The Vice President of India, M Venakaiah Naidu has called upon the government and the civil society organizations to join hands in preserving India’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage.Saying that a beginning has been made in the recent years to build this kind of public-private partnerships to preserve and protect monuments and propagate cultural traditions and art forms, he said the conservation project undertaken at the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple was one such example.the gathering after launching the Book - “Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam: preserving antiquity for posterity” in Chennai today, he said that it was the sacred and patriotic duty of every citizen to preserve, protect and present our antiquities to the next generations. ‘We have an onerous responsibility as inheritors of a grand tradition. We cannot rest on our past laurels,’ he added.Shri Naidu expressed concern over the lack of care relating to archaeological sites and said that those innumerable treasures should not be allowed to be buried under the weight of relative neglect and inertia. He said that as a society everyone has a responsibility in preserving and protecting out cultural and spiritual heritage. He said that such noble causes must take the shape of peoples’ movements like Swachh Bharat and BetiBachaoBetiPadhao programs.Observing that India has many priceless treasures of art and architecture, song and dance, poetry and theatre, mythology and theology, the Vice President stressed the need to preserve and protect all structures and monuments of historical and cultural importance.
Shri Naidu complimented the Indian Culture and Heritage Trust and the VenugopalaswamyKainkaryam Trust for taking up the conservation of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam.The Vice President said that there was need to provide training, knowledge and skills in restoration work to people working at archaeological departments, local engineering departments and local bodies. He also wanted Civil Engineering institutions in the country to develop specialized courses for engineers, archaeologists and restoration professionals.Shri Naidu advised local bodies and civil administrations to make special efforts to remove encroachments and create pilgrim friendly facilities in all places of religion and historical interest.The book released by the Vice President explains the conservation project undertaken at Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam and details both the historical and mythological significance of the ancient shrine as well as the conservation efforts undertaken to restore the temple to its original glory.The Governor of Tamil Nadu, Shri BanwarilalPurohit, The Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments, Government ofTamil Nadu, Shri Sevvoor S. Ramachandran, Shri D. Jayakumar, the Minister for Fisheries and Personnel and Administrative Reforms, SrimadSrivarahaMahadesikanSwamy, Andavan Ashram Srirangam, SrimadSrivensadagopaSriranganathaYathindraMahadesiganSwamy, Jeeyar of Ahobila Mutt, Shri MadhurakaviVanamamalai, Jeeyar of Naguneri Mutt, Shri Venu Srinivasan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Shri S Gurumurthy, Editor, Thuglak and were also present at the event.