Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said many railway stations in the country are rich in history and urged people to visit such stations in their vicinity to know about their significance in the freedom struggle.
The railways observed a week of ‘Azadi ki Rail Gadi’, from July 18-23, through 27 trains and 75 railway stations, across 24 states that are linked to the Indian freedom struggle.
In these 75 stations, apart from the usual decorations of lights and other ornamentations, events such as street plays in local language, light-and-sound shows, display of patriotic films and songs were also played.
”These 75 stations are being decorated very ornately. Many types of programmes are also being organized in these stations. You should also take out time to visit one such historical station in your vicinity. You will get to know in detail about pages from the history of the freedom movement that you have not been aware of.
”I urge the students of school, and the teachers to take the small children of their school to the nearby station and narrate the whole chain of events to those children,” said Modi in his Mann Ki Baat radio broadcast.
Modi also referred to the Gomoh Junction in Jharkhand which is now officially known as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Junction Gomoh and explained why it has been renamed.
”Netaji Subhas was successful in dodging British officers by boarding the Kalka Mail. All of you must have heard the name of Kakori Railway Station near Lucknow. The names of bravehearts like Ram Prasad Bismil and Ashfaq Ullah Khan are associated with this station.
”The brave revolutionaries had displayed their might to the British by looting the treasury of the British being carried by train. Whenever you talk to the people of Tamil Nadu, you will get to know about Vanchi Maniyachchi Junction in Thoothukudi district. This station is named after Tamil freedom fighter Vanchinathan ji. This is the same place where Vanchi, 25 years of age then, had punished one British collector for his actions,” he said.
During the celebrations organised by the Indian Railways, among the 27 trains identified, some were linked to Mahatma Gandhi — the Ahimsa Express which runs between Ahmedabad and Pune, Ashram Express (Ahmadabad – Delhi); some to famous poet Rabindranath Tagore who wrote songs hailing the Indian independence movement and raising the spirits of the freedom fighters like the Shantiniketan Express (Howrah – Bolpur), Gitanjali Express (Mumbai CST–Howrah) and Gurudev Express (Nagercoil – Shalimar) while some other linked to Netaji Subhash Bose like Netaji Express (Howrah – Kalka) and Azad Hind Express (Pune – Howrah).
Some of the stations include Cuttack (Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s birth place), Puri (Chakhi Khuntia and Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das), Sambalpur (Veer Surendra Sai), Dhenkanal( Baji Rout).
During the event, freedom fighters and their families were also present.