Seeking to correct the “mistakes” of the past, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday unveiled a hologram statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at the India Gate here, till a granite statue of Netaji is completed and installed in its place.
“It is unfortunate that after Independence, along with the culture and traditions of the country, the contribution of many great personalities was also tried to be erased,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said speaking at the unveiling function.
“The freedom struggle involved ‘tapasya’ of lakhs of countrymen, but attempts were made to confine their history as well. But today the country is boldly correcting those mistakes…We have to move ahead taking inspiration from Netaji Subhash’s ‘Can Do, Will Do’ spirit,” PM Modi further added.
This hologram would be in place till the work of the statue of Netaji is completed. The statue would be unveiled in the same place to mark the year-long celebration of the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, a PMO note here stated.
The Prime Minister cited Panch Teerth associated with Babasaheb Ambedkar, Statue of Unity to commemorate the contribution of Sardar Patel, Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas in the honour of Bhagawan Birsa Munda, Tribal Museums to remember the great contribution of the tribal community, naming an Island in Andamans after NetaJi to comommerate 75 years of tricolour in Anamans and Sankalp Smarak in Andamans to honour Netaji and INA, as some key steps in the direction of correcting the mistakes of the past.
The Prime Minister recalled with emotion his visit to Netaji’s ancestral residence in Kolkata on the Parakram Diwas last year. He said he also cannot forget the day of 21 October 2018 when the Azad Hind government completed 75 years. “In a special ceremony held at the Red Fort, I had hoisted the tricolour wearing the cap of the Azad Hind Fauj. That moment was wonderful, unforgettable”, he said.
The Prime Minister said if Netaji Subhash was determined to do something, then no power could stop him. We have to move ahead taking inspiration from Netaji Subhash’s ‘Can Do, Will Do’ spirit.
The Prime Minister also conferred Subhas Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskars awards on the occasion. He
conferred Subhas Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan awards for the years 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 in the investiture ceremony.
The award has been instituted by the Union government to recognize and honour the invaluable contribution and selfless service rendered by the individuals and organisations in India in the field of disaster management, the PMO said.
PM Modi said the grand statue of Netaji, who had established the first independent government on the soil of India, and who gave us the confidence of achieving a sovereign and strong India, is being installed in digital form near India Gate. Soon this hologram statue will be replaced by a granite statue. This statue is a homage to the hero of freedom by the grateful nation and will keep on reminding our institutions and generations of the lesson of national duty, he said.
The Prime Minister traced the historical evolution of disaster management in the country. He said for years the subject of disaster management was with the agriculture department. The basic reason for this was that the Ministry of Agriculture was responsible for dealing with the conditions created by floods, heavy rains, hailstorms etc. But the 2001 Gujarat earthquake changed the meaning of disaster management, he said.
“We have deployed all departments and ministries into relief and rescue work. Learning from the experiences of that time, the Gujarat State Disaster Management Act was enacted in 2003. Gujarat became the first state in the country to enact such a law to deal with the disaster. Later, the Central Government, taking lessons from the laws of Gujarat, made a similar Disaster Management Act in 2005 for the entire country”, the Prime Minister said.
Narendra Modi said the emphasis was on reform along with stress on relief, rescue, and rehabilitation. “We strengthened, modernised, and expanded the NDRF across the country. From space technology to planning and management, best possible practises have been adopted,” he said.
The Prime Minister noted that youngsters are coming forward with schemes like ‘Aapda Mitra’ of NDMA. Whenever calamity strikes, he said, people do not remain victims, they fight the disaster by becoming volunteers. “That is, disaster management is no longer just a government job, but it has become a model of ‘Sabka Prayas’,” he added.
The Prime Minister underlined the need to strengthen institutions to improve capacity to deal with disasters. He cited examples of cyclones in Odisha, West Bengal, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat for illustrating the new preparedness as these disasters saw much lesser damage than in earlier times. He said that the country has an end-to-end cyclone response system, a much better early warning system, and tools of disaster risk analysis and disaster risk management.
Modi elaborated on the holistic approach to disaster management. “Today disaster management is part of civil engineering and architecture courses and there is a Dam Safety law now. Similarly, upcoming massive infrastructure projects have built-in disaster resilience,” he said. He cited disaster preparedness of PM Awas Yojana houses in earthquake-prone areas, Char Dham Maha Pariyojana, Expressways in Uttar Pradesh as examples of vision and thinking of the New India.
The Prime Minister also highlighted India’s leadership in the sphere of disaster management at the global level. In the CDRI- Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, India has given a big thought and gift to the global community and 35 countries along with the United Kingdom are already part of the coalition. He said joint military exercises among armies are common in various countries of the world. But for the first time, India has started the tradition of ‘Joint Drill for Disaster Management.’
PM Modi quoted Netaji “Never lose faith in the dream of independent India, there is no power in the world that can shake India.” He said that today we have a goal to fulfill the dreams of independent India. “We have the goal of building a new India before the hundredth year of independence,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister said that it is the grand resolve of Azadi Ke Amrit Mahotsav that India will revive its identity and inspirations. He regretted that after Independence, along with the culture and traditions of the country, the contribution of many great personalities was also erased.
“The freedom struggle involved ‘tapasya’ of lakhs of countrymen, but attempts were made to limit their history as well. But today, after decades of independence, the country is boldly correcting those mistakes,” Modi said.