Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday appealed to the people to thwart the “nefarious designs of anti-social elements”, which he said were bent upon to “jeopardise peace, communal harmony and brotherhood”.
Addressing a gathering at Sports Stadium in Government College in Mohali after unfurling the National Flag during a state-level function on the occasion of 70th Independence Day, Badal said a few “inimical forces” were always envious of peaceful and development-oriented congenial atmosphere in the state and thus constantly “stoking fire” to derail the process of growth and prosperity.
“Let us re-dedicate ourselves to work collectively to build a strong and prosperous Punjab besides cementing the bond of love, peace and communal harmony, thus fulfilling the vision of our great freedom fighters and national heroes,” he said.
The Chief Minister said it was matter of sheer pride and honour that despite the fact that we were just 2.5 per cent of country’s entire population, we have made more than 80 per cent sacrifices in getting our motherland free from the yoke of British imperialism.
“Our brave Punjabi patriots and great warriors, who spearheaded various movements like Babbar Akali, Gadar, Namdhari and Kamagata Maru during the independence struggle were either exiled or executed. “Several national heroes who laid down their lives like Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev, Lala Lajpat Rai, Shaheed Udham Singh and Kartar Singh Sarabha would ever be remembered for their supreme sacrifices till eternity and act as a beacon to kindle the spirit of patriotism and nationalism amongst our future generations to come,” he said.
The Chief Minister bemoaned that we have not yet been able to fulfill the dreams of our national heroes and freedom fighters, who made supreme sacrifices to enable us breathe freely in the air of freedom even after 69 years of independence.
Sharing the agony of Indo-Pak partition after independence, the Chief Minister said that when rest of the country was celebrating independence, Punjab was engaged in another life and death struggle in wake of the partition of the country.
As many as five lakh people were killed and nearly 1.5 crore were uprooted and rendered homeless. Highlighting the importance of education and health as core sectors responsible for any country’s or state’s development, the Chief Minister said that our government has laid special emphasis on this count.
Due to our consistent efforts, we added 13 new universities and 30 more colleges to impart quality higher education to our youth.