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Good morning. Ladies and gentlemen, it is a great honour for me to be here amongst the friendly Nagas to celebrate the world famous Hornbill Festival. I greet you on this joyous festive season. I congratulate the Nagas for organizing this wonderful festival, which aims to preserve, promote and protect the unique cultural diversity and rich traditions of Nagaland. 

I also congratulate the people on the occasion of 51st anniversary of Nagaland’s statehood. On this auspicious day, I urge the Nagas that after 50 years of statehood, Look back! Introspect! And take stock of the ground you have covered so far and what remains to be achieved. I have seen the strength of your society today. A very rich cultural heritage. This must be promoted. 

Your culture must not only be interpreted as your colourful dances and songs, but the Naga culture of sturdiness, honesty, simplicity, reflected in all your deliberations and actions. The Naga way of life means pride in your inherent strong character and your hard working attitude. 

I also know that you have a rich biodiversity. Your region is located in one of the 25 hot bio-diversity areas of the world. This must be protected at all costs, even as your embark on sustainable development of your resources. People will come to your state for investment or tourism and they will do so because of your amazing bio-diversity and salubrious climate. 

Nagaland is blessed in having a young population well-versed in the English language and in tune with what is happening around the world. This is an advantage which must be tapped. You must capture the IT outsourcing business of the world in this part of the country. 

I also greatly admire the equal position of Naga women in the Naga society. I recall how smartly our young Naga women jawaans worked while deployed during the Delhi Commonwealth Games. This participation brought great pride to our nation and was a shining example for our womenfolk across the country. The contribution of half of our population to the growth of our society is immeasurable. 

Nagas are sports-loving people and have the potential to perform well in disciplines such as boxing, tae kwon do, football and archery. I feel that these activities must be promoted in a systematic way to realize the potential of the people of the region, given the right direction. 

I know that it has been over a decade since Prime Minister Vajpayee visited Nagaland. I think, nowadays, if I want to come to Nagaland from Delhi, or if anyone from here wants to go to Delhi, it hardly takes 10-15 hours. But Prime Ministers took more than 10 years to reach here. I assure the people of Nagaland that you will not have to wait this long for the Prime Minister to visit again. I assure you. I will be happy to come often to meet the people of Nagaland. 

I will come back to see to it that everything that I have mentioned becomes a reality. 

Come, let us together build a new, resurgent, stronger and more prosperous India, as well as our Nagaland. 

Friends, for the last 2-3 days, I have been in this part of our country. I think it is the first time that an Indian Prime Minister has stayed in the North-East for 3 days. In India, the word “SEZ” is very popular. Special Economic Zone. But after being here for the last three days, I must say that it is not only SEZ, it is NEZ. When I say NEZ, I mean Natural Economic Zone. The other parts of India will have to find man-made Special Economic Zones. But here, Natural Economic Zones (already exist). But unfortunately, they are untapped. 

It is my priority to nourish this NEZ for NE, North-East. NE is meant for NEZs. NEZs are meant for NE. 

I took charge as the Prime Minister six months back. And I would like to mention some of the initiatives we have taken for the North-East in the last 6 months. I am sure that this is the right time to mention these initiatives as we are celebrating the Hornbill Festival and preparing for Christmas. 

The scheme called “Ishaan Uday” is a special scholarship for students from the North-East, under which 10,000 students will benefit. The scheme called “Ishaan Vikas” will provide opportunities for internships and visit at IITs, NITs, NIFTs in other parts of India during vacation for the students of North-East. Every year 2,000 students and 500 teachers will benefit from this scheme. 

We have decided to establish one modern apparel garment manufacturing centre in every state of North-East. We know that we have a rich heritage in the field of textiles. We have a mastery in weaving. Our women carry this art in their fingers, and we have to utilize this capability for the development of this area. And for that, we have decided to begin with Nagaland, Assam and Sikkim. The Central Government will spend 20 crore rupees for this new programme. 

During the tenure of the Vajpayee government, a unique decision was taken by Atalji. It was decided at that time that 10% of the Annual Plan Budget will be spent on the North-East states. My government has made a provision of Rs 53,000 crore in the Union Budget for development of the North-East. Rs 28,000 crore will be provided for construction of 14 new railway lines. There are so many tourists here from other parts of India and foreign countries. This is the best tourist destination. All we need is road, rail, and air connectivity to develop tourism here. 

Energy is lifeline. We cannot do anything without energy or power. The North-Eastern region power system improvement project has been sanctioned at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore for six North-Eastern states including Nagaland. This will strengthen intra-state transmission and distribution systems. Our goal is 24x7x365 power supply. 

Nowadays, the meaning of infrastructure has totally changed. Even if you have road-rail-air connectivity, it is not enough. You require Digital Connectivity too. Under the Comprehensive Telecom Development Plan for the North-Eastern region, we have sanctioned Rs 5,000 crore for 2G mobile coverage for enhanced connectivity between this area and the world. 

We have decided to establish a National Sports University in Manipur, and the people of Nagaland will be among primary beneficiaries of this sports university. 

We have decided to set up 6 new Agriculture Colleges in North-East. I am sure that North-East can become India’s Capital of Organic Agriculture. North-East can become a source of Organic Agriculture products for the world and for humanity. 

Friends, it is a great opportunity for me to be a part of this Hornbill festival. We are very eager to develop our tourism sector. There is a tremendous untapped scope for India in this field of tourism, and we are focussing on it. There are people, even in India, who do not know what a rich bio-diversity we have in this part of India. 

Seeing is believing. And I am sure that people here from different parts of India can see what a unique cultural heritage this part has. I am sure that this Hornbill Festival will improve the tourism sector of Nagaland, the people of Nagaland will be beneficiaries of this growth. And when the people of Nagaland become prosperous, the whole country will be the beneficiary. 

I am thankful that the Chief Minister invited me to attend this festival. I am sure that in the next 10 days of this festival, lakhs of people will come here to be a part of this festival. Thank you very much. 

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Namaskar!

Wishing you all a very Happy 7th International Yoga Day!

Today, when the whole world is battling the corona pandemic, Yogahas remained a ray of hope. Even though no major public events have been organized in countries around the world and in India for almost two years, the enthusiasm for Yoga Day has not diminished a bit. Despite Corona, the theme of this year's Yoga Day "Yoga for Wellness" has intensified the enthusiasm for Yoga among crores of people. I pray that every country, society and individual stays healthy, and let's all come together to become each other's strength.

Friends,

Our sages had termed Yogaas "समत्वम् योग उच्यते"i.e., remaining steadfast in every situation. They had made restraint a parameter of Yoga, being resolute in happiness and sorrow. Today Yoga has proved itin this global tragedy. In these one and a half years, so many countries, including India, have faced a huge crisis.

Friends,

Yoga Day is not the age-old cultural festival for most of the countries of the world. People could easily forget and ignore it in this difficult time. But on the contrary, the enthusiasm and love for Yoga has increased among the people. In the last one and a half years, there have been lakhs of new Yoga seekers in every part of the world. Everyone is trying to implement the first synonym of Yoga, which is said to be restraint and discipline, in their life.

Friends,

When the invisible virus of Corona hit the world, no country was prepared for it, from the point of capabilities, resources, or mental toughness. We have seen that Yoga became a great medium of self-confidence in the face of adversity. Yoga helped people to muster confidence to fight this disease.

When I talk to frontline warriors and doctors, they tell me that they also made Yoga their protective shield in the fight against Corona. Doctors also made themselves strong with Yoga, and also used it to help their patients recover quickly. Today, one finds so many stories from hospitals where doctors and nurses are teaching Yoga to patients, and patients sharing their experiences. The experts of the world are also stressing the importance of breathing exercises like ‘Pranayama’ and ‘Anulom-Vilom’ for strengthening our respiratory system.

Friends,

The great Tamil saint Thiruvalluvar has said: "नोइ नाडी, नोइ मुदल नाडी, हदु तनिक्कुम, वाय नाडी वायपच्चयल" i.e., if there is a disease, diagnose it, go to its root, find out what is the cause of the disease, and then ensure its treatment. Yoga shows this way. Today medical science also lays equal emphasis on healing and Yoga is beneficial in the healing process. I am satisfied that today experts from all over the world are conducting various types of scientific research on this aspect of Yoga.

Many studies are being done on the benefits of Yoga to our body, on the positive effects it has on our immunity. Nowadays we see that in many schools, children are being taught Yoga-Pranayama for 10-15 minutes before the start of the online classes. It is also preparing the children physically to fight against Corona.

Friends,

The sages of India have taught us-

व्यायामात् लभते स्वास्थ्यम्,

दीर्घ आयुष्यम् बलम् सुखम्।

आरोग्यम् परमम् भाग्यम्,

स्वास्थ्यम् सर्वार्थ साधनम् ॥

That is, by doing Yoga, we get good health, strengthand a long happy life. For us health is the greatest fortune, and good health is the means of all success. Whenever the sages of India have spoken about health, it is not only physical health. That is whythere is so much emphasis on mental health in Yoga along with physical health. When we do ‘Pranayama’, meditate andperform other yogic activities, we experience our inner-consciousness. Through Yoga, we experience our inner strength which is so strong that no problem of the world, no negativity can shatter us. Yoga shows us the path from stress to strength and from negativity to creativity. Yoga takes us from depression to ecstasy and from ecstasy to blessing.

Friends,

Yoga tells us that so many problems might be out there, but we have infinite solutions within ourselves. We are the biggest source of energy in our universe. We do not realise this energy because of the many divisions that exist. At times, the lives of people exist in silos. These divisions reflect in the overall personality as well. The shift from silos to union is Yoga. A proven way to experience a realisation of oneness is Yoga. I am reminded of the words of the great Gurudev Tagore, who said and I quote:"the meaning of our self is not to be found in its separateness from God and others, but in the ceaseless realization of Yoga, of union."

The mantra of वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम्’, which India has followed since ages, is now finding global acceptance. We all are praying for each other's wellbeing, if there are threats to humanity,Yoga often gives us a way of holistic health. Yoga also gives us a happier way of life. I am sure Yoga will continue playing its preventive, as well as positive role in healthcare of masses.

Friends,

When India proposed the International Day of Yoga in the United Nations, the spirit behind it was to make this Yoga science accessible to the entire world. Today, India has taken another important step in this direction along with the United Nations and WHO.

Now the world is going to get the power of the m-Yoga app. In this app, many videos of Yoga training will be available in different languages of the world based on the common Yogaprotocol. It is also a great example of the fusion of modern technology and ancient science. I am sure the m-Yoga app will play a big role in expanding Yoga across the globe and making the efforts of One World, One Health a success.

Friends,

It is said in the Gita:

तं विद्याद् दुःख संयोग-

वियोगं योग संज्ञितम्।

That is, Yoga is liberation from suffering. We have to carry forward this journey of humanity, which is Yoga, by taking everyone along. No matter what the place, situation, age, Yoga definitely has some solutionfor everyone. Today the number of people who are curious about Yoga is increasing very much in the world. The number of Yoga establishments in the country and abroad is also increasing. In such a situation, it is necessary that the basic philosophy of Yoga should reach every person while keeping intact its foundation and core.And this work should be done by the people associated with Yoga, the masters of Yoga andYoga preachers together. We ourselves have to take the pledge of Yoga, and we have to connect our loved ones also with this resolution. This mantra of 'Yoga to Cooperation' will show us the way to a new future and will empower humanity.

I wish you and the entire human race the very best on International Yoga Day.

Many thanks!