New Delhi, Oct 29 : Notwithstanding hiccups in peace talks between the Naga militant groups and the Centre, all kinds of arrangements are being made at various quarters for the success of Hornbill Festival - an annual tourism bonanza hosted in Nagaland in the first week of December.
The Ministry of External Affairs run Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has also chipped in and is in touch with the state government to facilitate travel and stay of foreigners in the state during the festival which is likely to get underway from December 1.
The Council addresses its mandate of 'cultural diplomacy' through a broad range of activities including organising cultural festivals in various parts of the country and overseas.
The Hornbill Festival is organised every year in the first week of December by the state government in coordination with various social groups.
The seven to ten day long Hornbill festival is linked to merry making of fun loving Nagas and also reflects the Naga sense of unity of purpose; hard-work and bravery.
Last week the Nagaland Government and a key player in travel and hospitality sector Airbnb announced 'Alternate Accommodation' partnership for the Nagaland Hornbill Festival, which showcases the rich cultural heritage of the state.
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who was present on the occasion, said, "The importance of economic development in the North-East for inclusive growth of India and the central role of tourism in the region to put India on the global tourism map, has been reiterated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on several occasions".
Sources said the ICCR lately has got in touch with representatives in other northeastern states such as Manipur and Meghalaya to organise programmes for the visits of the foreign delegates and cultural groups from various countries.
"Culture is India's biggest asset in diplomacy and this is being given further impetus in the last five years especially at the directives of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who firmly believes in India's soft power," a source said. (UNI)