DIMAPUR: Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio, on Wednesday, said even if the Government of India and the Naga political groups sign a final peace accord for settlement of the long-standing Naga issue, there will not be real peace if the Nagas cannot act as one people.

He said the need of the Naga society today is forgiveness and reconciliation at various levels.

“This is also the prerequisite for a peaceful resolution of the long-protracted Naga political issue,” Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio said while addressing the 75th anniversary celebration of Peren township in Peren town.

He said if the people cannot forgive each other and rise above narrow tribalism and if they cannot unite and act as one people, there would not be real peace in Nagaland.

Rio said the celebration of a jubilee is always a joyous occasion and it is an opportunity for introspection of the past and also for charting out new visions and horizons for the future.

Quoting the proverb “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second best time is today”, the Nagaland CM said whatever opportunity the people of the state might have missed, they should start try to grab it today.

Rio noted that Peren district has good prospects to become a prosperous and self-reliant district since it is near Nagaland capital Kohima and the commercial capital Dimapur.

On road connectivity in the district, he said the new National Highway 129-A passing through Peren will provide alternative connectivity between Nagaland and Manipur.

He added that once the Kohima-Lekie road is completed, it will provide a good corridor to Assam.

Former Nagaland chief minister and United Democratic Alliance chairman TR Zeliang said Peren town was established on April 1, 1947, and has since grown gradually with the change of time.

He challenged the gathering to recall and give their gratitude to the pioneers of the town who had the vision to establish a town for the welfare of the Zeliang community.

Zeliang, who was the chief host of the celebration, said the mithun and the human figurines seen in the town today are a recreation of the event that took place on April 1, 1947, when the inauguration and declaration function was held by the sacred act of slaughtering a mithun and partaking its meat by all the representatives of the 25 ancestral villages under Peren.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com