Naga traditional performers during the Statehood Day celebrations on Saturday Credit: EastMojo image

Guwahati: Nagaland is celebrating its 55th Statehood Day on Saturday. Situated in the Northeastern corner of India, Nagaland became the 16th state of India on this day in 1963, with Kohima as its capital. Today, the state has 12 districts with 16 tribes and four ‘other indigenous inhabitant recognised tribes’ living together in harmony in the picturesque hill state of Northeast India.

Celebrations started in the morning hours at the state civil secretariat, followed by the opening ceremony of the popular Hornbill Festival later in the evening.

Speaking on the occasion, chief minister Neiphiu Rio said: “On this day, we remember the sacrifice and struggle of our founding fathers who conceptualised the idea of Naga nationalism and sovereignty. We must also remember that the road to our statehood has not been an easy journey”.

He further stressed on how the state came into existence mentioning a bit about its history.

Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio addressing the gathering in Kohima on Saturday

Rio also emphasised on the political, social, economic, cultural, educational and legal developments that have shaped under his regime since the time the current government was sworn in on March 8 this year.

He said: “I am happy to announce that at 8:30 this morning, women police stations were inaugurated in the districts of Longleng, Mon, Peren, Phek, Tuensang, Wokha and Zunheboto. With these, women police stations have now been established in all district headquarters of the state”.

Hundreds of students along with the Cantamus Choir tuned to the patriotic song “Ara Kezievi”. “Ara Kezievi” in Tenyidie language (or Angami dialect) means my beautiful village or my beautiful homeland. Cultural performances, band displays, march-past and weapon and arms display were some highlights of the occasion.

The Hornbill Festival, which coincides with Statehood Day and begins on December 1 every year, is an annual 10-day affair with a variety of performances, displays, competitions and cultural shows.

Meanwhile, congratulating the people of the state, several leaders across the spectrum showered wishes on social media posts.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Argentina to attend the G-20 summit, extended his greetings to the people of Nagaland and said “Statehood Day greetings to the people of Nagaland. I pray that Nagaland scales new heights of development and the aspirations of the state’s citizens are fulfilled.”

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman also greeted the people of the state:

Naga performers displaying traditional war dance during the 55th Statehood Day celebrations in Kohima on Saturday

Nagaland, which was part of Assam after independence, saw first efforts initiated in 1960 when the Naga People’s Convention and the Union government signed the 16-point agreement to politically resolve the Naga political crisis.

Security personnel take part in a march-past as part of the Statehood Day celebrations on Saturday

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