Updated: March 6, 2021 7:47:08 am
The government issued a gazette notification late on Friday evening, announcing a high-level national committee to commemorate 75 years of Independence, to be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The 259-member committee, which includes Union Ministers, Governors, Chief Ministers, and eminent citizens from all walks of life, “will provide policy direction and guidelines for formulation of programmes for the commemoration of 75th anniversary of Indian Independence at national and international levels”, the Ministry of Culture said in a statement.
On the committee are former President Pratibha Patil, Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, more than a dozen Ministers including Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman, Nitin Gadkari, Narendra Singh Tomar, Ravi Shankar Prasad, and Smriti Irani, all Chief Ministers, Governors, and Lieutenant Governors.
Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and the Chiefs of all wings of the armed forces are on the committee, besides leaders from across the political spectrum — L K Advani, Sonia Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mayawati, Mulayam Singh Yadav, M K Stalin, Sitaram Yechury, etc.
Also on the panel are sportspersons M S Dhoni, Prakash Padukone, P V Sindhu, and Abhinav Bindra; spiritual leaders such as Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Swami Ramdev, and Sayyed Zainul Abedin; artistes Dilip Kumar, A R Rahman, Rajinikanth and Amitabh Bachchan; and business leaders Ratan Tata, Nandan Nilekani, and Bhupinder Singh Minhas.
Archaeologists B B Lal and K K Mohammad are also on the panel. Culture Secretary Raghvendra Singh is the Member-Secretary of the committee, whose term starts with immediate effect, and will continue “until further orders”.
“The celebrations to mark this historic occasion will start 75 weeks before the day, and go on till August 15, 2023, during which the committee will meet several times to invite suggestions and recommendations from its members, which include Bharat Ratnas, and represent all walks of life,” Singh said.
Seventy five years of Independence – on August 15, 2022 – will be celebrated as Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav. The celebrations are proposed to be launched 75 weeks prior to the date, that is, on March 12 this year. The day also marks the 91st anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s historic salt satyagraha. Modi will launch the Mahotsav from Gujarat on March 12.
During the celebrations, the Centre will also organise exhibitions on the lives of freedom fighters, including Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
The first meeting of the High Level Committee will be convened on March 8.
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