As the central government plans to celebrate in a big way the ‘Festival of Independence’, Union ministers will visit birthplaces of freedom fighters and border outposts across the country.
“The aim is to bring back to public consciousness the forgotten or unknown heroes. Let the contribution of people from one region be known in others,” Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said today, giving details of the plans.
Women ministers, including Uma Bharati, Harsimrat Kaur and Smriti Irani, will visit border outposts and tie rakhis on the jawans, while leading singers Asha Bhonsle, Kumar Sanu, Manoj Tewari will take part in events organised by paramilitary forces.
Naidu said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last week visited Bhabhra in Madhya Pradesh where Chandrashekhar Azad was born while he had also visited August Kranti maidan in Mumbai.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh will visit Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh which is associated with Ashfaque Ali and Ram Prasad Bismil. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will visit Jallianwala Bagh in Punjab and Hiranagar in Jammu and Kashmir.
Railway minister Suresh Prabhu will visit Dandi in Gujarat, while Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan will visit Mahatma Gandhi’s birthplace in Porbandar.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will visit the historic Cellular Jail in Port Blair. Minister of State for I&B Rajyavardhan Rathore will visit Meerut.
Naidu asked how many people, for instance, know about Rani Gaidinliu and stressed the need for creating awareness about these heroic figures who had participated in the freedom struggle.
The idea of India is being reinforced through this festival, he said. As per the plan, patriotic songs will be played on AIR, DD and FM while various programmes on freedom fighters will also be aired during the festival.