Prime Minister Narendra Modi today stressed the need for much wider study of History. He said history should not only be a lesson of the past but should also mirror the future.
Speaking at the book launch ceremony of Hindi Version of the ‘Odisha Itihaas’ written by Dr Harekrushna Mahtab in New Delhi today, Prime Minister said many important events and stories of the freedom struggle could not come before the country in proper form. He said that in the Indian tradition, history is not limited to kings and palaces. He said, History evolved with people over thousands of years. Mr Modi said, it is foreign thought process that has turned the stories of dynasties and palaces into history.
Giving example of Ramayana and Mahabharata, the Prime Minister, most of the description in it is of the common people and in our lives, common person is the focus point.
The Prime Minister emphasized that with struggles like Paika Rebellion, Ganjam Revolt to Sambalpur Struggle, land of Odisha always gave new energy to the fire of revolt against the British rule. He said, Surendra Sai of Sambalpur Andolan is a source of inspiration for all of us. The Prime Minister remembered the immense contribution of leaders like Pandit Gopabandhu, Acharya Harihar and Dr. Harekrushna Mahtab. He paid tribute to the contribution of Ramadevi, Malti Devi, Kokila Devi and Rani Bhagyawati.
The Prime Minister also noted the contribution of the tribal community who always troubled the British with their patriotism and valour. He also remembered the great tribal leader of the Quit India Movement Laxman Nayak. The Prime Minister said that history of Odisha represents the historical strength of entire India. This strength, reflected in the history is connected with the present and future possibilities and work as a guide for us.
Mr Modi said, it is important that diverse and comprehensive history of Odisha should reach people of the country. He made a call for making the Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav a truly People’s movement and expressed that this campaign will lead to the flow of similar energy as was witnessed during the independence struggle.
Dwelling upon the development of the state, the Prime Minister said that for business and industry, the first requirement is infrastructure. He informed that thousands of kilometres of national highways, coastal highways are being constructed in Odisha which will lead to connectivity of the parts of the state. Mr Modi said, hundreds of kilometre long rail lines have also been laid in the states in the last 6-7 years. He said, thousands of crores have been invested to realize the vast possibilities in oil sector and steel sector in the state. Similarly, efforts are on to improve the lives of the fishermen of Odisha through blue revolution.
The Prime Minister also talked about the efforts being undertaken in the skill sector. He said, for the benefit of the youth of the state, foundations have been laid for institutes like IIT Bhubaneshwar, IISER Berhampur, Indian Institute of Skills, IIT Sambalpur in the state.
Speaking about former Odisha Chief Minister and author of the book ‘Odisha Itihaas’, Dr Mahtab, the Prime Minister said that he was not only a notable figure in the Indian Independence Movement but was also a political personality who contributed a lot in the making of modern Odisha. He noted that during the Emergency, Dr Mahtab went to jail opposing the party under which he became Chief Minister. He said, Dr Mahtab went to prison for both independence and for saving the country’s democracy.
The book, available in Odia and English so far, has been translated into Hindi by Shankarlal Purohit.Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Member of Parliament Lok Sabha, Bhartruhari Mahtab were present on the occasion.