KOHIMA, December 1 (NNN): President of India Pranab Mukherjee has asked for the transformation of the north east region into and area of peace and opportunity.
Speaking as the chief guest at celebration of 50th Nagaland Statehhood Day and also inaugurating The Hornbill Festival simultaneously at The Naga Heritage Village, Kisama, off Kohima this morning, Pranab Mukherjee said,” The states of North East India should lead our partners of South East Asian Countries.” The President of India added that the North East region is a natural bridge between the country and the South East Asian countries. “I understand the strategic importance of the North East region. This region can become a centre for major investments,” he added.
This was Pranab Mukherjee`s second visit to Nagaland after he became the President of India. The last time he visited the state was in May this year where Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio had invited him to be the chief guest in The Hornbill Festival 2013.
Meanwhile, Pranab Mukherjee called Neiphiu Rio a `dynamic` chief minister and said The Hornbill Festival unites the Naga tribes.
“We live in this rapid changing world and the centre and the state government must join hands to bring development in the state,” said Pranab Mukherjee. “I call upon the rest of the country that there is a need for the development of infrastructure in this state,” the President urged.
The President of India then said that it is a proud privilege for him to be a part of the celebration and congratulated the people and the Government of Nagaland on their completion of fifty eventful years of the State.
Also greeting the people on the occasion of The Hornbill Festival, the President of India said that it is an event which brings together all the tribes of Nagaland to preserve and also to provide new impetus to cultures and traditions. Fifty years ago, the President said that a great teacher, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan inaugurated a new State called Nagaland where, on that occasion, he called upon the Government to capture the hearts and minds of the people. He said that the traditions and practices of the Naga people are rich and unique and called upon all Indians to visit Nagaland and strengthen the bond as well as the economy.
Nagaland has come a long way in its achievements, he said while further stating that much needs to be further done in this modern globalised world. He said that youths must get jobs and there should be visible improvements in our lives and developments should be equitable as well as sustainable. Stating that the world is undergoing rapid changes in information and technology, the President said that distance and nationality are no longer restraining factors. He said that education and infrastructure are the key factors to development. He also mentioned about the tremendous potential of the North East India which can become a magnet for major investments. He further said that the North East region will serve as the most important area to propagate trade with the south east Asian countries.
The President called upon all Nagas to reach out to the people in other parts of the country and join hands to forge the future of the nation. He hoped that a new dawn will emerge and that Nagaland would serve as an example how a nation can transform into a land of unity and prosperity.