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NPF responds to Congress
Published on 25 Oct. 2009 1:01 AM IST
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Nagaland People’s Front (NPF) on Saturday said that “murmuring” about how Hornbill Festival was introduced or the concept of adopting tourist villages etc with “negative attitudes” would not achieve anything good. NPF vice president (central) and i/c press bureau TL Merry said this in a press release in clear response to Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) assertion that it was Congress government led by SC Jamir, which introduced the much publicized and celebrated Hornbill festival and the system of adopting tourism villages in the state. Replying to Congress’s allegation that DAN government had done nothing for promotion for Naga culture but spending crores of rupees in the name of road show, the NPF said: “investment on ‘Road Shows’ has a clear target – enhancement of community wealth, employment generation, ecological conservation and regeneration and percolation of economic benefits to the rural sector through tourism.” While admitting that Congress government led by Dr S.C. Jamir did introduce ‘Hornbill Festival’, the NPF i/c press bureau said the flow of National/overseas tourists and official dignitaries have multiplied significantly during DAN regime with Neiphiu Rio as chief minister. Further, pointing out that Nagaland, having vast and varied types of natural resources, was home to several different ethnic tribes, each having its own culture and dialect, the NPF vice president (central) said the state government have “relentlessly” tried various ways and means of tapping these resources and rich Naga cultural heritage as a tool towards building up “multidimensional benefits.” Maintaining that tourism has emerged as world’s largest export industry and has become a unique instrument for economic development as well as promoting social integration and National/International understanding, the NPF leader said: “However, in many cases the benefits of tourism may elude the more deprived sections of the local population, who are the most in need of avenues of poverty alleviation unless new/pragmatic working models favorable to the people and state of Nagaland are crafted and implemented.” TL Merry averred that ‘Road Shows’ were painstaking efforts of DAN government to reach targeted communities to pave way and ensure enhancement of community wealth and equitable distribution of benefits. Also, appraising that all expenditures incurred by departments were voted budget, the NPF said strong possibility of “potential kickbacks of economic benefits” was possible and needed to be negotiated with “insight and sensitivity.” “The Road Show exercise is a bridge towards promoting tourism for the different tribal communities spread over the different districts by building on the strengths of the traditional system rather than by displacing them by radical substitutes which will only culminate in total dependency on outside agencies and institutions,” the TL Merry said.

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