A BJP lawmaker wants the Centre to collect information about freedom fighters from ‘Akhand Bharat’ or undivided India, who fought for the country’s independence between 1857 and 1947, and honour their struggle and sacrifice by building a memorial.
Member of Parliament from Sant Kabir Nagar constituency in Uttar Pradesh, Sharad Tripathi said the country has failed to acknowledge and honour the contribution of the “unsung heroes” of India’s freedom struggle.
“We have a memorial — India Gate — where the names of those soldiers who fought on behalf the British in various wars are inscribed. But we don’t even have the records of those who fought and sacrificed to free their motherland, India from imperial rule,” he told Hindustan Times.
The ruling BJP’s ideological mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh describe the concept of Akhand Bharat as a unified India which includes Pakistan and Bangladesh. While the BJP leadership wavers on the issue, the RSS has remained a strong proponent of the idea.
Tripathi, who has raised the issue in Parliament as well, wants the Centre to construct a new memorial ‘Shahid Gate’ adjacent to India Gate in the national capital.
The enormity of exercise, which would include ferreting out names of those who participated in the freedom struggle, starting with the soldiers’ rebellion of 1857, from places, now in Pakistan and Bangladesh does not daunt Tripathi.
“It is not difficult to collect information if the government gets down to it. For years successive governments had failed to honour heroes such as Bhagat Singh and Rajguru. Modiji (PM Narendra Modi) was the first Prime Minister to visit the birthplace Chandrashekhar Azad (in Madhya Pradesh),” the MP from the eastern UP constituency, named after the poet-saint Kabir, said.