Minister of Higher Education and Tourism, Temjen Imna Along on Sunday said that Nagaland needed leaders, who were committed to peace and work for the welfare of the people. Along was speaking at the second day of the 16th Peace Knit: National Youth Peace Convention as chief guest held under the theme: ‘Actions for peace: Our ambition for the global goals’ at Peace Centre 7th mile, Chümoukedima.
The event was organized by North East Institute of Social Science Research (NEISSR), and Peace Channel in collaboration with Xavier Board – Eastern and NE region, North Eastern Social Research Centre, Guwahati, and North East Diocesan Social Service Society, Guwahati.
The minister said it was rare to find people speak about peace in Nagaland, and lamented that Naga society have been divided while pursuing for independence, unity and peace, pointing out that there was no Christian tribes or community in the world like the divided Nagas.
He said Nagas advocated about everlasting peace but failed to establish a system to resolve, and instead created conflicts as people tried to make short term calculations and sought temporary gain.
He said peace cannot be achieved superficially through mere write-ups and in a state like Nagaland, when the authentic voices of the people were completely overshadowed by the sound and voice of violence, anger, aggression, and disunity.
“We want leaders of tomorrow, who are bestowed not by words but by practical, we want leaders who are committed to peace and work for our people to build coherence and inclusive society”, he said. He said with such qualities of leaders, Nagaland would emerged as a developed state having its own indigenous and tribal communities completely strengthened without depending on other states resources.
Along also encouraged the students, reminding them that they have an important role to play towards unifying the fragmented society and to bring massive changes. However, to witness such transformation, he said youngsters have to maintain patience, committed to their goal and resilient in their approach. He also encouraged the students to share love and learn good things from each other.
The minister while acknowledging NEISSR vision in establishing a dynamic platform for youth to empower through several programme, mentioned that catholic institutions have been always the forefront of the world and nation to bring about transformation and building the human resources to nurture the right leaders for tomorrow. He believed that NEISSR would take its excellence forward for North East particularly Nagas.
The programme was followed by awarding of Peace Award to Dr. Aotoshi for his outstanding work in the fields of education, agriculture, advocacy on entrepreneurship, skills development, and his dedication towards the youth and women’s empowerment.
In his short speech, he thanked the Peace Channel, special guests, invitees, and the citizens from Chuchuyimlang and Merangkong village and stressed on the importance of professional social work studies, pointing out how systematic interventions could make a structured impact, enabling people to become broader, richer, and deeper in knowledge.
Vice Principal of NEISSR, Fr. Lawrence Khing, in his welcome address highlighted the aims of the event, which was about meeting people from different cultures, genders, and races as one under the banner of peace.
President of Xavier Board Dr. Fr. Joji Reddy, also shared insights on intellectual education and how it influences academic pursuits. Earlier, the programme was chaired by Asst. Prof. NEISSR Elizabeth Pojar and Asst. Prof. Wannyei Konyak. Highlights of the programme included bamboo dance by NEISSR students, where students from different tribes took part to showcase the diverse culture of Nagaland, vote of thanks by Asst. Prof. NEISSR Dr. Toli H. Kiba and benediction by Fr. Dr. Sebastian Ousepparampil.
The program concluded with the Peace Anthem.