Kohima: On the occasion of 71st Republic Day, Raj Bhavan’s famous hexagonal Durbar Hall in Kohima was renamed Dr Imkongliba Hall by the governor of Nagaland and Meghalaya RN Ravi, in the presence of chief minister Neiphiu Rio, chief secretary Temjen Toy, former CM Dr SC Jamir and other state officials.
Later, addressing the ‘at home’ ceremony at Raj Bhavan in Kohima on Sunday, Ravi paid homage to the leaders of the Naga People’s Convention (NPC), the founding fathers of Nagaland, in which Dr Imkongliba Ao served as the first president.
“By dedicating our Durbar Hall and naming it Dr Imkongliba hall, we just want to tell that you still live in the hearts of Nagaland,” said Ravi. He said that one can only imaginable how the founding fathers underwent “extraordinary circumstances” at the time, to think what was best for the Naga people who were caught in the crossfire.
“Your fathers and grandfathers did what was unimaginable and today the state and people are reaping the benefits. So we remain grateful to your fathers and grandfathers and today is an attempt just to say a small thank you and a modest gesture that we have not forgotten and that you will forever remain in our hearts,” Ravi said.
Ravi also felicitated Dr SC Jamir, lone surviving member of the NPC, along with the families of 20 Naga personalities including Dr Imkongliba Ao.
Meanwhile, CM Neiphiu Rio also paid homage to the NPC leaders, whose efforts made way for the inking of the ‘16 Point Agreement’ leading to the creation of the state. Rio acknowledged the governor for renaming the Durbar Hall after the Naga leader and further congratulated Dr SC Jamir for being conferred the Padma Bhushan.
Dr Imkongliba Ao’s son, who received the honour on his behalf, said: “One will find it hard either to overlook or ignore the privileges and advantages our people have got following the creation of this state as a result of sacrifices made by its pioneers” and also expressed gratitude for the honour given to his late father and the other Naga personalities.
The hexagonal Durbar Hall, located on a slightly higher level than the Raj Bhavan ground, was constructed in 1988 during the tenure of General (Retd) KV Krishna Rao, as governor.