Decades of strife left Nagas underdeveloped: Rio

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Time for Nagas to build the future, says Nagaland CM

HT Correspondent

DIMAPUR, Jan 16: Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio said decades of strife had prevented the Nagas from seeing the other side of peace and development in reality.

Addressing the 72nd general session of the United Sangtam Students’ Conference at Seyochung village in Kiphire district on Wednesday, Rio said the time has come for the Nagas to shed all differences, unite, reconcile, forgive and forget to build the future in oneness and harmony, a CMO release said on Thursday. “As leaders of tomorrow, the students need to understand Naga history and take up the responsibilities of changing the mindset of the people towards peace, progress and development,” he said.

Quoting an adage that a child without education is like a bird without wings, Rio said 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. The chief minister said the people have to overcome and shed the tag of backwardness otherwise it will only be self-defeating.

Stating that the advent of Christianity in Nagaland in 1872 was the best thing that happened to the Nagas, Rio said Christianity and education had brought the Nagas thus far for which the quasqui-centennial celebrations of 125 years of Christianity in Nagaland was celebrated from November 27 to 30, 1997 under the theme ‘From Darkness To Light’. “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.

Saying that the Nagas are at a crucial juncture in the Naga political issue, the chief minister pointed out that negotiations between the negotiating parties had successfully concluded on October 31 last year on a positive note. Towards this end, Rio pointed out that all the 60 MLAs under the banner of the Joint Legislators Forum on the Naga Political Issue had joined hands to facilitate the peace process so that settlement comes about. “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.

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