Kolkata: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said several important aspects of the country's history were overlooked by historians who wrote about it after Independence without delving deeply into the subject. One of the key aspects of nation-building is to preserve the country's heritage, he said.
"We want to show before the world our country's heritage, want to make India a hub of heritage tourism. Five iconic museums of the country will be developed to international standard, starting with the Indian Museum in Kolkata," he said.
Modi dedicated to the nation four refurbished heritage buildings of the city - the Old Currency Building, the Belvedere House, the Metcalfe House and the Victoria Memorial Hall.
"It is unfortunate that during the British rule and even after independence, the history that was written overlooked several important chapters," he said.
Hinting that the contribution of many freedom fighters were not highlighted as much as it should be, Modi said, “To honour the Bengali freedom fighters, a museum should be established. I think it should be called ‘Biplobi Bharat’ museum in which Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Aurobindo Ghosh, Rash Bihari Bose, Khudiram Bose, Deshbandhu (Chittaranjan Das), Bagha Jatin (Jatindranath Mukherjee), Binoy (Binoy Krishna Basu), Badal (Badal Gupta), Dinesh (Dinesh Gupta), every great freedom fighters like them should be given a place.”
Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore in a writing in 1903 had said India's history is not that what students study for examinations, Modi said while addressing a programme at the Old Currency Building.
"Some people came from outside killed their own relatives and brothers for the sake of the throne... is not our history. This was said by Gurudev himself. He had said in this history, it is not mentioned what the people of the country was doing. Didn't they have any existence?" he said.
Stressing upon the need to preserve the heritage monuments of the country, Modi said the government will renovate, re-invent, re-plan to protect the culture, traditions and heritage monuments with galleries, divisions and better infrastructure for theatre and music. "You will be happy to know that we are starting it from Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Varanasi,” he said.
While announcing that the renovation work to modernise the four iconic monuments in Kolkata has been completed, Modi said, “The idea of converting Belvedere House into Museum of the World was done sincerely. We should always remember Swami Vivekananda's words he said while communicating with some people at the University of Michigan. He had said, 'Right now, the present century may be yours, but 21st century will be India'."
Modi later inaugurated a sound and light show at the iconic Howrah Bridge from the Millenium Park on the banks of the Ganga here.
The 2.5-minute show and sound system is installed at the Millenium Park and is part of a project of the Kolkata Port Trust's (KoPT) 150th anniversary celebrations. The show will replace the existing decorative lighting with 650 power-efficient LED and spotlight fittings for a programmable multi-colour lighting, including a show that will sync with music.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and Union Minister of Shipping (independent charge) Mansukh Mandaviya were present at the glittering programme organised by the KoPT at the park situated about 2 km from the bridge.
After inaugurating the show, Modi left for Belur Math, the global headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, by the river route.
The cantilever bridge was built by the British and opened to the people in 1943 in the midst of World War II replacing a pontoon bridge at the same location and linking Kolkata and Howrah.
The bridge, considered to be the busiest cantilever bridge in the world, was renamed Rabindra Setu in 1965. More than 1.15 lakh vehicles from both Kolkata and Howrah ply on it each day, besides over five lakh pedestrians from both sides.
(With inputs from PTI)