Manipur CM N Biren delivered the keynote address at the opening ceremony of the two-day Berkap-Reiju Festival, a cultural extravaganza aimed at revitalizing and promoting the Kom tribe’s rich cultural history in Ichum Keirap Kom village, Kangpokpi district on Saturday.
The Chief Minister struck a gong as part of the inaugural function of Berkap-Reiju festival. CM Biren and other dignitaries received a warm traditional welcome from the villagers upon their arrival.
In his speech, Biren emphasized the Government’s commitment to protecting and uplifting small and weaker communities, stating that no community should discriminate against or threaten others. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID pandemic, the Government recognizes and supports every small tribe and community residing in the State.
The Sangai Ethnic Park is an excellent example of this support, as the Government has constructed replicas of traditional huts for each of the 34-35 indigenous tribes and communities to showcase their identity through their traditions, culture, and lifestyle.
The Chief Minister warned against any threat of forceful assimilation and stated that every indigenous tribe or community, regardless of their population size, should be allowed to live freely without any threat.
The Government is fully ready to meet any threat to any community, and is working under the Prime Minister’s mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas’. To ensure proper representation of minority tribes and communities, the Chief Minister gave his commitment to appoint Government nominees in the Autonomous District Councils from minority tribes, with certain amounts incorporated in the budget exclusively for minorities.
The Chief Minister stressed the beauty of democracy, India’s secularism, and unity in diversity, encouraging everyone to embrace these characteristics. He also assured the locals that their demands, including the widening of roads, upgradation of schools, and construction of health centers, would be considered. The construction of a Hills Leaders’ Bhavan at Imphal would be completed soon.
Manipur has received the highest number of foreign tourists in the North East region, and the Chief Minister encouraged locals, especially youth, to develop their location naturally to attract more tourists. He also urged villagers to ensure that economically weaker families are receiving the benefits of Government welfare schemes.
The Berkap-Reiju festival was opened by the Chief Minister shooting an arrow at an image of a bird hanging from a pole, followed by traditional dances and cultural performances. MLA of Saitu AC Haokholet Kipgen, MLA of Lamlai AC Kh Ibomcha, MLA of Moirang AC Th Shanti, CSO leaders, village chiefs, and church leaders attended the function.
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