Nagaland is known as a hub of musical talent. There are songs of love, there are even songs of war here. The rich musical tradition of the state could now become a source of revenue.
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio announced Monday that music would be declared an industry in the state.
"Definitely, there is music in our blood, we have huge potential. Therefore, taking into account the innate talents of Nagas in music, we have decided to make music an industry," Rio said, while inaugurating the Nagaland Music Conservatory (NCM).
The chief minister, however, clarified that the government role would be limited to being a "facilitator", offering support to musicians without "owning" music or pushing only particular genres.
Rio said that music was one arena where Nagas can catch the attention of the world. The chief minister encouraged youths to fully realize their in-born musical talent.
Congratulating the co-founders of the music conservatory - Lipokmar Tzudir and James Swu - Rio termed their dedication to establish a world-class music institute a "giant step" that would propel Naga musicians into the global arena.
The NCM will offer a full-fledged degree course in music, and it will have leading foreign and local musicians on the faculty.
"Our students will come out of the nutshell and compete in the international level", Tzudir said.
"Only dedicated musicians and institutions like the Nagaland Music Conservatory can make music an industry in the state," Rio said, even as he announced a grant of Rs.79 lakh to the new conservatory.
Terming the new music institute a dream come true for not only aspiring musicians but also the state as a whole, the chief minister said the state government would like to enter into partnership with the institute to promote music in this part of the world.
"Music is a multi-billion dollar industry. It is with the perspective of tapping into this that music has been declared an industry," Additional Chief Secretary Alemtemshi Jamir said.
Jamir said that the Nagaland government in its bid to promote music as an industry set up the Music Task Force in 2006. The strategy was initially to popularide music. The Music Task Force has been conducting live road shows around the state.
Jamir said the task force was allotted a budget to offer support to musicians, to enable training, the acquisition of necessary equipment and recording.
"The state government is also supporting a series of initiatives for the development of music, including support for setting up of music institutions. The next step would be setting up high quality recording studios" Jamir said.