Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a hologram statue of freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose on the occasion of his 125th birth anniversary at India Gate in New Delhi, on Sunday, 23 January.
Stating that it was "unfortunate that after independence, work was done to erase contribution of many great personalities", PM Modi said the country was now "correcting those mistakes".
"It was unfortunate that after independence, along with culture of the country, work was done to erase contribution of many great personalities. Freedom struggle involved the penance of lakhs of countrymen, but efforts were made to limit their history as well. But today, after decades of independence, the country is correcting those mistakes," PM Modi added.
PM Modi had kickstarted the Republic Day celebrations on 23 January, unlike the usual start on 24 January, by offering his tributes to Netaji.
'Netaji's Statue Will Inspire Democratic Values and Future Generations'
"Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose refused to bow before the British. Soon the hologram statue will be replaced by a grand granite statue. Netaji's statue will inspire democratic values and future generations," PM Modi said.
"Never lose faith in the dream of independent India, there is no power in the world that can shake India. Today we have a goal to fulfil the dreams of an independent India. We've a target to build a new India before the 100th year of independence, 2047," he added.
Bose had left the country in 1941, never to return. He died in a controversial air crash on 18 August 1945. However, many still believe that it wasn't the reason behind his death. Despite a staggering number of inquiries, the controversy surrounding his death refuses to die down.
Commenting on the same, PM Modi said:
"It was my good fortune that our govt got the opportunity to declassify files related to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose."
'Our Government Strengthened NDRF': PM Modi
Talking about disaster management in India, PM Modi said:
"Earlier disaster management was handled by the agricultural department. Our government strengthened NDRF (National Disaster Response Force). International agencies hailed our initiatives in the disaster management sector," PM Modi further said.
"We have laid emphasis on reform as well as an emphasis on Relief, Rescue and Rehabilitation. We modernised NDRF, expanded it across the country. Space technology and other best possible practices have been adopted for planning and management," he added.
"I pay my tribute to NDRF & SDRF personnel who lost their lives while serving the nation," PM Modi said.
Home Minister Amit Shah was also present at the event.
"This is not just a granite statue but a befitting tribute to the legendary Netaji, who gave everything for India’s freedom," Amit Shah said.
Subhas Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskars
PM Modi also conferred the Subhas Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskars, for the years 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 in the investiture ceremony.
"Seven awards will be presented during the ceremony. Centre has instituted the annual Subhas Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar to recognize and honour the invaluable contribution and selfless service rendered by individuals & organizations in the field of disaster management," the Prime Minister's Office had earlier said.
Earlier, taking to Twitter on Sunday morning, PM Modi had said:
“I bow to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on his Jayanti. Every Indian is proud of his monumental contribution to our nation.”
Previously, on Friday, PM Narendra Modi had announced that a granite statue of the Bose would be installed at India Gate in New Delhi.
"Till the grand statue of Netaji Bose is completed, a hologram statue of his would be present at the same place," Modi wrote on Twitter, attaching a photograph with his tweet.
He added that the 'grand' statue would "be a symbol of India’s indebtedness to him".
Subhas Chandra Bose, also known as Netaji, was born in Cuttack, Odisha, on 23 January 1897. He was one of the most important figures in India’s struggle for independence. Netaji was also behind the revival of the Indian National Army or the Azad Hind Fauj.