Prime Minister Narendra Modi will kick off a 15-day exercise to mark the nation’s 70th year of Independence by visiting revolutionary leader Chandrashekhar Azad’s birth place in Madhya Pradesh with the government lining up a number of events, including a week-long cultural events at Rajpath, for the occasion.
Among the events planned by the government and BJP are programmes by noted singers Asha Bhosle and Kumar Sanu in border areas, including Jammu and Kashmir, and visits by its nine women ministers to tie ‘Rakhi’ to defence personnel in these regions.
While Modi will attend an event on August 9, the Quit India day, at Bhabhra in the tribal-dominated Alirajpur district in Madhya Pradesh, where Azad was born, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu will go to Mumbai to preside over an event in August Kranti Maidan from where Mahatma Gandhi has launched Quit India movement in 1942.
Most other events, including the trip of 75 Union ministers to two places each and which are associated with the freedom movement and fighters, will occur after August 12, when the Monsoon session is scheduled to end, a Union minister said.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will be visiting Port Blair, where hundreds of freedom fighters were imprisoned and many of them died, to pay them tributes. The Culture Ministry has been tasked with holding of various events for six to seven days on Rajpath. A special song for the occasion will also be released.
A group of ministers, set up informally and headed by Naidu, has been coordinating with various ministries to make the exercise a success. BJP will also use the occasion to highlight the Modi government’s schemes aimed at the poor and weaker sections.
The kith and kin of martyrs, freedom fighters and ex-servicemen, especially those conferred with gallantry awards, will also be felicitated, by the ministers and party leaders.
Every party MP in his or her constituency will undertake ‘Tiranga Yatra’ for between August 15-22. They will take out a rally on two-wheelers carrying national flag and visit different places to pay tribute to freedom fighters and ex-servicemen.
“The idea is to rekindle the spirit of patriotism among the people to convey to the new generation the sacrifices made by our leaders who fought for the freedom movement and recall the great valour shown by them,” Naidu had said earlier.