Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated the National Salt Satyagraha Memorial in Gujarat’s Dandi commemorating the historic Dandi march undertaken by the Mahatma in 1930 to protest the salt tax imposed by the British.
The PM, who arrived in Gujarat earlier today, dedicated the memorial to the nation on the 71st death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The memorial highlights the significant protest called Salt Satyagraha by the Father of the Nation and the 80 marchers who accompanied him on the march.
The memorial is part of the yearlong celebrations initiated by the government on 2 October 2018 to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Accompanied by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, the PM took a tour of the memorial and paid floral tributes before a 5-metre high statue of Mahatma Gandhi.
Spread over an area of 15 acres near sea coast at Dandi in Navsari, Gujarat, the memorial has a 40 metre high crystal tower with crystal made in glass – symbolising the importance of salt – resting over hand-shaped structure.
The memorial also vividly depicts the journey of the salt satyagrahis in 24 narrative murals supported on blocks of granite monoliths. The Gandhi statue overlooks an artificial lake created in an area of about 14000 square metres. The memorial also features life-sized statues of the 80 marchers who accompanied Mahatma Gandhi.
Constructed by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) in 20 months, the memorial cost Rs 72.23 crores.
Earlier, the PM laid the foundation stone for extension of terminal building of Surat Airport and inaugurated a hospital in Surat.
Paying homage to the Father of the Nation, the PM said in Surat that the city was one of the first places in India where a protest against salt tax took place before the Dandi march.
The PM said that a recent international survey reveals that in the next 10-15 years all cities in top 10 fastest developing cities in the world will be from India.
He also took jibes at the Congress, stating that while his government is trying to create a powerful New India “some people are making fun of our efforts”.
“Don’t some people ask what benefit did demonetisation bring? They should ask the youth of the country who were able to benefit from the lower prices of houses due to demonetisation. Everyone knows how black money dominated the real-estate sector before demonetisation,” the PM said.
Highlighting the developmental schemes of his government, the PM said that the plans and policies are a result of the vote of the people.
“These houses are not being constructed by Modi or India. It is the result of every single vote by you that the poor are now having houses,” the PM added.
Before arriving in Gujarat, the PM paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat in New Delhi.