(Eds: Adding details) Midnapore (WB), Dec 19 (PTI) Home Minister Amit Shah said on Saturday that revolutionary Khudiram Bose is as much a pride for the whole of India as he is of Bengal, hitting out at those indulging in 'narrow' politics of regionalism.
Garlanding the statue of Khudiram at the freedom fighter's ancestral residence here, Shah said that he has inspired the youths of the country with his slogan 'Vande Mataram' while he was hanged by the British in 1908 at the age of 18.
'I want to tell those who are doing narrow politics in Bengal that Khudiram Bose is as much a pride of India as he is of Bengal,' he said.
He said that freedom fighter Pandit Ram Prasad Bismil, who gave his life for the country, was also as much a son of Uttar Pradesh as he was of Bengal.
In an indirect dig at the ruling Trinamool Congress, he said that those indulging in politics of regionalism should overcome it.
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and other leaders of her party have often accused the BJP of bringing in 'outsiders' to West Bengal ahead of assembly elections, likely in April-May next year.
Shah said that those brave sons of the country who fought and made great sacrifices for Independence together 'could never have imagined such narrow politics of regionalism'.
Maintaining that the country can never forget the contributions of Bengal and its brave men in the freedom struggle, Shah said that the future generations will be inspired to work for the cause of the nation by the supreme sacrifice made by Khudiram Bose.
'With Geeta in his hands, Khudiram Bose had walked up the podium where he was hanged,' the BJP leader said, remembering one of the youngest freedom fighters to have been executed by the British imperialists.
Shah said that Khudiram was so popular among the people that some weavers had started weaving his name on clothes, which became an inspiration for the youths of Bengal to join the freedom movement.
Arriving at the ancestral house of Khudiram after landing at Midnapore town from Kolkata in a helicopter, the home minister greeted the revolutionary's family members with shawls and mementos.
'I am having the feeling of a new consciousness on having had the opportunity to have touched this sacred soil on my forehead,' he said.
'I want to tell the youths that though we have not had the occasion to give our lives for the country, we have got the opportunity to live for the nation. We should endeavour for building a strong and secure India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,' Shah said.
The home minister interacted with the family members of Khudiram Bose for some time before visiting the centuries- old Siddheswari Mata temple nearby.
He paid floral obeisance to the goddess and performed 'aarti'. PTI AMR SOM SOM