• Monday, February 06, 2023

INDIA

Modi launches celebrations to mark 75 years of India’s Independence

REUTERS/Amit Dave

By: Pramod Thomas

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi on Friday (12) launched ‘Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav’ (elixir of the energy of freedom), India’s initiative to mark 75 years of India’s Independence, in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad.

Modi flagged off the event by paying tribute to Mahatma Gandhi and all the freedom fighters who lost their lives fighting for the country’s independence.

He also flagged off a padyatra or foot march from Sabarmati Ashram to re-enact Mahatma Gandhi’s Dandi March. The 25-day padyatra will be undertaken by 81 people and cover a journey of 241 miles from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi in Navsari. Indian minister Prahlad Singh Patel will lead the first lap of 75 kilometres.

“We still say we have eaten ‘desh ka namak’ (The nation’s salt). This is not because salt is a very valuable thing. Salt has never been valued by its cost in our country. The salt here means honesty. Salt means faith. Salt means loyalty,” Modi said.

Modi talked about the contributions of Bhakti saints in ‘continuously awakening this flame of the freedom movement’ across all regions of the country.

Talking about freedom fighters from across the country, he invoked the memory of Kodi Kathmaran, the 32-year-old martyr from Tamil Nadu who lost his life while protecting the Indian flag.

“The British shot the young man in the head, but he did not let the country’s flag fall in the ground even while dying,” he said.

He also talked at length about Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Birsa Munda for their contribution to the freedom struggle.

“Whether it is a memorial in Jallianwala Bagh or a memorial in remembrance of the Paika movement, work has been done on all. The places associated with Baba Saheb, which had been forgotten for decades, have also been developed by the country in the form of Panchtirtha,” Modi aded.

He also talked about India’s present-day achievements, especially the country’s advancement in the fields of vaccine manufacturing and space exploration.

Modi concluded his speech by passing over the baton to the youth and scholars of the country, asking them to take forward the exercise of writing India’s history and the history of her freedom fighters.

“Todays #AmritMahotsav programme begins from Sabarmati Ashram, from where the Dandi March began. The March had a key role in furthering a spirit of pride and Aatmanirbharta among India’s people. Going #VocalForLocal is a wonderful tribute to Bapu and our great freedom fighters,” Modi tweeted before the launch of the celebrations.

“Buy any local product and post a picture on social media using #VocalForLocal. A Charkha will be installed near Magan Niwas at Sabarmati Ashram. It will rotate full circle with each Tweet related to Aatmanirbharta. This shall also become a catalyst for a peoples movement.”

He said the 75th anniversary celebrations will continue till August 15, 2023.

Gujarat governor Acharya Devvrat and chief minister Vijay Rupani were also present at the event.

Indian government has constituted a committee under home minister Amit Shah to chalk out policies and planning of various events to be undertaken as part of the celebrations.

Eastern Eye

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