Ahmedabad, Friday: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the nationwide ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ to mark the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence at a function at the historic Sabarmati Ashram here today.
The Mahotsav in the form of variety of programmes will continue for 75 weeks culminating on August 15, 2022.
Speaking at the function, he said the Sabarmati Ashram is the Centrepoint of the country’s freedom struggle, the source of inspiration for the freedom fighters, new ideas and resolutions for 130 crore people to build a New India.
Mr. Modi also flagged off the Dandi march, to reenact the famous Dandi march undertaken by Mahatma Gandhi on March 12, 1930 to Dandi on south Gujarat seacoast 386 km away.
He said the Mahotsav is being launched with the Dandi march, also known as Salt Satyagraha, undertaken 90 years ago, as it symbolized applying salt to the very foundation of foreign rule, to instill patriotism among the people to free India from the shackles of domination. In Indian parlance, salt represented India’s basic need, culture, loyalty, outlook, fruits of labour, equality and self-reliance.
Mr. Modi described today’s event as if witness to that historic event with a number of functions being held on this revered day at holy places like Cellular Jail, Azad Kranti Maidan in Mumbai, Jallianwala Bagh to pay our tribute to venerated souls like Rani Lakshmibai, Subhas Chandra Bose and Veer Savarkar who sacrificed their lives to free India.
He said the Azadi Ka Mahotsav will be being celebrated around five pillars, namely freedom struggle, ideas@75, acheivements@75, actions@75 and resolutions@75. He said that India has inherited a glorious past, priceless legacy and treasure, a tradition of sacrifice for the nation to encourage the youth to emulate live and die for the cause of the nation.
Mr. Modi recalled that by imposing tax on salt the British had hit the self-esteem of India as Gandhiji raised the voice against the Salt Tax and sounded the demand for freedom. Every event has been a chapter of freedom struggle, highlighting the consciousness of Ramyug, Shivaji, Pratap, the freedom struggle of 1857, Gandhiji’s return to India, Tilak’s call for Swaraj, Quit India Movement. He also mentioned the role of Shyamji Krishna Verma of Kutch who fought for India’s freedom struggle from London under the nose of Britishers. He (Mr. Modi) brought his ashes to India.
He also remembered the contribution of tribal leaders of Garo, Khasi, Santhal, Naga, Kuka, Bhil, Birsa Munda, Murmu brothers, Alluri Sitaramaju, Govindguru of Mangarh for the Motherland, also the tradition of seers and sages of India before the advent of the British.
Mr. Modi said Statue of Unity, discovering vaccine for Covid-19, Vasudaivakutumbaka, Ek Bharat Shresht Bharat, Atmanirbhar Bharat represented numerous achievements of India, an inspiration for other nations, looking up to India as Vishwa Guru. It is new sunrise for India.
The Prime Minister said the sloka “Mrityo Mokshiya Ma Amritam” is the mantra of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav for resurgence of new awakening, to realise the freedom fighters’ dream of Surajya for global peace and development.
Gujarat Chief Minister Mr. Vijaybhai Rupani, in his address, said that today the entire nation is looking at Gujarat as under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel, Gujarat had taken the lead in India’s freedom fight. It is a pride moment for Gujarat to launch the celebration of 75th year of independence from the land on which the fight for India’s freedom had initiated.
Exactly 91 years ago on very same date, Mahatma Gandhi, accompanied by his 78 satyagrahis, had started historical ‘Dandi March’ and had launched famous ‘Salt Satyagrah’ at Dandi (Navsari) on April 6 as direct-action campaign of tax resistance and non-violent protest against the British salt Monopoly which ultimate became the starting point for the erosion of mighty British Empire.
Today after 75 years of Independence when the entire nation with mantra of ‘Live for the Nation’ marching towards making India as the “World Guru” then reliving of historical ‘Dandi March’ would become a force to revive the mass consciousness among the people.
The Chief Minister said that Gujarat contribution in India’s freedom movement was significant. Gandhiji had launched nation-wide campaign to spread mass consciousness among the people; while Sardar Patel had built United India with merger of small princely states. This way Gandhiji had become sculptor of ‘India’s Independence’; and Sardar Patel had become sculptor of ‘United India’. Beside these two stalwarts, other known and unknown freedom fighters such as Ganesh Vasudev Mavlankar, Vinod Kinariwala, Maganbhai Patel, Sardarsinh Rana, Shyamji Krushna Verma, including women — Madam Bhikhaiji Cama, Lilavatiben Banker, Purnimaben Pakvasa, and tribal leaders Roopsinh Nayak and Govind Guru, had also made their contributions in the freedom movement. This is the occasion to remember the contributions of these freedom-fighters.
Mr. Rupani further stated that it was a ‘good fortune of Gujarat’ that during India’s freedom movement, Gandhiji had spent maximum time in Gujarat. And, historical Sabarmati Ashram became a witness to many decisions made pertaining to freedom movement. The launching of celebration of 75th year of India’s independence from the very same place has added another feather in Gujarat’s glory.
To take the contributions of Gandhiji and others to maximum people, monuments like ‘Gandhi Tourism Circuit’, ‘National Salt Museum’, ‘Tribal Museum’, ‘Zaverchand Meghani Museum,’ are being built by the State Government in Gujarat, he said.
The Chief Minister further stated that Gujarat was fortunate to receive strong and competent leadership of Prime Minister Mr. Narendrabhai Modi. Gujarat has become leader in the country with its 8 % GDP, 1600 KM long coastline, 40 ports, renewable energy, and employment. Gujarat by becoming the growth engine of the country — will show a direction and become center for development for the nation.
Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Tourism and Culture Mr. Prahlad Singh Patel said that the governments will not play the role of organizers in this mega event but act as the partners.
Referring to the letters written to Lord Irwin by Mahatma Gandhi, Mr. Patel said that during the British rule India was made a feeble and disrespectful country. But, today India is emerging as an ‘Aatmanirbhar’ (self-reliant) nation with pride. Under the competent leadership of Prime Minister Mr. Narendrabhai Modi, India’s road-map for development till the centenary year of nation’s freedom has been prepared. It is our objective that by centenary year of Independence — “Maa Bharati” (Mother land India) become a strong and prosperous nation and its tale of glory is being told in every nook and corner of the world.
At the commencement of the event, nearly 200 artists had displayed colourful cultural varieties representing cultures of different parts of India. A specially designed ‘Charkha’, based on ‘Vocal for Local’ theme, was also launched on the occasion. Whenever any Indian makes a tweet after purchasing a swadeshi (made in India) item then this special charkha will swing for one round. During the span of this celebration a target of 75-crore swings has been setup for this charkha. A special website ‘India75.nic.in’ was also launched.
At the Sabarmati Ashram, Mr. Narendra Modi had also visited Hridayakunj and paid homage to the painting of Mahatma Gandhi by garlanding it with a cotton-thread. At this moment, the tiny-tots sang Gandhiji’s most favorite hymns in the melodious voice.
After his visit, the Prime Minister had noted his response in the visitor’s book of the Gandhi Ashram. An audio-visual film was released on the occasion of Amrut Mahotsav of Independence. Then the song “Tuz Se Hi To Zinda Ho O Mere Hindustan” was performed live by the country’s famous lyricist Zubin Nautiyal.
Mr. Modi also saw an exhibition of sketches and various memorabilia on the Dandi Yatra painted by Chhaganlal Jadhav.
The event was also graced by presence of Gujarat Governor Mr. Acharya Devvrat, Member of Parliament and Gujarat BJP State President Mr. C. R. Patil, newly appointed Ahmedabad city Mayor Mr. Kirit Parmar, Sabarmati Ashram’s trustees – Mr. Kartikeya Sarabhai, Mr. Amrut Modi and large number of citizens.
Source: Information Department, Gujarat