GUWAHATI, June 9 � The magnitude of the cultural diversity of the Northeast almost defies imagination. Perhaps there is no comparable geographical area in the world which is home to cultural diversity of such magnitude. The linguistic diversity of the region is an inalienable part of this cultural diversity. The diversity of cultures in the Northeast is of the enormous significance for the national life of India.
This was the observation made by noted scholar, chairman of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research and member of Rajya Sabha, Prof Mrinal Miri. He was delivering the convocation address at the 2nd convocation of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Guwahati at the Pragjyoti ITA Centre for Performing Arts at Machkhowa here today.
There may be, on a strict count, close to two hundred languages spoken in the Northeast. Many of these languages are on the UNESCO list of endangered languages, he said.
He observed that the concepts such as equality, decency, civilized, free, ugly, welfare, promiscuity, justice, etc., are generally used in abstraction from the density of contexts and their variety and thus very often end up with only a surface and frequently distorted. Therefore, dangerous assessments are done of a community�s life, etc., he said.
He maintained that he has the belief that this has happened with communities, particularly, tribal communities in the Northeast and that substantial part of the anxiety of the people of the region arises from this fact.
He reminded that the commitment to a nation faces a powerful challenge. He described the challenge as the challenge of developing respect for diversity. This challenge should be met with much ethical energy and sensibility, he maintained.
The TISS, Guwahati convocation was also attended by Additional Chief Secretary Rajiv Kumar Bora as the guest of honour, besides Dr S Parasuraman and it was chaired by chairman of the TISS governing board S Ramadorai.
Two students were awarded MPhil degree, 109 were awarded MA degrees in different specialisations and 59 were conferred BA degree in the convocation.