Aug, 09, 2022 04:29
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Imphal, December 13, 2019 (DIPR): Chief Minister Shri N. Biren Singh inaugurated the 2nd Barak Festival celebrated under the theme, ‘Confluence of Cultures’ with much fanfare and exciting display of colourful cultural items at Mini Stadium, Senapati District headquarters today.

Speaking on the occasion as the chief guest, Chief Minister Shri N. Biren Singh said that the State Government would make all-out efforts to internationalize the festival so that more visitors and tourists can be attracted from different parts of the country and the world. Much to the delight of the mammoth crowd gathered at the venue, the Chief Minister announced that the Central Organizing Committee’s proposal for hiking festival budget would be definitely considered. He also suggested the committee to organize the festival near the origin of Barak River or at any suitable site near the river from next year by adding adventure items like river rafting etc.

Making his observation that some festivals and functions sometimes lose their essence and public participation after these are taken over by the Government, Shri N. Biren Singh expressed his desire to fully hand over the responsibility of organizing Barak Festival to the people of Senapati District although necessary funds would be provided by the Government from next year. He said that Shirui Festival had witnessed a huge boom in the past couple of years in its magnitude and people’s enthusiasm because of great involvement of local people in holding the festival.

Regarding people’s movements against CAB in Assam and other States, the Chief Minister prayed for early restoration of peace and tranquility in Assam and other neighbouring States. He said that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Home Minister Shri Amit Shah had assured to constitutionally safeguard the political, linguistic, cultural and land rights of Assamese people as per the spirit of Clause 6 of Assam Accord 1985.

Regarding Manipur, he said that people should thank Shri Narendra Modi and Shri Amit Shah for extending Inner Line Permit to Manipur to protect the indigenous people of the State from the purview of CAB.

Earlier in the morning, the Chief Minister landed at the helipad of 59 Mountain Brigade located at Taphou Naga at around 10:50 am. From there, he reached the festival venue where he was welcomed by huge number of people clad in traditional attires amidst blowing of traditional horns. Presentation of mesmerizing cultural items by different troupes including a group from Dimapur was the main attraction of the day.

Public Health Engineering Minister Shri L. Dikho was the functional president of the celebration. Tourism Corporation of Manipur Ltd. Chairman Dr. S. Ranjan, Saitu AC MLA Shri Ngamthang Haokip, ADC Senapati Chairman Shri A. Kapani, former MLAs Shri Francis Ngajokpa, Shri Alexander Pao and Shri S.P. Henry, Additional Chief Secretary (RD&PR) Shri M.H. Khan, Secretary (Tourism) Smt. Nidhi Kesarwani, Senapati DC Shri Somorjit Salam and Director (Tourism) Shri W. Ibohal also attended the function among others.

Miss Barak Contest, Barak Voice Hunt, traditional wrestling, traditional car race, musical nights and presentation of cultural dance and music will be the main highlights of this year’s festival which will conclude tomorrow (December 14) with Deputy Chief Minister Shri Y. Joykumar as the chief guest. TA and Hills Minister Shri N. Kayisii will be the functional president. On the other hand, Forest and Environment Minister Shri Th. Shyamkumar and Karong AC MLA Shri D.D. Thaisii will attend the morning session of the festival as the chief guest and president respectively.

The festival, which takes its name from Barak River, is jointly organized by the Barak Festival Central Organizing Committee and the State Tourism Department. The idea of Barak Festival, as a collective celebration for the tribes of Senapati District comprising Mao, Maram, Poumai, Thangal and Zeliang, was conceived by Naga People’s Organization (NPO), and it was first celebrated in the year 2013. It was a district level festival in the beginning, however, Chief Minister Shri N. Biren Singh declared it as a State level festival in 2017. The first State level Barak Festival was held last year under the theme, ‘Sustaining Peace and Harmony’.