Assam without the famed one-horned rhino is like Australia without kangaroos.
But the makers and creative brains behind the second promotional video of ‘Awesome Assam’ released on Monday may have better thoughts.
The one-horned rhino is conspicuously ‘extinct’ from the video that explicitly ‘exposes’ the hollowed creativity of the makers, who are understandably blessed by saffron colours of the Assam Government and ‘overawed’ by Quantico star and Assam Tourism brand ambassador Priyanka Chopra.
Reacting sharply to this conspicuous absence of the State animal from the video, Dr Bibhab Talukdar, Chairman of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Asian Rhino Specialist Group, said, “It is pertinent to portray the flora and fauna of any region in any promotional medium. To attract tourists, a promotional video should highlight the State animal, State bird, State tree and likewise.”
He added in the same breath that the one-horned rhino of Assam is globally renowned and any promotional video on Assam tourism is incomplete without the rhino.
“If the one-horned rhino is missing from the video, it is indeed a major drawback, apart from other birds and animals which are permanent dwellers of Assam,” he added.
He also said that it was necessary for the makers to do extensive research while planning the content for the video, adding that those assets that highlight the heritage of Assam should find prominence in any promotional medium.
Dr Talukdar also said apart from promotion, infrastructure development of the tourism sector is also very important.
“Only the rich can afford to stay in hotels. Some accommodations which are budget friendly and comfortable for ordinary tourists should be constructed for better inflow of tourists into the State,” he further added.
Dr Talukdar is also the Asian Rhino Program Coordinator of International Rhino Foundation and the founder CEO of Aaranyak.
Echoing in the same vein, former State Forest and Environment Minister Pramila Rani Brahma said, “The State Tourism used to start everything from the one-horned rhino itself. I don’t understand why that very rhino is forsaken now.”
“Everyone knows how important one-horned rhino is for Assam. One cannot think of wildlife in Assam without the one-horned rhino,” she added.
Opposition leader in Assam State Legislative Assembly and a senior Congress leader Debabrata Saikia also opined that apart from the one-horned rhino, several prominent landmarks of Assam are also conspicuously missing from the video which is very surprising.
“Apart from the one-horned rhino, the 600-year rule of the Ahom kingdom assumes much significance. The historic landmarks like the Charaideo Maidam, Rong Ghar, Kareng Ghar, even Kamakhya Temple and several other such archaeological sites should have found place in the video,” Saikia said.
The credits of the promotional video state the names of the director duo as Arun Gopalan and Ken Rolston, while it is produced by Zina Khan for Crayons Advertising.
The only Assamese name in the credits roll in the third line that states is Rondeep Gogoi as the creative director.
It seems quite evident that the creative team had no or very less homework done as far as research is concerned.
Can anyone explain the credentials of the creative honchos based on which such a prestigious project has been bestowed.
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) October 15, 2018