath lauds state for Hornbill

Rajnath lauds state for Hornbill
Rajnath Singh in Naga traditional adornments, flanked by PB Acharya, and Neiphiu Rio at Kisama.
Correspondent KOHIMA, DEC 1 (NPN) | Publish Date: 12/1/2018 11:50:19 AM IST

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that Hornbill Festival powerfully demonstrates the cultural diversity and civilizational unity of the people, saying he got the glimpse of the Indian spirit of happy peaceful co-existence of the multiplicities at this festival.

Addressing the inaugural function of the 19th Hornbill Festival that kicked off at Heritage Village, Kisama here Saturday, the union minister expressed joy to witness the spectacular event that showcased the rich ancient culture and civilization of the people of Nagaland. He acknowledged the state government for expanding similar festivals to other parts of the state where mini hornbill festivals were celebrated from time to time, adding that it will vastly enhance popular participation and enlarge the arc of happiness. 

Singh asserted that Hornbill Festival offers a unique opportunity not only to the different tribes of the state to interact with each other and exhibit their cultural heritage but also with those from the neighbouring and other States in the true spirit of “Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat”.

He also acknowledged Naga Society for producing great sons and daughters including Dr. T. Ao, Captain of the Indian Football Team in 1948 London Olympics; “Rani Gaidinliu the great freedom fighter”, Dr. Senka Yaden, a Scientist associated with launching of Apollo 11 to the moon and many more. Singh said today Naga boys and girls have emerged as some of the finest musicians, pianists and popular exponents in the field of art and culture both within the country and abroad.

Given the rich cultural heritage of Nagaland, he said the Centre has rightly established the North Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre (NEZCC) in Dimapur while North Eastern Council (NEC) has also funded the infrastructure for the Margaret Shishak School of Music at Patkai Christian College, Dimapur.

He informed that NEC was building a North Eastern Cultural and Information Centre in Delhi and the proposed centre would showcase rich history, culture, heritage and cuisine of the eight States in the North East.

Further, he said the centre would establish facilities for promotion of tourism, a common facility centre, library, knowledge and resource centre in the national capital, which would facilitate dissemination of knowledge about the rich cultural heritage of the North East.

Singh said nearly 50% of Nagaland population was below 25 years and it would be the youth who would shape the future of India including the future of Nagaland. Therefore, he said there was a need to create conditions where their creative and entrepreneurial potential was unleashed to the optimum.

He also announced that Nagaland State would get its first Medical College, saying Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has sanctioned Rs. 300 crore for the purpose. He added that NEC has also funded setting up of a North East Regional Multi-Disciplinary Paramedical Institute, Dimapur at a cost of Rs. 4981.31 lakh.

Besides, over the years, he said the centre has executed a large number of other projects in Nagaland leading her to the path of faster and all-round development.

Asserting that Nagaland was geographically located at a vantage point, the gateway to the South-East Asia, Singh said North-East was the pivot of the government’s ‘Act East’ policy , adding India has its best of relations with the neighbour Myanmar.

On the bedrock of shared cultural and civilizational linkages with Myanmar, he said the Centre has a large spectrum of shared interests and was determined to build and improve the connectivity and engagement with South-East Asia.  

With remarkable restoration of peace, he said North-East was emerging as a favoured destination of businesses and tourists. 

Asserting that Nagaland has suffered for a long time, the union home minister called upon the state government to take long strides for the rapid economic growth of the country as well as that of Nagaland.

In his address, Nagaland governor, PB Acharya, who was chief host of the occasion, said it was a dual joyous occasion for the Nagas to celebrate the festival of festivals, Hornbill Festival and Statehood Day.

He said Nagas deserved gratitude and appreciation for making the Hornbill as one of the most talked about cultural festivals in the country.

Acharya said the Centre has recognized Hornbill Festival as one of the major performing artists’ events in India and the name has acquired fame because of the enthusiastic participation of all tribes of Nagaland.

Further, the governor maintained that permanent peace was essential for an investment friendly environment and exuded confidence that under the leadership of Prime Minister and Home Minister, Naga will to enter an era of permanent peace soon.

Expressing gratitude to the dignitaries, guest invitees, the host chief minister Neiphiu Rio reiterated that over the last 19 years, Hornbill Festival has become one of the most important tourism events, not only in India but also worldwide.

Reiterating that tourism has the potential to be the mainstay for state economy, Rio said it aims to promote eco-tourism and sustainable tourism across the State through the Mini Hornbill Festivals.

Highlighting some ongoing events, Rio said state government was working to augment tourist infrastructure and amenities through the Swadesh Darshan Scheme under which Tribal Circuits at Peren-Kohima-Wokha and at Mokokchung-Tuensang-Mon have been taken up. He said the union home minister’s help and support was vital as Nagas look forward to final settlement of “Indo-Naga” Political issue “which the negotiations are at an advanced stage”.

Rattle and Hum music society enthralled the audience with an excellent performance, cultural songs and dances befitting the ceremony.

Home minister Rajnath Singh, accompanied by chief minister and Supreme Court judge joined the carol organized by the Nagaland Baptist Church Council and Kohima Pastors Fellowship at the Kisama Chapel.

US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster in his address thanked the government for inviting him to attend the festival. He said it was the best time to visit the state to know about the culture and traditions of the Nagas.

Juster said sharing culture was important aspect of US-India partnership. He informed that Hornbill festival was an important venue for cultural exchange and highlights the impressive and important depth of people to people ties between the United States and India including Nagaland. 

Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde, Justice A S Bopanna, host of legislators, senior government officials, tourist guests from within and outside the state and international tourists attended the inaugural ceremony.

Among the former chief ministers invited to the Hornbill Festival, only Dr. SC Jamir, who is also the lone surviving signatory of the 16-point agreement, attended the programme.


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