Northeast no longer neglected: Aiyar

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Kohima, Jun 16 (UNI) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Minister Mani Shanker Aiyar today asserted that the words ''alienation'' and ''neglected'', often used for the Northeastern region, were no more valid as the region was being given full attention not only by the Centre, but also the people of the entire country.

Inaugurating the week-long 23rd Annual Convention of Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Among Youth (SPIC-MACAY) here, Mr Aiyar said the NE region has very rich diverse culture, which should be shared and exchanged with the culture of the other parts of the country.

He thanked the organisers of the SPIC-MACAY, especially the Nagaland University (NU), for providing such a wonderful opportunity to propagate the rich Naga culture and share it with the other parts of the country.

''The integration of the NE with the other parts of the country is increasing since the past few years owing to good communication system, especially in the IT sector,'' the DoNER Minister said.

He also appreciated the NU for establishing IT links with Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, through which the students of the NU could acquire knowledge on various subjects.

Nagaland Governor Kateekal Sankaranarayanan said that the union of the various forms of Indian classical music at the convention was a wonderful opportunity for Nagaland to exchange the valuable culture.

Appreciating the rich culture of the Nagas, he said if the Naga cultural artists were trained properly, they would be enabled to exhibit their talents and win the heart of the entire nation.

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, in his speech, appreciated the NU for keeping alive the dream of unity in diversity by organising such a cultural function in the state with the aim of universal brotherhood.

He said the NE region was already a hotspot of diverse culture and welcomed all visitors coming from outside and requested them to be the ambassadors of Nagaland to convey the state's message.

A galaxy of maestros, including Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pandit Rajan and Sajan Mishra, Pandit Viswamohan Bhatt, Mrs Ashwini Bhinde, Prof T N Krishann, Ustad R Fahimuddin Dagar, Mrs Bombay Jayashri, Ustad Asad Ali Khan, Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan, Prabhat Sarma, Guru Ghanakanta Bora and Mrs Suryamukhi Devi, besides a host of artists from all over the country are attending the week-long convention.

UNI AS DPM RN1531

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