PM Modi hoists Tricolour at Red Fort on 75th anniversary of Azad Hind government
In a first, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hoisted the national flag at the Red Fort in New Delhi on Sunday morning to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Azad Hind government formed by freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
The Azad Hind government was raised by Netaji during the freedom movement.
The decision to hoist the national flag at the Red Fort has reportedly been taken because it was the same place where soldiers of the Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauj) faced trails by the British.
Tomorrow morning, I will be hoisting the Tricolour at the Red Fort. Here is the reason. pic.twitter.com/sur0GXh370Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 20, 2018
In terms of political optics, this is being seen as an attempt by the BJP to stake claim to the legacy of Netaji after doing so for BR Ambedkar and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
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Interacting with BJP workers via video-conference on Wednesday, Modi had announced his plans to attend the ceremony.
Traditionally, the prime minister hoists the national tricolour at the historic Red Fort on Independence Day on August 15.
According to a report by news agency PTI, Modi in his address said BJP respects everybody who served the country, irrespective of party affiliation. He reportedly said that his government celebrates the contributions of many great personalities who were "neglected" by the Congress in its rule of several decades.
"While the Congress neglected the likes of Bhim Rao Ambedkar, Bose and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the BJP believed in remembering everybody who contributed to nation-building," he said.
The Prime Minister will also lay the foundation stone of a museum dedicated to the Azad Hind Fauj.
On October 21, 1943, Bose had announced the formation of the country's first independent government which was called the Azad Hind government.
(With inputs from PTI)