Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday (January 23) said that 130 crore Indians are indebted and will always remain so to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the freedom fighter who once revamped the Indian National Army (INA).
The Prime Minister was speaking at the 'Parakram Diwas' celebrations at Kolkata's Victoria Memorial, commemorating the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
Earlier, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was also present at the event, had cut short her speech due to a section of the crowd raising 'Jai Shri Ram' slogans.
"We will celebrate January 23, Netaji's birthday, as Parakram Diwas every year," the Prime Minister vowed after walking on-stage, "130 crore Indians are indebted and will remain so to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose."
"Netaji would have been proud to see how India is helping other nations by providing them vaccines," the Prime Minister said, adding, "Netaji reached Andaman and unfurled the Tricolour with his own soldiers. The declaration which he'd made was the first government of 'Akhand Bharat'. He was the first head of the Azad Hind government."
"He once asked people not to lose hope of free India; similarly, no one can stop India from being Atmanirbhar," the Prime Minister said.
"From LAC to LOC, the world is witnessing the powerful avatar of India that was once envisioned by Netaji. India today is giving a befitting reply wherever attempts are made to challenge its sovereignty," he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Kolkata at 3:25 PM on Saturday to participate in the 'Parakram Diwas' celebrations commemorating the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
After reaching Kolkata, he first visited the National Library in Kolkata and interacted with artists and delegates of the library.
He later reached Victoria Memorial, where the Parakram Diwas celebrations were organised. PM Modi was accompanied by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.
The Prime Minister also participated in an 'interactive exhibition' organised in Victoria Memorial depicting 125 most important events of Netaji's life. The exhibition will continue for next two years and is titled 'Nirbheek Subhas'.
PM Modi later greeted the people gathered to participate in the cultural programme organised at Victoria Memorial on the occasion of 'Parakram Diwas'. He also met the family members of the Indian Army founder.
Modi is also scheduled to visit Kolkata's Netaji Bhawan at Elgin Road today.
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