Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday inaugurated a series of events to kick off the Chauri Chaura centenary celebrations in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur district. He also released a postage stamp via video link dedicated to the Chauri Chaura incident that took place on February 4, 1922.
In the incident, which led to the death of three civilians and 22 policemen, a large group of protesters participating in the Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation Movement against the British colonial rule had clashed with police who opened fire on them. The demonstrators then attacked and set fire to a police station in Chauri Chaura.
The UP government has planned a year of celebrations in all 75 districts of the state in the memory of the martyrs.
Addressing the inaugural function virtually, PM Modi said the martyrs of Chauri Chaura incident have not received their due respect in India’s history and lauded the UP government and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for taking the responsibility to celebrate the contribution of the freedom fighters.
“The incident of Chauri Chaura was not limited to a police station being set on fire. The message of the incident was huge. Due to various reasons, it was treated as a minor incident, but we should see it in context. The fire was not just in the station but in the hearts of people,” the PM said.
Modi further termed it “unfortunate” that the martyrs of the historic incident incident have not been discussed as much as they should have been. “Although they have not been given significance in the pages of history, their blood is in the soil of the country and keeps inspiring us,” he added.
Amidst growing unrest in Uttar Pradesh over the three contentious farm laws, the Prime Minister said farmers have been behind the progress of the country and added that they also played an important role in the Chauri Chaura struggle.
Stating that his government has taken steps to make farmers self-reliant in the last six years, Modi asserted that the agriculture sector has grown even during the pandemic. “We have taken several steps in the interest of farmers. To make mandis profitable for farmers, 1,000 more mandis will be linked to e-NAM,” the PM said in his address.
Modi further called upon the citizens to take a pledge to give priority to the unity of the country and its respect above everything else. “With this feeling, we have to move forward along with each and every citizen of India,” he said.
Meanwhile, the UP government has prepared a specialised logo for the year-long festivities, and plans to use it on all government official letterheads over the next year.
The government has also decided to undertake beautification of memorials of martyrs, and felicitate their families. CM Adityanath has also asked the Department of Education to ensure that the Chauri Chaura incident is properly included in the syllabus of secondary government schools and instruct schools to organise events such as debates, poetry recitation, slogan competitions, quizzes, poster and drawing competitions on the theme throughout the year.