Srinagar: Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha led the “Azaadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav” celebrations in J&K by visiting Bagoona, Samba, the birthplace of first recipient of Maha Vir Chakra Brigadier Rajinder Singh, where he inaugurated the curtain raiser event of the mega celebrations.
The Lt Governor paid floral tributes to Brigadier Rajinder Singh and flagged off a bike & cycle rally and tableau to mark the occasion.
The inaugural ceremony witnessed a series of events filled with patriotic ethos giving glimpses of the 75 weeks long commemorative celebrations of the 75th Independence Day.
Speaking on the occasion, the Lt Governor called upon the people to actively and enthusiastically participate in Azaadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav and renew their resolve to build a new India together.
“A New India – as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called for in his address to the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort on August 15, 2017 should emerge on the 75th anniversary of Independence in 2022 from the joint strength of all”, said the Lt Governor.
The Lt Governor observed that the mega celebrations should hold the spirit of freedom movement, express gratitude to the martyrs, and reflect the glory of Sanatan Bharat and Modern India, while displaying the spirituality of mystics and contribution of our scientists.
In order to commemorate 75 years of India’s Independence, we must demonstrate our shared commitment to fundamental values of harmony, Sarv Dharma Sambhav, freedoms and duties and work towards sustainable and inclusive development so that prosperity reaches to all, said the Lt Governor.
Terming March 12 as a major milestone in India’s freedom struggle, the Lt Governor observed that the day is of great significance as it captures Mahatma Gandhi’s another non-violent feat to achieve freedom through Dandi March from Sabarmati Ashram in 1930.
Expressing his privilege of coming to the holy land of Rajinder Singh Pura, the Lt Governor observed that the culture of our country teaches us that one must visit a pilgrimage site before starting the festivities.
“Today my desire is fulfilled. I visited the holy birthplace of Brigadier Rajinder Singh, who is an epitome of unmatched valour and sacrifice. From his birth place, I extend my greetings to the people of Jammu and Kashmir on the launch of Azaadi Ka Amrut Mohatsav”, said the Lt Governor.
Paying tributes to Brigadier Rajinder Singh, the Lt Governor saluted the courage displayed by him and his soldiers while safeguarding the territorial integrity of Jammu and Kashmir.
I have read the stories of Brigadier Rajinder Singh many times and have lived through the tales of his soldiers’ gallantry at Uri in October 1947, added the Lt Governor.
Story of Brig Rajinder Singh will be included in textbooks to make the new generation aware about gallantry of our Martyrs and freedom fighters, who sacrificed their lives to protect our land, maintained the Lt Governor.
He further stressed on telling the story of courage of Subedar Parkash Singh, Subedar Major Swarn Singh, Sepoy Balak Ram, Havildar Khajan Singh, Nayak Balwan Singh Salathia and many more, who were the companions of Brigadier Rajinder Singh.
The spirit with which Brigadier Rajinder Singh, Maqbool Sherwani and Women Self Defense Corps protected the composite culture of Jammu and Kashmir and every inch of the land by putting their lives at stake, with the same spirit, J&K government is making untiring efforts to develop every inch of the UT’s land to the standards of mainstream, said the Lt Governor.
J&K must strive to reach milestones set out by our founding fathers. The dream of Jammu and Kashmir foreseen by Brigadier Rajinder Singh, the land on which Shaivadarshan, Buddhist, Mimamsak, Naiyayik, Siddha, and Sufi philosophy flourished, that Sanatan tradition must reach every school, college, village, city in the 75 weeks to come, the Lt Governor added.
The Lt Governor asked J&K Academy of Art, Culture & Languages and Information Department to collect details of our unsung Heroes, so that their valour could be highlighted during the grand festival.
Apart from this, inspiring stories of great personalities and women of J&K who led by example and contributed in different fields of society, need to be shared, he added.
The Lt Governor said that the contribution of every class and section of the society must reach to the people through public participation programs under five pillars of this national festival that are Freedom Struggle, Ideas at 75, Achievement at 75, Actions at 75 and Resolve at 75, envisioned by Prime Minister .
Speaking on the present development scenario of Jammu and Kashmir, the Lt Governor observed that the last 2 years have seen an increased pace of development. Roads are being constructed at three times the earlier speed; efforts are being made to complete the power and water projects pending for years, so that people of the UT get all the basic facilities, he added.
Few vested interests hampered the development reaching the doorsteps of the people for decades. The temporary system that had been in place for years, the laws that pushed the people back, was not removed even after decades. Since 05 August 2019, hundreds of such policies have been changed and laws abolished. Now, the poor, the underprivileged, our farmers and the younger generation are being empowered, maintained the Lt Governor.
Highlighting the people centric measures taken by the Government, the Lt Governor observed that the population living in 973 villages will be connected with paved road for the first time after independence, now the child of a sweeper can become a doctor, and remote villages would see 20-22 hours of electricity in the next three-four years.
The Lt Governor termed the development work being done in a transparent way in every panchayat as a true tribute to Brigadier Rajinder Singh and his soldiers.
While speaking on the importance of empowered grass-root democratic setup, the Lt Governor assured that the government will make every possible effort to make DDC institution strong, vibrant and transparent.
The Lt Governor also called upon the people to remember those freedom fighters who could not find a place in the pages of history.
He urged both the administration, and the public to recognize the contributions of the people who have inspired the present generation to participate in the new ideas, industrialization and revolution happening in every field which is also the basic spirit of this Amrut festival. With the resolve of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat, we also have to contribute for the self-reliant Jammu and Kashmir, he added.
Underscoring the significance of empowering the younger generation, the Lt Governor laid special emphasis on providing youth with prospects for the future, investing more in education & skills and strengthening the position of girls & young women in society.
J&K has a glorious history of Women Empowerment. Along with social and economic freedom, they have to be provided equal opportunities in the workforce as well, said the Lt Governor.
Keeping in mind 75 years of independence, the J&K Government has launched a Super-75 scholarship scheme to support the education of meritorious girls belonging to poor families. Besides, Tejaswini program has been launched under Mission Youth, to provide financial assistance to the girls to start their business aiming at strengthening Women Entrepreneur Ecosystem in J&K, he added.
The Lt Governor called upon all stakeholders to take a pledge to collectively work on Industry 4.0.
In the next 75 weeks, we have to focus on policy, funding models, focus areas, key drivers, barriers and strategy implementation, so that when the nation celebrates 75th Independence Day next year, we should be fully ready for a radical change in both the economic and social sectors, observed the Lt Governor.
We have to put our efforts in the same direction so that when the new generation celebrates the 100th Independence Day of the country in 2047, it has a rich tradition that has been raised on the occasion of 75 years, the Lt Governor maintained.
I would urge the people of J&K, to take an active part in the celebrations in the next 75 weeks along with hoisting the tricolor in their houses, government offices, schools and colleges, said the Lt Governor.
He also invited suggestions from all to make the “Azaadi ka Amrut Mahotsav” grand and successful.
Earlier, the Lt Governor inspected the Photo Exhibition on India @ 75- celebrating 75 years of India’s Independence and displaying the life story of Brigadier Rajinder Singh.
School students and Artists from J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages presenting cultural performances on patriotic themes marked the beginning of the mega celebrations.
Ms. Usha Parmar and Col Inderpratap Singh Parmar – Family members of Brig. Rajinder Singh, besides Sh. Jugal Kishore Sharma, Member Parliament; Sh. Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to the Lt Governor; Sh. BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Sh. Atal Dulloo, Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education Department; Administrative Secretaries; Vice Chancellors of various Universities; Divisional Commissioner, Jammu and Deputy Commissioner Samba were present on the occasion.
Sh. Keshav Dutt, DDC Chairman, senior officers of Army, CRPF, JKP and Civil administration besides veterans and large number of people also attended the curtain raiser event of the mega celebrations.