Naga Hoho Aginst GI Tags for Naga Shawls » Northeast Today


NET Bureau

The National Institute of Fashion Technology (Nift), Kolkata, is in the process of registering the well-known traditional crafts of the country’s northeastern states under the Geographical Indication (GI) Act.

According to the institute’s director, Bibekananda Banerjee, it has identified 18 such crafts, including the Naga shawl, bamboo and cane and bell-metal products, among others, to be filed under the GI Act. The registration ensures that such products are manufactured only in a specific geographical region and that similar products manufactured in any other part of the world cannot be sold as a Naga shawl.

“We have identified two or three crafts from each of the seven northeastern states. We are in the process of filing these crafts under GI,” Banerjee told The Hindu’s Business Line.

Nift has completed the documentation for all the major crafts after visiting the geographical clusters and meeting the artisans and other stakeholders to document the history of these arts, according to the report.

“Filing of GI is a time-consuming process; so, it is difficult to predict a timeline as to when this will happen,” said Banerjee.

“Though the opportunity for growth is huge, we need to proceed cautiously by mapping the present clusters and creation of cluster levels, faster development of infrastructure and creation of network,” according to K Rangarajan, professor and head, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Kolkata.

The Naga Hoho has also opposed this move by the Nift.

The assembly secretary of the Naga Hoho on Thursday told Eastern Mirror that the Naga people cannot accept the action of the Nift, claiming that they have to speak with Naga frontal organisations before making such claims.

Ndang was of the opinion that the shawl represents the Naga people and that the Nift has to first consult with the Naga frontal organisations, not only the women organisations, before going ahead with such claims and that the patenting rights, as claimed by the NIFT, would not be accepted by the Naga people.

SOURCE: Eastern Mirror

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