On the festive occasion of Christmas 2011 and the New Year which is to dawn in a few days time, my wife I take great pleasure in greeting the people of Mizoram.
Christmas is an important occasion for Christians worldwide because it was at Christmas that God sent His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, into the world. To Christians it represents a time of reconciliation, of peace, of hope and of happiness. Preparations for the festivities are on in Mizoram as in other parts of the world and there is a general feeling of cheerfulness and goodwill.
Kerala my home State, like other States of the country is secular and there too Christmas is celebrated with much enthusiasm. People, irrespective of their religion, enjoy and celebrate the day with zest and gaiety. This would be our first Christmas here in Mizoram and my wife and I look forward to enjoying the spirit of merriment and festivity which is in the air.
While reveling in the festivities of Christmas let us remember the message of \"peace and goodwill\" that was proclaimed by the angels at Christmas. I am confident that the celebrations in Mizoram will be in the true spirit of Christmas that is love, peace, goodwill and benevolence.
Mizoram is blessed with nature\'s bounties. The beautiful landscape and moderate climate provide immense scope for developing tourism and tourist related industries. The hospitable disposition of the people coupled with the high literacy rate could make the State a tourist\'s attraction. Promotion and publicity of the various festivals and dances could draw tourists not only from the mainland but from different parts of the world.
Mizoram has immense potential. The Government is aware that agriculture and horticulture which have always been the mainstay of the Mizo people need to be augmented through scientific utilization of soil, improved variety of seed and a market through which farmers would be able to reap the benefits of their hard labour. Implementation of The New Land Use Policy (NLUP) for the coordinated development of rural areas is now in full swing. However the success of NLUP rest largely on the active participation of the beneficiaries and the line departments. I would call on them to work with enthusiasm and dedication for the success of this programme.
This year Mizoram celebrated the 25 anniversary of the signing of the Mizoram Peace Accord. This Accord, signed between the Government of India and the then underground Mizo National Front on June 30t 1986, stands out as one of the most successful and enduring peace accord inIndia. I congratulate the people of Mizoram for nurturing and sustaining peace because development and progress cannot be achieved without peace.
I would like to convey my appreciation of the active role being played by the Churches and the NGOs in supporting the Government\'s effort in various projects intended for the socioeconomic uplift of the society and in enlightening the citizens of the State on health related issues.
As a Nation we have performed well economically. The Government of India is committed to the welfare of all and is pursuing an inclusive growth agenda. We must not allow corruption or any divisive forces to threaten our security and unity.
As the New Year dawns on us let us resolve to stand united for the progress and glory of the State and the Nation.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.