Amid criticism, Nagaland clarifies Hornbill Festival will be held virtually

The opposition party Naga People’s Front has complained that the influx of international and domestic tourists into the state during the pandemic would prove catastrophic.
The tourism industry in Nagaland is largely dependent on the mega Hornbill Festival. (File photo)
The tourism industry in Nagaland is largely dependent on the mega Hornbill Festival. (File photo)
Updated on Oct 23, 2020 10:47 PM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times, Kohima | ByAlice Yhoshü

The Nagaland government has attracted criticism from various quarters after a notification of its tourism department asking allied departments to initiate preparations for the annual Hornbill Festival, which is held from December 1 till 10, was circulated on social media platforms.

Although the department had later clarified in sections of local media that the state’s premier festival would be organised virtually, opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) swiftly reacted against celebration of any festival amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The NPF issued a statement on Friday terming the move of the NDPP-BJP coalition government in the state as a ‘suicidal mission’ as Covid cases are spiking up day after day.

“Even if the celebration may be in virtual form, a festival is a festival, and in any festival, celebration without people’s participation there cannot be any celebration. Therefore, if the government is in the process to celebrate the festival without public participation then there is no need to hold any celebration,” the NPF said.

Reminding the government that the virus could not be stopped from entering the state even when total lockdown was imposed, the party questioned as to how far it was safe to celebrate the Hornbill Festival in whatever way the government was contemplating, and whether the government could assure the safety of participants.

While stating that the Hornbill Festival used to be a perfect opportunity to improve the state’s tourism sector and a time to showcase the traditional heritage of its tribes to the outside world, the opposition party felt that the influx of international and domestic tourists into the state during the pandemic would prove catastrophic.

The tourism department had recorded a total of 2,82,811 visitors in the 2019 edition of the Hornbill Festival, including 3,015 foreign tourists and 55,584 domestic tourists.

As of Friday, Nagaland’s Covid positive cases have reached 8,436, including 22 fatalities.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Topics
Close Story
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, December 08, 2021