On Friday, while inaugurating the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ at the Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi elaborated upon the symbolism and meaning of salt. The PM described salt as a symbol of dignity of labour and equality.
He said the future of a nation becomes brighter only when it stays connected to the pride of its past heritage. “India has an enormous reservoir to be proud of in the form of a rich history and a vibrant cultural heritage.”
The PM said,”Salt has never been valued by its price in India. For us salt means honesty, faith and loyalty. We still say that we’ve eaten the salt of the country. This is not because salt is a very precious item. This is because salt is a symbol of labour and equality for us.”
The PM said during his address,”The First War of Independence in 1857, Mahatma Gandhi’s return from abroad, reminding the country of the power of ‘Satyagraha’, the call for ‘Purna Swaraj’ by Lokmanya Tilak, Azad Hind Fauj’s call for Dilli Chalo under the leadership of Subhas Chandra Bose…who can forget the slogan of Dilli Chalo? The work of continuously keeping the flame of the freedom movement alive was done by our seers, saints and monks.”
The PM said that in a way the Bhakti movement had prepared the foundation for the nationwide freedom movement. “There are so many Dalits, adivasis (tribal people), women and youth from every corner of the country who made innumerable sacrifices. Remember, Kodi Kaatha Kumaran, a 32-year-old youth from Tamil Nadu, who was shot in the head by the Britishers but he did not let the country’s flag fall to the ground even while he was dying. Shyamji Krishna Varma, while living on British soil, struggled for India’s freedom under their might. But his ashes waited for seven decades to find their rightful place in his motherland. In 2003, I brought back his ashes on my shoulders.”
Modi said,”In the Andamans, where Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose hoisted the tricolour by forming the first independent government of the country, the country has also given a grand shape to that forgotten history. The islands of Andaman and Nicobar are named after the country’s freedom fighters. The country has been making a conscious effort for the last six years to keep this glorious chapter in history alive. The revival of the site associated with the Dandi March was completed two years ago. I myself had the opportunity to visit Dandi on this occasion,” added the Prime Minister.