“Youths of the State should be encouraged to keep the skills and creativity alive to enrich Manipuri culture”, said Governor of Manipur Dr. Najma Heptulla at the First Foundation Day of the Manipur University of Culture held today at the Auditorium of The Manipur State Film Development Society, Palace Gate, Imphal.

Speaking as the Chief Guest of the function, Dr. Najma Heptulla said that Manipur presents a distinctive and extremely rich cultural heritage with accent of old literature, folk, theatre, music and dance etc. It is our bounden duty to preserve, nurture and enrich Manipuri culture so that it may continue to enrich the Indian culture, she added. She further mentioned that the establishment of the University of Culture to preserve and propagate the rich cultural heritage of the State is laudable and has a special significance for all of us.

The Governor congratulated the Manipur University of Culture for taking the first step towards cultural integration, growth and prosperity and communal harmony in the State. The Manipur University of Culture shoulders immense responsibility in upholding the traditional values of Manipuri people, she added.

On the occasion, Chief Minister Shri N. Biren Singh said that such kind of University is first of its kind in the NorthEast region of India. Manipur is the home of talents in various fields like sports, arts ,culture, visual arts etc but we never give due recognition to those who had sacrificed their precious lives for these art forms, he added. He highlighted that it is the gift of our forefathers who had moulded and nurtured such cultural art forms that we, Manipuris are living with pride of such rich cultural heritage to the outside world.

Mentioning that the government is planning to set up a permanent campus of the University soon, Chief Minister said that the site hasn’t been decided yet but the government is planning to set up in the Hill Areas of the State not far from Imphal with good road connectivity.

Chief Minister stated that it is indeed true that Art and Culture act as a binding force for maintaining unity among the people in the State. He further said that the government is planning to transcript and translate the ancient books such as Puyas into English.  In this regard, a committee would be formed to look after the translation work. Distinguish and eminent scholars and academicians would be invited to form the committee.

Shri N. Biren Singh further said that the new government would try its best to maintain transparency in the governance. The government need the support and co-operation of the people so that the government could deliver good governance to the people, he added. Chief Minister highlighted that one of the biggest problems we face today is the poor management of time and money by the people. If we properly manage time and money well then no one can compete our talents in the entire world, he added.

Lamenting on the issues of mistrust and divide between the hills and valley, Chief Minister stated that the government would put its effort to regain the lost trust between the different communities in the State. He said that if we don’t bridge the gap between the hills and valley then there would be no significance of being a politician. The government is trying to bring a positive change in the system and society at large, he added.

In order to promote handloom and handicraft products of the State, he stated that the government is working out a plan to export these products to other states and foreign countries.

Deputy Chief Minister Shri Y. Joykumar Singh said that our forefathers have gifted such rich cultural heritage to us. He highlighted that the purpose of setting up such unique university is not only to study the literatures/novels etc but also to research and study the meanings and significance of literatures, dances, music other aspects of culture etc. Culture is quite a complex thing and when we think of culture, it can’t be only confined to art and culture but it should be broaden to other aspects of life such as society, dance, music, architecture, food etc.

During the function, eminent artists and personalities were felicitated for their significant contribution in the field of art and culture.

Minister for Art and Culture Shri L. Jayantakumar Singh, Minister for Education Shri Th. Radheshyam Singh, Vice Chancellor of Manipur University of Culture Prof. N. Khagendra, Commissioner Art and Culture Shri M. Lakshmikumar, Director Art and Culture Dr. K. Sushila Devi and other eminent persons attended the function.

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