August 13, 2016 2:09:05 am
As part of the Centre’s celebrations of 70 years of Independence, Union ministers will visit the birthplaces of forgotten heroes and sites of struggles that were part of the country’s freedom movement.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh is slated to visit Ulihatu in Jharkhand, the birthplace of Birsa Munda, and Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh next week. He will pay tribute to four local heroes who were part of the Independence struggle, including Ashfaque Ali and Ram Prasad Bismil.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is expected to go to Hira Nagar in Jammu and Kashmir, the birthplace of Pandit Prem Nath Dogra, and Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, while Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will visit the colonial-era cellular jail in Port Blair and Rewari in Haryana to pay tribute to Rao Tula Ram.
“The aim is to get unknown and forgotten heroes on to a national platform. Let the contribution of people from one region be known in others. We have eight such heroes from the Northeast alone,” said Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting M Venkaiah Naidu.
Naidu visited Mumbai’s August Kranti Maidan recently and will be following it up with a visit to Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu to pay respects to Chidambaram Pillai, who established the first Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company.
Naidu added that PM Narendra Modi had visited Bhabhra in Madhya Pradesh last week, the birthplace of Chandrashekhar Azad, and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu would go to the historic Dandi in Gujarat and Mahatma Gandhi’s birthplace in Porbandar will be covered by Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan.
As per Modi’s recent instructions, women ministers are expected to visit border outposts where they will observe Raksha Bandhan by tying rakhis on soldiers. Accordingly, Textile Minister Smriti Irani will go to Siachen border, Uma Bharati to Nagpur Cantonment and Harsimrat Kaur Badal to Wagah border among others.
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