Preserving country’s cultural heritage

Preserving or conserving cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, becomes the foremost duty not only of the Governments in power but with more seriousness and purpose, by the people, civil and cultural organisations and those who have inherited them and are in charge of looking after and improving their condition. In fact, peoples’ emotions and great deal of patriotism are attached with any country’s cultural heritage . It is something which makes a particular country distinguishable and deeply known the world over. We have buildings, monuments, works of art, landscapes, books , artefacts etc called as tangible culture which is self explanatory of the grandeur and glory of the period of their making while traditions, rites and rituals, language, folklore etc are known as intangible culture. The blend of the two is the pride of a community and the country and it is a legacy which represent the glorious past telling stories of the magnificence and the hard work coupled with dedication having been expended as if in abundant ‘leisure’ in erecting them.
On these very lines, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu shared his considered views on the subject while inaugurating and dedicating to the nation ‘Shyamoli’ , the heritage house of Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel Laureate of 1913 in Shantiniketan in West Bengal. The first and the foremost requirement in this regard was to generate larger awareness among the public especially the young students not only about Shyamoli but more variedly about profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful and with consummate thought, the poetry of the great poet. That would not only result in feeling proud by more and more people of possessing such rich heritage but also create an opportunity to pass on the history of sorts to the younger generations to infuse a deep sense of belongingness in them. This , again , would not only result in generating love and respect for the roots of the land where such cultural legacy has been acquired but feeling of preserving the same in original form , researching to know more about the contemporary period too were bound to take place. In fact, either due to lack of interest or absence of yearly budgetary allocations or both, by the Government towards maintaining and preserving these legacies prove as a bane with regard to their preservation. That scenario proves as an impediment to showcase them to the outside world to result in expanding cultural ties which had potential of boosting diplomatic relations and people to people contact also.
Shyamoli is the ancestral house of Rabindranath Tagore at Vishwa Bharti , Shantiniketan and has been renovated by the Archaeological Survey of India while Shantiniketan meaning abode of peace is a small town in Bhirbhom district of West Bengal where Tagore founded a school which later became a University known as Vishwa Bharti University and the Vice President had the ‘mud-house’ built in 1935 dedicated to the nation on August 16 , the occasion which he chose to underline the importance to preventing any type of harm to such pieces of rich cultural heritage and called the likes of Shyamoli as ‘jewels’. Often used as summer retreat by the legendary poet , Shyamoli mud house had been visited by Mahatma Gandhi along with his wife and stayed here too which again accords a unique importance to this legacy. It is , however, heartening to note that in preserving this piece of rich cultural heritage, the Archaeological Survey of India has done a commendable job which has been appreciated by the Vice President in his address to the gathering on the occasion.
A peculiar type of strength and inspiration were derived by the one instantaneously on one’s visit to such artefacts and in the periphery where the mud -house legacy was standing with its unique grace, were four more houses with beautiful garden in front and it is said that the ‘great son of the great country’ lived in these houses by turns which again adds lustre to the entire gamut of cultural heritage and legacy. In fact, Shantiniketan where Shyamoli stands, embodied the poet’s vision of a place of learning where religious and regional barriers had no role or interference whatsoever and in the words of the Vice President, Shantinekatan was moulded by the poet “on the principles of humanism, internationalism and a sustainable development.”