NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday kicked off the “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” commemorating 75 years of India’s Independence by stressing the need for “a system in which there is no place for discrimination and a society that stands firmly on the foundation of equality and social justice”.
“Light a lamp in the heart of every citizen of the country – the lamp of duty. Together, we will take the country forward on the path of duty, then the evils prevailing in the society will also be removed and the country will reach new heights,” Modi said at an event of the “Brahma Kumaris”, a spiritual organisation.
He added that in the last 75 years, the conversation has revolved around “rights, fighting for rights, fighting, wasting time”. “Speaking of rights, to some extent, for some time, maybe true in any one circumstance but forgetting one’s duties completely has played a huge role in keeping India weak,” he said.
Modi hit out at those attempting to “tarnish the country’s image” abroad by publishing “misinformation”. “We cannot get away from this by saying that this is just politics. This is not politics; this is the question of our country. Today, when we are celebrating the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, it is also our responsibility that the world should know India properly,” he said.
The commemoration of 75 years of Independence will begin with the Republic Day celebrations. The celebrations will, from this year, start on January 23 instead of January 24 to include the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose as part of the government’s “focus to commemorate important aspects of our history and culture”.
Modi paid tribute to the women, who played a key role in India’s freedom struggle. “From Kittur’s Rani Chennamma, Matangini Hazra, Rani Lakshmibai, Veerangana Jhalkari Bai to, in the social sphere, Ahilyabai Holkar and Savitribai Phule…. It is because of these women that today the country’s daughter can join the armed forces,” he said. “Even in the country’s democratic setup, women are playing a bigger role. Women outvoted men in the 2019 polls. Now, society itself is guiding such change.”