As a nation, India has a glorious history of bravery and valour shown by innumerable anonymous people, who fought for the independence and sovereignty of the nation. Since 2014, the union government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made sure that each and every unsung hero from every part of India is acknowledged and celebrated. The government announced the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav for commemorating and celebrating the 75th Independence Day of India, which commenced on 12th March 2021 and will end on 15th August 2023. The event is celebrating the glorious history of India’s people, culture and achievements, especially the unsung heroes of the national freedom struggle.
On the occasion of the birth anniversary of the freedom fighter and the first Home Minister of independent India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, PM Modi inaugurated the 182-metre statue of Sardar Patel on October 31, 2018. Named as the Statue of Unity, the statue is constructed to honour the legacy of Patel, who united the 500 plus princely states of India and integrated them in independent India.
For commemorating the historic Dandi March of 1930, PM Modi inaugurated the National Salt Satyagraha Memorial at Dandi in Gujarat’s Navsari district, on Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary. At the memorial site, PM Modi unveiled statues of Mahatma Gandhi and 80 Satyagrahis who had marched in 1930 to make salt from sea water to mark their protest against the British law.
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, one of the greatest freedom fighters of India has got the maximum acknowledgement in the reign of PM Modi. The Modi government in 2015 declassified the files relating to Netaji Bose and made them accessible to the public. In 2016, PM Modi released digital copies of 100 files relating to Netaji. In 2018, during his visit to the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, PM Modi had renamed Ross Islands as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Dweep. Neil Island and Havelock Islands were also renamed as Shaheed Dweep and Swaraj Dweep.
On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Netaji Bose in 2019, PM Modi inaugurated four museums at Red Fort in Delhi, depicting India's rich history and culture. All the four museums constitute the Kranti Mandir complex, as a tribute to our freedom fighters. Kranti Mandir complex includes museums on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and the Indian National Army, Yaad-e-Jallian Museum (on Jallianwala Bagh and World War 1), Museum on 1857- India’s First War of Independence and Drishya Kala Museum on Indian Art.
On September 8, 2022, PM Modi inaugurated the 28-foot-tall statue of Netaji at India Gate in New Delhi. On the 126th birth anniversary of Netaji on January 23, 2023, PM Modi virtually unveiled a model of the National Memorial dedicated to him to be built on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep. In the same function, PM Modi also announced the renaming of the 21 largest unnamed islands of Andaman & Nicobar Islands after our 21 Param Vir Chakra awardees.
The 150th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo, one of the greatest philosophers of India, was commemorated by undertaking spiritual programmes in 75 prisons across the nation between August 12 and 15, 2022. The exercise was done to transform the lives of prison inmates through inculcation of the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo. On 13th December, 2022, PM Modi released a postage stamp and a coin on the commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo. To celebrate the 136th birth anniversary of freedom fighter Rash Behari Bose, a short theatre presentation was organised on 25th May 2022 in Kolkata as a tribute to the great leader.
For honouring the freedom fighters who fought to liberate the princely state of Hyderabad from the tyranny of the Nizam, the 75th Hyderabad Liberation Day was celebrated in Telangana on 17th September 2022 on a wide scale. The celebration was aimed to revive the history of the great war of liberation and revive the tales of anonymous martyrs.
In his Independence Day speech at Red Fort in 2016, PM Modi had announced the establishment of tribal freedom fighters’ museums to acknowledge the contributions of tribal unsung heroes in the national freedom movement. Following this, 15th November, the birth anniversary of Birsa Munda, one of the greatest freedom fighters from the tribal community has been declared and celebrated as the Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas. On the occasion of the Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas in 2021, Bhagwan Birsa Munda Memorial Park cum Freedom Fighter Museum was inaugurated in Ranchi by PM Modi via video conferencing. 10 Tribal Freedom Fighter Museums have been announced to be constructed in the states of Gujarat, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Manipur, Mizoram and Goa.
In 2022, on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary celebration of Alluri Sitarama Raju, PM Modi unveiled a 30-feet tall bronze statue of the legendary freedom fighter in Andhra Pradesh’s Bhimavaram.
To honour the bravery of the freedom fighters, over 9,000 stories under Unsung Heroes and Digital District Repository have been uploaded by the Ministry of Culture. In collaboration with the Amar Chitra Katha, following books have been published by the ministry:
● India’s Unsung Heroes: The Brave Women of our Freedom Struggle – comprising 20 personalities. ● Women in Power: Elected to the Constituent Assembly – comprising 15 personalities. ● Tribal Leaders of the Freedom Struggle – comprising 19 personalities.
In 2021, PM Modi inaugurated the renovated complex of Jallianwala Bagh Smarak at Amritsar. The PM inaugurated the Museum Galleries at the Smarak as well. The museum is dedicated to the innocent brave hearts who were mercilessly massacred on April 13, 1919. The PM Modi-led government in the last nine years has worked extensively to make sure that the legacy of each and every freedom fighter is acknowledged and celebrated. It has been made sure that by reviving the stories of the known and unsung heroes of the freedom struggle, the spirit of patriotism and nation building is instilled in the masses and they are made active participants in the goal of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.