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On Shirui festival

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Finally! the much anticipated extravaganza conceptualized to showcase and promote the diverse socio-cultural heritage and the rich traditional wealth of the Ukhrul district has kicked off without a glitch. Credit goes to the state government led by Chief Minister N. Biren Singh.

Even though Ukhrul town could not be transformed within the  short span of time, hopes to make town a center for tourist has been given by the Chief Minister N Biren Singh.

However, every resource to attract visitors has been utilized to make Ukhrul Town and Shirui village. Despite the best efforts and undoubtedly noble intentions which had made tremendous improvements in the public facilities and certain infrastructures, a closer look into the activities brings to light various clear indications of the haphazard and rushed nature of it all.

Many constructions either for protection of the state flower – the Shirui Lily are yet to be taken up. Now that the Shirui Festival is underway, one cannot help feeling apprehensive about the longevity of the commitment the State Government initiated towards protection of the state treasures and developing its surrounding.

If previous instances are any indications, we will be seeing a change in inertia and a visible drop in enthusiasm making the whole efforts an exercise in futility. The incredible potential for attracting tourism in the State has been well known and even documented. From the enchanting misty mountains to the incredibly beautiful ethnic handiworks and crafts, from the inherently hospitable people to the excellent climatic condition, the unbelievably beautiful and mysterious caves and lakes- this small state has it all, and in no small measures. This naturally endowed land has been wasted and neglected for centuries, our inability to see the big picture, occupied as we are in finding ways to secure our own personal lives through means fair or foul being the main reason.

With the air connectivity with our neighboring Asian countries yet to be functioned, it would be an act of utter foolishness not to cash in on the euphoria and enthusiasm such a development has created. Without going into the details of the nitty-gritty of tourism and it’s pros and cons, it is an undeniable truth that with proper planning, timely and effective checks and due diligence, tourism would only improve the economy, change the perceptions of the local people towards the visitors and their way of life, adopt a more tolerant view of things and most importantly help in propagating our cultures and traditions throughout the world. For all these to happen, basic infrastructures and basic amenities must be put in place and make the whole state a tourist friendly one. A lot more needs to be done to be where we want this State to be from where we are now. Only a dedicated, committed and sustained effort can make things possible. Working in fits and starts will get us nowhere.


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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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