VP calls on govt, civil society to preserve India’s rich cultural heritage

Kolkata, Aug 16: Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday called on the government and the civil society organisations to get together and take up the task of preserving our tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

Addressing a gathering after inaugurating and dedicating to the nation ‘Shyamoli’, the heritage house of Rabindranath Tagore, Mr Naidu emphasised that both the government and civil society groups must also work to generate awareness among the larger public about the need to preserve the architectural marvels of India. Shyamoli is an experimental mud-house built at Santiniketan in 1935. 

The house has been recently renovated by the Archaeological Survey of India as a deposit work and is a property of Visva-Bharati at present.''General public must desist from defacing and misusing these precious buildings and must make every effort to prevent the further degeneration of these jewels,'' he said.

The Vice-President said to Bengal, Tagore has been, and still remains to this day, an altogether exceptional literary figure, towering over all others.

''For India, especially for Bengal, he is a great institution and for the world, he was the voice, the representative of India’s spiritual heritage. He is indeed India’s pride and glory,'' he added.

Naidu said Santiniketan embodied Rabindranath Tagore’s vision of a place of learning that is unencumbered by religious and regional barriers, adding that Santiniketan was affectionately moulded by Tagore on the principles of humanism, internationalism and a sustainable development.

The Vice-President also applauded Tagore’s effort to expand the school’s relationship with the neighbouring villages of the Santhal tribal community in an attempt to help with rural reconstruction and to sensitize the students about the challenges of rural life.

Quoting Mahatma Gandhi who said, ''I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the culture of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any'', Mr Naidu said Santiniketan had successfully adapted to the changing times yet managed to preserve its essence.

He said India was home to a treasure trove of cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible. ''Our heritage is our identity; it is what makes us unique and exceptional. India always held an enviable position in the world because of its rich and extremely diverse cultural heritage,'' he added.

Naidu cautioned that we simply could not let our architectural gems lie buried under the weight of neglect and inertia. 

Citing that Tagore was an ardent believer in the value of protecting, nurturing and propagating our rich cultural heritage, Mr Naidu said, ''it is our duty and responsibility to protect every single monument and every single art form and pass it on to posterity so that they grow up in complete comprehension of India’s glorious history.

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar, West Bengal Minister for Fisheries Department Bratya Basu, the Vishwa Bharati Vice-Chancellor Prof Bidyut Chakrabarty and other dignitaries were present on the occasion. (UNI)