The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the hugely popular 19th edition of Hornbill Festival 2018 in Kohima today, coinciding with the Formation Day of Nagaland. The Hornbill Festival 2018 kicked off with colourful extravaganzas of music and dances.
Inaugurating the opening ceremony this evening, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh conveyed his greeting to the people of Nagaland on the occasion of Statehood Day today.
United States Ambassador to India, Kenneth I Juster and Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde also attended the function.
Union Home Minister Mr. Rajnath Singh said the spectacular Hornbill festival showcases the rich ancient culture and civilization of the people of Nagaland.
Expressing that such festival should be organised in other parts of India including the national capital, Mr. Rajnath said festivals offers unique opportunity to exhibit one’s cultural heritage with neighbouring and other States in the true spirit of “Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat”.
“How each tribe is proudly unique, their cultural richness and yet there is an overwhelming sense of unity among all. This spectacular demonstration of unity in diversity in what India is all about. At the Hornbill Festival I get a glimpse of the Indian spirit of happy peaceful coexistence of the multiplicities,” he said.
Emphasizing that Nagaland is geographically located at a vantage point, he said it is the gateway to the South-East Asia. He said the Central Government is determined to build and improve connectivity and engagement with South-East Asia.
Mr. Rajnath said with remarkable restoration of peace, North-East is emerging as a favoured destination of businesses and tourists.
Expressing his happiness that Nagaland State is going to get its first Medical College under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Home Minister said Rs. 300 crores has been sanctioned for this purpose. NEC has also funded setting up of a North East Regional Multi Disciplinary Paramedical Institute, Dimapur at a cost of about Rs. 50 crores. Besides, over the years Government of India has executed a large number of other projects in Nagaland leading to the path of faster and all-round development of the state.
“While we must celebrate the past at the Hornbill, we should also celebrate the present and the future with several festivals of skills and creativity of our youth. Nagaland is geographically located at a vantage point. It is the gateway to the South-East Asia. North-East is the pivot of our Government’s ‘Act East’ policy. Today, we are at the best of relations with our neighbour Myanmar. On the bedrock of our shared cultural and civilizational linkages with Myanmar, we have also a large spectrum of shared interests. Government of India is determined to build and improve our connectivity and engagement with South-East Asia. Today, India and ASEAN are partners in growth. The story of this growth will be written by our youths of the North-East region. Central government has opened a bright new chapter in the growth story of North-East region. It is heartening to know that development of a four-lane road, the main artery from Dimapur to the State Capital Kohima, which was promised by the then Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji, is in full swing and it will be completed soon. With remarkable restoration of peace, North-East is emerging as a favoured destination of businesses and tourists. I am happy to know that the police and the tourism department of Nagaland Government have started the Tourist Police. I am sure it will help lift Nagaland to another level where visitors from outside will go back with a lot of happy stories of the state and the region,” said Shri Rajnath Singh.
On the 55th Anniversary of the State, he called upon the people to stride for rapid economic growth and be contributors in making India a world power.
Later, Mr. Rajnath Singh visited the Morungs put up by the 17 tribes of Nagaland and exhibition stalls of various local entrepreneurs.
The Union Home Minister will be visiting Kohima World War II Cemetery to pay homage at the War Memorial on Sunday.