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‘Country got rid of another symbol of slavery’: Says PM Modi after inaugurating statue of Netaji Bose and revamped Kartavya Path

The jet-black granite statue of Netaji Bose has been installed under the canopy at the centre of India Gate hexagon, which once housed a statue of King George V

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday evening inaugurated the revamped Central Vista Avenue and the Kartavya Path, which has been renamed from Rajpath. The Prime Minister also unveiled the statute of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose installed at the India Gate hexagon. The jet-black granite statue has been placed under the Grand Canopy located at the centre of the Hexagon, between India Gate and the National War Memorial.

Addressing the nation in this ceremony, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “I congratulate all the countrymen who are witnessing this historic moment. We are leaving behind the past and adding new colors to the picture of the future.”

Narendra Modi said, “King’s Way which was also called Raj Path was a symbol of slavery and it has become a past now. A new history is created in the form of the Kartavya Path. I congratulate all the countrymen for getting rid of another symbol of slavery in the Amrit Kaal which is the 75th year of independence.”

He said, “Today, a huge statue of our national hero Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose has also been installed near India Gate. At the time of slavery, there was a statue of the representative of the British monarchy. Today, the country has also established a modern, strong India by installing Netaji’s statue in the same place.”

Narendra Modi also shared his thoughts about Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. He said, “Subhash Chandra Bose was such a great man who was beyond the challenge of position and resources. His acceptance was such that the whole world considered him a leader. He had courage and self-respect. He had ideas and vision. He had leadership ability, and policies.”

PM Modi said that had the country followed the path of Netaji, India would have developed even more. He said that the nation had forgotten the legacy and ideologies of Netaji. He further said, “In the last eight years, we have taken many such decisions one after the other, which have the imprint of Netaji’s ideals and dreams. Netaji Subhash was the first Prime Minister of Akhand Bharat (United India) who hoisted the tricolor by liberating the Andamans even before 1947.”

Elaborating more on how India is getting rid of colonial symbols, Prime Minister Modi said, “Today, the country has changed hundreds of laws that have been going on since the British era. The timing and date of the Indian budget, which had been following the time of the British Parliament for so many decades, has also changed. Through the National Education Policy, now the youth of the country are being liberated from the compulsion of foreign language.”

He said, “The idea of Rajpath and the design of Rajpath was a symbol of slavery. Today we have changed both its architecture and soul. The National War Memorial and the statue of Netaji and the Kartavya Path will inspire every Indian who will visit this place.”

PM Modi said, “The Kartavya Path is not just a path of bricks and stones. This is the living path to India’s democratic past and all-time ideals.”

Statue of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, who made a significant contribution to the Indian freedom movement, is being honoured with the statue at the India Gate canopy, which hosted a statue of King George V until 1968. According to an official announcement, the 28 feet tall Netaji sculpture being installed was cut from a 280 MT monolithic granite slab.

The installation of the statue of Netaji was announced by the PM on 21st January this year, and on 23rd January, on the occasion of Netaji’s birthday, a hologram statue of Bose was unveiled at the same location by the PM.

Statue of Netaji Bose at India Gate

The granite monolith was sculpted to form a monument weighing 65 MT after 26,000 man-hours of rigorous artistic effort. The statue is entirely hand-sculpted, employing both traditional and contemporary techniques. Arun Yogiraj headed the team of sculptors that created the statue. A 100-foot-long vehicle with 140 wheels was exclusively developed to transport this monolithic granite slab from Khammam, Telangana, to New Delhi.

The Canopy at the India Gate Hexagon was designed by Edwin Lutyens, and it originally housed a marble statue of King George V. The statue was retained in that place for two decades after the independence of India by the Congress government, despite demands to remove it. King George V’s statue was finally removed from India Gate in 1968, and was shifted to Coronation Park. Since then, the canopy remained empty, with various proposals to install statues of various personalities, but none of those materialised. The proposals included statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and even Indira Gandhi after her death. Finally, it took the Narendra Modi government to install Netaji’s statue at the empty canopy.

The arrival of the Prime Minister at the canopy for the installation of Netaji’s monument was preceded by traditional Manipuri Shankh Vadayam and Kerala’s Panch Vadayam and Chanda. The unveiling of Netaji’s statue was accompanied by the traditional INA hymn ‘Kadam Kadam Badhaye Jaa.’ On September 9, 10, and 11, a unique 10-minute Drone Show on Netaji’s life will be shown at India Gate at 8 p.m. All these functions will be free to the public.

Just like replacing Netaji’s statue with King George V’s statue marked the end of a colonial legacy, another colonial legacy was ended with the renaming of Rajpath as Kartavya Path. During British Raj, this road was known as Kings Way, and it was changed to Rajpath after Independence. Similarly, the Queen’s Way was renamed Janpath.

After unveiling the Netaji’s statue, the Prime Minister inaugurated the completely redesigned Kartavya Path, formerly known as Rajpath, one of India’s most famous roads, which runs from the Rashtrapati Bhavan past Vijay Chowk, India Gate, and ends at the National War Memorial in Delhi. Every year on January 26, the Republic Day parade is held on this road. The renaming was done in accordance with Prime Minister Modi’s Independence Day address, which advocated for the abolition of colonial symbols.

Central Vista Avenue

After inaugurating the statue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnessed an exhibition at Central Vista Avenue. During this time, PM Modi met the workers involved in the development of this project and interacted with them. APM Modi told the ‘Shramjeevis’ that he will invite all of those who worked on the redevelopment project of Central Vista for the 26th January Republic Day parade.

The Central Vista project involves the reconstruction of Central Vista Avenue, which runs between the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the India Gate and houses all of the union government’s significant buildings. The redesigned Kartavya Path is part of the larger central vista redevelopment project, which includes a new parliament building which is already almost complete, new secretariate buildings on both sides of Kartavya Path that will house employees of all ministries of the union govt, new residence and office for the Prime Minister, new residence for the Vice President, a central conference centre, and expansion of the national archive. For 10 central secretariate buildings, existing buildings housing various ministries and the vice-president’s residence will be demolished.

The development of central vista included the development of Kartavya Path and the surrounding region, which is usually accessible to the general public, as well as the creation of public utilities. Old trees along the path have been retained, while dead trees have been removed and new trees planted. The lawns on both sides of the path have been redeveloped and stone walkways made in the entire area, so that people don’t need to walk on the lawns.

The canals on both side of the road also have been restored, and new bridges have been built over them.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose – The unsung hero of the Indian independence struggle

As various visionaries are recognized as heroes of the Indian Freedom Struggle, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is the one who left a significant legacy but is less renowned than others. Though much is known about Netaji’s role in the liberation movement, it is important to remember that it was Netaji who envisioned India that we see today. 

A number of facts demonstrate Netaji’s repudiation by the mainstream torchbearer party of the Freedom movement. One of them was when Netaji was elected president of Congress in Haripura in 1938. Netaji had been campaigning against the British government’s federal concept, as outlined in the Government of India Act 1935. Unlike other sections within the party who were in favor of accepting the new compromises from the British, he had proposed a mass action for ‘Purna Swaraj.’ However, the old guard, including MK Gandhi, ignored his suggestions. 

As a result, he ran for re-election to the presidency in the following annual Congress session, which would be held in Tripuri. Interestingly, Netaji defeated Gandhi’s candidate, Pattabhi Sitarammayya (1,575 to 1,376 votes). Consequently, the whole Congress working committee (CWC) resigned. Thereafter, he was shunted out of the Congress party because he had the charisma and ability to win an election against the wishes of Mahatma Gandhi.

The mystery behind Netaji’s death

On August 18, 1945, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose inexplicably disappeared when a Japanese aircraft flying him crashed in Taiwan. He is said to have died from third-degree burns. It was never proven, though.

Because his final days are unknown, there are various speculations concerning his location and what happened to him. Some allege that Netaji Bose was in Russia until at least 1968. Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy further alleged that Stalin was involved in “murdering” Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, who did not die in an aircraft accident in 1945. He further asserted that Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was aware that Bose was being held captive in Russia before to his murder. India had requested that Russia inquire into any Bose-related information they may have, yet it was futile.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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