Prime Minister's Office

English rendering of PM’s Address at the unveiling of hologram statue of Netaji at India Gate

Posted On: 23 JAN 2022 10:36PM by PIB Delhi

Present in this historic program are my colleagues from the Council of Ministers Shri Amit Shah, Shri Hardeep Puri ji, other cabinet members, trustees of INA, members of NDMA, jury members, Directors General of NDRF, Coast Guards and IMD, winners of the disaster management awards, all other dignitaries, brothers and sisters!

On the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the brave son of Mother India, I bow down to him on behalf of the entire country. This day is historical, this period is also historical and this place, where all of us have gathered, is also historical. Symbol of India's democracy, our Parliament, many buildings symbolizing our activity and dedication to people and the National War Memorial dedicated to our brave martyrs are also nearby. In the light of all this, today we are celebrating Amrit Mahotsav at India Gate and paying respectful tributes to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, who gave us the confidence of a free and sovereign India, who told the British authority proudly with great confidence and courage - “I will not beg for freedom, I will achieve it”. The grand statue of our Netaji, who established the first independent government on the soil of India, is being installed in digital form near India Gate. Soon this hologram statue will be replaced by a huge granite statue. This statue is a tribute of a grateful nation to the great hero of Netaji Subhas. This statue of Netaji Subhas will give a sense of national obligation to our democratic institutions and our generations and will continue to inspire the present and future generations.


Since last year, the nation has started celebrating Netaji's birth anniversary as Parakram Diwas. Today, Subhas Chandra Bose ‘Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar’ (Disaster Management Awards) have also been given on the occasion of Parakram Diwas. Taking inspiration from Netaji's life, it was announced to give these awards. I congratulate all the individuals and organizations from 2019 to 2022 who have been honored today.


A proverb suits very well to the attitude towards disaster management in our country hitherto – to dig a well when you are thirsty. And there is another saying in Kashi region, which I represent: भोज घड़ी कोहड़ा रोपे i.e., to start growing Kohda vegetable during feast. That is, remedial measures were explored only at the time of disaster. Not only this, there existed a perplexing system about which very few people know. For years, the Agriculture Department used to deal with disasters. The root cause of this was that the Ministry of Agriculture was assigned the role of dealing with the situation arising out of floods, heavy rains and hailstorms.  This system of disaster management continued like this in the country. But the nation was forced to think afresh in the wake of the Gujarat earthquake in 2001. It changed the meaning of disaster management. We pushed all departments and ministries into relief and rescue work. Learning from the experiences of that time, the Gujarat State Disaster Management Act was enacted in 2003. Gujarat became the first state in the country to enact such a law to deal with disasters. Later, the Central Government, drawing lessons from the laws of Gujarat, enacted a similar Disaster Management Act in 2005 for the entire country. It was only after this law that the National Disaster Management Authority was formed. This law also helped the country a lot in the fight against Corona.


Since 2014, our government has undertaken sweeping measures at the national level to make disaster management effective. We have emphasized on Relief, Rescue, Rehabilitation as well as Reform. We strengthened, modernized and expanded the NDRF across the country. We adopted best possible practices, from space technology to planning and management. Our NDRF, SDRF and security forces personnel put their lives on the line in saving each and every life. Therefore, this is the occasion to express gratitude and salute all those who risk their lives, whether they are NDRF or SDRF personnel, or our security forces.


If we continue to strengthen our systems, then the capacity to deal with disasters also grows simultaneously. If I talk about one or two years of the Corona period, there were several calamities even in the midst of this pandemic. On the one hand, while we were fighting against Corona, on the other hand, there were earthquakes and floods in many areas. Cyclones hit the eastern coasts, including Odisha and West Bengal, and western coasts, including Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat. Earlier, hundreds of people used to die in a cyclone, but not this time. The nation answered every challenge with a new force. As a result, we were able to save maximum lives during these disasters. Today major international agencies are appreciating this potential and change in India. Today there exists such an end-to-end cyclone response system in the country where the central, state governments, local administration and all agencies work together. The warning system has been improved for floods, droughts and cyclones. Advanced tools for disaster risk analysis and disaster risk maps for different areas have been created with the help of states. It is benefiting all the states and the stakeholders. And most importantly, Disaster Management has become a matter of public participation and public trust in the country today. I am told that the youths are becoming part of schemes like 'Aapda Mitra' of NDMA and shouldering responsibility. That is, public participation is increasing. If there is a disaster somewhere, people do not remain victims, rather they confront the disaster by becoming volunteers. That is, disaster management is no longer just a government responsibility, but it has become a model of 'Sabka Prayas'.

And friends,

When I talk about ‘Sabka Prayas’, it involves efforts in every sphere; a holistic approach. While giving priority to disaster management, we have also made many changes in our education system. Efforts are underway to add disaster management and subjects related to infrastructure to the curriculum of civil engineering and architecture courses. The Government has also enacted Dam Safety Act to deal with situations arising out of dam failure.


Whenever there is a disaster anywhere in the world, there are discussions about tragic deaths and evacuations besides huge economic losses. But the loss of infrastructure in a disaster is beyond imagination. That is why it is very necessary to develop infrastructure in a way so that it can withstand even disasters. Today India is moving fast in this direction. The houses being built under the PM Awas Yojana in areas where there is a high risk of earthquake, flood or cyclone take care of these concerns. Disaster management has also been taken care of in the Char Dham mega project underway in Uttarakhand. Priority has been given to the specifics related to disaster management in the new expressways being built in Uttar Pradesh. Provision has also been made so that these expressways can be used for landing of aircraft in case of emergency. This is the vision and the way of thinking of New India.


In view of the Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, India has also given the idea of ​​a very large institution to the world. It is CDRI - Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure. Britain has become our main partner in this initiative of India and today 35 countries of the world have joined it. We have seen a lot of joint military exercises by armies in different countries of the world. It is an old tradition and is often discussed. But India has for the first time started the tradition of Joint Drill for Disaster Management. Our disaster management agencies have provided their services to many countries in difficult times, fulfilling their duty towards humanity. When Nepal was devastated by the earthquake, India as a friendly nation did not waste time in sharing that misery. Our NDRF personnel reached there immediately. India's experience of disaster management is not only for us but for the entire humanity. You will recall that India launched the South Asia Geostationary communication satellite in 2017. Our friendly countries of South Asia are getting its benefits in the field of weather and communication.  


Whatever be the circumstances, if we have the courage, we can turn disaster into an opportunity. This is the message Netaji gave us during the freedom struggle. Netaji used to say: “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 fulfill the dreams of an independent India. We have before us the goal to build a new India before 2047, the hundredth year of independence. On the basis of the faith that Netaji had in the country, the feelings that he had, I can say that there is no power in the world that can stop India from reaching this goal. Our successes are proof of our determination. But, this journey is still a long one. We still have many summits to overcome. For this, it is necessary that we should be aware of the history of the country, the tenacity and sacrifices that shaped it in the journey of thousands of years.

Brothers and sisters,

This is the resolve of Amrit Mahotsav of freedom that India will revive its identity and inspirations. It was unfortunate that attempts were made to erase the contribution of many great personalities along with the culture and ethos of the country after independence. The 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. The country is developing the ‘Panchatirths’ associated with Babasaheb Ambedkar in keeping with their dignity. Today the Statue of Unity has become a pilgrimage for the glory of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel all over the world. We have also started celebrating the birth anniversary of Bhagwan Birsa Munda as ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas’. Adivasi (tribal) museums are being built in different states to highlight the contribution and history of the tribal society. And every legacy related to the life of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is also being cherished by the country with full pride. On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Netaji hoisting the tricolor in Andaman, an island in Andaman has been named after him. In December, a special 'Sankalp Smarak' was dedicated to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in Andaman. This memorial is a tribute to Netaji as well as to the soldiers of the Indian National Army, who laid down their lives for freedom. I was privileged to visit Netaji's ancestral home in Kolkata on this very day last year. The way he slipped out of Kolkata, the room in which he used to study, the stairs and walls of his house that experience is beyond words.


I also cannot forget the day when the Azad Hind government completed 75 years on 21st October 2018. In a special ceremony held at the Red Fort, I had hoisted the tricolor wearing the cap of the Azad Hind Fauj. That moment is phenomenal and unforgettable. I am happy that a memorial related to the Azad Hind Fauj is being built in the Red Fort itself. It is also my priceless memory when I saw the ex-servicemen of Azad Hind Fauj in the parade of 26 January in 2019. I also consider it my privilege that our government got an opportunity to declassify the files related to Netaji.


If Netaji Subhas was determined to do something, then no power could stop him. We have to move ahead taking inspiration from Netaji Subhas's 'Can Do, Will Do' spirit. He knew this and therefore used to say always that nationalism has infused such a creative power in India which had been sleeping inside the people for centuries. We also have to keep nationalism alive and create it simultaneously. Similarly, the national consciousness has to be kept awake. I am confident that together we will be able to make India the India of Netaji Subhas's dreams. I once again wish you all a very Happy Parakram Diwas. Today I especially congratulate the personnel of NDRF and SDRF who have made their mark in a very short span of time. Today, wherever there is a disaster or reports of possibilities of disaster like a cyclone, normal human beings are assured of help when they see NDRF personnel in uniform. It is like when they see the army personnel arriving for rescue in any disaster. Similarly, the soldiers of NDRF and SDRF have demonstrated their might. Remembering Netaji on Parakram Diwas, I salute and congratulate the NDRF and SDRF jawans for working with compassion and sensitivity. I know many people working in the field of disaster management have also sacrificed their lives. Today, I also pay homage to the jawans who put their lives at stake to save someone's life. While bowing respectfully to all such people, I end my speech by wishing you all a very happy Parakram Diwas. Thank you very much!

DISCLAIMER: This is the approximate translation of PM’s speech. Original speech was delivered in Hindi.



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