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PM Modi, Amit Shah, Mamata Banerjee in 53-member panel to mark Aurobindo birth anniversary

As per the document, the term of the committee starts “with immediate effect” and will be “until further orders”.

Written by Divya A | New Delhi |
Updated: December 25, 2021 4:10:32 pm
sri aurobindo news, Aurobindo Ghose, aurobindo ashram, 150th birth anniversary,, indianexpress, sri aurobindo puducherry,Sri Aurobindo (born Aurobindo Ghose) was a freedom fighter and nationalist leader. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is heading an extensive 53-member committee that has been set up to mark the 150th birth anniversary of spiritual leader Sri Aurobindo.

Besides the Prime Minister, the committee has Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, two former PMs — Manmohan Singh and HD Deve Gowda — and several cabinet ministers, as per a Gazette notification released by the Ministry of Culture on Tuesday.

As per the document, the term of the committee starts “with immediate effect” and will be “until further orders”. Its mandate is to commemorate the occasion “in a befitting manner” and to provide “policy direction and guidelines for formulation of programmes… at the national and international levels”.

As many as eight cabinet ministers — including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy, and I&B Minister Anurag Thakur — have been invited as its members besides four chief ministers — Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal), MK Stalin (Tamil Nadu), N Rangaswamy (Puducherry) and Bhupendra Patel (Gujarat) — and the governors of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and West Bengal.

Opposition leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Choudhury are also part of the panel.

Among non-political members, the committee includes the likes of composer Illayaraja, actor Rajinikanth, spiritual leaders like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Baba Ramdev and M Mumtaj Ali, and a host of office bearers from the Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry and its regional centres from across India.

The 150th birth anniversary falls on August 15, 2022, and coincides with the India @75 celebrations mooted by the Centre, called Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. During this time, the Modi government is putting special focus on celebrating the legacy of freedom fighters who may have played a major role in the struggle for Independence, but whose contribution is not very well known.
Sri Aurobindo was born in Calcutta on August 15, 1872 and took a leading role in secret preparations for an uprising against the British government in India.

According to sources in the Ministry of Culture, the first meeting of the committee will be held on December 24.


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