Assam’s tourism minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday launched the state’s new tourism logo with a promise to boost the tourism sector of the state to new heights. With much pomp and show, the tourism logo depicting the state as a land of tea, one horned rhino and the Brahmaputra was portrayed with the song ‘Awesome Assam’ playing at the background. However, to a resident of the region, did the logo and the song do justice? Is Assam only about tea and the one-horned Rhino and the Brahmaputra river? Has there been no development in the state so far so as to bring it at par with the other states of the region?
If we examine the logo closely, we see that the logo carries the symbols of two leaves and a bud, the flowing Brahmaputra and a rhino with shining sun on the background, as expected and nothing new to add to the state’s identity. To a person well versed with the advertising scenario, Assam’s tourism logo is nothing that seems to attract their own people, leave alone the tourists from all over the world.
Coming to the tagline, ‘Awesome Assam’, Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “We have kept the tag line catchy so that it gives maximum appeal to people outside the state about Assam’s uniqueness in terms of its tourism potential. Branding Assam tourism is essential if we want to develop this sector. We have earmarked Rs 15 Crore only for our tourism publicity activities outside the state.” This statement makes people wonder how catchy is the tagline ‘Awesome Assam’ just because it somehow seems to rhyme with each other.
At Rs. 15 crore earmarked for the state’s tourism publicity activities, we wonder how much did it cost for the logo to be made that it did not even catch the eye of the onlookers. It may be mentioned that roping in Priyanka Chopra to be the state’s tourism ambassador at 1.5 cr might not have been a bad idea, but to come up with a logo and a song as unappealing as ‘Awesome Assam’ was certainly a bad idea!
In the past, Assam has greatly proven itself to be at the forefront- be it in the field of education, fashion, economy or any other sector. With so much development and achievements to its credit, we, the people of the region atleast expect the Assam Tourism logo to justify itself, atleast to the eye of the onlookers. They say, “Beauty is in the beholder’s eye”, but in this case, no beholder seem to be able to find the beauty, neither in the song and nor the logo. The video as well as the logo has invited a lot of criticism from the inhabitants of the state and the social media platform has gone viral with posts of the logo and the song accompanied by comments expressing the inefficiency of the designers or the composers of the song.
After the declaration of “Awesome Assam” Tourism Campaign worldwide. The official logo was released in the same event which was held at Radisson Blue, Guwahati this Sunday. A Delhi based company Square Brand Communication group unveils it constituting the core essential elements that exemplify Assam/Rhinoceros representing wondrous wildlife, emerald/green tea leaves, the wave of mighty Brahmaputra and scenic beauty ever-shining like the sun, put together in a harmonious blend, telling the story of “Awesome Assam”. But, it failed to impress the viewers with its concept.
We believe its time for the ministers to think of Assam beyond its tea leaves and the one-horned rhinos ad the Brahmaputra that have been there for decades and focus more on what it can impart to the world with better efficiency in return for such a huge capital. The common people are not fools and yes, we do know whats going on!
-By Shweta Raj Kanwar
(The views expressed by the writer are the writer’s own and TNT-The Northeast Today may not hold the same views)