Naga Research Scholars Forum organises seminar on the Nagas
Dimapur, October 17: A two-day national seminar on ‘Discoursing the shifts of the Naga society in North-east India’ was organised by the Naga Research Scholars Forum (NRSF), University of Hyderabad, in collaboration with the Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy on October 14 and 15. The seminar was partially funded by the UPE II of the university.
Prof Sanjay, Pro Vice Chancellor, University of Hyderabad and the chief guest, felicitated the Naga Research Scholars’ Forum for their initiative in bringing about a platform for the young scholars to engage and disseminate ideas thereby terming the initiative as ‘timely’.
Dean of School of Social Sciences, Prof. KK Misra, who chaired the session, stated that the seminar was appropriate as it covered wide relevant themes. The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Veio Pou, author of ‘Literary Cultures of India’s North East: Naga Writings in English’ on ‘Engaging the dominant narratives in the Naga society.
In his power packed keynote address, Dr. Pou observed that unprecedented changes had come about in the last six-seven decades in the Naga society. He deeply lamented that we have failed to garner a cognitive mind to the impact of such changes and understand its agents. Besides the various damages, according to him, had been chiefly the damage on the understanding of one’s own traditional and cultural institutions. He strongly stressed on the need to demystify some of the dominant narratives as a way to reclaim the dignity of one’s cultural identity.
Finally, he pointed out the need to know the inherent ideological strains operational in the society and accordingly take up corrective measures to counter such narratives.
Dr. Ajailiu Niumai, Coordinator of the seminar, emphasised on the purpose of the seminar which was to engage the young scholars and share ideas and current research works. She pointed out the need to look at the society critically.
Riku Khutso, PhD candidate, Department of History, spoke on the concept and the scope of the seminar by underlying the need to identify new methodological frameworks and perspectives to understand shifts in the Naga society of North East India.
Considering the context of the multiple shifts that had taken place in the society, Naga Research Scholars Forum stated that one is intrigued by the need to thrust for a comprehensive and critical understanding of the Naga society in the contemporary times. To do that, one of the main objectives of the seminar had been to engage academic endeavors from different disciplines which concerns the past, present and future of the Nagas.
‘Discoursing the shifts’ was taken to employ new perspectives to understand the dynamics and the nature that has driven these shifts and also to locate the current debates around these divergences and convergences in the Naga society.
The seminar dwelt on different critical sub-themes starting with ‘Traditional knowledge systems and shifts,’ which was chaired by Dr. Ajailiu Niumai, Associate Professor CSSEIP; ‘Christianity education and culture,’ chaired by Dr. Venusa Tinyi, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy; ‘Shifts in the economic domain,’ chaired by Dr. Rani, Assistant Professor CSSEIP; ‘Colonial occupations and shifts,’ chaired by Limakumba Walling, Assistant Professor, School of Economics; ‘Literature, Identity and Shifts,’ chaired by Dr. Graious Temsen, Associate Professor, Centre for Applied Linguistics; and finally, ‘Contemporary discourses,’ chaired by Dr. Kham Khan Suan Hausing, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science.
The delegates have come from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Jamia Milia Islamia University, New Delhi; Christ University, Bangalore; Delhi School of Economics, Delhi; and University of Hyderabad.
The valedictory session was graced by Prof. Sudhir Jacob, retired Professor of Department of Political Science. Throughout his speech, he cherished his long association with the North-East region and in particular the Nagas. He pointed out that the Nagas need to deconstruct the baggage of colonisation and westernisation and reconstruct the society based on their rich indigenous culture and traditions.
He challenged the young people to remember their roots and stressed the need to visit villages and document the oral resources before it vanish.
The vote of thanks was proposed by Amihe Swu, PhD candidate, Department of English.