NEW DELHI: People in India should take pride in their country's rich cultural heritage, said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing a gathering at the inauguration of Dharohar Bhawan, the ASI headquarters, on Wednesday.
The country should showcase its great heritage with pride and confidence to the world, said Modi. Modi said the way forward was for at least 100 cities with historical sites in the country to introduce the heritage of these places in school syllabus for children.
Lessons in local archaeology will prevent dilution of historic value of a city and help preserve the country's pride, said Modi. The government may also start online certificate courses to produce quality local tourist guides across cities.
"It is impossible to run historical sites without well-trained local tourist guides who are familiar with the history and heritage of their area. When people internalise history, there comes a sense of belongingness," said Modi.
Each archaeological discovery made by archaeologists over a long period of time has its own story to narrate, said the Prime Minister. He narrated an anecdote in which the then French President had travelled to Chandigarh a few years ago for a first-hand view of archaeological discoveries made by a joint Indo-French team.
Speaking on the significant contributions of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), he also wondered why the ASI has prohibited photography at several prominent monuments. The Dharohar Bhawan has been built over a 2.58 acre and is spread over a four-storeyed building.
It now houses the central archaeological library with a collection of 1.5 lakh books and journals. The library is a treasure trove for researchers and has the diary of British army officer and archaeologist Alexander Cunningham and John Marshall.
The library boasts rare portfolios on Ajanta and Ellora caves and many sites of archaeological importance and oriental collections on ancient Indian history which are not available in other libraries in the country.