Guwahati, Feb 9: Intellectual Forum for NE India (IFNE), a voluntary organisation formed by young dynamic people from different fields in 2016, is organising a two-day national symposium “Gyan Sangam” on ‘Traditions and Socio-Cultural Ethos of Northeast India’.
The symposium to be held in the BKB auditorium of Guwahati University on Feb 10 and 11, 2018, will be attended by Governor of Assam, Prof Jagdish Mukhi, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, MP Education Minister Archana Chitnis, State Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarmah, Vice-Chancellors of Guwahati, Dibrugarh universities, NEHU, Sankardeva University, Bodoland Univeristy, Kumar Bhaskar Verma Sanskrit University, Sankardeva Health University, Manipur University, Cotton University. Besides a number of academicians and intellectuals will also be participating in the event.
Prominent amongst them are Prof Maulana Syed Athar Dehlavi, Prof Prasanna Deshpandey, Jarpung Gamlim, Prod Nana Kishore Pandey, Krishna Gopal, Tana Suren, Joram Aniya Tana, Advaita Kala, and Prof Milan Jamatiya.
The basic objective of the symposium is to contest some of the westernised notions imposed on us. Marx, Weber, Durkheim tried to universalize the westernized notion of modernity, which they believed that with time non-western countries will also get used to this version of Westernized Modernity.
However, people in the non-western world are vouching against it and want to espouse cultural heritages of their own. The protagonist of modernity makes us believe that the change in everything is just normal and we need to adopt it forgetting our various cultural traditions and ethos.
There is a similar effort to marginalise the people’s history of Northeast India or to brand the region as the ‘alienated geo-space’ from the idea of ‘Bharat’. The inherent democratic, inclusive society of the region was never highlighted. Our traditions and heritage have been ridiculed as ‘non-modern’, ‘non-secular’ and so on.
There is an attempt to contest the inherent cultural tradition of the region with ‘Bhratvarsha’. The philosophical foundation on the basis of which Srimanta Sankerdeva developed his ideals is drawn from Vedas, Purans and Tantras.
“Bharatvarsha” was the most revered name for Srimanta Sankerdeva and seldom has he referred to the word ‘Assam’ in his writings. He considered Bhratvarsha as “Punya Bhumi”, “Jonmo Bhumi” and “Karma Bhumi”. He considered the land of Bharatvarhsa as the most revered place in the world.
This ‘Gyan Sangam’ tries to fill the void created by a few intellectual traditions based on western discourse. It makes an attempt to depict the inherent oneness of the people in spite of practicing different customs, ways of life, practices and rituals. It tries to see the link between “Jonmo Bhumi” and “Punya Bhumi”.
It tries to bring to the forefront the heroes of the region who have been neglected by the mainstream scholars. It tries to bring to focus the ‘Role of the Northeast region in India’s Freedom Struggle’. There is a general apathy to look into India’s freedom struggle from this part of the world. The mainstream history discourse hardly takes into account the role of Northeast India in freedom struggle.
The symposium is being organized by the Intellectual Forum for NE India (IFNE) which was formed in the year 2016 by young dynamic people working in various field to create a platform so that all the intellectual people of North East come together to develop our rich heritage and culture and to promote it to the rest of the world.
Intellectuals are the guiding persons of a society and are path finder with their different policies for the people. The issues relating to the people of this part of the country can be highlighted to the rest of the world and an amicable solution could be found out for a peaceful and lasting solutions.
The symposium aims at promoting and supporting activity in the field of:
• Socio-Economic Research, Survey, Study on Demography, Social Conflicts, Politics, Environment, Education and other different aspects of North-eastern States of India.
• Documentation and publication of research papers and survey reports.
• Publication of books, journals, research reports, film making etc.
• Providing consultancy services on various aspects of socio-economic problems of society.
• Initiating/ applying socio- economic developmental mechanisms/tools to identify, project and promote different cultures, literatures, folk arts, ethnicity and support to tribes and communities of North East.
• Initiating programs on development issues relating to the youths of North East.
• To educate, train and assist financially or otherwise, research scholars, social workers and others in the fields of arts, science, culture, religion, philosophy, theology, educational skills and social actions etc.
• To arrange exhibition, meetings, seminars, workshops, conferences, lectures, camps and programs relating to one or more of its objects to arrange and organize tours, excursions and visits in fulfilment thereof.