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PM stresses on self-reliance and self-respect on Parakram Diwas

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Amid the grandeur of Kolkata’s Victoria Memorial, Prime Minister Narendra Modi weaved into his rich tributes to Subhas Chandra Bose, his three flagship themes:  single-minded focus to build a new India, hard work and the fulfilling the aspiration to build a self-reliant India.

With Atmanirbhar Bharat as the subtext, PM Modi stressed Netaji, whose birthday is being celebrated as Parakram Diwas, can inspire us on this arduous journey. Citing the examples from the legendary leader’s life, he said, “Netaji challenged the might of the British, which boasted that the sun never set in their Empire. Inspiring Indians at home and abroad to join Indian National Army, he fought the British. Such was the leader’s determination and courage, that he reclaimed Indian land for the first time from the British by unfurling unfurled the Tricolour at Andaman island.” He averred that likewise, we too should be undaunted and ‘Make In India’ initiative a reality. Modi also emphasised that we should never doubt our ability to manufacture products locally since “Netaji stressed that if Azad India has faith in itself it can’t be chained.” He also underlined the need for quality by sharing that Bose wanted “us to be honest to yourselves, thereby ensuring that we are never wrong to others.”

Cutting to the present, Modi pointed out that Netaji would be happy at the way India has confronted Covid-19 pandemic, and by developing vaccines, not only helped its countrymen but also other countries. “He will be very pleased with us,” the PM observed.

Pointing at Bose’s pride in Indian self-respect, the PM said that it is a lesson which we must inculcate and never allow anyone to dent that. “We are capable of giving a befitting reply to anyone who challenges us.” He went on to add that today “the world is seeing a strong and capable India, from LAC to LoC.” The obvious reference was to the recent the boundary standoff with China and also attempts by Pakistan to encourage terrorism in India.

The presence of some veteran members of Netaji’s famed Indian National Army at the event, too inspired the PM to make pertinent observations. He felt that INA’s inclusivity is an important dimension. “Netaji made Indians hailing from different regions, caste and creed into soldiers.” Further, he said, “when women emancipation was unheard off, our leader formed Rani of Jhansi regiment for women, and trained them in warfare.”

In the earlier part of his speech too, Modi took the opportunity of underscoring the significance of women in the society. He said Netaji’s name and deeds gave him strengthen to achieve his objectives, and for that he salutes him. “But more than that, I want to pay obeisance to Netaji’s mother, Prabhabati Ji, who gave him birth and inculcated him the attributes that made him great.”

A permanent exhibition and a Projection Mapping Show on Netaji was inaugurated on the occasion. A commemorative coin and postage stamp was also released by the Prime Minister. A cultural programme "Amra Nuton Jouboneri Doot", based on the theme of Netaji, was also held.