GUWAHATI, Dec 2 - The assembly of the people of different ethnic identities, with their diverse socio-cultural and religious distinctiveness, for centuries, has given the Northeast India a unique status in terms of historical and cultural heritage. This region is maintaining cultural ties with the other parts of Asia for centuries. It is time to revive the dead channels and strengthen such connections through people-to-people engagement.
These were some of the observations made by the participants at a two-day international conference organised recently by the State Directorate of Archaeology in collaboration with the Archaeological Exploration and Excavation Department, Heritage Society, Patna, on the topic �North East India: A Cross Road of Asian Civilisations.�
Dr Deepi Rekha Kauli, Director of Archaeology, informed that the conference was broadcast live on YouTube and Facebook pages of the Heritage Society and the Directorate of Archaeology, Assam, and millions of representatives from across the globe viewed it.
The inaugural session was presided over by State Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua. Prof Asha Shukla, Vice Chancellor, Dr BR Ambedkar University of Social Sciences, Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, and Dr Rajesh Purohit, former Director of Indian Museum, Kolkata, delivered the keynote speeches at the session, which was moderated by Dr Kauli.
The Chief Secretary highlighted the NE�s rich cultural heritage, focusing specially on Assam�s history and culture. In the four academic sessions of the meet, around 30 scholars from India, the UK, New Zealand, Taiwan and Sri Lanka presented their research papers highlighting the NE region�s cultural connectivity with other parts of Asia.
Prof Shukla and Dr Purohit highlighted the need to revive the ancient knowledge systems for a greater understanding of the region�s indigenous art, culture and heritage.
Sanatan Kumar, Deputy Director, Rajya Sabha Secretariat, New Delhi, presented vote of thanks to all the delegates of the conference.
Earlier, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who inaugurated the weeklong event, released three publications of the archaeology directorate � Archaeological Heritage of South Asia; Handbook of Archaeology of Assam, and Exploration Report of West Karbi Anglong District, Assam. He also presented the awards to the winners of the online photography contest. The winners included Kaushik Saikia (first), Anand Prakash Pandey (second), and Gautam Swarup Deka and Sohan Sarma (consolation prize). Sonowal also presented the �Heritage Mitra Awards� to Krishna Kumar Singha (Hojai), Nabin Buragohain (Sivasagar) and Ghuguha Doul Committee (Dhemaji).