TN close to Mahatma Gandhi's heart, has its share in freedom movement: Guv

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Chennai, Mar 12 (PTI) Tamil Nadu, which has its share in the country's glorious freedom movement, was always close to Mahatma Gandhi's heart, Governor Banwarilal Purohit said on Friday and urged the youth to imbibe the values and principles taught by the Father of the Nation and take India forward in the comity of nations.

India, the governor said, is the fastest growing emerging economy of the world and is on the cusp of reaping benefits of the demographic dividend.

The country is self-reliant and is respected all over the world not only for its political and economic stability but also for its deep cultural roots and social cohesion, Purohit said.

He was inaugurating the commemoration of 75thanniversary of India's Independence Day as part of the 'Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav' at Gandhi Mandapam campus, Guindy, here..

'We owe all this in substantial measure to the freedom fighters of yesteryear who silently underwent suffering in the long struggle that involved enormous sacrifices and hardships,' the governor said.

Quoting Gandhiji that strength does not come from physical capacity alone, it comes from indomitable will, Purohit appealed to the youth 'to imbibe the values that adorned our freedom movement, the values and principles taught to us by Father of Nation and with strong will make sterling contribution in nation building to take India still forward in the comity of nations.' Pointing out that Tamil Nadu was always close to the Mahatma's heart, he said there were 13 Tamilian inmates when Gandhi started the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, initially with 25 inmates.

'Mahatma Gandhi visited Tamil Nadu 20 times between 1896 and 1946.And during his first visit in 1896 he tried to learn Tamil and bought 9 Tamil books for the purpose,' the governor said.

During his visit to Madurai in 1921, he changed his attire to simple dhoti and upper cloth for the rest of his life.

'Tamil Nadu has its share in the glorious freedom movement of the country.Subramania Bharathi, Tirupur Kumaran, Veera Mangai Velu Nachiyar,Vanchinathan, Veerapandia Kattabomman, V.O.Chidambaram Pillai, Dheeran Chinnamalai, Marudu Pandiyar, Subramanian Siva, Pooli Theevan are some of the greatest freedom fighters produced by this part of the country,' he said.

The country is very proud of the spectacular contributions made by Tamil Nadu towards the freedom struggle.

'I salute all those great freedom fighters,' he said.

A photo exhibition on freedom fighters was organised on the occasion.

The Salt Satyagraha undertaken by Mahatma Gandhi's associate C Rajagopalachari from Tiruchirapalli to Vedaranyam on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, located at a distance of 240 km, was re-enacted today at Old Post Office near Tiruchirappalli Railway junction where Rajaji's Salt March started.

'A similar celebration is being organised in the Vellore Fort in order to re-enact and recall the first ever revolt by Indian soldiers against the British rulers and sacrifices made by the Indian Sepoys against the British oppression in the year 1806...,' Purohit said. PTI JSP BN BN