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Nagaland, the state reclaiming its place in India's heart and plans, celebrates Statehood Day

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Nagaland, known as the land of festivals, is one of the eight northeastern states that is located on India's farthest east side. It was formally inaugurated on December 01, 1963, 1 as the 16th state of the Indian Union.

New Delhi, Dec 01: Nagaland, the land of festivals, which after years of ignorance and neglect, is finally on the way to progress and development celebrates its Statehood Day today. On this day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his greeting to the people of Nagaland and said India takes great pride in the state's culture and prays for its continuous success in the years to come.

Nagaland Statehood Day

"Best wishes to the people of Nagaland on their Statehood Day. India takes great pride in the culture of Nagaland, which emphasises on courage, hardwork and living in harmony with nature. I pray for the continuous success of Nagaland in the years to come," the PM tweeted.

Located on India's farthest east side, Nagaland is one of the eight northeastern states which was formally inaugurated on December 01, 1963, as the 16th state of the Indian Union. It is bordered by Myanmar in the east, Arunachal Pradesh in the north, Assam in the west, and Manipur in the south.

The state has 17 major tribes along with other sub-tribes. Each tribe is distinct in character from the other in terms of customs, language and dress.

One of us finally!

As the state celebrates its special day, the video of Temjen Imna Along, Minister of Higher Education & Tribal Affairs in Nagaland government, has gone viral. In the clip, he speaks about how the changes have happened under the BJP rule and how the state finally feels proud that it is a part of the country.

"When I got down at Delhi railway for the first time in 1999, there were more people in railway station than entire Nagaland. People asked where is Nagaland. Do we need visa to go to Nagaland? People spread fake news like in Nagaland people eat humans... looking at me they had more reason to believe it (laughs)," he said.

He then explains that people had a reason to believe considering the different food styles and thinking of the Naga people. "Atal Bihari Vajpayee gave us the first 4-lane highway. Now, there are 17-18 highways. People used to make big promises to us. In the previous UPA government, the Prime Minister did not bother to visit us. Now we are scared because ministers will come here and ask why this work has not been completed. For the first time people here are feeling proud to be part of this country," he added.

It has to be noted that Nagaland has the longest length of National Highways (NH) per 1,000 sq. km. in the North East Region (NER), while the region as a whole has more NH density than the national average.

Land of festivals:
Nagaland is known as the land of festivals. All through the year, the state has festive activities as all tribes celebrate their own festivals with a pageantry of colour, music and dance. Most of these festivals revolve around agriculture as over 85 per cent of the population of Nagaland is directly dependent on agriculture.

The Hornbill festival reflects the rich culture, lifestyle, and food habits of Nagaland. It is the largest celebration of the Indigenous Warrior Tribes of Nagaland and is generally celebrated for 10 days.

Area: 16,579 square kilometres (6,401 sq. mi)
Population: 1,980,602 per the 2011 Census of India
Tribes: Angami, Ao, Chakhesang, Chang, Dimasa Kachari, Khiamniungan, Konyak, Kuki, Lotha, Phom, Pochury, Rengma, Sangtam, Sumi, Tikhir, Yimkhiung and Zeliang.

About 60 per cent of Nagaland's population is in the working age group of 15-59 years. The population of Nagaland is 2.3 million. A majority of the population in the state speaks English, which is the official language of the state.

Literacy Rate
As per Census 2011, the literacy rate for Nagaland is 79.55%. The literacy rate for females and males are 76.11% and 82.75%, respectively. During the last decade, the literacy rate was only 66.6% with female literacy rate of 61.5% and male literacy rate of 71.2%. The female literacy rate has increased by 14.61% over the last decade.

Major Sectors in Nagaland
In Nagaland, Bamboo is extensively cultivated, with bamboo growing stock covering about 5% of the total stock in the country. The state had 46 species of bamboo as of 2019 which find use in various applications such as food based, medicinal usage, handicraft, art, tiles and flooring.

According to a statement from the government, Nagaland has immense potential to produce organic honey and pollen due to its rich biodiversity, traditional knowledge, practice of beekeeping and numerous honeybee species. It is estimated to have the potential to produce 15,000 MT of honey and 100 MT of wax, which together could generate around US $ 100 million annually. Nagaland Beekeeping and Honey Mission (NBHM)10, the nodal agency for honey production in the State, has implemented the Van Dhan Yojana programme solely for beekeeping activity.

Nagaland produces horticulture crops such as banana, pineapple, passion fruit and orange. Naga chilli, one of the world's spiciest chillies, is grown in the state. About 79% of the state's total cultivable area in under horticulture plantation. The Horticulture Technology Mission (HTM) has helped to a great extent in popularizing the cultivation of horticultural crops.

Kiwi State of India
Kiwi is one of the major horticultural crops of Nagaland and is grown in an area of 500 hectares. The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar in November, 2020 expressed that Nagaland has enough potential to become "Kiwi State of India".

The Ministry of Agriculture is trying to provide handholding support to Kiwi farmers across the country. This is also in line with the call of 'Vocal for Local' which will help in reducing dependence on imports and building a sustainable market for locally produced Kiwi fruit variants.

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