PM Modi connects tourism with heritage, emphasises the need for Indians first to recognize and respect Indian heritage

Recently, the prime minister played host for a book release, on the subject of age old architecture of Gujarat – its temples that are over 1000 years old. The book was written by a former IAS officer, Varun Maira, whose earlier two books have also been released by Mr. Modi, in his days as the state chief minister. It appeared he had promised Varun Maira he will release his next too, a promise that he kept, and reiterated when releasing this one as prime minister. In that almost one hour ceremony, the prime minister was a perfect host, asking everybody to tea, posing for group photographs with Maira’s family, which included a few toddlers as well. But what was arresting was Mr. Modi’s speech, delivered off the cuff, as is his style, and with passion and purpose.

India, he said, had so much going back to centuries, and this had been overlooked. If we will not value our own, why would others? We had to look inwards, and explore our own assets in our heritage and culture, and then we can watch how the world will admire it, too. There was a dire need to focus on what was unique about India, it was important to keep our roots alive and strong. And somewhere he saw a strong tourism connect with this culture. Between the two, he saw a symbiotic relationship, and hoped that this heritage will be projected to the world at large.

We at TourismFirst can only join him in this same desire, that tourism works in tandem with our heritage, not only for international exposure but also within the country as well. As the prime minister mentioned, it is important for Indians first to recognize and give respect to Indian heritage. And then the world, too, will appreciate it.

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