Nagaland CM pushes for economic self-sufficiency; says reconciliation prerequisite for Naga solution
Dimapur, Nov. 16 (EMN): Chief Minister of Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio on Wednesday emphasized the need for strengthening the economy through self reliance, saying that “unless you are economically self-sufficient, you are at the mercy of others”.
He was speaking on the occasion of the 75th year of Peren Township which was celebrated at Peren Town Square, according to an update received here on Wednesday.
The chief minister lauded Peren for earning the moniker “Green district” for its rich vegetation and forest, especially king chilli production. He also attributed the peaceful environment in Peren town, with low crime rate, to the unity of the people.
On the occasion, he urged the people to retrospect and introspect what had been accomplished and what had been left undone during the 75 years journey, and set things right for the future. He expressed confidence that what could not be accomplished in the past could be achieved through collective effort.
Maintaining that taking a firm stand with commitment is required to see huge achievement, he appealed to the gathering to unite and work together.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago,” he quoted the Chinese proverb, adding that ‘the second best time is today’; as he urged the people to start today in order to harvest the fruits of today’s commitment tomorrow.
On the proposal for declaring Peren Town as “Orchid Town”, Rio didn’t make any announcement but emphasized on the need to show the world that it deserves the moniker, saying that “the name alone would not be enough”.
In this regard, he said the people should be trained on how to grow indigenous orchids in collaboration with the department of Horticulture and suggested growing of orchids by every household and organising ‘Orchid Festival’ every year.
He said there must be unity among the people to promote ‘anything’.
The chief minister also reminded the gathering that the government had decided to do away with the “gift culture” and calling of chief guest to occasions but it is still continued; so he urged the people to give something which are locally made instead of giving expensive gifts imported from other places.
During the event, Rio lauded the pioneers and called upon the people to salute those who contributed to the establishment of Peren town, which is the centre of the Zeliang area, in 1947.
On the Naga political issue, the CM said that even if the Central government and the Naga Political Groups (NPGs) signed a final peace accord or settlement, there will be no real peace if the Nagas cannot forgive each other, rise above narrow tribalism, unite and act as one people, reported IANS.
He added that forgiveness and reconciliation at various levels of Naga society are the prerequisite for a peaceful resolution of the Naga political issue.
History and future prospect
The chief host of the event, TR Zeliang, who is also the incumbent chairman of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) and former Chief Minister, reminded the gathering that Peren Town was established on April 1, 1947 during the British era, through a consensus decision of all the 25 indigenous (ancestral) villages after considering the strategic location though many villages came forward to donate land.
He dwelled on the importance of the mithun for the people of Zeliangrong; that it is considered as a majestic animal, and thus the tradition of its “use” to establish any village.
“To lay the history of Peren Town establishment, where 25 representatives from 25 ancestral villages pulled the mithun together, the sculptors of 25 men pulling mithun will be prepared in the heart of Peren Town where only five men sculptors were completed so far,” he was quoted as saying.
He said Peren Town is growing from strength to strength despite the shifting of the district headquarters to New Peren, and is one of the most peaceful towns in the state with no criminal activities. The church buildings constructed by officers from “every tribe” posted in Peren still stand after they left the place and retired, which he said is a “sign of peace”.
He maintained that Peren Town has good future prospect with the construction of Maram (Manipur)-Peren-Dimapur two-lane and Peren-Leike (Assam) road projects in the offing. He also urged the people to preserve wildlife in the “Chaibe Gungsung” area about 5-6 km from New Peren, terming it as a potential bird sanctuary with different varieties of birds including the hornbill still found there, and that it could become a tourist hotspot in the district.
Earlier in the programme, CM Rio unveiled the sculptors of men pulling mithun before inaugurating the King Chilli Festival, which was organised by Agri department and ATMA Peren at Peren Town hall.
He was accompanied by several ministers and legislators including Tongpang
Ozukum, Mhathung Yanthan, Yitachu, Azheto Zhimomi, Moatoshi Longkumer, Y. Vikheho Swu, Picto Shohe, Muthingnyuba Sangtam, Keneizhakho and other dignitaries.
Deputy Commissioner Peren, Vineet Kumar delivered the welcome address, ADC Peren, Keyirangding Hegui said keynote address.