DIMAPUR, Feb 8 � A national seminar and workshop on �Conservation and restoration of archaeological monuments in the North East, issues and challenges during 21st century� concluded here yesterday. The seminar was organised by Global Open University, Nagaland at its Dimapur campus, in collaboration with Archaeological Survey of India(ASI), New Delhi and Society for Cultural Heritage for North East India.
Chancellor of Global Open University TN Mannen, who was the chief guest on the occasion, in his speech, observed that there is lack of appreciation on the part of people, including the educated and intelligent section, on the importance of archaeology.
Archaeological and heritage sites are neglected as there are no concerted efforts to conserve and develop the few identified sites due to which they are losing importance and expansion, he said.
He called on the ASI to guide and collaborate with State Archaeological departments/directorates which also look after monuments of lesser importance, to understand development of human history of growth and evolution at various stages and times of their life�s journey in the region.
Important sites of the State such as Khezhakenama, Chungliymti, Maram, etc., which were the migratory routes and habitats of Nagas in the past and Khonoma, the battle ground of the British invasion, Impur (church), the first missionary HQ in Naga territory, etc., can all be considered as heritage sites, he stated. Angh Morung of Konyak tribe, skull collection and head hunting days need to be surveyed and documented, Mannen stressed.
Stating that India is a diverse and pluralistic society which has been blended and balanced to create unity and beauty in diversity, Mannen said any imposition or neglect of any section or sector will upset such balancing task of social harmony and may even rock the very foundation of democratic governance system.
Pointing to a recent example of the Delhi polls where the BJP in their vision document has mentioned the North East people as �immigrants�� which provoked spontaneous reaction from the people and political parties of the region, he hoped that the leaders would be wise and magnanimous enough to mend the mistake and smoothen the hurt feelings of the people of the region. Though the region is rich in natural resources and minerals, yet it remains one of the most backward regions in the country due to various constraints and disadvantages since India�s independence, he observed.
Mannen said high sounding programmes like the �Look East Policy� has really not taken off, special consideration for any development and funding have been more than real, and we have not been able to convert our natural advantages into economic advantages so far. The region stands at a crucial crossroad demanding closer geographical, economic and emotional integration with the mainland India, he aded.
Head of department of History and Archaeology, Nagaland University Prof N Venuh stated that the State Government is yet to realise the importance of conservation and excavation. He called for collaboration between ASI and Archeology department of Nagaland University. He said excavations have been going on at some place or sites, including at the Nagaland-Burma border area, giving new insights into our past. Yet there are still many sites which are yet to be excavated, he said.