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Molungyimsen, 'Bethlehem of Nagaland': Neiphiu Rio

Neiphiu Rio inaugurates the Clark Light Tower, Saturday also seen (R-L) Parl. secy Yitachu and Pangnyu Phom. (NP)
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, MAR 19 (NPN):
Published on 20 Mar. 2011 12:55 AM IST
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State chief minister Neiphiu Rio Saturday said that Molungyimsen can be called the ‘Bethlehem of Nagaland’ and can become a pilgrimage site for Naga people because of its history. He further remarked that it was from this village where the Naga history changed from ‘darkness to light’ after Dr Clark and his wife sacrificed their lives in bringing Christianity to the Naga Hills from the village. Rio also urged the people to make a move through NBCC in declaring the village as a ‘holy site’ for Christians.
Addressing a gathering at Molungyimsen village after inaugurating the Clark Light Tower, Rio delved on the mission works carried out by Dr E W Clark and his wife Mary Mead. He also added that Dr Clark and his wife were not only missionaries but educators also. Reminding on the promise of sending ten thousand Christian missionaries from the state, Rio called for rejuvenating the promise and at the same time stressed on sending them especially to Naga inhabited areas in Myanmar.
Reiterating his stance on the issue of unity amongst the Nagas, Rio lamented that several ‘forces’ have divided the Nagas and stated that it was this disunity amongst the people that remained a stumbling block in solving the decades old Naga problem. “I won’t blame the British. I won’t blame India…it is because of our disunity” he said.
Replying to some developments issues raised by the villagers, the CM replied that the government has no money and everything depended on Delhi. “We are a poor state and therefore we should behave like the poor” Rio said. It may be noted that the villagers had urged Rio to seriously consider upgrading and uplinking the roads which were lying in a pitiable condition. Everybody including the CM got a taste of the pitiable condition of the roads while traveling to the village on Saturday morning.
Rio also urged the villagers to make the village into a historical village and a tourist destination rather than brining in more expansions plans due to the rich history attached to it. At the same time, he also cautioned of migration by the younger generation from the village in coming years due to several developments of infrastructures like the Railways.
However, he assured that the government will look into their demands and usher in development wherever found necessary. While averring that government was ready to bring in developments, Rio pointed out that the land owners issues have always remained a stumbling block in the state.
Chairman of Clark Community Development and Environmental Centre (CCD&EC) J Bendangtoshi IPS (rtd) in his speech elucidated on the activities of the centre and the historical events which took place during the formative years under Dr Clark.
He also mentioned that the Dr Clark was not only instrumental in spreading Christianity but was also one of the pioneers of establishing village schools, producing literary works and establishing medical services.
The CCD &EC chairman also thanked all the donors for their contribution towards construction of the Clark Light Tower. Rio was also accompanied by his cabinet colleagues.
DPRO Adds: Rio also declared Molungyimsen village as Naga Educational Heritage Village. The decision to this effect was earlier taken by the cabinet on March 16.
135 year ago Dr. E.W Clark and his wife Mary Mead came to Molungyimsen, the first missionaries to Naga Hills, started teaching the Gospel alongside imparting basic education to the villagers. Ao Students Conference earlier on 2003 named the village, Cradle of Education, and it was later affirmed by the NSF and today the state government officially declared the village as Educational Heritage village.

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