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During the launch of ‘Ek Bharat Shresht Bharat’on 31st October 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said“Sardar Patel gave us Ek Bharat. It is now the solemn duty of 125 crore Indians to collectively make Shreshta Bharat”. This is the idea that has guided Narendra Modi, even before he became the Prime Minister of India.
Narendra Modi believes in honouring national heroes, those who have sacrificed a lot for the unity, security, sovereignty and development of our beloved nation. He wantsour history and heritage to be part of our national pride and consciousness.
The National Salt Satyagraha Memorial at Dandi, is one example. It honours the spirit and the energy of the 1930 Dandi March led by Mahatma Gandhi and 80 of his fellow Satyagrahis.
The 182 metre tall Statue of Unity, depicting Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, is the most vivid example of this. What is today, the tallest statue in the world, was first envisioned by Narendra Modi while he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. The statue is not only a dedication to the Iron Man of India, who unified India, but also a monument of immense pride for all Indians.
For decades, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s family demanded that files relating to events in his life be declassified. Successive Governments refused to take a firm decision. Until October 2015, when Narendra Modi hosted Netaji’s extended family at his residence. “I see no reason to strangle history,” he said, adding that those who forget history, also lose the power to create it. The files were swiftly declassified, and put on a digital platform.
In the mid 1940s, the INA trials at Red Fort, had stirred the nation. However, for decades, the building in which the trials happened, lay forgotten inside the Red Fort Complex. On Subhas Bose’s Jayanti this year, the Prime Minister inaugurated a museum in the same building, dedicated to Netaji, and the Indian National Army. The museum forms part of the complex of four Museums which are collectively known as “Kranti Mandir.” Museums dedicated to the 1857 War of Independence and the JallianwalaBagh massacre also form part of the complex.
Narendra Modi has also announced an awardin the name of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, to honour police personnel involved in disaster response operations.
In the last four years, several other memorials have been made to recall the contributions of many great leaders of our history.
One of Narendra Modi’s key ideas is the Panchteerth – five memorials dedicated to Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar. These include his birthplace in Mhow, the place in London where he stayed while studying in the UK, Deeksha Bhoomi in Nagpur, Mahaparinirvan Sthal in Delhi, and Chaitya Bhoomi in Mumbai.
While he was Chief Minister of Gujarat, he had inaugurated the memorial dedicated to Shyamji Krishna Varma in Kutch.
In Haryana, he unveiled the Statue of Sir Chhotu Ram, a great social reformer.
He has laid the Foundation Stone for the Shivaji memorial just off the coast of Mumbai, in the Arabian Sea.
In Delhi, the Prime Minister has inaugurated the Sardar Patel Gallery at the National Science Centre.
Recently, he dedicated the National Police Memorial to the nation, to salute the courage and sacrifice of over 33,000 police personnel who laid down their lives for the service of the nation.
Within weeks, a National War Memorial, will also be unveiled, dedicated to the memory of the soldiers who laid down their lives in wars and operations since independence.
Memorials are reminders of sacrifices, of those whose contributions now enable us to live a better life. They are a sourceof inspiration for the present and future generations.
These memorials, built under the leadership of Narendra Modi, stand out as souvenirs of nationalism, instilling the feeling of oneness and pride, that needs to cherished and nourished.