‘Observing festivals not only good but necessary’
Tuensang, January 12: Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio today stated that there is vast potential for tourism in Nagaland.
“Nagas have great potential in cultural tourism, rural tourism and eco-tourism,” he said.
Addressing the Poanglüm Mini Hornbill today at Tuensang, the CM pointed out that in 2015, Tamil Nadu recorded an inflow of 33,34,59,047 domestic tourists thereby accounting for 23.3% share in the country and 46,84,707 foreign tourists which translates to 20.1% share of foreign tourist inflow into India. He reminded that the tourist inflow into Tamil Nadu 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.
The CM also highlighted figures from last year’s Hornbill Festival at Kisama wherein the total number of tourists who attended the 10-day long festival was 2,51,701 out of which 2,11,602 were local tourists, while 37,397 were domestic tourists and 2702 were foreign tourists. He said that tourists travel the world to get a glimpse of different places and spend money and therefore, we need to promote our culture if we are to promote tourism. As such, observing festivals is not only good but also necessary.
Rio said observing festivals was a good way of showing how our forefathers maintained their identity, tradition, culture, songs, dances and indigenous sports. It also signified the importance of preserving and promoting our rich heritage.
Stating that Nagaland is a Land of Festivals, the CM said that tribal festivals should be observed in the districts also for which the concept of mini Hornbills was envisaged and implemented. Poanglüm festival is the 8th such mini hornbill to be held and other tribes which have not yet observed their respective festivals will also get the opportunity to observe it as a mini Hornbill. Rio said that the Government is providing grant in aid but the Tribal Hohos have to take ownership. These 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. “Your farm products can be put up in exhibitions. 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 said.
The Chief Minister called upon the people to continue to work hard like our forefathers and enjoy the fruits of sweat and labour. He reminded that Nagas were different for which even the Government of India had recognised our uniqueness and that the Naga issue was not a law and order issue but a political issue which needs a political settlement.
Highlighting the quantum jump Nagas have made from headhunting to embracing Christianity and education, the Chief Minister stated that the earlier mindset of “Might is Right” has now evolved into “Right is Might”. As such, the Naga political issue is under dialogue with the negotiating parties looking for a peaceful, honourable and inclusive settlement.
Lauding the Changs for their camaraderie with the other tribes, Rio hoped that love, harmony, cohesiveness, unity and reconciliation will prevail in Naga society. “Nagas will be extremely progressive when there is such level of unity and cohesiveness everywhere. 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.
(Page News Service)