Honouring India’s Greats

Published By : Admin | March 22, 2019 | 14:13 IST

It was a momentous occasion when on the banks of river Thames, during his visit to U.K., Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the statue of the highly revered saint, Bhagwan Basaveshwara, in 2015. The icon from India's rich tradition of social reform movements, Bhagwan Basaveshwara from Karnataka has been hailed by PM Modi for his efforts to uphold the values of democracy, social consciousness and women empowerment as long back as the 12th century, much before the rest of the world.

It was a clear departure from the past, wherein members of only one family were given prominence while other national icons were sidelined and systematically pushed out of national consciousness.

Since his coming to power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has undone the years of neglect and brought the legacy of our legends to the forefront. This is line with the government’s motto of keeping ‘India First’ over any party, ideology or family. The Modi government has ensured institutional support to the cause so that it does not get overturned with the change in government.

The Architect of Constitution of India: Dr. B.R. Ambedkar:

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was one of the builders of Modern India. His contribution to India’s political thought has been unparalleled. However, he was not given his due with his legacy being completely abandoned by successive Congress governments. Correcting the historical wrongs, the Modi government took the historic decision of developing places of historical importance that were closely related to Dr. Ambedkar’s life as ‘Pancha Teerthas’:

• His birthplace in Mhow
• Place in London where he stayed while studying in the UK
• Deeksha Bhoomi in Nagpur
• Mahaparinirvan Sthal in Delhi
• Chaitya Bhoomi in Mumbai

This was the first of the many steps taken to create institutions fully dedicated to keep the legacy of Babasaheb alive for generations to come. In April 2018,

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Dr Ambedkar National Memorial at Delhi’s Mahaparinirvan Sthal spread over nearly 2 acres. On November 19, 2015, the government declared 26th November as the ‘Constitution Day’, in the honour of Dr Ambedkar.

 

Reviving Netaji’s Legacy

Netaji’s fiery slogans “Give me blood and I will give you freedom” is embedded in every Indian’s consciousness. In order to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the formation of ‘Azad Hind Government’ by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, hoisted the tricolour at the Red Fort in Delhi. It was a moment of pride for the entire nation seeing the legacy of the great hero of India’s freedom movement finally being honoured since independence. In a first, the four members of Azad Hind Fauj took part in the Republic Day parade in 2019.

The Modi Government also fulfilled the long pending demand of Netaji’s family, by declassifying most of the confidential files related to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. During his September 2014 visit to Japan, PM Modi met Saichiro Misumi, Netaji’s oldest living associate in Japan.

The Man Who United India: Sardar Patel

As a glowing tribute to the legend who integrated India, PM Modi unveiled the ‘Statue of Unity’ as nation’s tribute to the ‘Iron Man’ Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. The 600 feet tall sculpture is the tallest statue in the world. The foundation for this statue was laid in 2013 when Shri Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.

Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel was the first Home Minister of India. However, he was continuously relegated to the lost pages of history by Congress. He is finally being given his due recognition for his unparalleled contribution to our motherland.

Veer Savarkar: The Son of the Soil

The man who was renowned for his bravery and his spirited fight against the British, Veer Savarkar was treated as a pariah by the successive Congress governments. It was a great injustice to the memory of the giant. He spent his youth serving the harshest punishment in a small cell in the Cellular Jail, Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage to the freedom fighter by visiting the cell where Veer Savarkar was lodged and spent some time inside remembering the sacrifices of the great soul.

Similarly, PM Modi has revived the legacy of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Birsa Munda, Deenbandhu Sir Chhotu Ram and many other such legends all across the country. A new narrative has been set by the Modi government by honouring the memories of Indian heroes and freeing their legacy from the narrow political considerations. These legends lived, fought and died for the nation. Their legacy is the very essence of Indian thought process and so any injustice to their memories in an injustice to the very soul of the nation.

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What Has PM Modi Done For The Sikh Community? Sikh Welfare/ Langar?
February 15, 2024

Sikhism promotes tolerance for different religions, equality, social justice, and service to humanity. Sikhism's core teachings emphasize spiritual devotion and reverence for God, along with applying humility, compassion, honesty, and charity in daily life. Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji could foresee multiple issues our nation faced and advocated for preventing radicalization, promoting gender equality, and protecting the environment.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been in reverence for the teachings of Guru Nanak Ji and, in his umpteen addresses to the nation, has reiterated that the contributions of all the Gurus from the Sikh lineage remain unparalleled and cannot be matched up for the upcoming 1000 years. Their sacrifices for attaining the nation's independence are an excellent example of struggle and sacrifice against injustice.

It is through PM Modi that the nation, for the first time since the country's independence, became more aware of the varied forms of sacrifices made by the Sikh community and their countless contributions to sustaining the glory of the nation after partition. Inspired by courage and a sense of duty from the Sikh Gurus, he emulated it into the spirit of the New India.

The last decade has seen several noteworthy initiatives undertaken under his leadership to celebrate and promote the values of Sikhism and augment Sikh welfare. These include the celebration of the 400th Prakash Parv of Guru Teg Bahadur Ji, the 550th Prakash Parv of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the 350th Prakash Parv of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the exemption of GST on Langar, the building of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, making Sultanpur Lodhi a heritage city, establishing a chair in the name of Guru Nanak Dev Ji at a British university, and the provision of facilities for Sikh pilgrims to travel to Pakistan.

The Kartarpur Corridor was opened in November 2019, which proved to be a momentous move towards making it more straightforward for Sikh pilgrims from India to go to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, where Guru Nanak Dev Ji lived out his final years. Additionally, the development and preservation of historic Sikh sites has been a particular priority for the PM Modi administration. One example of such a project is the Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib restoration, also known as the Patna Sahib Gurudwara, which is extremely sacred to Sikhs.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi facilitated efforts to provide justice and closure for the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots by creating a SIT, reopening 300 cases, and imprisoning those found guilty. PM Modi brought the Jallianwala Bagh memorial back to its former splendour and gave 3,328 victim families financial support of Rs. 5 lakh apiece. Through the "Citizenship Amendment Act," the Sikh sisters and brothers who had been subjected to torture in Afghanistan and Pakistan were allowed to get citizenship.

In 2022, December 26 was declared by the Modi government as Veer Baal Diwas, symbolic of the resolve to do anything to protect Bhartiyata. This day will be remembered by every Indian as a mark of respect for the bravery principles lived up to by the four Veer Sahibzades of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

As a diaspora diplomacy specialist, PM Modi has also engaged the Sikh diaspora as "bridge-builders" between India and adopted countries. His clarity of vision in tapping them to further economic, financial, and global benefits for India has undeniably benefitted India. Veer Bal Diwas programs are now held in the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, UAE, and Greece. Veer Bal Diwas is now observed on a global scale. It is due to PM Modi's persistent efforts that the Indian Sikh diaspora is more valued now as a unique force in world culture and revered as brand ambassadors of India.

Last but not least, under his regime, copies of Guru Granth Sahib reached India from Afghanistan, and the nation received the privilege of seeing three 'Swaroop' of Guru Granth Sahib ji that arrived in Delhi from Kabul. The Sikh tradition is the best example of 'Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat' and explains PM Modi's close affiliation with the values this religion upholds. Welfare for all will naturally be taken care of.