G-20 Summit and Manipur

Advocate Loukrakpam Herojit Singh *

 G-20 Summit in Manipur from 17 to 19 February 2023
G-20 Summit in Manipur from 17 to 19 February 2023 :: Pix - TSE

India is hosting G-20 Summit, 2023 for the first time in history with the theme "One Earth, One Family, One Future," which was unveiled by the visionary Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. This summit is evidence that the international community recognises India as a worldwide force under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is also a global leader. There will be 249 sessions in over 50 places around the Nation on 32 different workstreams.

G-20 strives to address important global economic concerns. India is going to showcase her rich cultural heritage and unity in diversity to the world during the summit. The delegates and guests are going to get a glimpse of rich cultural heritage and a year long India experience. India during its one-year tenure of G-20 presidency will showcase the North-Eastern part of the country.

Manipur is all set to host sessions from 17 to 19 of this month (February 2023) as one of the major sites of the G-20 summit, 2023 under the leadership of Chief Minister N Biren Singh. His role to bringing the summit to Manipur is noteworthy. Manipur is included in the summit because contemporary India cannot be finished without her. Manipur contributes significantly to the Nation in regard to cultural heritage, sports, ecotourism, women's empowerment, and unity in diversity. Exploring Manipur is therefore essential to understanding India.

According to Amitabh Kant, India's G20 Sherpa, every visitor who comes to India to attend the G-20 summit should return as a brand ambassador and a spiritually and physically enhanced Indian. In Manipur's setting, the words "States must not imitate the West, but instead return to their roots in order to capitalise on what makes them most distinctive" have considerable weight.

Compared to other regions of the country, Manipur is relatively undiscovered despite its magnificent beauty and rich cultural legacy. Manipur's culture is rich in treasures, including festivals, cuisines, traditional attire, dance, music, and handicrafts of the State's diverse ethnicities.

The Manipuri Classical Dance, also known as Jagoi Raas, may astonish the audience by originating in Manipur, a State whose traditions and culture are vastly apart from the rest of India, and becoming one of India's eight major classical dance forms. The uniqueness of Nata Sankirtana, a combination of dance and song recognised by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage, enriches the attractiveness of the State.

The Pung Cholom, Maibi Jagoi, Thang-Ta, Tangkhul Naga Dance, Mao Dance, Tarao War Dance, Kabui War Dance, Tangkhul Naga Hunting Dance, Surung Dance, and Rengmai Naga Dance are anticipated to draw delegates and guests from around the world due to their appealing creative performance.

Manipur boasts an impressive amount of heritage sites to draw tourists from around the globe. Kangla, which served as the palace of Manipur's rulers from 33AD until 1891, must be explored as a symbol of Manipur's splendour. Politically, historically, and culturally, the Kangla Fort is Manipur's most significant historical site.

The Khongjom War Memorial Complex commemorates the valiant Manipuri warriors who battled the British in the 1891 Anglo-Manipuri War. The INA Martyrs' Memorial Complex is also one of the most significant locations associated with India's liberation movement. It is the location where the Indian National flag was first hoisted on Indian soil during the freedom struggle. The Indian Peace Memorial, Maibam Lokpa Ching, is of considerable importance to the history of World War II, as it marks the site where the Japanese forces were defeated by the British.

The Marjing Polo Complex's Sagol Kangjei (Polo) statue, the world's tallest equestrian statue of a polo player, demonstrates Manipur's ancient sporting prowess. This polo tourism hub in Manipur is to be explored internationally and it is going to be done during the summit. Important heritage sites with high tourism potential include the Manipur State Museum, Shree Govindajee Temple, Sekta Archaeological Living Museum, Kangkhui Mangsor Cave, Imphal War Cemetery, Tuibung Tribal Museum, People Museum, Tharon Cave, Makhel Cave, Tonglon Cave, and Hundung Mangva Cave, among others.

The G-20 delegates and guests will visit India's first Olympic-themed park, the Manipur Olympians Park, which was built in a gorgeous setting to honour Manipur's Olympians and promote players in the State. Manipur is renowned as the powerhouse of sports due to its outstanding contribution to the area of sports, which has already produced 19 Olympians and three medalists.

The delegates and guests will visit Loktak Lake which is the largest freshwater lake in North East India and index of the beauties of Manipur. This is the only lake in the world that contains floating Phumdi (a heterogeneous mass of flora, soil, and organic substances in various stages of composition). Keibul Lamjao National Park, located on this Phumdi, is the only floating National park in the world.

This is Sangai's only natural habitat (Brow-antler deer). They will visit the Sangai Ethnic Park also where the replicas of traditional huts representing 34 different tribes of Manipur along with their activities, lifestyles, folk dances, folk songs and indigenous games are being displayed.

This park will give the glimpse of 33 different ethnics along with the beauties of the State in one place. The Shirui Lily, on the other hand, is a rare Indian plant species found only in the upper slopes of the Shirui hill range in Manipur. Manipur's uniqueness and natural beauty attract the G-20 summit.

The empowerment and representation of women would be at the forefront of India's G20 discussions. This includes an emphasis on elevating women to leadership roles in order to promote socioeconomic development and the attainment of SDGs. It is noteworthy that Manipuri women are significantly empowered in a variety of areas, including education, socioeconomic activities, sports, etc.

Khwairamband Ima Market is the only market in the world operated solely by women and is also Manipur's principal commercial hub. Manipuri women must also be empowered in the political realm.

 G-20 Summit in Manipur from 17 to 19 February 2023
G-20 Summit in Manipur from 17 to 19 February 2023 :: Pix - TSE

Environment and climate change are also one of the summit's central topics. Despite the fact that 77% of the State's landmass is covered by forests, Manipur faces the same climate change issues as the rest of the world. During the summit, experts may propose a plan and solution in this regard.

The Startup-20 Engagement Group will be constituted for the first time under India's G-20 Presidency, led by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, in recognition of the importance of startups in fostering innovation in response to a rapidly changing global environment.

According to the MSME Report, 2018-19 Manipur has the largest number of start-up registrations among the North Eastern States, yet the State's industrial development is unsatisfactory. It needs financial and technical support. The G-20 summit will provide the opportunity. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the other hand, has launched the "Act East Policy" designed to promote Indo-Pacific relationships, regional political stability, and economic interchange with Southeast Asian Nations.

This summit is crucial for Manipur, as the State serves as the East-West Corridor's gateway. The G-20 Development Working Group (DWG) prioritises multilateralism, shares growth-promoting solutions, remaps development plans, and achieves Sustainable Development Goal targets (SDG).

The G-20 provides the necessary knowledge, skills, and financial resources to correct errant trajectories to the developing nations, least developed Nations, and island Nations.

Therefore, a small State like Manipur should take advantage of the G-20 Summit to stand on her own feet. Manipur should be explored and admired by the delegates of the G-20, an intergovernmental organisation comprised of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union, as well as by the guests of special invitee guest countries of presidency India, which include Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, and Spain.

For the State's development, Manipur should seek closer ties with the G-20's invited international organisations, which include the UN, IMF, World Bank, WHO, WTO, ILO, FSB, OECD, AU Chair, NEPAD Chair, ASEAN Chair, ADB, ISA, and CDRI.

Business summit of B-20 will be held to examine the opportunities and problems face by modern business and to help the community take advantage of those chances in order to recognize its full potential and make contribution to the development of the society and the nation at large.

This is what Manipur need at present and the opportunity is at hand now. The G-20 Summit, 2023 is the ideal opportunity to display Manipur's rich culture, natural beauty, innovative start-ups, gracious hospitality, and empowered women to global and domestic delegates and guests.

The G-20 Summit is an ideal opportunity to promote Manipur as a major tourist destination, given in presence of all the world's major economies. Manipur under the leadership of Chief Minister N Biren Singh is ready to experience the ideal opportunity.

* Advocate Loukrakpam Herojit Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on February 24 2023.

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