Ludhiana, Jan 26 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday recalled the stellar role played by the Punjabis in attaining the freedom of the country and then carving out the modern day Indian republic by preserving its unity, integrity and sovereignty through countless sacrifices.
Addressing the gathering after unfurling the national Tricolour in a function here to mark 75th Republic Day, the Chief Minister said this day assumes “a lot of significance for us because Punjabis had brought it after enormous sacrifices”.
He said during the pre-Independence period, many January 26 had passed but no one was allowed to unfurl the national flag. “Now only we have the right to celebrate this day but it is unfortunate that the tableau of state was deliberately kept out of the Republic Day parade (In Delhi).”
The Chief Minister said it is surprising how national festivals can be celebrated without Punjab, adding those who had deliberately kept Punjab’s tableau out of the parade must tell what is wrong in them. He said the rich culture and heritage of the state has been duly showcased in the tableaus made by the state government because “we can’t compromise with the pride of the state”.
Mann said the “mockery” of the supreme sacrifices made by the Punjabis, by the Union government, is intolerable and unwarranted due to which the state has vehemently raised this issue.
The Chief Minister said the Union government has “insulted” the great martyrs, including Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Shaheed Rajguru, Shaheed Sukhdev, Lala Lajpat Rai, Shaheed Udham Singh, Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha, Mai Bhago, Ghadri Baabe and others, by rejecting the tableau of the state.
He said that the Union government has “belittled” their contribution and sacrifice of these heroes by not including their tableaus in the Republic Day parade. Mann said this cannot be tolerated as it is the grave insult of these great patriots and national leaders adding that the state government has now duly showcased this immense contribution in tableaus across the state.
The Chief Minister said the government has decided to name the upcoming international airport at Indian Air Force Station Halwara in Ludhiana as Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha International Airport. He said due to strenuous efforts of the government, the Mohali international airport has already been named after Shaheed Bhagat Singh, adding naming of the Halwara airport after Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha will be a humble tribute to the martyr.
He said naming the airports, universities and other institutions in the name of these iconic martyrs is important to perpetuate their glorious legacy.
Striking an emotional note with the people, the Chief Minister urged them to end gender discrimination amongst boys and girls. He said this is the need of hour to give wings to the girls for excelling in each and every field thereby enabling them to script new success stories.
Mann said the girls of the state are very brave and they can achieve any goal if they are given a chance.
The Chief Minister said Punjab produces 182 lakh metric ton paddy by over exploiting its only available natural resources in terms of water and fertile soil. He said then only the country has been made self-reliant in terms of food production due to which it has emerged as a strong nation across the globe.
However, Mann said conspiracies are being hatched to deprive the farmers of the state from the minimum support price (MSP), which is discriminatory and pathetic.
However, the Chief Minister said Punjab was a frontrunner and will always continue to be that as Punjabis have been blessed with indomitable spirit of hard work and resilience.
He said the state is performing its duty meticulously and zealously to ensure that Punjab leads the country in every sphere. Mann said he is not worried for the next elections but he is working for the welfare of the next generation due to which several path-breaking initiatives have been taken.
The Chief Minister said the government is making concerted efforts for the welfare of the youth. The focus of his government is to ensure that youth become job givers instead of job seekers.
Earlier, the Chief Minister inspected the parade led by parade commander Akarshi Jain. He also took a salute from an impressive march past by contingents of Punjab Police, Punjab Home Guards, Punjab Armed Police, NCC girls and boys, Bharat Scouts and Guides, besides the Punjab Police Brass band.
On the occasion, students of local schools presented a colourful variety programme.