The Prime Minister bowed to the brave land of Punjab and to the holy soil of JallianwalaBagh. He also saluted those children of Mother Bharati who were subjected to unprecedented inhumanity just to extinguish the flame of freedom.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said the dreams of the innocent boys and girls, of the sisters and brothers are still visible in the bullet marks in the walls of JallianwalaBagh. He added that today, we are remembering the love and lives of countless mothers and sisters which were snatched away in that Shaheedi well.
The Prime Minister remarked that JallianwalaBagh is the place which inspired countless revolutionaries and fighters like SardarUdham Singh, SardarBhagat Singh to die for the freedom of India. He added that those 10 minutes of April 13, 1919, became the immortal story of our freedom struggle, due to which we are able to celebrate the AmritMahotsav of freedom today. On such an occasion, dedication of JallianwalaBagh Memorial in the modern version in the 75 year of independence, is an opportunity of great inspiration for all of us, he said.
The Prime Minister remembered that before the JallianwalaBagh Massacre, fairs of holy Baisakhi used to be held in this place. Guru Gobind Singh Ji KhalsaPanth with the spirit of ‘Sarbat da Bhala’ was also founded on the same day. He said on the 75th year of our Independence, this renovated JallianwalaBagh will remind the new generation about the history of this holy place and will inspire to learn a lot about its past.
The Prime Minister noted that it is the responsibility of every nation to preserve its history as it teaches us and gives us the direction to move forward. He added that it is not right for any country to ignore such horrors of its past. Therefore, he said, that India has decided to observe 14th August every year as ‘Partition Horrors Remembrance Day’. India witnessed horrors like JallianwalaBagh during the partition of India. He said that people of Punjab have been the biggest victims of Partition. He added that we still feel the pain of what happened at the time of Partition in every corner of India and especially in the families of Punjab.
The Prime Minister said today, if Indians are in trouble, anywhere in the world, then India stands up to help them with all its might. Be it the Corona period or the crisis of Afghanistan, the world has experienced it continuously. He added that hundreds of friends from Afghanistan are being brought to India under Operation Devi Shakti. The Prime Minister said due to ‘Guru Kripa’ the government could bring ‘swaroop’ of holy Guru Granth Sahib along with people to India. He said that teachings of Gurus help in preparing policies for people suffering from such circumstances.
The Prime Minister said that current global conditions underline the importance of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ and underscore the need for AatmNirbharta and Aatmvishwas. These incidents goad us to strengthen the foundations of the country, he said.
The Prime Minister said today in AmritMahotsav, freedom fighters are being commemorated in every village and are being honored. He said that efforts are made to preserve the places associated with the important stages of the freedom struggle and with national heroes and bring them to the fore. He mentioned, like JallianwalaBagh, national monuments being renovated across the country such as Interactive Gallery in Allahabad Museum, Biplobi Bharat Gallery in Kolkata, etc. Contributions of Azad Hind Fauz (INA) have been brought to forefront by giving new identity to the place in Andaman where Netaji unfurled the national flag for the first time. Names of Islands in Andaman have been dedicated to the freedom struggle.
The Prime Minister said our tribal community contributed greatly and made great sacrifices for freedom. The Prime Minister lamented the fact that their contribution did not get as much place in the history books as it should have. He informed that work is currently underway on museums showing tribal freedom fighters and their struggle in 9 states of the country.
The Prime Minister remarked that the country aspired for national memorial for our soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice. He expressed satisfaction that the National War Memorial is instilling in today’s youth the spirit of protecting the nation and sacrificing everything for the country.
Underlining the brave tradition of Punjab, the Prime Minister said that, following the path of Gurus, sons and daughters of Punjab stand fearlessly against all dangers facing the country. He said that efforts are on to preserve this rich heritage. He said that fortunately auspicious occasions like 550th Prakashotsava of Guru nanak Dev ji, 350th Prakashotsava of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, 400th Prakashotsava of Guru TegBahadur Ji took place in last seven years and the Central government has tried to spread the teachings of the Gurus through these holy occasions. He enumerated efforts to take this rich legacy to the youth and talked of initiatives like turning SulatanpurLodhi into heritage town, Kartarpur corridor, air connectivity of Punjab with various countries, connectivity with Guru sthans and development of Anandpur Sahib – Fatehgarh Sahib – Chamkaur Sahib – Ferozpur –Amritsar – Khatkar Kalan – Kalanour – Patiala heritage circuit under Swadesh Darshan Scheme.
The Prime Minister remarked that this AmritKaal of our Independence is very important for the whole country. In this AmritKaal, he urged everyone to carry forward both heritage and development. He said the land of Punjab has always inspired us and today it is necessary that Punjab makes progress at every level and in every direction. For this he urged everyone to work together with the spirit of ‘SabkaSaath, SabkaVikas’. He wished this land of JallianwalaBagh to continue to give continuous energy for the resolutions to make the country fulfill its goals soon.
Union Minister of Culture, Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministers of State for Culture, Governor and Chief Minister of Punjab; Chief Ministers of Haryana, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh; Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs from Punjab, members of JallianwalaBagh National Memorial Trust, among others, were present on the occasion.
Union Minister of Culture, Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministers of State for Culture, Governor and Chief Minister of Punjab; Chief Ministers of Haryana, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh; Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs from Punjab, members of Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Trust, among others, were present on the occasion.
The families of Martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh tragedy were also invited to attend today’s event at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar.
Later after the dedication ceremony, the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER) , Sh G Kishan Reddy expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister for dedicating the renovated Jallianwala Bagh Memorial in Amritsar to the people of India.
In a statement after the programme, Kishan Reddy said, “The memorial now has the stature of a national memorial and vividly depicts and perpetuates the memory of those killed or wounded on the 13thof April, 1919, in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar. I am grateful to the Prime Minister for taking personal interest in the renovation. The memorial is a befitting tribute on our 75th year of Independence and will allow future generations to know more about our past”, he said.
“The sculptures that have been added to the heritage alley vividly depict ordinary men, women and children from all walks of life entering the park on that day. The Central Vista now accurately reflects the stature of a national memorial and the salvation ground that has now been built allows the visitors to silently honour those who attained sadgati on that day”, the Minister added.
The program began with Gurbaani Paath by Sangeet Natak Akademi artist Dr Alankar Singh.
A floral wreath was laid at the memorial on behalf of the Prime Minister in a formal ceremony by BSF soldiers. It was followed by two-minutes silence and a one minute BSF bugle.
Prime Minister unveiled the plaque and dedicated the renovated complex of Jallianwala Bagh to the nation and inaugurated Museum/Galleries. Audio-visual presentation on the renovations and museum galleries was played up and those present at the memorial witnessed the light and sound show also.
The renovation work was undertaken by NBCC under the supervision of five-member committee headed by DG, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).ASI and NBCC signed an MOU in May, 2019 and the work, amounting to Rs 23.03 crore, was assigned to NBCC. The Ministry of Tourism provided funds under the scheme on “Assistance to Central Agencies” for the project, which was completed by July, 2020.
Four Museum galleries have been created through adaptive reuse of redundant and underutilized buildings. Bifurcation of content in galleries has been done as per the chronology of events. The galleries showcase the historical value of events that unfolded in Punjab during that period with right fusion of audio-visual technology including projection mapping and 3D representation as well as art and sculptural installations.
Also, a tech-enabled Sound & Light show has been setup to display the tragedy that took place on 13th April, 1919. The show is displayed across a span of 180 degrees.
The elaborate heritage restoration works have been carried out in sync with the local architectural style of Punjab. For instance, the Shaheedi well has been repaired and restored with a redefined super structure, which is in tune with the local architecture prevailing in those times.