Imphal: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday praised India’s centuries-old tradition of festivals and fairs and said it enriches the culture and also boosts the economy where such events are organsised.
“The centuries-old tradition of festivals and fairs in our country not only enriches the culture but also boosts the local economy,” Modi said while addressing the Manipur Sangai Festival via video message from Delhi.
He described the Manipur Sangai festival as a world-class tourism destination and congratulated the people of the state for its successful organisation.
He pointed out that the festival is being organised after a gap of two years owing to the Corona pandemic and expressed delight at the grand scale of arrangements.
“Manipur Sangai Festival highlights the spirit and passion of the people of Manipur”, the Prime Minister remarked as he applauded the efforts and the comprehensive vision of the Manipur Government and Chief Minister N Biren Singh for organising this festival.
Remarking on Manipur’s abundant natural beauty, cultural richness and diversity, the Prime Minister said that everyone wants to visit the state at least once and drew an analogy to a beautiful garland that is made up of different gems. The Prime Minister further added that Manipur is exactly like an elegant garland where one can witness a mini India in the state.
The Prime Minister underlined that India in its Amrit Kaal is moving forward with the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’. Shedding light on the theme of the Sangai Festival which is the ‘Festival of One-ness’ the Prime Minister remarked that the successful organisation of this festival will act as a source of energy and inspiration for the nation in the days to come.
“Sangai is not only the state animal of Manipur but also has a special place in India’s faith and beliefs. The Sangai Festival also celebrates the biodiversity of India”, the Prime Minister said. He further added that it also celebrates India’s cultural and spiritual ties with nature. The Prime Minister also informed that the festival inspires indispensable social sensitivity towards a sustainable lifestyle.
“When we make nature, animals and plants a part of our festivals and celebrations, then co-existence becomes a natural part of our life”, he said.
The Prime Minister expressed delight that the Sangai Festival is being organised not just in the state capital but in the entire state, thereby giving an extension to the spirit of the ‘Festival of One-ness’.
Modi pointed out that different moods and colours of the festival could be seen at around 14 locations from the Nagaland border to the Myanmar border.
He lauded the commendable initiative and said, “When we connect such events with more and more people, only then its full potential comes to the fore.”
He added that events like the Sangai Festival are a major attraction for investors and industries as well. “I have full faith that in the future, this festival will become a powerful medium of gaiety and development in the state”, the Prime Minister concluded.
Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, the Chief Guest of the closing ceremony, said we are all proud of the natural beauty and vibrant culture of Manipur. He further said Manipur is a unique state with unlimited potential . As peace has returned to the state the festival will attract tourists, he added. Government jobs are limited and we should explore the opportunities provided by the government, he said.
Rural tourism should be encouraged as it will attract people to enjoy life in the original forms especially in the hill areas, he said. We should not copy Western culture and all should learn from the people of Manipur who always carry their traditional dresses, he said.
Chief Minister N Biren Singh said after two years of Covid a ten-day tourism festival has captivated the people without any report of untoward violence.
About five lakh people attended the festival. The sale of tickets had to be stopped as there were lots of visitors, he added. Cultural, religious, Mixed martial arts, and indigenous games were displayed in every corner of the state including the border areas, he said.
About 100 specially trained police commandos, 300 tourist police were trained for the festival, mounted police also on duty he said.
Union Tourism minister Kishan Reddy has also assured to provide Rs 100 cr to develop the festival sites, he said.