J&K Minister for Finance, Culture, Labour & Employment Dr Haseeb A Drabu said that cultural heritage plays a vital role in our life and keeps us attached with our tradition and beliefs. It is the prime duty of any civilized society to protect and preserve its cultural heritage. Without cultural, historical artefacts, civilization had no memory and no mechanism to learn from its successes and failures, he said. Dr Drabu said this while addressing the dignitaries during the inauguration of the Exhibition, Cultural Heritage Practice in India and release of the Monograph HRIDAY Reflections, at the 19th General Assembly and Scientific Symposium ICOMOS (Heritage and Democracy), at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. While speaking on the occasion, the Finance Minister said that cultural heritage needs to be passed to the future generations and people must realize its importance. He said that people should come forward for their contribution in promoting heritage awareness and love for historical structures among all.Cultural heritage has historical, social, aesthetical and scientific significance thus it is very important to understand and determine its significances for the purpose of its preservation and protection’, the Minister said. He said that it is necessary to improve awareness of cultural heritage and the ethics of its care in study curriculum and to identify the tools that can be developed to help the communities to better understand and conserve their heritage.
“The best way to preserve our cultural heritage, whatever it may be, is to share it with others. It is our responsibility to keep world history intact for the coming generations so that they have the same opportunities to learn about the past and their own roots as we have”, the Minister said. Dr Drabu said that keeping in mind the present challenging times, conservation of heritage buildings provides a sense of uniqueness and ermanence in a fast-changing world for future generations. It plays a critical role in defining the landmark within the heritage area besides, generates revenue and supports the tourism industry. He said that ICOMOS has remained front runner in promoting the conservation, protection, use and enhancement of monuments, built ensembles and sites with its key role to develop common doctrines in the evolution and circulation of ideas and in raising awareness about issues related to heritage conservation.The Finance Minister said that it’s an exceptional event to meet hundreds of heritage professionals given the diversity of their skills whether archaeologists, architects, urban planners, engineers curators, building conservation professionals, art historians etc. ICOMOS provides great opportunity for heritage professionals and enthusiasts to come together on a common platform to deliberate on various aspects of heritage, conservation and management and also to get a chance to interact with experts and comprehend the emerging issues and case studies, the Finance minister added.
The Minister desired to organise such events in Jammu and Kashmir for promotion of its cultural ethnicity so as to increase the sense of preservation of cultural identity and paving the path for creative entrepreneurs and rejuvenation of the intangible cultural heritage of the state.ICOMOS India has organized 19th General Assembly from 11th to 15th December 2017 with a mission to promote and enhance professionalism in conservation, management planning and development of India’s diverse heritage. More than 1500 delegates from around the world are participating in the events in this Assembly of ICOMOS. Among others, Member Parliament Pinaki Misra who is also the Chairperson of Parliamentary Standing Committee of Urban Development, GOI, Director General Archaeological Survey of India Usha Sharma, President ICOMOS Gustavo Araoz and ICOMOS India Rohit Jigyasu, foreign delegates and other senior officials were present on the occasion.