KOHIMA: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday appealed to the people of Nagaland to create a conducive atmosphere for rapid economic growth as the state has suffered a lot for long.
Without referring to the decades-old insurgency problem of Nagaland, Singh said everyone has the responsibility to create conditions so that the country can progress.
"Nagaland has suffered for a long time. On the 56th anniversary of the state, I call upon all my friends of this state to take long strides for the rapid economic growth of the country as well as that of Nagaland and make all of us proud Indians contributors in making India a world power," he said inaugurating the annual Hornbill Festival near here.
Singh said nearly 50 per cent of Nagaland population is below 25 years of age and it is they who will shape the future of India and of Nagaland.
"We have to create conditions where their creative and entrepreneurial potential is unleashed to the optimum," he said.
Nagaland has witnessed insurgency which started soon after India's independence in 1947.
However, a framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015, by NSCN-IM general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah and the government's interlocutor R N Ravi in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to find a lasting solution to the insurgency.
A final pact is yet to come.
The framework agreement came after over 80 rounds of negotiations spanning 18 years, with the first breakthrough made in 1997 when a ceasefire agreement was sealed.
The home minister said people must realise that the forces of change are inevitable and will not wait for anyone.
"We have to be prepared for it.
If we are prepared for it, we will shape the future according to our wish.
"If we are not prepared for it, we will be shaped by these forces, may be even against our wish.
The challenge of the day is to grasp and master these forces," he said.
Singh said the Hornbill festival offers unique opportunity to the different tribes of the state to interact with not only each other and exhibit their cultural heritage but also with those from the neighbouring and other states in the true spirit of 'Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat'.
"It powerfully demonstrates the cultural diversity and civilisational unity of the people," he said.
"The festival shows how each tribe is proudly unique in their cultural richness and yet there is an overwhelming sense of unity among all.
"This spectacular demonstration of unity in diversity is what India is all about.
At the Hornbill festival, I get a glimpse of the Indian spirit of happy peaceful co-existence of the multiplicities," he said.