Naga issue deserves response from the Centre, says Mizoram sports minister
Mizoram sports minister Robert Romawia Royte at the Collegiate Meet

Aizawl: Mizoram sports minister Robert Romawia Royte on Tuesday said the efforts made by the Nagaland government headed by chief minister Neiphiu Rio and other organisations towards finding a permanent solution to the Naga issue deserve a reciprocal response from the Centre. 

Addressing the inaugural session of the All Naga College Students (ANCSU) Collegiate Meet in Dimapur, Royte lauded the early political consciousness of the Nagas and said the distinct tribal group began its political movement during the British Raj with a memorandum to the Simon Commission expressing their aspiration for independence.

The declaration of Naga independence came a day ahead of India’s independence, he said. 

Citing the example of Mizoram, Royte emphasised the innumerable benefits of peace in the state.

“Mizoram was one of the most disturbed states during the Mizo National Front (MNF)’s fight for independence. However, after signing of the Mizo Accord in 1986, Mizoram has become the most peaceful state in the country,” Royte said.

The minister congratulated the Nagaland U-17 football team for winning the prestigious Subroto Cup. 

“This victory is a clear sign of football talent and potential in Nagaland,” he said.

He said Nagas are talented in archery, wrestling, football and other fields of athletics and should be encouraged by victories like winning the 2022 Subroto Cup.

Speaking on the National Education Policy 2020, the minister said in the policy document the word “sports” was mentioned as many as 30 times, signifying the importance given to sports in the policy.

“The government of Mizoram is committed to making the state the fittest in the country,” he said.

The Mizoram Sports Policy 2019 and the subsequent granting of industry status to sports proved very fruitful in the endeavour for infrastructural and promotional advancement, the sports minister said adding that the target was of having 30 astroturf football grounds in the state within 5 years. The new astroturf grounds are likely to be in place before the end of 2023. Many other sports infrastructures are also being developed across Mizoram, he added.

Royte, who is also the state tourism minister said that the Centre should recognise the potential of the youth in the Northeast.

He advised students to set goals and priorities while maintaining discipline, personal hygiene, and fitness.

Royte invited the Naga youth to visit Mizoram, assuring the ANCSU and NSF of sponsoring their visit.

As many as 1300 participants from 32 different colleges are participating in the meet that will span five days and host competitions in seven sports disciplines.

NSF President Kegwayn Tep, ANCSU President Toito D Chishi, and organising convener, Christopher Ltu also spoke on the occasion.

Also read | Assam youth killed in Mizoram road accident

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