Nagaland granted statehood to address Naga issue, says PDA Chairman Chingwang Konyak
Kachari celebrate Aai Sagi festival
DIMAPUR — President of National Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), Chingwang Konyak, who is also the chairman of People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) Nagaland, on Saturday said that the Government of India granted statehood to Nagaland in 1963 with the objective of addressing the Naga issue and fostering peace and prosperity in the region.
With the granting of statehood, Konyak said, the people were entrusted with the responsibility and opportunity to govern their own affairs.
He was addressing the ‘Aai Sagi’ celebration, a post-harvest festival of the Mech Kachari tribe, organised under the aegis of Mech Kachari Public Organisation (MKPO) Nagaland, at Kachari community ground in Darogajan village, Dimapur.
However, even after 60 years of attaining statehood, Nagaland hasn’t met the envisioned expectations in terms of progress and development, he lamented.
One of the contributing factors is due to the absence of permanent peace in the state, said the veteran politician, while affirming that peace is a fundamental prerequisite to pave the way for prosperity and development.
Sharing his personal perspective about the Naga political issue, Konyak expressed apprehension, saying that achieving a solution appears to be a “distant and prolonged process”, given the current circumstances surrounding it.
To address the Naga political problem, he opined that the people of Nagaland should reach out to the Government of India (GoI) about the “proposed solution” and that the Centre should also make the details of its offer public.
The Naga public can than conduct a referendum to decide whether or not to accept the offered solution, he said, adding that this approach can bring about a solution, or else new factions will keep cropping up and the Naga problem will continue.
And while the public may criticise the government for perceived lack of development, the reality is that without a permanent solution, Nagaland state will not attain its full potential.
On the significance of celebrating festivals, the PDA leader said a person’s identity is not preserved by political affiliations or religious beliefs; rather, it is safeguarded through the embrace of culture and adherence to traditional customs.
He went on to say that the celebration of festivals by diverse tribes in Nagaland will encourage the younger generation to familiarise themselves with their respective customs and traditions, and help preserve their distinct identities.
The NDPP president further said that the Hornbill Festival has gained international recognition, not only attracting outsiders to learn about the rich Naga culture but also boosting the local economy
President of Kachari Tribal Council of Nagaland (KTCN), Chabi Kumar Mech, in his address, said that Aai Sagi festival, which symbolises the end of the harvest season, is celebrated as a thanksgiving for the abundant harvest and uniting the community in joyful celebration.