On a day when PM Narendra Modi inaugurated Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav—the 75th anniversary of India’s independence Day—from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad to Dandi, the Archaeological Survey of India in Delhi announced that such celebrations will be included at 16 protected monuments or heritage sites from Friday.
Among these sites is the heritage home of India’s first President, Rajendra Prasad, in Patna. “He was a supporter of Mahatma Gandhi and was imprisoned by the British during the Satyagraha of 1931 and the Quit India movement of 1942. People should know his role in the freedom movement,” said an ASI official.
Delhi’s Humayun’s Tomb, Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra fort, Pune’s Aga Khan Palace are among other sites where such commemoration activities would be held. Other prominent sites are Agra’s Fatehpur Sikri, Hyderabad’s Golconda Fort, Lucknow’s Residence Building, Jhansi Fort, Jaipur’s Deeg Palace, Odisha’s Konark temple, Aizawl’s Bhubaneshwari temple and Gwalior fort.
On Friday, ASI in collaboration with IGNCA and Lalit Kala Akademi held an inaugural event at Delhi’s historic Qila Rai Pithora—the monument dedicated to Prithviraj Chauhan —commemorating the beginning of a chain of such remembrances across India. The event saw Dastangoi—an oral Urdu storytelling tradition—by Fouzia, one of India’s first female dastangos.
Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla, Union ministers Ramesh Pokhriyal, Narendra Tomar, Kiren Rijiju and BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi besides top ASI officials were also present. “We hope such events can bring India’s forgotten heroes to fore as well as revisit those who contributed to India’s independence,” said Birla.