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Independence Day panel meets, PM Modi to kick off celebrations on March 12

Modi chaired the meeting that was attended by more than 150 of the committee’s 259 members, who gave inputs and suggestions to expand the scope of the celebrations.

Written by Divya A | New Delhi |
Updated: March 9, 2021 3:05:54 am
Leaders from all walks in PM-led panel to mark 75 years of freedomPM Narendra Modi. (File Photo)

STRESSING THAT people’s participation is at the core of celebrations to mark 75 years of India’s independence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Monday that the occasion will be an “opportunity to showcase to the world our achievements since 1947”.

The Prime Minister was delivering a video address at the first meeting of the national committee to commemorate 75 years of independence with celebrations titled Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav.

Modi chaired the meeting that was attended by more than 150 of the committee’s 259 members, who gave inputs and suggestions to expand the scope of the celebrations. According to sources, there will be more such meetings in the future where suggestions and inputs will be considered.

The aim of the first meeting was to apprise members of the Government’s roadmap to kick off the celebrations from Sabarmati on March 12, 75 weeks before India turns 75 on August 15, 2022. On the day, a dedicated website and logo will be unveiled by the Prime Minister. The date also marks the 91st anniversary of the Dandi March, with the inaugural event extending to April 5, which denotes the culmination of the civil disobedience campaign led by Mahatma Gandhi in 1930.

According to the Government, the members who gave inputs and suggestions included former President Pratibha Patil, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Congress leader Mallikarjuna Kharge, former Speakers Meira Kumar and Sumitra Mahajan, BJP chief J P Nadda and spiritual scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan.

“The country will celebrate the occasion of 75 years of independence with grandeur and enthusiasm befitting the historic nature, glory and importance of the occasion,” Modi said while praising “new ideas” and “diverse thoughts” from members of the committee.

The Prime Minister said that the festival should be one in which the spirit of India’s freedom struggle could be experienced all over again. “This festival should embody the glory of Sanatan Bharat and the glow of modern India… (it) should reflect the light of the spirituality of the sages and also the talent and strength of our scientists,” he said.

According to sources, the Sabarmati event on March 12 will showcase India’s achievements of the last 75 years with focus on technological advancements, and provide a framework for the next 25 years when the country turns 100.

The celebrations will include 75 events for 75 weeks to be held at 75 places of historical significance across the country. The activities planned include cycle rallies, exhibitions, digital shows, yoga camps, essay competitions involving children and innovation challenges, with the involvement of women self-help groups, local industry, civil society organisations and students.

The Prime Minister said that no “pledge (sankalp)” is successful without celebration. “When a sankalp takes the form of celebration, pledges and energy of millions are added… People’s participation is at the core of this celebration… (it) involves the feelings, suggestions and dreams of 130 crore countrymen,” he said.

For this, the Prime Minister outlined five pillars: Freedom Struggle, Ideas at 75, Achievements at 75, Actions at 75 and Resolve at 75.

He also emphasised the need to honour lesser-known freedom fighters. “Every nook and corner of the country is replete with the sacrifice of sons and daughters of the country, and their stories will be an eternal source of inspiration for the nation… we have to bring the contribution of every section to the fore. There are people who are performing some great work for the country for generations, their contribution, thinking and ideas need to be integrated with the national efforts,” he said.

The members of the committee also include Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Union Ministers, Governors, Chief Ministers, artistes such as Lata Mangeshkar and A R Rahman, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, scientists, sportspersons and eminent figures from all walks of life. They include political leaders such as BJP veteran L K Advani, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, NCP leader Sharad Pawar and former UP CMs Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati.

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