Bhimavaram(AP): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the history of the country’s freedom struggle was not about a few years or some people, as he called for building a New India that reflected the dreams of the freedom fighters and one that ensured equal opportunities to all sections.
Addressing a large public meeting at Pedaamiram here after unveiling a 30-ft bronze statue of legendary freedom fighter Alluri Sitarama Raju on his 125th birth anniversary, the Prime Minister said his government in the last eight years worked with a commitment and implemented policies aimed at fulfilling the dreams of the freedom fighters.
”As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of Independence, the responsibility is on every citizen to fulfill the dreams of the freedom fighters. Our New India should be the India of their dreams. Such India, where the poor, farmers, workers, backward classes, Adivasis and oppressed have equal opportunities,” the Prime Minister remarked.
He paid glowing tributes to all those who fought to free the country from colonial rule.
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”The fight for freedom is not the history of a few years, a few regions, or some people. This is the history of every nook and corner of the country, the history of sacrifices and martyrdom of people of all corners,” Modi noted.
The freedom struggle was also a reflection of India’s diversity and culture. Recalling Alluri’s war cry to the British, ”Dum hai to mujhe rok lo” (Stop me if you have the guts), the Prime Minister said people of the country were now using a similar slogan, ”Dum hai to hamein rok lo” as they were bravely confronting many challenges and difficulties.
”The 130 crore citizens of the country, in unison and capability, are daring the challenges and saying ‘Stop us if you have the guts’,” Modi observed. He said inspiration drawn from the likes of Alluri would take the country to great heights.
”There are new ideas and new possibilities now. The youth are now carrying the responsibility on their shoulders and taking the nation forward,” he added.
Paying glowing tributes to Alluri, popularly called the ”Manyam Veerudu” (Hero of the Forest), Modi pointed out that the legendary freedom fighter was a symbol of ”Ek Bharat, Shresth Bharat” (one nation, best nation).
”From his birth to martyrdom, the life journey of Alluri Sitarama Raju is an inspiration for all of us. He had dedicated his life to the rights of Adivasis and the freedom of the country,” he said. While the country was celebrating 75 years of Independence, it was also the 125th birth anniversary of Alluri. And, incidentally, it was also the centenary of the Rampa Rebellion that Alluri led in 1922, the Prime Minister pointed out.
”Alluri’s 125th birth anniversary and Rampa Rebellion’s centenary will be celebrated throughout the year. Renovation of Pandrangi village, Alluri’s birthplace, and the Chintapalli police station that he first attacked and construction of Alluri Dhyana Mandir at Mogallu village were symbols of our lasting emotions,” Modi added.
A museum was being built in Lambasingi for Alluri and other Adivasi warriors. The Prime Minister said Andhra Pradesh was a land of patriots and legends like Pingali Venkaiah, who designed the National Flag, Kanneganti Hanumanthu, Kandukuri Veeresalingam, Potti Sriramulu, and Uyyalavada Narasimha Reddy, the first revolutionary. The legacy of the land was inspirational, he said, and paid his tributes to all of them.
Dwelling on tribal welfare, the Prime Minister said that for the first time since independence, tribal museums are being established to highlight tribal pride and heritage.
Through programs like Skill India Mission, tribal art was receiving a new identity while Vocal for Local was ensuring income for the community members.
The government has changed decades-old laws, that prevented the tribal people from cutting forest produce like bamboo and gave them rights over them, he added The Prime Minister arrived at Vijayawada International Airport by a special aircraft from Hyderabad and flew by helicopter to Bhimavaram. After unveiling the statue of Alluri, the Prime Minister felicitated Alluri Srirama Raju, Alluri’s nephew, and Bodi Dora, son of Alluri’s close lieutenant Mallu Dora.
Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan, Union Minister for Tourism and Culture G Kishan Reddy, Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, former Union Minister and film star K Chiranjeevi, state Tourism and Culture Minister R K Roja, and others were present.
After the public meeting, the Prime Minister especially interacted with the kinfolks of Alluri and his close lieutenants, in a special enclosure. Modi then returned to Vijayawada International Airport by helicopter and, from there, flew by a special aircraft to Ahmedabad. Earlier, Modi felicitated Alluri Srirama Raju, Alluri’s nephew, and Bodi Dora, son of Alluri’s close lieutenant Mallu Dora.