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Nagaland Hornbill festival shows true spirit of 'Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat', says Rajnath

twitter-logoPTI | December 1, 2018 | Updated 22:13 IST

Kohima, Dec 1 (PTI) Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh Saturday inaugurated the 10-day long annual Hornbill festival of Nagaland and said the event showcased the true spirit of 'Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat'. The festival got a colourful start at the picturesque Naga heritage village Kisama, about 12 kms from the state capital. Hornbill festival is an annual tourism promotional event of the Nagaland government. The event also known as "festival of festivals" started in the year 2000. In his address to thousands of celebrants, which included foreign and domestic tourists, Singh said the spectacular event showcases the rich ancient culture and civilization of the people of Nagaland. It is a festival that offers unique opportunity not only to the different tribes of the state to interact with 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', Singh said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had initiated the concept of 'Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat'. It powerfully demonstrates the cultural diversity and civilizational unity of the Naga people, he said, adding that each tribe is proudly unique in its 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, the home minister said, while opining that at the Hornbill festival he gets a glimpse of the Indian spirit of happy, peaceful co-existence of the multiplicities. While we must celebrate the past at the Hornbill, we should also celebrate the present and the future with several festivals of skills and creativity of our youth, he said. Stating that Nagaland was geographically located at a vantage point, being the gateway to the southeast Asia, he said the northeast was the pivot of the Central governments Act East policy. Government of India was determined to build and improve connectivity and engagement with southeast Asia, he said, adding that India and ASEAN were partners in growth. With the restoration of peace, northeast was emerging as a favoured destination for business and tourism, he said, adding that steps were also being taken for speedy development of the region, including Nagaland. He further said that the nation can prosper only when all the states develop at a faster pace. US Ambassador to India, Kenneth I Juster also attended the inaugural function as the guest of honour, while Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde was the special guest. Nagaland Governor P B Acharya and Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio were the chief host and host respectively. Rev. Zelhou Keyho, general secretary of Nagaland Baptist Church Council invoked gods blessings while village chief Shikuto Zalipu pronounced traditional blessings. Day one saw the inauguration of bamboo pavilion, handloom and handicraft, craftscape, hortiscape, NAAME adventure activities and International photo festival among others. PTI NBS SNS RHL

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