Sunday, November 27, 2022

Nagaland: Real peace if Nagas act as one: Rio


State chief minister Neiphiu Rio maintained that even if Government of India and Naga Political Groups (NPGs) eventually sign a final peace accord or settlement, it would still not guarantee real peace unless Nagas act as one people.
Addressing the 75th anniversary celebration of Peren township here Wednesday, Rio emphasized on need for unity and reconciliation, as prerequisites for both development and resolution of the protracted Naga political issue. Rio said Naga society today required forgiveness and reconciliation at multiple levels.
He expressed a note of caution, that if people did not forgive each other and rise above narrow tribalism and unite and act as one, there would be no real peace in Nagaland. Rio urged upon the people of Peren to introspect on what had been accomplished and what could not be accomplished during the last 75years while they set their eyes on the future. He said collective effort of every individual would help Peren town scale new heights of growth and development.
He acknowledged that there would be failures and so appealed to the gathering to unite and work together for overall growth. Quoting a Chinese proverb “The best time to plan a tree was 20 years ago”, Rio said the present was the second best time. He urged upon the people to start working now so as to harvest the fruits of today’s commitment tomorrow.
On the proposal to declare Peren as “Orchid Town”, Rio remarked that the nickname “Orchid Town” alone will not be enough unless the people were encouraged to grow indigenous orchids in collaboration with the Department of Horticulture.
He suggested that every house grow orchids and also organize an Orchid Festival every year.
Rio also urged the people of the district to be self-sufficient, adding “unless you are economically self-sufficient, you are at the mercy of others”. He appreciated Peren district for its rich vegetation and forests, besides the king chilly cultivation due to its fertile land.
He also lauded the pioneers and founders for collectively taking a decision to establish a town at Peren, the centre of Zeliang area. He called upon the people to salute those who had contributed for the establishment of Peren town in 1947. He also appreciated land donors -Peren village- for providing the land free of cost.
Rio also reminded the inhabitants about the State government’s decision to do away with the custom of providing gifts to guests at events. However, noting that the practice still continued, he suggested that locally-made produce be given as gifts to guests, instead of expensive gifts which were not locally made.
In his speech, former chief minister and UDA chairman TR Zeliangcalled upon the people to consider themselves most fortunate for being able celebrate the 75th anniversary in sound mind and health. He mentioned that Peren Town was established on April 1, 1947 before the British had left the area. He said establishment of Peren town was a consensus decision of all 25 indigenous (ancestral) villages during that time. Despite many other villages agreeing to donate land for establishment of town, he said the delegates from those 25 villages unanimously decided to pick Peren for its ideal location, being a central point in the area.
Zeliang also said that mithun, the state animal which is an important animal for other tribes, was also important for the people of Zeliangrong. He said that as per tradition, the best mithun was used to establish any village.
To commemorate the establishment of the town, Zeliang announced that a sculpture of 25 men pulling a mithun would be set up in the heart of Peren to represent 25 representatives from 25 ancestral villages who had pulled the mithun together then.
Allaying the apprehension that Peren town would gradually lose its importance in view of shifting headquarters to New Peren,Zeliang claimed that the town was growing from strength to strength and that Peren was also one of the most peaceful towns in the State.
He observed that despite rapid growth of population, the nearby Jalukie town cannot be compared with Peren as the latter was peaceful and crime rate was low. He also noted that officials from every tribe posted to Peren constructed churches, all of which still stood even after they left Peren and retired. He said this also proved that there was peace in the town.
Zeliang maintained that Peren town has brighter future as Maram (Manipur)-Peren-Dimapur two lane road and Peren to Leike (Assam) road were being constructed to improve connectivity. With virgin forest around, Zeliang remarked that the town had a potential for a bird sanctuary at Chaibe Gungsung, about 5 to 6 km from New Peren. He said hornbill and other variety of birds were also found. He urged the people to preserve the area to make it a hotspot for tourist in the district.
Meanwhile, Rio unveiled the sculpture of men pulling mithun, besides inaugurating King Chilly Festival at Peren Town Hall organised by Department of Agriculture and ATMA Peren.
Earlier, deputy commissioner Peren and organizing committee convenor Vineet Kumar delivered the welcome address, while keynote address was given ADC Keyirangding Hegui.
The chief minister was accompanied by a host of legislators– minister Tongpang Ozukum, adviser MhathungYanthan, legislators Yitachu, Azheto Zhimomi, Moatoshi Longkumer, Y Vikheho Swu, Picto Shohe, Muthingnyuba Sangtam and Keneizhakho Nakhro and other dignitaries.
Former state chaplain Rev. Kuzierang Thou also dedicatedthe ‘KemdeuBamh’.
In the evening session, an entertainment programme was held with a fashion parade & Dreams unlimited presentations.

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