Modi dedicates renovated complex of Jallianwala Bagh Smarak to the nation
New Delhi, August 29, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the renovated complex of the Jallianwala Bagh Smarak to the nation and inaugurated the museum galleries at the complex through a video conference on Saturday.
Referring to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, in which British troops fired on a large crowd of unarmed Indians during a meeting on April 13, 1919, killing hundreds of people, he said the dreams of the innocent people were still visible in the bullet marks in the walls of the Bagh. Several people, including women and children, were killed when they jumped into a well to escape the bullets, he noted.
He said Jallianwala Bagh was the place that inspired countless revolutionaries and fighters like Udham Singh and Bhagat Singh to die for the freedom of India.
“Those ten minutes on April 13, 1919, became the immortal story of our freedom struggle, due to which we can celebrate the Amrit Mahotsav of freedom today. On such an occasion, the dedication of Jallianwala Bagh Memorial in the modern version in the 75th year of independence is an opportunity of great inspiration for all of us,” he added.
This used to be the place where Baisakhi fairs used to be held. Guru Gobind Singh founded the Khalsa Panth with the spirit of 'Sarbat da Bhala' on Baisakhi day. “In the 75th year of our Independence, this renovated Jallianwala Bagh will remind the new generation about the history of this holy place and will inspire them to learn a lot about its past,” he added.
“It is the responsibility of every nation to preserve its history as it teaches us and gives us the direction to move forward,” Modi said. In this context, he said it was not right for any country to ignore such horrors of its past. Therefore India has decided to observe 14th August every year as "Partition Horrors Remembrance Day".
The country witnessed horrors like that which occurred in Jallianwala Bagh during partition in which the people of Punjab have been the biggest victims. “We still feel the pain of what happened at the time of partition in every corner of India,” he added.
"Today, if Indians are in trouble, anywhere in the world, then the country stands up to help them with all its might. Be it the COVID-19 period or the crisis in Afghanistan, the world has experienced it continuously. Hundreds of friends from Afghanistan are being brought to India under Operation Devi Shakti.
"Due to ‘Guru Kripa’ the government could bring ‘Swaroop’ of holy Guru Granth Sahib along with people to India. The teachings of the Gurus help in preparing policies for people suffering from such circumstances," he added.
"The current global conditions underline the importance of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ and underscore the need for AatmNirbharta and Aatmvishwas. These incidents goad us to strengthen the foundations of the country," he said.
Modi said that, during the Amrit Mahotsav, freedom fighters were being commemorated and honoured across the nation. Efforts were being made to preserve the places associated with the important stages of the freedom struggle and with national heroes.
Apart from Jallianwala Bagh, national monuments being renovated across the country included an Interactive Gallery in Allahabad Museum and Biplobi Bharat Gallery in Kolkata. The contributions of Azad Hind Fauz (INA) have been brought to the forefront by giving a new identity to the place in Andaman where Netaji unfurled the national flag for the first time. Names of islands in Andaman have been dedicated to the freedom struggle.
“Our tribal community contributed greatly and made great sacrifices for freedom. However, their contribution did not get as much place in the history books as it should have. Work is currently underway on museums to highlight tribal freedom fighters and their struggle in nine states of the country,” he added.
The country had aspired for a national memorial for the soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice. The National War Memorial was instilling in today's youth the spirit of protecting the nation and sacrificing everything for the country, he said.
Underlining the brave tradition of Punjab, the Prime Minister said, "Following the path of the Gurus, sons and daughters of Punjab stand fearlessly against all dangers facing the country. Efforts are on to preserve this rich heritage.
"While the 550th Prakashotsava of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, 350th Prakashotsava of Guru Gobind Singh Ji and the 400th Prakashotsava of Guru Teg Bahadur Ji took place in the last seven years, the Union government has tried to spread the teachings of the Gurus on these holy occasions."
He enumerated the efforts being made to take this rich legacy to the youth through initiatives like turning Sultanpur Lodhi into a heritage town, Kartarpur corridor, air connectivity of Punjab with various countries, connectivity with Guru Sthans and development of Anandpur Sahib – Fatehgarh Sahib – Chamkaur Sahib – Ferozpur –Amritsar – Khatkar Kalan – Kalanour - Patiala heritage circuit under Swadesh Darshan Scheme.
“This Amrit Kaal of our Independence is very important for the whole country,” he said and urged everyone to carry forward both heritage and development. “The land of Punjab has always inspired us and today it is necessary that Punjab makes progress at every level and in every direction. For this everyone should work together with the spirit of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’.”
Union Minister of Culture, Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministers of State for Culture, Governor and Chief Minister of Punjab; Chief Ministers of Haryana, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh; Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs from Punjab, members of Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Trust, among others, were present on the occasion.