Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio. (File Photo)
‘We are doing our best to bring change for the better’
Tuensang, January 12 (MExN): Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio today said that Nagas desire that peace and unity prevail in the society for which we need to unite our hearts and move forward together. Addressing the Poanglüm Mini Hornbill organized by the Chang Khulei Setshang today at Loyem Memorial Ground Tuensang, Rio said that observing festivals was a good way of showing how our forefathers maintained their identity, tradition, culture, songs, dances and indigenous sports.
It also signifies the importance of preserving and promoting our rich heritage, he added.
Stating that Nagaland is a Land of Festivals, the Chief Minister said that tribal festivals should be observed in all the districts also for which the concept of mini Hornbills was envisaged and implemented. Poanglüm Festival is the 8th festivals to be held.
Rio said that the Government is providing grant in aid but the Tribal Hohos have to take ownership and the mini Hornbill festivals will eventually culminate in the main Hornbill Festival and as such will give more credence to the adage “Land of Festivals.”
Observing that Naga handloom and handicrafts, traditional cuisine, arts, crafts and music etc need to be upgraded with proper training, Rio said that this will contribute towards uplifting the economy. “In such festivals, the exhibitions and sales are to open avenues for the local people by creating a market for local goods. Tourists will not only purchase but will also order if we work hard,” he opined.
Affirming that Tourism is the biggest industry not only in Nagaland or India but in the world, the Chief Minister said that Nagas have great potential in cultural tourism, rural tourism and eco-tourism.
As such, observing festivals is not only good but also necessary, he added.
Rio said that the recorded tourist inflow into Tamil Nadu in 2015 was much more than the entire population of Nagaland. “That is why I say there is vast potential for tourism in Nagaland. However, we need to have peace, communication, infrastructure etc for which my Government is working towards this end,” he said.
Highlighting the quantum jump Nagas have made from headhunting to embracing Christianity and education, he stated that the earlier mindset of “Might is Right” has now evolved into “Right is Might.”
He reminded that Nagas were different for which even the Government of India had recognized our uniqueness.
As such, the Naga political issue is under dialogue with the negotiating parties looking for a peaceful, honorable and inclusive settlement.
Lauding the Changs for their camaraderie with other tribes, Rio hoped that love, harmony, cohesiveness, unity and reconciliation will prevail in Naga society. “Our slogan during the last general elections was Change Is Coming and we are doing our best to bring change for the better,” he added.