The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation Four Refurbished Heritage Buildings in Kolkata today. These are Old Currency Building, the Belvedere House, the Metcalfe House and the Victoria Memorial Hall.
Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister termed it as a special day, as it begins a nationwide campaign to preserve India’s art, culture and heritage, and to Reinvent, Rebrand, Renovate and Rehouse them.
Centre of Heritage Tourism for the World:
Shri Modi said that India always wanted to protect and modernize its cultural heritage and structures. It is with this spirit that the Union Government has taken up the endeavour to develop India as major centre of Heritage Tourism in the World.
He mentioned that five 5 Iconic Museums in the country will be made in keeping with the International standards. This is being started from the Indian Museum in Kolkata, which is one of the oldest museums in the world, he added.
Shri Modi said that inorder to generate resources, take care of the management of these iconic cultural heritage centres, the union government is considering to launch Indian Institute of Heritage Conservation which would be given the status of a deemed university.
Prime Minister said the renovation work of four Iconic Galleries of Kolkata- Old Currency Building, Belvedere House, Victoria Memorial and Metcalfe House has been completed. He also said that Government is taking efforts towards developing Belvedere House into a Museum of the World.
Shri Modi said that Government of India is contemplating to set up a museum of “Coinage & Commerce” at the Indian Government Mint in Kolkata.
Prime Minister said , “3 of the 5 galleries of Victoria Memorial were closed for a long time and that it is not a good situation. We are now trying to restart them, It is my urge that some space should also be provided for showcasing India’s Freedom fighters. I feel it should be called “Biplabi Bharat”. Here we can showcase leaders like Subhas Chandra Bose, Aurobindo Ghosh, Ras Behari Bose, Khudi Ram Bose, Bagha Jatin, Binoy, Badal, Dinesh etc”
He said keeping in mind the decades old sentiments of India towards Subhas Chandra Bose a museum had been set up at the Red Fort in Delhi and that an island in the archipelago of the Andaman & Nicobar had been named after him.
Tributes to Iconic Leaders of Bengal
Prime Minister said in the new era, the iconic leaders and sons of soil of West Bengal who dedicated their lives for the freedom of the country should be paid proper tributes.
“Now we are celebrating the 200th Birth Anniversary of Shri Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. Similarly the year 2022 when India celebrates its 75th Independence, is also the 250th birth anniversary of renowned social reformer and educationist Shri Raja Ram Mohan Rai. We need to remember his efforts in uplifting the self confidence of the country, his efforts in promoting welfare of youth, women and girl child. In this spirit we should celebrate his 250th birth anniversary as a festival of grandeur.”
Preserving Indian History
Prime Minister said that preserving Indian Heritage, India’s Great Leaders, India’s History is one of the main aspect of Nation Building.
“It is very sad that the History of India written during the British regime had left out many important aspects out of it. I would like to quote what Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore wrote in 1903, ‘ India’s history is not what we study and memorize for our exams. It only talks about how people from outside have tried to conquer us, how children tried to kill their fathers and how brothers fought among themselves for the throne. This kind of depiction of history does not talk about how the Indian citizens, Indian people were living. It does not give them any importance’ “.
“Gurudev also said, ‘ Whatever may be the strength of the storm, more important is how the people who faced it dealt with it.’
“Friends this quote of Gurudev reminds that those historians have only seen the storm only from outside. They have not gone inside the houses of those who were facing the storm. Those who see it from outside have no understanding of how the people were dealing with it then”.
“Many such issues of the country were left behind by these historians”, he said.
“During that period of instability and war, who were keeping up the conscience of the country, who were carrying our great traditions to the next generations”
“This was done by our art, our literature, our music, our saints, our monks”
Promoting Indian Tradition and Culture
“One witnesses special traditions related to various types of art and music in every corner of India. Similarly the influence of intellectuals and saints is also visible in every region of India. These individuals, their ideas, different forms of art and literature have enriched the history. These great personalities have led some of the biggest social reforms in the history of India. The path shown by them still inspires us today.”
“The Bhakti movement was enriched by the songs and thoughts of several social reformers. Sant Kabir, Tulsidas, and several others played a key role in awakening the society.”
Prime Minister said, “We must remember what Swami Vivekananda had said during his interaction at Michigan University- ‘The present century might be yours, but the 21st century will belong to India’. We must continue working hard to fulfill his vision.