Of collaboration and shared vision Manipur and Nagaland

One may choose one’s friends but one cannot choose one’s geographical neighbours. This is a truism that should not be lost on the people of Nagaland and Manipur and Chief Minister N Biren should capitalise on the feel good factor that has been generated. The feel good factor was aptly summed up in the presence of Chief Minister N Biren at the Hornbill Festival at Kisama on December 5 and this is something which had never happened in the previous 15 years. It is this feel good factor that the man from Heingang Assembly Constituency should capitalise on for in many ways this is also reflective of ‘Go to the Hills’ slogan coined by him, shortly after the BJP led coalition Government assumed office. Common purpose-this was a point stressed by Chief Minister N Biren and it is only right that the Government of Nagaland and the Manipur Government sit down and study to find out what the common purpose may be between the two neighbouring States. Civil society organisations and the public too can chip in and help the two Governments identify the common purpose of the two States. It is this which will help the interests of the two States especially when the whole world is fast becoming known as a global village. One cannot survive and prosper alone in this age and it is only right that the two immediate States join hands and explore what will benefit the people of the two States. Sports is definitely one and the proposal of Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang to create a tourist circuit for the North East region is something which can be pursued with intent. This is where more people to people contact becomes necessary. And obviously trade and commerce is one sure shot way of promoting people to people contact.
As neighbours, then it may also be said that the future of the two States and hence the people is inextricably linked and this is where mutual dependence becomes important. Give and take, this is the need of the hour. Let the next editions of the Sangai Festival and Hornbill Festival be held in such a manner that tourists make it a point to attend the Sangai Festival and then Hornbill Festival. That the Hornbill Festival begins one day after the Sangai Festival wraps up may be a coincidence, but this is a beautiful co-incidence which should not be allowed to go waste. Perhaps this is where the suggestion of TR Zeliang to create a tourist circuit may take off. Come November 21 next year and let it be a case of tourists coming to attend two festivals in the North East, one in Manipur and the other in Nagaland. At the same time, encourage the people of Manipur to go and see the Hornbill Festival and let people from Nagaland also come and witness the Sangai Festival. There is so much that the two States can learn from each other and the first step towards this would be to recognise the fact that as neighbours, the future of the two States is inextricably linked. With the feel good factor running high, Chief Minister N Biren should not lose sight of the opportunity that has come knocking at his doors. Let the invitation to the Hornbill Festival translate into a healthier and more people to people contact between Nagaland and Manipur.

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