London: To include the environmentally endangered ‘Majuli island’ in Assam in the UNESCO world heritage list, a leading expert on heritage sites across the world is working in cooperation with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
 
Christopher Young, head of the World Heritage and International Policy Department of English Heritage, told saturday night that the ASI is making a case to ensure that the island is included in the heritage list. He was in a book launch event at the Nehru Centre.

The book titled 'Assam', by noted Guwahati-based journalist Mrinal Talukdar, was released at the event attended by Young, poetess Elizabeth Darcy Jones and Lord Navnit Dholakia, besides members of the Assamese community in London.

Young said, "I am really excited about Majuli and this book has made my effort to get the World Heritage site tag even easier for me. The ASI is once again building the case this year and I am surely going to back it up. I am hopeful."

Young is consulted by the UNESCO every year as part of the process to include new sites in the World Heritage List.

He said, "The problem with Majuli is that it is beyond preservation. The World Heritage site is for preservation and the tag helps in better preservation. But Majuli is beyond that.That is the real problem for UNESCO.Going by other yardstick of culture and tradition, it would have been much easier."

Majuli faces erosion from the might of river Brahmaputra and is the focus of several campaigns to ensure its preservation.

The island has 31 sattras (vaishnavite monasteries) that continue to be run according to traditions going back over 500 years.

 Hoping that Majuli will be included in the UNESCO list, Lord Dholakia said, "It is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. It needs to be promoted as a tourist destination and the book will help do so among the non-Assamese audience."

Published by the Nana Talukdar Foundation, 'Assam' is a photographic representation of the life, culture and pathos of the state.

(Agencies)