Riyadh [Saudi Arabia], September 18 (ANI): India's Permanent Representative to UNESCO Vishal V Sharma on Sunday said that India rejoices and celebrates the inclusion of Santiniketan on the World Heritage List. He noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the chancellor of Santiniketan and it is his birthday and called the inscription of Santiniketan on the World Heritage list a "welcome gift."Sharma's remarks came after Santiniketan was included in the UNESCO World Heritage list during the 45th Session of the World Heritage Committee in Saudi Arabia on Sunday.
At the World Heritage Committee session in Saudi Arabia's Riyadh, Vishal V Sharma said, "India rejoices and celebrates the inclusion of Santiniketan on the World Heritage List. On behalf of my country, I offer my thanks to the World Heritage Committee, the Secretariat and ... who supported this property and recognized the outstanding universal value of Santiniketan under agenda 45COM.8B.10.""I thank the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and India's expert body the Archaeological Survey of India for their tireless efforts. Honourable Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi is the chancellor of Santiniketan and it is his birthday today. Hence, the inscription of Santiniketan on the World Heritage list is a welcome gift," he added.
Speaking about the history of Santiniketan, Vishal V Sharma said that Santiniketan is situated in West Bengal and was established as an ashram in 1863. He further said that Rabindranath Tagore in 1901 started its transformation into a residential school and a centre of art based on the ancient Indian teaching system of Gurukul.
"Santiniketan, situated in rural Bengal is associated with the work and philosophies of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore world-famous poet, artist, musician, philosopher and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature 1913," the Indian envoy said.
"Established initially as an ashram in 1863 by his father, Rabindranath Tagore began in 1901 its transformation into a residential school and a center for art based on the ancient Indian teaching system of Gurukul. His vision was oriented at the unity of humanity or Vishwa Bharati. Santiniketan embraced a unique brand of internationalism that drew upon ancient medieval and folk traditions of India as well as Japanese, Chinese, Persian, ..., Burmese and Art Deco forms. Many of these themes are seen in his Gitanjali, his collection of poems which he wrote while living in Santiniketan," he added.
He thanked the World Heritage Committee's chair for the inclusion of Santiniketan in World Heritage List by quoting a motto of Santiniketan taken from an ancient Sanskrit verse, "Yatra Vishwam Bhavate Kanidam; where the whole world can meet in a nest. We invite everyone to visit this nest and explore the universalism of Santiniketan." He also congratulated the people of India in Bengali language.
He said, "I will now say a line in the Bengali language congratulating the people of India 'Samasta Bharatiyade Abhinandan' thank you and Bharat Mata ki Jai."Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called the inclusion of West Bengal's Santiniketan in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list as a proud moment for all Indians.
Taking to X, PM Modi said,"Delighted that Santiniketan, an embodiment of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore's vision and India's rich cultural heritage, has been inscribed on the @UNESCO World Heritage List. This is a proud moment for all Indians."External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday expressed his happiness over the conferment of UNESCO's World Heritage status on Santiniketan, the abode of Rabindranath Tagore in the Burbhum district of West Bengal.
Responding to the post by Vishal V Sharma, India's ambassador and permanent representative to UNESCO, on X, Jaishankar wrote, "Congratulations. A fitting tribute to our first Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore and all those who have kept his message alive." (ANI)