New Delhi: The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for presenting a “real history” of India to the younger generations as there were many distortions in the history drafted by the colonial rulers.
Presenting Punyabhushan Award to eminent Archeologist, Dr. G.B. Deglurkar, in Pune, Maharashtra today, he said that unfortunately our history books did not mention about the contributions made by many illustrious sons and daughters of India. The award has been instituted by the Punyabhushan Foundation.
Pointing out that India than 3,600 monuments of national importance were being protected and preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Shri Naidu said that it was important to protect and conserve the glorious history of the country embedded in these structures. “All of them are relics of India’s past and symbols of our cultural expressions,” he added.
“Archaeological sites act as the bridges to connect the present with the past and reveal different facets of the past to mankind. Archeology has tremendous potential to ‘reconstruct’ and ‘re-correct’ history,” he added.
Talking about the importance of Archaeology, Shri Naidu said that it was the responsibility of every citizen of the country to protect and preserve the monuments and pass on them to future generations.
The Vice President called upon Public sector and private sector firms as well as individuals to adopt archeological sites and take part in the preservation of our great heritage. He said people’s participation was essential in strengthening the Government’s efforts in conservation of important archaeological sites.
The Vice President said that the time has arrived to bring together various academic disciplines such as history, archaeology, anthropology, iconography, epigraphy and sociology to establish a strong correlation of the literature, history and archaeological data for better understanding of the past. “I am sure that this approach will help us to make a fundamental contribution to textual and archaeological study of the epics of India”, he added.
Pointing out that archaeology helps in discovering not only ‘other’ civilizations but also in rediscovering our ‘own’ selves, he stressed the need to create greater awareness about monuments and their importance among the students. The Vice President urged schools and colleges to organize visits of students to nearby archaeological and historical monuments and encourage them to take part in upkeep activities and Cleanliness Drives at those monuments.
Shri Naidu appreciated the efforts of NGOs like the Aga Khan Trust who have undertaken the restoration of monuments in few cities, and conservation and restoration of the Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple at Srirangam undertaken by the government with the help of donors and said that many similar efforts were needed.
Shri Naidu also praised the organizers for felicitating ‘Veermata’, Smt. Lata Nair, Freedom Fighter, Mohammed Chandbhai Sheikh, War-injured Soldiers, Shri Naik Fulsingh and Shri Govind Biradar on the occasion. “I take this opportunity to salute these great warriors of nationalism and countless unsung heroes, who laid down their lives for the freedom of Mother India”, he added.
The Founder of Sancheti Hospital, Dr. K.H. Sancheti, the Founder of Symbiosis International University, Dr. S.B. Majumdar, eminent classical vocalist, Dr. Prabha Atre, former Captain of Indian Cricket Team, Shri Chandrakant Borde, the President, Punyabhushan Foundation, Dr. Satish Desai and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.