Union Ministers Dr Jitendra Singh and Kiren Rijiju with Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and Deputy CM Y Patton at the Naga Heritage Village, Kisama on December 7. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@ Neiphiu_Rio)
Morung Express News
Kohima | December 7
The seventh day of 20th Hornbill Festival on December 7 saw two high profile visitors at the Naga Heritage Village, Kisama showering paeans about the festival as well as the state.
The first visitor of the day was Kiren Rijiju, the Minister of State (IC) for Youth Affairs & Sports and Minority Affairs, who graced the morning cultural session as the special guest.
Lauding the 10-day affairs, he maintained that the festival has become a “symbol of the Naga people, Nagaland and Northeastern region” and said it goes beyond just a festival and depicts the spirit and rich cultural heritage of the Naga people.
Funds for promoting indigenous sports
Sports “is a way of life” in the region and there are various kinds of indigenous games in the region, Rijiju said while calling for the promotion of sports culture in Nagaland.
He also expressed willingness to discuss the same with the state Ministers and identify the various indigenous sports in Nagaland.
The Minister further assured funds from the Ministry for promoting indigenous sports and adventure activities in Nagaland.
Besides indigenous sports, he expressed interest to promote adventure sports like trekking, mountain terrain biking and others, while engaging the youths. He said that Nagaland has the potential to become a hub of adventure tourism in the region.
“We must ensure that our youths are engaged in gainful employment,” he said, in addition to sports and adventure activities
While speaking of the Nagas, Rijiju termed them as loving, straight-forward, and courageous in nature which he added, “can be described as a way of life.”
“Our way of life is simple and we want to let people come and enjoy with us that is identified with the way we live that has become our way of life and that is how we celebrate ourselves,” he pointed out.
The Minister also said that the “celebration of our nature and ways of life” is best displayed in the Hornbill Festival in the form of engaging locals and outsiders in cultural activities, food, dances, music, sports, art and creativity, showcasing the whole of Nagaland in one single platform.
Stating that Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has also given special emphasis to the region and the Naga people, Rijiju said that the Act East Policy is taking shape and the results will be seen in the next 5 years.
Other efforts such as induction of special police forces or special commando forces as steps for better environment, protection and integration of people are being undertaken, he added.
Ambassador of NE
The second high profile visitor of the day was the Union Minister of State(IC) for Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER) andMinister of State in Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Pension and Public Grievances, Atomic Energy & Space, Dr Jitendra Singh.
Nagaland has become the ambassador of Northeast for the rest of India through the Hornbill Festival, said Singh addressing the evening cultural session of the festival in Kisama as the special guest.
He said that Nagaland has become an ambassador of the NE with its unique and rich culture as well as tradition, a DIPR report stated.
PM Modi has given high priority to the NE States and he has visited NE more than any other Prime Minister and he has termed the region as the New Engine of India,” the report quoted him as saying.
Singh described the Hornbill Festival as the torch bearer of cultural festivals and through this festival entire India is going to unite, it added.
He was accompanied by a host of Ministers and Advisors and government officials.
Various cultural troupes from Sikkim, Manipur, Mizoram, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh performed at the event.
Meanwhile, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio took to Twitter expressing gratitude to both the Union Ministers. "Thank you for giving us the privilege of hosting you & for adding joy & colour to the festivity. We hope you'll become ambassadors of Nagaland," he tweeted.