Colonialism fragmented Northeast — Ravi
Kohima, Jan. 20 (EMN): The Governor of Nagaland and Meghalaya, RN Ravi on Monday said that Northeast region has always been an “organic home” where people with variant cultures, languages and ethnicities lived together as one family in peace and maintained healthy relations, until the post colonial politics of fragmentation.
Ravi said this at the opening ceremony of the much-awaited North East Dr. T Ao Trophy 2020 at Indira Gandhi (IG) Stadium, Kohima, on Monday. He inaugurated the tournament with the theme “Together we can soar”, held in memory of the legendary footballer from Nagaland who captained the first Indian Olympic football team at the 1948 London Olympics.
The governor stated that the seeds sown by the British during colonial time had politically fragmented the region; not major conflicts but division with ‘us and they’ notion that became prominent in the entire region.
While paying tribute to former Indian football captain, the governor said, “Dr. T Ao was a legendary figure”, and took the gathering through his (Ao) journey ‘from a very humble remote village, with the passion for football and other sports’. He asserted that Ao grew up from the most adverse circumstances, that later won the hearts of the people in the country.
“He (Ao) had a distinction that he had in the whole of the country by being the captain of the first Indian Football team in 1948 and also the flag-bearer of the contingent,” Ravi said.
Telling the visitors that the people of the state have hearts filled with love, hospitality and care, he expressed confidence that all the football players participating in the tournament will have a pleasant stay.
The governor further acknowledged the persons behind the trophy for conceptualising the events for the entire Northeast region.
“The players don’t discriminate; for each of the players the other person is just a fellow player. It’s a competition where the winner is not a victor and the loser is not who suffer defeat. The win is accepted with humility and the lost with grace,” DIPR quoted him as saying
“The trophy brings people together and this region has produced galaxy of sportspersons. We need to ponder and perhaps make a beginning of having more trophies in their honour so that the people of the region may come together more often in the spirit of unity,” he added.
The advisor for Youth Resources and Sports, Zale Neikha earlier shared Ao’s biography in his welcome address and urged both the players and spectators to emulate his personality; to achieve success through hard work and determination.
Ravi also launched a coffee table book titled “Barefoot Wander” published by the department of Youth Resources and Sports. The president of Nagaland Football Association, K Neibu Sekhose, also led the governor and other dignitaries for the introduction of the football players right after the inaugural programme.
All the eight north-eastern states are participating in the eight-day tournament which will conclude on January 27.