New Delhi: Heritage is a vital asset for economic growth and diversification, and it is echoed in India’s mantra of ‘Vikas Bhi Virasat Bhi’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday in his virtual address to the G20 culture ministers’ meeting in Varanasi.
Kashi, he said, is known to be a treasure chest of knowledge, duty and truth and it is indeed the cultural and spiritual capital of India.
“We in India are very proud of our eternal and diverse culture. We also attach great value to our intangible cultural heritage,” he said.
While highlighting the “inherent potential of culture to unite and enable us to understand diverse backgrounds and perspectives”, the Prime Minister said that the work of the G20 Culture Ministers’ group holds immense significance for entire humanity.
He mentioned mapping the country’s cultural assets and artists at the national level as well as village level.
Modi further said that building several centres to celebrate India’s culture and gave the example of the tribal museums located in different parts of the country which showcase the vibrant culture of India’s tribal communities.
Referring to the Prime Ministers’ Museum in New Delhi, Modi said that it is a one-of-a-kind effort to showcase India’s democratic heritage.
He also mentioned developing the ‘Yuge Yugeen Bharat’ National Museum, which upon completion will stand as the world’s largest museum showcasing India’s history and culture spanning over 5,000 years.
Speaking about the important issue of restitution of cultural property, the Prime Minister welcomed the efforts of the working group and said that tangible heritage is not only of material value but it is also the history and identity of a nation.
“Everyone has the right to access and enjoy their cultural heritage.”
Modi informed that since 2014, India has brought back hundreds of such artefacts that showcase the glory of its ancient civilisation.