NEW DELHI: Lamenting that despite being such a wonderful place, the general attitude toward the North East to this day is largely characterised by ignorance, lack of appreciation and stereotyping in the rest of India, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday urged people to visit the region to appreciate its beauty and cultural richness.
The fact is that seven of the eight states of the region performed better than the country’s Human Development Index (HDI) in 2019, he underlined.
“But how many of us are aware of this?” Naidu asked.
Not many outside the region would know that the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report finds Nagaland as the safest state for women in India, he pointed out.
The vice president also said that Assam is world renowned for its tea and silk, while Manipur, a state with just 0.24 per cent of the country’s population, produces a good number of international sportspersons.
“True to its name, this ‘land of gems’ has given us rare gems like Mary Kom and Mirabai Chanu who have done India proud,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
Naidu said that after his seven-day trip to the region, he has returned assured that the North-East is witnessing a new era of resurgence.
“I have a better understanding of the men, matters, aspirations, challenges and opportunities of the region.
A welcome development is the decline in insurgency in the region.
I am confident that the north-eastern region would become totally free of insurgency in the near future in view of the various developmental initiatives and the strong desire of the people for peace and progress,” he said.
Naidu urged people from other parts of the country to visit the North-East to appreciate the natural beauty and cultural richness of the region.
“But it is disappointing to note that despite being such a wonderful place, the general attitude toward the north eastern region to this day is largely characterised by ignorance, lack of appreciation and stereotyping in the rest of India.
This must change,” he asserted.
“We have a lot to learn from the north-eastern states. Some time back, I saw a video of a road in Aizawl, Mizoram and was amazed to see motorists observing strict traffic discipline even though no traffic cop is in sight. This is a rare sight in other big Indian cities,” he said to drive home his point.
Naidu said although he wanted to cover all the states in the region, he decided against visiting Mizoram to enable the state administration focus more on dealing with an upsurge in COVID-19 cases.
Later this month, he will undertake a three-day visit to Sikkim and Darjeeling from October 20, he said.