AHMEDABAD: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday launched ‘Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav’, the government’s initiative to mark 75 years of India’s Independence.
Modi said the 75th anniversary celebrations will continue till August 15, 2023.
The prime minister flagged off a padyatra (foot march) from Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat to re-enact Mahatma Gandhi’s Dandi Yatra.
The padyatra is being undertaken by 81 marchers from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad to Dandi in Navsari, a journey of 386 km.
The march will end after 25 days, on April 5.
Led by Mahatma Gandhi, 78 people had started the Dandi Yatra on March 12, 1930 from Sabarmati Ashram by announcing the ‘Salt Satyagraha’.
After landing at Ahmedabad airport, Modi drove to Sabarmati Ashram, where he paid floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi.
He also visited Hriday Kunj, the house in the Ashram where Mahatma Gandhi stayed with his wife Kasturba from 1918 to 1930.
Modi wrote in the visitors’ book that the Mahotsav is a tribute to our freedom fighters and freedom struggle.
“By coming to the Sabarmati Ashram and with the inspiration of Bapu, my determination for nation building is strengthened,” the prime minister wrote.
“Mahatma Gandhi gave the message of atma-nirbharta (self-reliance) and atma-vishwas (self-confidence) from here,” Modi wrote.
Azadi Ka Amrut Mohatsav is a tribute by our people to our freedom fighters and freedom movement.
During the celebrations the country will not only remember all the important milestones, important times during the freedom movement but also gain new energy for development of our future, Modi wrote.
“I am confident that with the blessings of Bapu, we Indians will follow our duties and achieve the goals set during this Amrut Mohatsave,” he added.
Modi then went to the venue of the cultural programme adjacent to the Ashram.
“Todays #AmritMahotsav programme begins from Sabarmati Ashram, from where the Dandi March began.
The March had a key role in furthering a spirit of pride and Aatmanirbharta among Indias people.
Going #VocalForLocal is a wonderful tribute to Bapu and our great freedom fighters,” Modi tweeted before the launch of the celebrations.
“Buy any local product and post a picture on social media using #VocalForLocal. A Charkha will be installed near Magan Niwas at Sabarmati Ashram. It will rotate full circle with each Tweet related to Aatmanirbharta. This shall also become a catalyst for a peoples movement,” Modi tweeted before the Mahotsav launch.
The Central government has constituted a committee under Union Home Minister Amit Shah to chalk out policies and planning of various events to be undertaken as part of the celebrations.
Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat and Chief Minister Vijay Rupani were present at the launch of the celebrations.