Jallianwala Bagh has inspired countless revolutionaries: PM
New Delhi Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday virtually unveiled the renovated complex of the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial in Amritsar, saying it will inspire generations to learn about the history of the “holy place”.
Addressing the nation, the PM referring to the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, reiterated that “it’s not right for a country to ignore such horrors of its past”, and, therefore, he said, India has decided to observe 14th August every year as Partition Horrors Remembrance Day.
The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre took place on April 13, 1919, when colonial troops opened fire into a crowd of thousands of unarmed Indians who had gathered there to mark the occasion of Baisakhi.
“Jallianwala Bagh is the place which inspired countless revolutionaries and fighters like Sardar Udham Singh, Sardar Bhagat Singh to die for the freedom of India. Those 10 minutes of April 13, 1919, became the immortal story of our freedom struggle, due to which we are able to celebrate the Amrit Mahotsav of freedom today. On such an occasion, the dedication of Jallianwala Bagh Memorial in the modern version in the 75th year of independence is an opportunity of great inspiration for all of us,” the PM said.
Calling it a “responsibility” of every nation to preserve its history, Modi, who is also the chairperson of Jallianwala Bagh Memorial Trust, said, “Therefore, India has decided to observe 14th August every year as ‘Partition Horrors Remembrance Day’. India witnessed horrors like Jallianwala Bagh during the partition of the country. The people of Punjab have been the biggest victims of Partition. We still feel the pain of what happened at the time of Partition in every corner of India and especially in the families of Punjab,” he said.
During his 20-minute address, the PM also referred to India’s efforts in evacuating its citizens from the crisis-hit Afghanistan and said that the current global conditions underline the importance of “Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat” and reinforces the need for “Atma-Nirbharta and Aatmvishwas”.
“If Indians are in trouble, anywhere in the world, then India stands up to help them with all its might. Be it the corona period or the crisis of Afghanistan, the world has experienced it continuously...Hundreds of friends from Afghanistan are being brought to India under Operation Devi Shakti. Due to ‘Guru Kripa’, the government could bring the ‘swaroop’ of the holy Guru Granth Sahib along with people to India (from Afghanistan),” Modi said.
The PM also spoke about the ongoing countrywide celebrations under the banner of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsava’ to mark 75 years of its independence. The government is organising a series of events and activities dedicated to freedom fighters, especially the “unsung heroes”, historic events and places, across the country as a part of this celebration.
“Efforts are made to preserve the places associated with the important stages of the freedom struggle and with national heroes and bring them to the fore. Like Jallianwala Bagh, national monuments are being renovated across the country such as Interactive Gallery in Allahabad Museum, Biplobi Bharat Gallery in Kolkata, etc. Contributions of Azad Hind Fauz (INA) have been brought to the forefront by giving a new identity to the place in Andaman where Netaji unfurled the national flag for the first time. Names of islands in Andaman have been dedicated to the freedom struggle,” the PM said.
Modi expressed disappointment over the fact that the freedom fighters from tribal communities have not got a due place in history books. “Our tribal community contributed greatly and made great sacrifices for freedom. Their contribution did not get as much place in the history books as it should have. Work is currently underway on museums showing tribal freedom fighters and their struggle in nine states of the country,” Modi said.
He also said efforts are on to “preserve” the rich heritage of Punjab. “Fortunately auspicious occasions like 550th Prakashotsava of Guru Nanak Dev ji, 350th Prakashotsava of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, 400th Prakashotsava of Guru Teg Bahadur Ji took place in the last seven years and the central government has tried to spread the teachings of the Gurus through these holy occasions,” the PM said.
The event was also attended by several ministers and dignitaries including Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh who urged the Prime Minister to request the UK to return the personal belongings of freedom fighter Udham Singh, including his pistol and diary.