NEW DELHI, Aug 24 - Hailing the Naga peace process, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday expressed his confidence that successful talks with NSCN(I-M) will bear good results for entire Northeast.
The Prime Minister, who was addressing the birth centenary celebration of the legendary woman freedom fighter Rani Gaidinliu, made a reference about the agreement with NSCN(I-M) which has been kept under tight wraps. It was due to the efforts of successive governments that such an agreement with the Nagas could be reached.
�Peace and development of the north-eastern region is crucial for the overall development of the country,� Modi said.
The Prime Minister, referring to his Government�s initiatives for the development of the Northeast, reiterated that the progress of the Northeast will provide a big boost to the development of the entire nation. He said the Land Boundary Agreement signed recently with Bangladesh would help improve connectivity of the region with the rest of the country.
At the function organised by the Union Ministry of Culture and held at the Vigyan Bhavan, the Centre made an all-out effort to celebrate the birth centenary of the legendary freedom fighter of the Northeast. At least four senior Union Ministers, namely Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh, Dr Mahesh Sharma and Dr Jitendra Prasad Singh, Nagaland Governor PB Acharya, besides Chief Ministers of Nagaland and Manipur TR Zeliang and O Ibobi Singh were in attendance.
Significantly, a booklet brought out on the occasion did not forget to mention Rani Gaidinliu�s connection with organisations like the VHP. She met MS Golwalkar of the RSS in Guwahati in the early Seventies.
Bala Saheb Deshpande of Kalyan Ashram met her at Kohima in 1978. She went to Allahabad in 1979 to attend the second World Hindu Conference organised by the VHP, it said.
Meanwhile, releasing the special edition coins of Rs 100 and Rs 5 brought out in honour of Rani Gaidinliu, the Prime Minister said efforts are being made to improve connectivity in the region and the all State capitals will be connected with Railways.
The Prime Minister, who recalled his experience of the Northeast, made special mention about the delicious pineapples grown in the region and also about the hot chillis of Nagaland.
He lamented that though she fought against the British rulers to free the country from their clutches, but she spent a few months in jail even after India attained freedom and even thereafter she was not allowed to go to her village. He said India has not been made by kings or rulers, but by its people.
Noting that India has been made by the people, the Prime Minister said it is unfortunate that even after so many years of independence, several people who fought for freedom are not so well known.
Speaking on the occasion, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Government is determined to take every step possible to improve connectivity and education facility in the north-eastern region.
Jaitley said the Naga peace accord and the Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement will bring peace and prosperity to the region.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said peace and development in the North Eastern Region is vital for the country�s development. Singh said Rani Gaidinliu�s work during the freedom movement should reach every nook and corner of the country.
Singh held that the historians were at fault because they ignored the eminent figures and prominent freedom fighters of the region, as a result of which the rest of the country was unaware about them.
In the North East, the Home Minister said there were some elements which have been always planting seeds of doubt among the people against the Centre, thus resulting in a sense of alienation. That is why the Prime Minister has directed all central ministers to frequently visit the North East to dispel the sense of isolation.
Minister of DoNER Jitendra Singh announced Rs 9 crore to set up a museum and library in honour of Rani Gaidinliu in Kohima.
Both the Chief Ministers in their address stressed on the need for the Centre to include figures like Rani Gaidinliu in the textbooks, so that the students are aware about the contributions of the North-East.
Describing the life history of Rani Gaidinliu as an inspiration to all young Indians, the Manipur Chief Minister referred to the recommendation of the Human Resource Development Ministry to include appropriate text on the life of Rani Gaidinliu in NCERT textbooks of classes I to X. He said, �This will go a long way in promoting national integration, as well as women empowerment.�