PROTECTION OF INDIGENOUS HERITAGE
Author: Shobicka J B
“It is everything that makes us who we are” – One Yukan Elder.
Heritage in the wider sense means the practice of certain things over a long period, which then becomes a tradition. Heritage constitutes in different fields such as place, language, behavioural aspects, industrial aspects, food, dress, etc. The term indigenous means origination or nativity of a class or people. The indigenous heritage is the tradition or practice of the aborigine people. It is the footprints our ancestors left us which is to be protected at every cost. It reminds us, our culture, and the fact of who we are. The indigenous heritage is more than it is to be protected and celebrated. It should be shared with future generations and to be valued by them.
PROTECTION OF INDIGENOUS HERITAGE
All over the world, in many countries’ efforts have been made for the protection of the indigenous heritage. In Australia, the national significance as in the indigenous heritage is protected by the common wealth law. It protects the aboriginal remains of the country. Likewise, countries like New Zealand, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, Russia, Peru, Norway, South Africa, Taiwan, and the European Union have specific legislation for the protection of their indigenous heritage. Coming to India, we live in a country where we take pride in every custom and practice, we follow. We have diversified cultural aspects where we walk through the path of our ancestors. Protection of that indigenous heritage is a preservation of the aboriginals. The growing technological world may lead to the destruction of the ethnic life of the people.
The protection of indigenous heritage includes protecting the cultural aspects also. In the state of Tamil Nadu, the traditional indigenous sport called ‘Jallikattu’ takes place every year during the Pongal festival. The bulls are released in the ground where participants would try to catch the hump of the bulls and hold it for a long period. This event was banned for a period stating it as an offense and cruelty to animals. The protest was made by the people of Tamil Nadu for protecting their indigenous cultural heritage and finally, the ban was lifted by the state government. Some amendments have been made to conduct the sport and protect the indigenous breed and the tradition.
INDIGENOUS HERITAGE IS A HUMAN RIGHT
One must understand his existence and the facts behind it. The way he was brought up, etc.India is a country of different customs and cultures where we follow many heritages. That makes it difficult to protect every tradition. Many indigenous heritages have been disappeared before we even know it. It is essential to protect those for the sake of people who depend on it. Protecting their indigenous heritage is protecting their identity, scope of living, format, etc. Failure of protecting the heritage amounts to discrimination and a disadvantage to society. Preserving the custom is the fundamental right of the people. It is every human’s right to secure the history they come from. Globalization is one major factor in the cultural heritage to diminish. People tend to practice the behavioural aspects of modern society. In the current situation where the indigenous cultural heritage dissolves it is important to hear the people who tend to protect the existing feature in the indigenous heritage.
Article 49 of the Indian constitution says that all the historically important monuments, places, and objects must be protected. The state is obligated to protect every heritage. However, there is no separate law for the protection of the indigenous heritage of people. But there are provisions under many acts that protect the features of the indigenous heritage.
In the fast-developing world, the protection of indigenous heritage becomes a task. People update themselves with new customers according to the changes in society. However, the customs and the tradition which has been practiced and followed over the years cannot be altered or dissolved. It would be discrimination and injustice to the people who have been following those heritages. Therefore, a new act has to be passed for preserving the indigenous heritage of people in every aspect such as culture, land, behavioural aspects, etc. The act should ensure all the protection and security of the indigenous rights of people.
https://heritagebc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/POLICY-PAPER-Recognizing-and-Including-Indigenous-Cultural-Heritage-in-B.C.pdf  Animal welfare of India vs A. Nagaraj CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5387