NH Impact: KISS dropped as venue of World Anthropology Congress 2023
National Herald was among the first to report the apprehension that academics and activists felt, given that KISS was a “factory school” with funding from mining corporates like Adani and Nalco
The executive committee of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) has written to Professor DK Behera, vice chancellor of Sambalpur University, Odisha, that in the face of “mounting national and international controversy” over the involvement of the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) in hosting the Congress scheduled for 2023, a decision had been taken to withdraw the collaboration with KISS.
The letter, dated August 16 and signed by president Junji Koizumi and secretary general Noel B. Salazar, explains that “this decision was arrived at without prejudice with respect to the workings of the said institute”. The other co-hosts of the event were the Indian Anthropological Association, and the universities of Sambalpur and Utkal. KISS was to provide infrastructure, logistics and resources, while the other three hosts were responsible for the academic and anthropological dimensions.
The IUAES remains committed, however, to holding this Congress in India in 2023. “We now ask our anthropology colleagues, associations and institutions in India and worldwide to assist us in any way they see fit to mitigate the difficult logistical and financial problems set forth by this decision,” the letter states.
National Herald was among the first to report the apprehension that academics and activists felt, given that KISS was a “factory school” with funding from mining corporates like Adani and Nalco. Playing host to such a prestigious gathering of academics from across the world, activists felt, would legitimize KISS.
KISS founder Achyutananda Samanta is a Biju Janata Dal MP representing Kandhamal constituency in Odisha.