Dr. K. Beichhua, Hon’ble Minister
Social Welfare & Tribal Affairs Department
Secretary, Director and Officials of the Department
Ladies and Gentlemen
I am very happy to be the Chief Guest at today’s Cultural Programme on the occasion of the 2nd Janjatiya Gaurav Divas, being celebrated across the country.
The Janjatiya Gaurav Divas signifies the immense importance given to the tribal community by the Government of India. The appointment of a tribal woman as the Hon’ble President of India is further testament to this.
All these developments are extremely welcome for our State of Mizoram, which has one of the highest tribal population in the country.
15th November, the birth anniversary of Birsa Munda, was declared as Janjatiya Gaurav Divas by the Government of India to commemorate the contributions of the tribal freedom fighters throughout India.
In Mizoram too, we know that Chieftess Ropuiliani resisted the British colonial rule, and even died as a British prisoner. I am delighted to learn that Tribal Freedom Fighter Ropuiliani Museum is under construction at Kelsih, a few kilometres from Aizawl.
As the name suggests, Janjatiya Gaurav Divas is also a day to celebrate and take pride in the rich tribal culture and heritage of our country. I am happy to see that in Mizoram, we have managed to beautifully preserve a number of our traditions and practices. It is indeed important to protect our culture and identity.
However, we must also interact with other cultures and communities, without compromising our safety and security. In this highly globalized world, I am sure we all understand that development and progress cannot take place in isolation.
The tribal community has contributed extensively in the Indian National Movement, and has further contributed extensively in the process of Nation-building.
The various tribes across the country with their unique cultures have added to India’s vibrant diversity. Despite the presence of a multitude of diverse communities, our country continues to be a strong democracy.
In some other parts of the world, we see that indigenous tribal populations are persecuted and discriminated against. On the contrary, in India, every citizen, regardless of community, is safeguarded and protected by the Constitution.
I am happy to learn that a series of programmes have been planned by the Department on this occasion, including processions of dancers in the districts, seminars at colleges, swachhta campaign, and many more. I have also learnt that the Eklavya schools have been involved as well. I wish all the programmes a grand success, and it is my desire that the rich tribal culture of our State will be showcased in a befitting manner.
I congratulate the Social Welfare & Tribal Affairs Department for successfully organizing today’s function. I thank the wonderful performers who have performed today, and I hope that the afternoon session will be a success as well. On this happy occasion, I convey my warm greetings and best wishes to all the people of Mizoram.