On the issue of granting Statehood to Eastern Nagaland, the NDPP stated that the responsibility lies with the government of India and not with the Nagaland government or with the citizens of Nagaland.
By Imna Longchar, TFM Nagaland Correspondent
Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) appealed to the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organization (ENPO) not to boycott this year’s Hornbill Festival starting December 1. This followed a recent announcement by the ENPO asking all its units and people to boycott the festival.
The appeal was made after a consultative meeting held on Friday at the NDPP head office in Chumoukedima. The meeting also deliberated upon issues relating to the present stand of the ENPO by adopting and passing five points resolutions. It was decided that the festival would be held with the active participation of all the tribes of the state in “unity and oneness”.
NDPP in a press statement issued jointly by its vice-president, Merentoshi R Jamir, and general secretary (Adm), Obed Quinker, said while appreciating and respecting the sentiments and stand of the ENPO to “boycott” this year’s Hornbill Festival 2022, has also appealed to the leaders and the people of the Eastern Nagaland to reconsider their decision and come forward to join the rest of the State in celebrating the festival in “unity and brotherhood” since the state government under the chairmanship of Nagaland chief minister, Neiphiu Rio, has already “agreed and decided” to address the grievances raised by the ENPO.
“Let us also remember that the Hornbill Festival is observed and celebrated in commemoration of or Statehood”, NDPP stated while also mentioning that a year ago, after the Oting tragedy, the state and the people have shown “oneness” by standing in solidarity and for which the NDPP calls upon each one to continue showing that “oneness” again.
Stating that the very essence of the Hornbill Festival was to portray the unity in diversity of the people of Nagaland which needs the active participation and support of the people of the state, covering all corners and tribes that “make Nagaland” and more so, at a juncture when the people are expectantly awaiting a “final settlement” to the Indo-Naga political issue, the NDPP also said that it becomes very important that the world sees the “oneness and unity” of all the stakeholders, especially at an important occasion such as the internationally renowned Hornbill Festival, the “Festival of Festivals”.
Also mentioning that the Hornbill Festival, along with promoting the Naga way of life and showcasing its rich cultural heritage to the global community, has also now become a national as well as an international platform to promote and explore Naga entrepreneurs, human resources and products, NDPP also said that it has nothing to do with politics and efforts should be made to let the event continue
in this manner even in future.
“Opportunities of the festival should be maximized for all Naga youth for their own growth and progress”, added NDPP while appealing to the people of the state, especially the ENPO brethren that such an opportunity should not be denied to our young denizens and upcoming entrepreneurs; rather, the active participation of our youth from all over the state must be encouraged inorder to avail the benefits and advantages the festival has to offer and once again make this a “people’s festival”.
‘Granting of statehood to ENPO region lies with GoI and not with Nagaland government’
On the issue of granting Statehood, the NDPP during the consultative meeting stated that it lies with the government of India and not with the Nagaland government or with the citizens of Nagaland. It said that the Nagaland government has already submitted its recommendation of granting “Autonomous Region” to the ENPO area to the government of India, and anything “beyond” this is outside the domain
of the Nagaland government.
Adding that infact, the Nagaland government has never objected to the demand of a “separate state” of the ENPO people, the NDPP also said that it also stands in support of the demand. In this regard, the NDPP has requested the state government to implement all the necessary decisions taken under the chairmanship of Nagaland chief minister, Neiphiu Rio, in addressing the grievances being raised by the ENPO and ensure that this year’s edition of the Hornbill Festival is organized and celebrated with the participation of every citizen of the state representing all the vibrant tribes of Nagaland.
Meanwhile, the NDPP has also once again called upon the Eastern brethren to reconsider their decision and join the rest of the of the state in celebrating the “festival of festivals” and show the world Nagas’ unity in brotherhood, solidarity and as one people when it is officially announced at the Hornbill Festival 2022, that “India shall preside and chair the G20”.