Senapati: Meghalaya chief minister, Conrad K Sangma inaugurated the Mao Students Union (MSU) Makhel Heritage Conclave commemorating its 88th anniversary and conference under the theme, “Rekindling our Heritage,” on Tuesday.
Loli Sheshuna, Convenor, COC in his welcome note stated that Makhel village is the place where it is considered the place where the Assamese, Meitei and the Naga tribe dispersed and almost all the tribes in the country traced their origin to Makhel village. Historically and culturally speaking, Makhel occupies a pivotal place in the hearts and minds of all these communities.
In his presidential address, Marikho O’Leriina, president, MSU stated that the event is a home coming event. Founded in the year 1933, the Mao Students Union during its 88 years of existence had reported to have rendered remarkable services to the people that has played a growingly important role in refining and shaping the future of the young generations. The torch of wisdom led by the pioneers had withstood the sense of time and stands tall and stronger. The village signifies to trace the root where several Naga tribes and other communities traced their origin. It is an inclusive heritage to welcome all those who have traced their origins at Makhel.
Kegwayhun Tep, president, Naga Students Federation in his greetings stated that the Nagas have come a long way as food gatherers and head hunters, conquering great distances over hills and plains. Out of the whims and mercies of nature, it is significant to note how the people who were considered as savages by the outside world a few decades ago have transcended into a new era of social changes and modernity within a brief period of time. Culture is the way of life where it binds the people together through a common identity as distinct people as Nagas. The student leader urged to adapt, evolve and push ourselves beyond one’s limitation if one wish to progress in tune with the rest of the world. One must understand that culture is not static, it involves as human develops. It creates and develop identity which is important that one does not remain prisoner of one’s own culture. One must endeavour to protect all that one has in one’s culture. Whatever is noble should be promoted to great heights but one should make every effort to eliminate those practices which are against human’s basic principles and those practices which lose down one’s social economic progress even if it has been practised for centuries. It is said that the easiest way to destroy the heritage of the people is when the youth starts to neglect its tradition, culture and values all the time. As a student and youth residing in Naga homeland and beyond by default, every youth is stated to be the ambassador of the people who shoulders the responsibility of building both national and international perspective towards the people, culture and identity. One’s action and its outcome determines how the outside world envisage the Naga people whether in good or in poor life. The student leader urged all to always remember that it is one’s outbound duty to protect and promote one’s culture, identity and safeguard the interest of the people wherever one goes be it in one’s campus, workplace or among friends, neighbourhood and one’s everyday lives. The NSF President called the future belongs to the youth as the society one sees at present is the by-product of one’s own design.
PHED Minister L. Dikho called the day as a historic one with the presence of Meghalaya chief minister to have graced the occasion and encouraged the gathering where his presence will be remembered by the people. The minister called the event as important by preserving the importance of culture and traditions and historical importance to bring the people together through such event. Minister Dikho is also hopeful that such conference held at heritage village could continue to bring blessing to all.
N. Kayisii, MLA, 49-Tadubi who is also the State president of the NPP in his speech lauded the Meghalaya chief minister who always aims to bring development in the northeast states. The former minister also urged the gathering to learn from them and get inspiration from the leaders urging the youth to become great in one’s future.
Y. Joykumar Singh, Dy. chief minister, Manipur as the special guest on the occasion stated to give importance to one’s culture and heritage. He lauded the Mao tribe to have developed in many fields. The Dy. chief minister stated that until and unless human resource is developed and extend a helping hand for each other, society cannot develop. It is known fact that the Meitei from their folklore has also originated from Makhel. He urged to live together and help each other to develop a society. Northeast India should be united in every field not just at a time of trouble but should cherish the good things one has. The DY CM also urged the youths not to indulge in drugs or any intoxicant to be in good health and sound mind. Joykumar also lamented on the wrong concept of education with sports where many think that indulgence in sports could distract one’s study. Few minutes of sports could inspire one’s study as he had experienced in his past life.
Speaking as the chief guest, Conrad Sangma, chief minister, Meghalaya lauded the student body for such grand preparation with large gathering. Conrad stressed on the importance of balancing both politics and culture with one’s identity, heritage and also to remember one’s roots.
India’s biggest strength and challenge is the youth of the nation if it could divert the energy and channelize it in a constructive manner could become India’s greatest strength or it could turn to destructive force for the nation. Policy making to ensure the channelizing of the youth to mould them, cultivate them and direct them and channelize their energy into constructive work will be only way to take the nation forward. That is why, youth, policy and focusing on the youth is very important where such conference could be another example of proper channelization of the youth to make them productive. Having attained 88 years of existence, the Meghalaya Chief Minister urged to make the youth as productive and to make the youth in the right sectors. The youth of the north east especially the tribals should come out beyond reservation mind to compete with the rest of the world in order to have a competitive mindset.
The later program continued with academic and debate session in the evening on the topic, “Modernity is a threat to our culture and identity”.