Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday launched 'Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav', the government's initiative to mark 75 years of India's Independence.
PM Modi said the 75th-anniversary celebrations will continue till August 15, 2023. "Today is the first day of the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence. This Mahotsav has started 75 weeks before 15th August 2022 and will continue till 15th August 2023," Prime Minister Modi said while addressing a gathering at the 'Azaadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' in Ahmedabad.
"Freedom Struggle, Ideas at 75, Achievements at 75, Actions and Resolves at 75- these five pillars will inspire the country to move forward," the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister also paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi and other freedom fighters for their contribution to the nation.
"I pay tribute to Bapu on this occasion, those who sacrificed their lives and those who led the independence struggle. I pay tribute to brave soldiers who after independence maintained the tradition of defending the nation and sacrificed their lives for the security of the country. I pay tribute to those who rebuilt the country in these 75 years," PM Modi said.
He further said, "The country can never forget Lokmanya Tilak's 'Purna Swaraj', 'Azaad Hind Fauj's call for 'Delhi Chalo', Quit India movement...We take inspiration from Mangal Pandey, Tatya Tope, Rani Laxmi Bai, Chandrashekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, Pandit Nehru, Sardar Patel, Ambedkar...."
The Prime Minister also flagged off a padyatra (foot march) from Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat to re-enact Mahatma Gandhi's Dandi Yatra. The padyatra is being undertaken by 81 marchers from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad to Dandi in Navsari, a journey of 386 km. The march will end after 25 days, on April 5. Led by Mahatma Gandhi, 78 people had started the Dandi Yatra on March 12, 1930 from Sabarmati Ashram by announcing the 'Salt Satyagraha'.
After landing at Ahmedabad airport, Modi drove to Sabarmati Ashram, where he paid floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi. He also visited Hriday Kunj, the house in the Ashram where Mahatma Gandhi stayed with his wife Kasturba from 1918 to 1930.
Modi wrote in the visitors' book that the Mahotsav is a tribute to our freedom fighters and freedom struggle. "By coming to the Sabarmati Ashram and with the inspiration of Bapu, my determination for nation building is strengthened," the prime minister wrote.
"Mahatma Gandhi gave the message of atma-nirbharta (self-reliance) and atma-vishwas (self-confidence) from here, Modi wrote. Azadi Ka Amrut Mohatsav is a tribute by our people to our freedom fighters and freedom movement. During the celebrations the country will not only remember all the important milestones, important times during the freedom movement but also gain new energy for development of our future, Modi wrote.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI)