The Civil Society Alliance – Assam, a solidarity group committed to the cause of promoting and defending indigenous peoples’ rights for peace, justice and equality is expressing to voice its deep concern regarding the proposed financing development model of privatizing the historical monuments of Ahom Kingdoms of Sivasagar district and kaziranga National Park of Assam being crafted through the ambitious ‘adopt a heritage’ in the state. CSAA believe that this kind of aggressive project pose greater challenge to sustainable and people-oriented development which institutionalize the private control over the resources and divert the government attention from addressing the social concerns in a new form of advancing neoliberalism. It is also a thought-provoking matter of concern now for the indigenous people because such privatize sector move may facilitate human rights violation, including land grabbing and displacement of the native community in the long run.
The Alliance group is also deeply concerned about increasing private sector involvement in the state in various forms are becoming an increasingly important actors in social development process. This kind of PPP model which is known is also a privatization by other means in the state run system which has gained momentum since the failure of privatization programs initiated by the International Financial Institution (IFI) such as World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other bilateral and multilateral institutions across many counties earlier.
In a solidarity statement, CSAA would also like to urge that Government of India to comply its international human rights commitments and obligation of Rights of Indigenous Peoples as drawn in United Nation Declaration of the Rights of the Indigenous People, adopted by the General Assembly in 2007 (UNDRIP, Article 11) that Indigenous peoples have the right to practice and revitalize their cultural traditions and customs. This includes the right to maintain, protect and develop the past, present and future manifestations of their cultures, such as archaeological and historical sites, artefacts, designs, ceremonies, technologies and visual and performing arts and literature.
The Civil Society Alliance – Assam, a collation of NGO, Community Based Institution, indigenous Peoples Organisations & social activist, being connected to this land by virtue of aboriginal are urging to withdraw the current proposal of privatizing modality of corporatizing the historical monuments & national park of Assam instantly to address the negative consequences in order to defend the community control over the basic services and resources for development justice. The alliance also would like to urge the Government for its policy towards the use of development resources for private financing implementation to replace with greater and more democratic public sector leadership with the enforcement of regulatory mechanisms to ensure transparency for people. The press release has been shared which is being endorsed by North-East Affected Area Development Society (NEADS) – Jorhat, United Women Rights Protection Forum, - Upper Assam, Chutia Yuva Sanmilan, Assam – Jorhat District Committee, People Right Forum - Dhemaji, The EAST, Tezpur and Social Activists of the state.
By Tirtha Prasad Saikia