Expressing his condolences to the families of Tuesday’s Birbhum violence victimsPrime Minister Narendra Modi said he hopes the state government will get the perpetrators punished. “Main hinsak vaardaat par dukh vyakt karta hoon, apni samvedna vyakt karta hoon, aur asha karta hoon ki rajya sarkar Bengal ki mahaan dharti par aisa jaghanya paap karne waalon ko zaroor saza dilwayegi (I express my condolences on the violent incident in Birbhum, and hope the state government will get those who committed such a heinous sin on the great land of Bengal punished),” he said, while digitally inaugurating ‘Biplobi Bharat Gallery’ at Kolkata’s Victoria Memorial Hall on Wednesday evening.
“Main Bengal ke logon se aagrah karunga ki aisi vaardat ko anjaam dene waalon ko, aise apraadhiyon ka hausla badhaane waalon ko kabhi maaf na karein (I request the people of Bengal to not forgive the criminals and those who encouraged them),” the PM said, while also assuring the state government of the Center’s support in bringing the perpetrators to justice.
मैं बंगाल के लोगों से भी आग्रह करूंगा कि ऐऐी वारदात को अंजाम ददने वालों को, ऐऐे अपराधियों का हौहौला बढ़ाने वालों को कभी माफ न करंं: pm @narendramodi
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) March 23, 2022
Remembering the martyrs on the Shaheed Diwas, the Prime Minister said that the tales of sacrifice of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev inspire all of us to work tirelessly for the country. “The legacy of our past guides our present, inspires us to build a better future. Therefore, today the country sees its history, its past, as a living source of energy,” he said. While Modi joined via video conferencing, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and Union Culture and Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy were among those present on the occasion.
The Prime Minister said that after ‘Nirbhik Subhas’ (an exhibition on the life and times of Subhas Chandra Bose at Victoria Memorial Hall to celebrate his 125th birth anniversary), a new pearl has been added to the Kolkata’s rich heritage in the shape of Biplobi Bharath Gallery. He said that the gallery is a proof of the government’s commitment to preserve and enhance the heritage of West Bengal.
He said that he worked on renovating the iconic landmarks of the state like Victoria Memorial, iconic galleries, Metcalf House etc. is almost over. “Let these symbols of our culture, civilization continue to inspire the present and future generations of India, this is a great effort in this direction,” he said.
The Prime Minister also made a special mention of his government’s efforts to bring stolen antiques back from various countries. He said that earlier, ancient statues used to be smuggled abroad with impunity, but now India is bringing its heritage back.
“In the decades before 2014, only a dozen statues could be brought to India, but in the last seven years, this number has increased to more than 225,” he added. On Monday, Australia had announced the return of 29 antiquities to India ahead of the digital summit between Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.
Modi also touched upon a nationwide campaign being undertaken by the government to increase heritage tourism. “Heritage tourism is being given impetus through several schemes like Swadesh Darshan,” he said, enumerating places of interest such as the Dandi March Memorial in Gujarat, renovation of the Jallianwala memorial in Amritsar, the Statue of Unity at Kevadia, Deendayal Samarak, Babasaheb Memorial, Bhagwan Birsa Munda Memorial, beautification of ghats in Ayodhya and Kashi or renovation of temples all over India.
The Prime Minister said that during the centuries of slavery, three streams jointly led to Independence — revolution, ‘satyagraha’ and public awareness. He dwelled at length in the symbolism of the Tricolour, and added that these three streams are represented in the national flag, with saffron representing revolutionary stream, white ‘satyagraha’ and green marking the creative pulse of the country.
He said for him the blue in the national flag represents the cultural consciousness of the country. He said today he sees the future of the New India in the three colors of the national flag. Saffron inspires us for duty and national security, white is synonymous with ‘Sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas and sabka prayas’; green is for preservation of environment and the blue ‘chakra’ signifies the country’s blue economy.
Also referring to the young age of revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru, Azad and Khudiram Bose, the Prime Minister said that the youth of India should never consider themselves any lesser. “There is nothing which the youth of India cannot do. There is no such goal which the youth of India cannot achieve,” he said.
The newly inaugurated Biplobi Bharat Gallery depicts the political and intellectual backdrop that triggered the Revolutionary movement. It showcases the birth of the revolutionary movement, formation of significant associations by revolutionary leaders, spread of the movement, formation of Indian National Army, contribution of Royal Indian Navy mutiny, among others, as per a statement by the Ministry of Culture.
The gallery displays the contribution of the revolutionaries in the freedom struggle and their armed resistance to the British colonial rule. The purpose of this new gallery is to provide a holistic view of the events that led up to 1947 and highlight the important role played by the revolutionaries, as part of the government’s 75-week-long Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations.