| Dancers perform during Saleni festival at Pfosemai village on Friday. Telegraph picture |
Pfosemai (Manipur), July 29: The festival of Saleni, celebrated by the Mao indigenous community, today became the platform for the two villages of Pfosemai and Viswema in Nagaland to reaffirm their 2001 peace treaty.
Pfosemai invited Viswema villagers to the festival to reaffirm the treaty. Representatives of village councils, student unions, youth organisations and other organisations from the neighbouring villages of Nagaland and Manipur were also invited. Pfosemia has signed peace treaties with 32 villages of Nagaland and Manipur.
The king of Maos, Pf. Kaikho, invoked the traditional blessings on the two villages and on the thousands who attended the celebrations.
According to history, every Naga village was a sovereign entity and there were wars between the villages for supremacy. Pfosemia, 35km from Kohima near Nagaland border, had first made peace with Khonoma in Nagaland in 1800 and had signed the last treaty with Viswema and Kezoma in 2001. To strengthen their bond, they had opened a joint bank account, which now has Rs 12 lakh, for the welfare of the two welfare. In 2001, Congress MLA K.V. Pusa, who was the chief guest at the celebrations, had donated Rs 1 lakh, which has now reached Rs 12 lakh.
Pusa observed that the achievement of Naga political goal as envisioned by early Naga “nationalists” appeared to be going farther from reality. In the current political scenario, where the Nagas were disunited, their cultural uniqueness was getting diluted and their economy was not self-supportive, the crisis was phenomenal.
He called upon the Nagas to take pride in their identity and asked them to come forward and take up the challenge and help usher in a secure future for Naga people.
He urged them to rise above “ideological differences and work for the greater interests of the Nagas as a whole”.
“We should no longer remain in the cocoon of tribal mentality when global boundaries are opening up, to broaden economic opportunities for optimal growth,” he added.