Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the celebration of the 125th birth anniversary of freedom fighter Alluri Sitarama Raju, in Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh on July 4, 2022.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the celebration of the 125th birth anniversary of freedom fighter Alluri Sitarama Raju, in Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh on July 4, 2022.

Modi says people must fulfil dreams of India's freedom fighters

Bhimavaram (Andhra Pradesh), July 4, 2022

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that it was the responsibility of all citizens to fulfil the dreams of India's freedom fighters.

"Our new India should be the India of their dreams. An India - in which the poor, farmers, labourers, backward, tribals have equal opportunities for all," he said while launching the year-long 125th birth anniversary celebrations of legendary freedom fighter Alluri Sitarama Raju in Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh.

Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan, Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, and Union Minister G. Kishan Reddy were among those present on the occasion.

Modi stated that, during the last eight years, the government had worked relentlessly for the welfare of the tribal community of the country.

He said that, for the first time since independence, tribal museums are being set up to showcase the tribal pride and heritage in the country.

“Alluri Sitarama Raju Memorial Tribal Freedom Fighters Museum” is also being built in Lambasingi, Andhra Pradesh.

Similarly, November 15, the birthday of Bhagwan Birsa Munda has been demarcated as Rashtriya Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas.

The Prime Minister said that the foreign rulers perpetrated maximum atrocities on the tribal community and tried to destroy their culture.

Today, he said, tribal art and skills are getting a new identity through the Skill India Mission.

"'Vocal for Local' is making tribal art skills a means of income. Decades-old laws which prevented tribal people from cutting forest produce like bamboo, we changed them and gave them rights on forest produce. Similarly, the number of forest products for MSP procurement increased from 12 to more than 90. More than 3,000 Van Gan Vikas Kendra and more than 50,000 Van Gana Self Help Groups are connecting tribal products and art with modern opportunities. Aspirational Districts Schemes will greatly benefit tribal districts and, on the education front, more than 750 Eklavya model schools are being established and education in mother tongue is being promoted under the National Education Policy," he said.

Modi began by paying tributes to Alluri Sitarama Raju and expressed happiness at meeting members of his family.

He said the 125th birth anniversary of Alluri Sitarama Raju and the 100th anniversary of Rampa Kranti will be celebrated throughout the year. Restoration of his birth place at Pandrangi, renovation of Chintapalli police station, construction of Alluri Dhyana Mandir at Mogallu, these works are symbols of the spirit of Amrit Mahotsav (75th Year of Independence), he said.

He said that today’s programme reflected the pledge of making everyone aware of the heroic deeds of the country's freedom fighters.

The Prime Minister noted that the freedom struggle is not just a history of a few years, few areas, or of a few people. This history is the history of sacrifice, tenacity and sacrifices of every nook and corner of India.

“History of our freedom movement is a symbol of the strength of our diversity, culture and of our unity as a nation," he added.

Terming Alluri Sitarama Raju as a symbol of India’s culture, tribal identity, valour, ideals and values, the Prime Minister remarked that from his birth to his sacrifice, his life journey is an inspiration to all.

"He dedicated his life for the rights of tribal society, for their happiness and sorrow and for the freedom of the country. Alluri Sitarama Raju represents the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ that has been uniting the country in one thread of unity,” he said.

He said that India’s spiritualism gave Alluri Sitarama Raju a sense of compassion and kindness, a sense of identification and equality for the tribal society, knowledge and courage. Noting the youth of Alluri Sitarama Raju and those who laid down their lives at the Rampa Rebellion, he emphasised that their sacrifice is a source of energy and inspiration for the entire nation even today.

“Youth of the country led the freedom struggle. Today, this is the best opportunity for the youth to come forward for the development of the country. Today, there are new opportunities, avenues, thought processes and possibilities in New India today and our youth is taking up the responsibility of realising these possibilities.”

The Prime Minister said Andhra Pradesh is the land of heroes and patriots. "Here there were freedom heroes like Pingali Venkayya, who prepared the flag of the country. This is the land of heroes like Kaneganti Hanumanthu, Kandukuri Veeresalingam Pantulu and Potti Sriramulu," he said.

He said Sitarama Raju had, during his struggle with the British, showed that "Dum hai to mujhe rok lo" -- Stop me if you can.

"Today the country is also facing the challenges before it. With the same courage, 130 crore countrymen, with unity and strength, are telling every challenge - 'Dum hai to hamain rok lo'," the Prime Minister concluded.

Born on 4th July 1897, Alluri Sitarama Raju is remembered for his fight against the British, in order to safeguard the interests of the tribal communities in the Eastern Ghats region. He had led the Rampa rebellion, which was launched in 1922. He is referred to as “Manyam Veerudu” (Hero of the Jungles) by the local people.

NNN

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