: Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays homage at the Gandhi Smriti, on the occasion of Martyrs' Day, in New Delhi, Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022. (PTI Photo/Arun Sharma)
New Delhi: Days after the controversy over the flames at "Amar Jawan Jyoti" near India Gate being "merged" into those at the National War Memorial in its vicinity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that "like the ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti’, our martyrs, their inspiration and their contribution are also immortal", as he urged all to visit the National War Memorial.
Also, pointing out that "corruption hollows the country like a termite", Mr Modi, in response to a letter by a child who had asked him why one should wait till 2047 (100th anniversary of India’s Independence) to get rid of corruption, said where "duty is paramount, corruption cannot even think of entering there".
In his first Mann Ki Baat monthly radio address this year, Mr Modi also said that now the Republic Day functions start "from 23rd of January -- the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose -- and will continue till 30th of January -- Gandhiji’s death anniversary". The PM also pointed out that a "digital sculpture of Netaji has also been installed at India Gate" and that "we can never forget the way the country welcomed this, the wave of joy that arose from every corner of the country; the kind of feelings expressed by every countryman".
Mr Modi further spoke about how "more than one crore children" have written to him through their "Mann Ki Baat" post cards in which they have highlighted their vision for the country. He also spoke of the spread of Indian culture abroad, including in faraway Argentina, through an organisation called the Hastinapur Foundation that is involved in the propagation of Indian Vedic traditions in Argentina. He said the outfit had been founded 40 years ago by a lady, Prof. Aida Albrecht, who will turn 90 today.
The PM also announced Ladakh "will soon be blessed with an impressive Open Synthetic Track and Astro Turf Football Stadium being built at a height of more than 10,000 feet, and its construction is going to be completed soon". He added that "this will be the largest open stadium in Ladakh, where 30,000 spectators can sit together (and that) this modern football stadium in Ladakh will also have a synthetic track with 8 lanes". He added that "apart from this, there will also be a hostel facility with one thousand beds and that this stadium has also been certified by FIFA, the biggest (global) organisation of football".
On conservation of wildlife, the PM lauded efforts that have led to a steady decrease in the hunting of rhinos in Assam. "Where 37 rhinos were killed in 2013, two killings in 2020 and only one in 2021 have come to the fore. I appreciate the resolve of the people of Assam to save the rhinoceros," he said.
Mr Modi said: "Friends, in the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the country is re-establishing its national symbols through these efforts. We saw that the ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti’ near India Gate and the jyoti lit at the National War Memorial in the vicinity were merged. There were tears in the eyes of many countrymen and martyrs’ families on this emotional occasion. At the National War Memorial, the names of all the bravehearts of the country who have been martyred since Independence have been inscribed. Some former soldiers of the Army have written to me saying that "the Amar Jawan Jyoti lit at the memorial is a symbol of the immortality of the martyrs". Truly, like "Amar Jawan Jyoti", our martyrs, their inspiration and their contribution are also immortal. I would urge all of you to certainly visit the National War Memorial whenever you get an opportunity."
The PM added: "Today is also the death anniversary of our revered Bapu, Mahatma Gandhi ji. The 30th of January reminds us of the teachings of Bapu. Just a few days ago, we celebrated Republic Day as well… One change you must have noticed is that now Republic Day functions will start from the 23rd of January -- the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, and will continue till the 30th of January – Gandhiji’s death anniversary."