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.