PM launches 'Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav', flags off Dandi march

·4-min read

(Eds: adds details) Ahmedabad, Mar 12 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday launched 'Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav', the government's initiative to mark 75 years of India's Independence.

Modi said the 75th anniversary celebrations will continue till August 15, 2023, adding 'conscious efforts' have been made in the last six years to preserve the history of unsung heroes of the country.

The prime minister flagged off a padyatra (foot march) from Sabarmati Ashram to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi's Dandi march.

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', a non-violent protest against the oppressive British taxes on salt, which played a vital role in the Independence movement.

'We are proud of our Constitution and democratic traditions. India is the mother of democracy and we are marching ahead by strengthening it. India's achievements are not just our own. Our achievements are showing light to the entire world,' Modi said after launching the celebrations.

India's 'Atmanirbhar' approach of development will give momentum to the development journey of the world, he said.

'Five pillars - Freedom Struggle, Ideas at 75, Achievements at 75, Actions at 75 and Resolves at 75 - are the guiding force for moving forward,' he said.

Listing the contributions made by freedom fighters and different incidents related to the freedom struggle, Modi said, 'The country has been making a conscious effort for the last six years to preserve this history, in every state and every region.

'The revival of the site associated with the Dandi Yatra was completed two years ago. The site where Netaji Subhash (Chandra Bose) hoisted the tricolor in Andaman after the formation of the country's first independent government has also been revived.

'The Andaman and Nicobar islands are named after the freedom struggle. Places associated with Babasaheb (Ambedkar) have been developed in the form ofPanchteerthas. The memorial in Jallianwala Bagh and Paika movement memorial have also been developed, Modi said.

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.

'I am confident that with the blessings of Bapu, we Indians will follow our duties and achieve the goals set during this Amrut Mohatsave,' he added.

Modi then went to the venue of the cultural programme adjacent to the Ashram.

'Todays #AmritMahotsav programme begins from Sabarmati Ashram, from where the Dandi March began. The March had a key role in furthering a spirit of pride and Aatmanirbharta among Indias people. Going #VocalForLocal is a wonderful tribute to Bapu and our great freedom fighters,' Modi tweeted before the launch of the celebrations.

'Buy any local product and post a picture on social media using #VocalForLocal. A Charkha will be installed near Magan Niwas at Sabarmati Ashram. It will rotate full circle with each Tweet related to Aatmanirbharta. This shall also become a catalyst for a peoples movement,' Modi tweeted before the Mahotsav launch.

The Central government has constituted a committee under Union Home Minister Amit Shah to chalk out policies and planning of various events to be undertaken as part of the celebrations.

Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat and Chief Minister Vijay Rupani were present at the launch of the celebrations.

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