Bhopal: Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, exhorting youths, said, “Let us take a pledge to live for the country. Every effort should be made to vindicate the dignity, honour and glory of Bharat Mata, as well as the values for which the freedom-fighters sacrificed their lives and to ensure equality of opportunity for all countrymen, along with establishing new dimensions of progress and development. Chouhan was addressing a state-level programme organised at the Shaurya Smarak here on the inauguration of the Amrut Mahotsav of Independence.
Chouhan said that, in order to familiarise the younger generation with the struggles and sacrifices of freedom-fighters, select students of the state would be sent each year on a visit to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the pilgrimage of freedom-fighters, to strengthen the spirit of patriotism, dedication and sacrifice for the country in the young generation. Chouhan also said that efforts would be made to start NCC and NSS in all the schools of the state.
Chouhan said that our forces had shown amazing valour and sacrifice to protect the country and maintain its unity even after attaining independence. After independence in the country, about 30 thousand soldiers have been martyred in various wars and conflicts. The idea of establishing a memorial in memory of these martyrs came up in 2010, since then there was an initiative to build the Shaurya Smarak. A statue of Bharat Mata has also been installed in the Shaurya Smarak.
The CM thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for organising the Amrut Mahotsav of Independence and said that the Dandi Yatra had been started by Mahatma Gandhi on this very day — March 12. The British did not give independence to the country easily. As a matter of fact, thousands of freedom-fighters had sacrificed their lives for the country to become independent. The martyrdom of the brave warriors of Madhya Pradesh would always be remembered, he said, adding that the names of many freedom-fighters had been omitted while the history of India’s freedom struggle was being written. The names of these forgotten freedom-fighters must be included and the coming generations must learn about their martyrdom. Chouhan also explained in details about the atrocities and excesses committed by the British on Chandrasekhar Azad, Shaheed Bhagat Singh and other freedom-fighters at Andaman and Nicobar.
Valour of 30,000 soldiers
Khajuraho MP and BJP state president VD Sharma said that the Amrut Mahotsav of Independence would play an important role in making the young generation of Independent India aware about the sacrifices of freedom-fighters. Sharma thanked PM Modi for this. He called upon the younger generation to take a pledge for the progress and growth of the country. The programme ended with the National Anthem.
Photo exhibition inaugurated
The chief minister inaugurated the programme with ‘Kanya Pujan’. Along with this, he offered flowers at the portraits of Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. A portrait exhibition focusing on Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and revolutionaries of Madhya Pradesh was also inaugurated by Chouhan. On this occasion, Vande Mataram was recited and the bhajan, ‘Vaishnav Jan Te’, was sung. Chouhan laid a wreath at the Shaurya Pillar and offered flowers to the statue of Bharat Mata.
CM celebrates rain showers
The chief minister came down from the stage and addressed the students from there even as the rain started pouring during the inauguration of Amrit Mahotsav. After a few minutes, the rain stopped and he told the students, “See, the rain, too, has been defeated by you.” Earlier, during the programme, when the drizzle started and the showers intensified, he saw the students were getting distracted and he said, “Will you withstand the rain and should the programme continue?” The students said they all wanted to listen to him and the chief minister got off the stage and addressed the students. Chouhan celebrated the rain as ‘Anand Utsav’. The students, too, were excited by his address.
Large-scale events to be held
Chouhan said that programmes will be organised on a large scale under the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence in the state. In order to save and cherish the memories of the freedom struggle, programmes will be held at all the places where Indian people have displayed bravery to fight against foreign invaders and driven them out of the country.
Besides VD Sharma, public health and family welfare minister Prabhuram Chaudhary; micro, small and medium enterprises and science and technology minister Omprakash Saklecha; MLA Krishna Gaur; former mayor Alok Sharma; film producer and director Prakash Jha; principal secretary, culture and public relations, Sheo Shekhar Shukla and a large number of NCC and NSS students were present at the programme.