Imphal: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Manipur Sangai Festival, as the grandest festival in Manipur, helps in promoting Manipur as a world-class tourist destination.
Modi was addressing the closing function of the Manipur tourism festival via a video message at the Bheigyachandra Open Air Theatre.
“Manipur Sangai Festival highlights the spirit and passion of the people of Manipur”, the Prime Minister said.
He stressed on Manipur’s abundant natural beauty, cultural richness and diversity, and said everyone wants to visit the state at least once and drew an analogy to a beautiful garland that is made up of different gems. The Prime Minister said, “Manipur is exactly like an elegant garland where one can witness a mini India in the state.”
Chief minister N. Biren Singh, who was the chief host of the event, said that Union Tourism minister G. Kishan Reddy, who was in the state for the opening of the Festival, had during his visit assured Rs 100 crore for development of tourist spots in the state including the Sangai Ethnic Park.
Highlighting various events and programmes conducted during the 10-day long festival including MMA event, indigenous wrestling, Sagol Kangjei, international polo, cultural shows, among others, the chief minister said the festival is conducted at 14 venues across the state.
He said that the Festival, celebrated this year with the theme ‘Festival of Oneness’, aims to spread the message of unity and oneness in the state and country.
Biren also highlighted high profile visits from Consul General US (Kolkata), Consul General France (Kolkata), US Consulate General, Ambassadors of Myanmar/ Thailand/ Cambodia and High Comissioner of Brunei and others during the festival. He said Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan brought along a cultural troupe strengthening the spirit of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.
Chief guest of the closing event, Union minister of Law and Justice, Kiren Rijiju said “We always feel proud of our culture and identity. The vibrancy of Manipur, its vibrant culture as well as natural beauty of Manipur has been attractive all over.”
“Manipur is a unique state which really shines in all spheres of life,” he said, before lauding the sporting potential of the state’s sportspersons. The Manipur sportsperson have been winning medals and displaying their skills and talents across the globe, he said.
Besides sports, the culture especially the art form of Manipuri dances and beautiful folk dances in the hills of Manipur are mesmerizing, he said further stressing that Manipur is a unique state which has unlimited potential to grow.
“I can also see the potential in various spheres of life, the youth of the Manipur must be ready to embrace the opportunity,” he said, adding that the government jobs and government works are very limited and the people must explore beyond the opportunities provided by the state government.
“Many people want to enjoy the life in a manner in which it has its form of originality. We must not lose our original and our traditional style because that is our identity we need not copy the western culture we may learn western culture and many things from western world but at the same time the inherent character of ourself that is so vital.” “I can see the tremendous progress of Manipur when you have this world class railways connectivity, air connectivity road facilities everything in next five to ten years time I can definitely say that Manipur will be flooded with tourist,” Rijiju said.
Chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Pema Khandu said the initiative of celebrating the Festival across the state with flavours of neighbouring states as well as the cultural taste from the South East Asian countries has truly defined the tagline of the festival—the Festival of Oneness.
The event was attended by Chief Justice and Justices of Manipur High Court, ministers, Rajya Sabha MP Maharaj Leishemba Sanajaoba, MLAs, chief secretary, DGP P. Doungel, among others.
A Cultural choreography and a fashion show enthralled that audience at a packed Bheigyachandra Open Air Theatre.