Time for Nagas to build future ‘together’ — Rio
Dimapur, Jan. 15 (EMN): Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has said that “time has come for the Nagas to shed all differences, to unite, to reconcile, to forgive and to forget” in order to build the future in oneness and in harmony – “together”. He stated that decades of strife had prevented the Nagas from seeing the other side of peace and development in reality.
Rio was addressing the 72nd General Session of the United Sangtam Students’ Conference held at Seyochung village under Kiphire district on January 15, according to an update from the CM’s office.
The CM said that “as leaders of tomorrow, students need to understand Naga history and take up the responsibilities of changing the mindset of the people towards peace, progress and development”.
Quoting the adage “A child without education is like a bird without wings”, Rio stated that “learning is a life-long process and education prepares a child to face the realities of life as it sets one free by giving an individual the power to think, reason, understand, act and also to obey the rule of law”.
He said that the people have to overcome and shed “backwardness” tag, “otherwise it will only be self-defeating.” Stating that the advent of Christianity in Nagaland in 1872 through EW Clarke was the best thing that had happened to the Nagas, he said the religion and education had brought the Nagas thus far.
“So, as students, you have to obey your parents, your teachers; and you have to focus on the Christian teachings and values so that we can get quality and real education,” he said.
Stating that Nagas were at a crucial juncture with regard to their political issue, the CM pointed out that negotiation between the negotiating parties had concluded on October 31 2019 on a positive note and that the Nagas were yearning for a solution to the decades old issue. He also said that all 60 MLAs under the banner of the Joint Legislators Forum on the Naga political issue had joined hands to facilitate the peace process and for a final settlement.
“We hope that we will unite and bring settlement for peace and development of our state and to get the opportunities for the youth to pursue their goals and their dreams. This is our dream, this is our hope and I feel that if we unite, we can achieve this in a few months’ time. We have hope in our youth that you will realise the importance of peace and live in harmony with ourselves and with our neighbours,” Rio said.
The CM urged the people to seriously work towards becoming self-reliant by citing how Japan became one of the economic superpowers of the world even after being badly defeated in the WW-II; and how war-wrecked South Korea progressed by focusing on economic policies and reforms.
Rio said that Nagas had forgotten business and entrepreneurship because of “concentrating only on government jobs”. He went on to encourage the people to build a self-reliant economy by taking up private entrepreneurship and do all forms of jobs — from the biggest to the smallest.
‘You’re the future. You will take our place. You will become the leaders of our people and unless you have the preparedness to face the realities of life, we will perish. Even if we don’t like, outsiders will come and work and we will have no future. Therefore, in this 72nd General Session, I hope you will deliberate, take up challenges and see that the student community changes the mindset of the people and work hard to make your life and the community stronger, and make all the Nagas proud,’ the CM said.
DC Kiphire, Sarita Yadav also urged the students to focus on their responsibilities and study hard in order to become responsible citizens. Describing the youths as “harbingers of change”, she said their contribution is needed for the betterment of society. She also thanked the M and his cabinet colleagues for attending the conference and showing their concern for the district.
Earlier in the day, Rio unveiled the commemoration plaque and unfurled the USSC flag in the presence of dignitaries, including Minister for Forest, Environment and Climate Change, Justice & Law CM Chang, Minister for Soil & Water Conservation Geology & Mining V Kashiho Sangtam and other senior officers.