Gorakhpur (UP): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday (February 4) launched a year-long commemoration of the centenary of the Chauri Chaura incident, an outbreak of violence that forced Mahatma Gandhi to call off his non-cooperation movement against the British.
Paying tributes to the 19 people who were sent to the gallows for burning down a police station and killing 23 policemen, PM Modi said the Chauri Chaura martyrs had not got the place in history that they deserved. He also released a postage stamp to mark the beginning of the centenary year of the incident.
In an address delivered through video conference, the Prime Minister hailed India’s ‘power of unity’ and said this will help the country become a world power.
On the 1922 episode, Modi said, “Whatever happened in Chauri Chaura 100 years ago was seen as a simple incident of arson at a police station.” “The fire was not only at the police station but in the hearts of Indians as well,” he said.
The Prime Minister did not refer to Mahatma Gandhi’s decision to call off the non-cooperation movement over the violence by his followers. “Chauri Chaura was a self-motivated struggle of the common people. It is unfortunate that martyrs in this incident were not given a prominent place in the pages of history,” he said, appreciating the Uttar Pradesh government’s plan to commemorate it.
PM Modi said there were few instances in the history of the independence movement in which as many as 19 freedom fighters were given capital punishment for one incident. He said young people should write research papers and bring new facts to light about the incident.
The Prime Minister said the country’s unity broke the barriers of slavery. “This strength will make us a world power and this is the base of ‘atamanirbharta’.” “We are making vaccines ourselves and supplying them to other countries. The souls of freedom fighters must be feeling proud,” he said on the fight against coronavirus.
Highlighting an Uttar Pradesh initiative to provide farmers with ownership papers for their land, PM Modi said the move will help them get easy bank loans.
Ninety-nine descendants of those involved in the incident are being honoured as part of the Chauri Chaura commemoration, which began Thursday with ‘prabhat pheris’, or morning processions, in all Uttar Pradesh districts.
Talking about Union Budget 2021-22, the prime minister listed features in his government’s recent Budget that he said will help farmers. “A lot of initiatives have also been taken to empower farmers. Over 1,000 markets were connected with farmers so that they can sell their crops anywhere. Over Rs 40,000 crore for rural infrastructure will help farmers,” he said.
The Prime Minister further said that the government is also focusing on creating healthcare facilities in rural areas so that people do not have to go to cities for better treatment.
Modi said even household make their budgets on the basis of their current needs and future responsibilities, adding “But our earlier governments made budgets a medium for promises that they could not fulfill. The country has now changed that approach.”
(With Agency Inputs)