Bhubaneswar: The week-long celebrations to mark “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”, an initiative to commemorate 75 years of India’s independence kicked off at Pragativadi on Monday.
Leading Odia Daily ‘Pragativadi’ and Gandhi Peace Foundation have jointly started the week-long programme on Pragativadi premises to celebrate the spirit of India and its achievements in the past 75 years.
The event started with the hoisting of the national flag and singing of a patriotic song (Vijayi Biswa Triranga Payara) by the guests and staff of Pragativadi.
The activities like Gandhi’s rare photo exhibition and seminar were organised by Pragativadi and Gandhi Peace Foundation aimed to ‘ showcase the convergence of the values and glories of the freedom struggle of the past with the aspirations and dreams of a young, new and iconic India’.
First, Pragativadi’s Executive Editor and Publisher Birupakshya Tripathy gave his inaugural speech and threw light on the first day of the week-long programme. He also unveiled the week-long special edition of the Odia daily, which will be published from the 9th of August till the 16th of this month in a bid to commemorate 75 years of independence.
Pragativadi’s Executive Editor and Publisher Birupakshya Tripathy said:
Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav is not just a celebration of 75 years. It is a moment to celebrate, fulfil, and pump new vigour into the dreams for an independent India seen by the leaders of India’s freedom and go ahead with new resolutions. The “iconic week” will be celebrated as part of the “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” from August 8 to August 15, 2022.
Justice Manoranjan Mohanty, President of Gandhi Peace Foundation, presided over the inaugural event while prominent Gandhian and Chairperson of Utkal Gandhi Smarak Nidhi, Krishna Mohanty inaugurated the event.
The evening programme was also graced by State Food & Consumer Welfare and Cooperation Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak as the Chief Guest.
Keeping its vital tradition, Pragativadi felicitated one of its prominent group D staff, Rahas Naik on this occasion. Naik was felicitated with a Khadi garland for his tireless work towards the organisation.
Presiding over the meeting, the President of Gandhi Peace Foundation, Justice Manoranjan Mohanty introduced the guests and shared his experience while working with various freedom fighters and highlighted the importance of the scarifies made by the women freedom fighters in Odisha in enabling us to get freedom.
Speaking on the occasion, Justice Manoranjan Mohanty said:
Women like Rama Devi, Sarala Devi and Malati Choudhury, who painted the canvas of the freedom struggle with their efforts are priceless. Defying all the barriers of the society, they fought for their motherland and took part in the Satyagraha with Gandhiji. Across the country, each and every woman who left all happiness and worked tirelessly for freedom are the jewels and the new generation should learn from their life stories. I have seen from the very first edition of Pragativadi, that this is the only newspaper in Odisha which still stands with the ideologies of the founder Sri Pradyumna Kishore Bal.
While recalling her days with Gandhiji, prominent Gandhian and Chairperson of Utkal Gandhi Smarak Nidhi, Krishna Mohanty said:
Women as messengers, as supporters, as wives and mothers and as leaders were an integral part of the independence movement. I was a kid when I first met Gandhiji and I was too much influenced by his ideologies and his ambitions towards the women in Indian society. Gandhiji once said that the aim of independence will be fulfilled when women could walk fearlessly on the road at 2 PM.
Women shouldered critical responsibilities in India’s struggle for freedom. The sacrifice made by the women of India will occupy the foremost place. Kasturba, the wife of Mahatma Gandhi, was one of the foremost supporters of Gandhi’s programmes. When most of the men freedom fighters were in prison, the women came forward and took charge of the struggle. They fought with true spirit and unafraid courage and faced various tortures, exploitations, and hardships to earn us freedom. Women joined the movement in large numbers. Under the leadership of Ramadevi and Maltidevi, most women joined the Salt Satyagraha. This was the miracle of Gandhi’s call.
The chief guest of the evening, State Food & Consumer Welfare and Cooperation Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said:
The current generation should not forget the works of the women who took part in the independence struggle. The woman’s position has been always on top. If we see our culture always terms women as Maa. And India has made a tremendous. Even today, people are trying to misrepresent freedom fighters like Gandhi and Nehru. But in their leadership, all important decisions were taken on August 8. And now, after 75 years of Independence we made our position so strong that a tribal woman, Draupadi Murmu has reached the highest position in the country.
A total, of 15 women held important positions in the first cabinet of independence. Rajkumari Amrita Kaur was the health minister. Today women have made a name for themselves in almost every field. Be it PT Usha in sports or Kiran Bedi in administration, Draupadi Murmu in constitutional and Indira Gandhi and Nandini Satapathy in government are examples of this. And today there is a need to keep Gandhi’s ideology alive.
In last, Krishna Mohanty felicitated the representatives of the freedom fighters of the state. Likewise, the Chairperson of Pragativadi, Smt Saswati Bal felicitated the three guests. Pragtaivadi’s Executive Editor & Publisher Birupakshya Tripathy gave the vote of thanks.
Pragativadi’s Digital Head Biswaprakash Patnaik coordinated the programme while among the print staff, Haraprasad Das, Sashibhushan Sahoo, Lalitendu Patnaik, Sasmita Pattnaik, Akshay Das, Deepak Kumar Mohapatra and other staff made their vital contribution making the evening a fruitful one.
It is pertinent to mention here that Pragativadi is also celebrating its Golden Jubilee Year which coincides with the country celebrating the 75th birth anniversary of India’s independence.
Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav is an initiative of the Government of India to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of independence and the glorious history of its people, culture and achievements.
This Mahotsav is dedicated to the people of India who have not only been instrumental in bringing India thus far in its evolutionary journey but also hold within them the power and potential to enable Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of activating India 2.0, fuelled by the spirit of Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
The official journey of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav commenced on 12th March 2021 which started a 75-week countdown to our 75th anniversary of independence and will end post a year on 15th August 2023. Following are the five themes of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.
– Compiled by Abinash Pani
– Edited by Yajati Keshari Rout