Nagalim: Cultural Carnival Concludes
The Nagalim celebrated their seed sowing festival, 'Lui-Ngai-Ni' on 15 February 2014, bringing many tribes together for the festivities.
Below is an article published by The Northeast Today Magazine:
“Meiteis are our neighbors and they are not our enemies and we should remain it that way,” said Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio.
Addressing a mammoth crowd as chief guest at the Manipur Nagas’ seed sowing festival Lui-Ngai-Ni held in Tamenglong district headquarter in Manipur today[15 February 2014] Neiphiu Rio said that Nagas should not treat or see the Meiteis as their enemies.
“It is very unfortunate that Nagas are divided into different administrative zones. But, all Nagas, regardless of their place of residence must be given equal rights and opportunities as enshrined in the Indian Constitution. However, it is heartening to learn that Nagas in Myanmar are doing well politically”, he added.
The Nagaland chief minister then donated Rs 2 lakhs to the celebrating committee of Lui-Ngai-Ni.
It can be noted here that Rio’s visit to Manipur was marred with confusion as the State Government of Manipur had said on Friday [14 February 2014] that it was not informed about the Nagaland chief minister’s visit to Manipur. On the other hand, Rio’s media advisor Abu Metha had told NNN that they had informed the Manipur Government about it. Amidst this development, Neiphiu Rio landed in the Tamenglong district headquarter by a chopper.
Meanwhile, TS Warngam, vice president of United Naga Council (UNC) and convener of the central organizing committee of this year’s Lui- Ngai- Ni welcomed all the dignitaries especially the leaders from other communities viz., Zomi, Hmar and Kuki for their participation.
Nagaland education minister CM Chang and Nagaland Planning minister TR Zeliang attended the function as guest of honour and chief host respectively.
K Guite, Advisor Zomi Reunification Organisation, Dr. John Pulamte, president Hmar Inpui and Jangsat Haokip, president Kuki Inpi Manipur Tamenglong- Jiri Zone attended as the special invitees.
Speaking on the occasion, president of United Naga Council (UNC) L Adani urged the non-Naga communities for mutual respect for each other’s history and situation, so that every people can live with dignity and honour.
“We have always maintained that we are not communal and that we respect the cultures, identities and aspirations of other communities just as we wish that ours is respected. We have no agenda other than to pursue our quest for political empowerment, that is due to one and all in democracy. In pursuing what is our due, we do not intend to deprive anybody that is due to them or their space. By respecting the history, aspirations, identities, ways of life, the land and resources of each other, we can live in peace and in good neighborliness with each other”, the UNC leader stated.
Harping on the UNC’s demand for ‘Alternative Arrangement’ and the subsequent ‘tripartite talks’ involving the Government of India and Government of Manipur and the UNC, Adani maintained that UNC will continue to vigilantly engage with it and with sincerity, seriousness and in good faith.
Lui- Ngai- Ni was celebrated with great pomp and show. Naga people from every part of the Manipur attended the annual celebration. The festival was declared state festival and state holiday by the Government of Manipur.
The festival of seed sowing and invoking God’s blessing was participated by the tribes including Anal, Chothe, Inpui, Kharam, Lamkang, Mao, Maram, Maring, Monsang, Moyon, Poumei, Tangkhul, Tarao, Thangal and Zeliangrong tribesmen. The participating tribes presented different cultural dance and songs.