On the occasion of Shaheed Diwas, the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated Biplobi Bharat Gallery at Victoria Memorial Hall, today via video conferencing. Governor of West Bengal Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar and Union Minister Shri G. Kishan Reddy were among those present on the occasion.
The Prime Minister started his address by expressing condolence for the victims of violent incidents in Birbhum and expressed the hope that the state government will ensure punishment for the perpetrators of such a heinous crime. He assured all the cooperation from the centre. “I would also urge the people of Bengal to never forgive the perpetrators of such incidents and those who encourage such criminals”, he added.
Remembering the martyrs on the Shaheed Diwas, the Prime Minister said that the tales of the 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.
The Prime Minister said today, New India is bringing the heritage of the country back from abroad where ancient statues used to be smuggled to with impunity. In the decades before 2014, said the Prime Minister, only a dozen statues could be brought to India. But in the last 7 years, he said, this number has increased to more than 225.
The Prime Minister said that after 'Nirbhik Subhas’, a new pearl has been added to Kolkata’s rich heritage in the shape of Biplobi Bharat Gallery. He said that the Biplobi Bharat Gallery is proof of the government’s commitment to preserve and enhance the heritage of West Bengal. He informed that work 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.
Shri Modi informed that a nationwide campaign is going on in India to increase heritage tourism. Heritage tourism is being given impetus through several schemes like Swadesh Darshan, he said. The Prime Minister said that with initiatives like a memorial for Dandi March, renovation of Jallianwala memorial, Statue of Unity, Deendayal Samarak, Babasaheb Memorial, Bhagwan Birsa Munda Memorial, beautification of ghats in Ayodhya and Kashi or renovation of temples all over India, heritage tourism is opening new possibilities.
The Prime Minister said that during the centuries of slavery, three streams jointly led to independence. These streams were of revolution, satyagraha and public awareness. The Prime Minister dwelled at length on the symbolism of the tricolour, the National Flag. He said these three streams are represented in the colours of the tricolour 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 New India in the three colours 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 the preservation of the environment and in the blue chakra the Prime Minister saw the blue economy of the country.
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 Prime Minister underlined the thread of unity that ran through the freedom struggle where different regions, languages, resources were united in the fervour for serving the country and patriotism. “This eternal feeling of Bharat Bhakti, unity, integrity of India should be our top priority even today. Whatever may be your political thinking, you may belong to any political party, but any kind of compromise with the unity and integrity of India will be the biggest betrayal to the freedom fighters of India”, the Prime Minister emphasized. The Prime Minister continued “We have to move forward with a new vision in New India. This new vision is of India's self-confidence, self-reliance, ancient identity and of future upliftment. In this, the sense of duty is of paramount importance.”
Referring to the milestone of $400 Billion or Rupees 30 lakh crore worth of product export that was achieved today, the Prime Minister commented “India's growing exports is a symbol of the strength of our industry, our MSMEs, our manufacturing capacity and of the strength of our agriculture sector.”
On the occasion, Union Minister for Culture, Tourism and Development of Northeastern region Shri G.Kishan Reddy paid tribute to Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar for their sacrifice for the freedom of the country. On the occasion, he also paid his respects to the great freedom struggle like Rabindra Nath Thakur, Swami Vivekanand, Subhash Chandra Bose.
The Minister said, “We can proudly say that the ancient heritage of our country has evolved at a pace never before in the last 8 years.” He further highlighted the fact that artefacts are being brought back from different countries after Shri Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister. Where only 13 artefacts returned to India in 46 years, now almost 228 artefacts have come to India in the last 7.5 years. He also said that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has introduced India's heritage, civilization, culture and traditions to the world and the entire world is now connecting itself with our culture and traditions today.
The Union minister said “We are dedicating this gallery to the freedom fighters on the martyr's day and It is time to bring new resolutions, set new goals, move forward with new inspiration, build a self-reliant India, get vocal for local, achieve the motive of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat”
The Gallery displays the contribution of the Revolutionaries in the freedom struggle and their armed resistance to British colonial rule. This aspect has often not been given its due place in the mainstream narrative of the freedom movement. 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.
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 the Indian National Army, the contribution of Naval Mutiny, among others.