India: Manipur CM Biren Singh announces commencement of HUN Thadou Cultural Festival 2023
India: Manipur CM Biren Singh announces commencement of HUN Thadou Cultural Festival 2023 || Picture Courtesy: Facebook

Manipur, India: N Biren Singh, the Chief Minister of Manipur, inaugurated the five-year HUN Thadou Cultural Festival 2023 on Tuesday at Thomas Ground in the Kangpokpi district. The festival will last for two days.

In connection with a celebration held under the banner of a “drug-free society,” CM Biren Singh also unveiled a souvenir.

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The chief minister said during his speech that the current administration is people-centred and upholds the prime minister’s slogans of ‘One Earth, One Family, and One Future’, which in Hindi (language spoken in India) means Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, and Sabka Prayaas.

He emphasised that throughout the previous six years, the administration has placed a strong emphasis on the need to protect individual identities and advance a “drug-free society.” Additionally, he said that the Sangai Ethnic Park in Moirang Khunou now contains traditional cottages for each of the 35 communities thanks to the current administration.

The chief minister outlined that he thinks that by doing this, the administration will be able to acknowledge and appreciate the diverse communities coexisting in the state. The CM emphasised that the harmony in the variety of the numerous communities coexisting in the state is what makes Manipur and India beautiful.

He also brought up the subject of drug usage, noting that the state is home to more than a lakh drug addict, and vowed to keep up the fight for the complete elimination of illegal drug use and poppy farming. As the state’s chief minister, he demanded a stop to the production of illegal drugs, poppy farming, and deforestation.

Singh also spoke on the actions being taken by the state’s government, such as the CMHT and PMJAY programmes. He added that the government agreed to introduce the ‘Manipur One Household One Livelihood Scheme’ during the most recent cabinet meeting. Under this programme, anyone from a household without a source of income can apply for a loan of Rs 10 lakh with a 30% grant. He continued by saying that the budget had set up Rs 100 crore for this programme.

Singh also emphasised the necessity to filter immigrants coming into the state illegally to prevent them from taking away from the share of the indigenous populations.

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The chief minister also announced the creation of a cabinet committee, headed by Minister Letpao Haokip, with the assistance of the Ministers for Water Resources Awangbow Newmai and Education Basanta Singh, whose task will be to identify illegal immigrants who fled the conflict-torn country of Myanmar and to set up transitional housing facilities in preparation for their return.

He also appreciated the Thadou people, one of Manipur’s largest and longest-established ethnic groups. CM Singh also praised the All Manipur Christian Association’s pledge to fight the drug epidemic and poppy production in the state.

The chief minister urged the residents of Kangpokpi to commit opposition to the growing of poppies and illegal narcotics. He promised the people would soon see progress in the fight against narcotics.

He also emphasised the need to safeguard and preserve the forest cover, screen illegal immigrants, and end poppy farming. He also urged all groups in the state to live in harmony. The festival’s selection of the topic of a “drug-free society” received praise from the chief minister as well.

The Hun Festival is one of the greatest celebrations in the Thadou community, Minister Nemcha Kipgen emphasised. It is a moment for the community to pray for a happy year ahead and is observed at the beginning of the year, she explained.

She added that the custom of young children praying to their grandparents for blessings is a crucial component of the event.

The minister emphasised that the festival’s theme is a “drug-free society” and that in order to realise this objective, it is essential to start with children. She stated her hope that the event would significantly contribute to developing a drug-free society in the state and promote harmony and peace among its local communities.

The residents of Kangpokpi gave the chief minister and other officials a hearty traditional greeting upon their arrival. Traditional melodies and dances highlighted the festival’s opening session.