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Prez lauds N-E hand in nation building
From CK Nayak
Colour, Rhythm and Taste of N-E India in Delhi
New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said that the North Eastern states have contributed hugely in the development of the country and enriched its socio-political and cultural history.
Referring to his visit to many parts of the North East during his political career in different capacities, Mukherjee said he was happy to be part of such events which promote cultural ethnicity and diversity.
The President was speaking after inaugurating a festival titled ‘Songs and Dances of the North East’, an initiative of the Meghalaya government and the North Eastern Council.
The Festival is one of the outcomes of the MP Bezbaruah Committee formed by the Union Home Ministry to work out modalities for building a strong social bond between the people of the North East and rest of the country.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said despite their small population, the Northeasterners have made immense contributions to the nation. “The people of the region took active part in the freedom struggle and many of their political personalities have enriched national life,” he said.
Song, dance and music are part of the everyday life of the people of the region, who are known for their hospitality and courtesy, the President said.
The festival showcasing the rich, cultural ethnicity and diversity of North East India will help bridge the gap between the people of the North-Eastern States and the rest of India, he said.
The President said the economic development taking place in the region will benefit not only the people of the area but also the entire country. Locational advantage and rich resource endowment of the North East makes it an ideal hub for dealing with India’s eastern neighbours.
The region has a critical role to play in the implementation of the Government’s Act East Policy which seeks to build closer bonds with the ten countries of ASEAN who are amongst the fastest growing countries of the world. The region also has rare flora and fauna, natural scenic beauty and rich cultural heritage, he said.
Hundreds of people including a large number of young people from the Northeastern States packed the giant stadium cheering the most popular bands of the North East.
A grand performance of songs and dance by 130 artists from the eight Northeastern states and their unique dances, choirs and foot-tapping music from their bands was the feature of the day-long Festival held here for the first time to acquaint and connect people with the vibrant cultural diversity of this region.
The event has been conceptualized and designed to bind together the diverse culture and heritage of the North East on a common platform and connect with rest of India. North East is known for its diverse music, richness of cultures, colors’ of traditions and the sweet melodies of folklores.
Imphal Talkies (Manipur, based in New Delhi) , PhuNingDing (Assam), Minute of Decay (Delhi), Silman Marak, Girish and the Chronicles (Sikkim), Moniraj Hazarika, Testeo Sisters (Nagaland) and Indian Idol runner-up Amit Paul were the star performers at the Festival.
Hundreds of visitors queued up to become a Northeasterner for a day by slipping into their traditional dresses and sharing the ‘Northeasterner’ side of themselves. There was no end to savoring the ethnic food from the all eight states prepared by chefs who were specially flown down from different corners of the region.
The interest in knowing about the tourist destination was so encouraging that the tourist officers were carried away by the unprecedented response. There was an exhibition on tourism of the region.
The Festival concluded with a special number created for the occasion by the now famous Shillong Chamber Choir.