Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called for giving impetus to social, digital, and cultural infrastructure for the rapid progress of an aspirational India, as he urged every Indian to visit 'Kartavya Path' to watch a special drone show, take selfies, and post them on social media.
After inaugurating the revamped stretch in the heart of the national capital that was earlier known as 'Rajpath', Modi said, "In its development, you will see India of the future. The energy here will give you a new vision for our vast nation, a new belief." He described the redeveloped 3-km stretch between India Gate and President's House as symbolising a shift from the erstwhile Rajpath being an icon of power to 'Kartavya Path' being an example of public ownership and empowerment.
He called upon every citizen of the country to come and see the newly constructed Kartavya Path in all its glory and said a special drone show based on the life of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose will take place for the next three days.
Modi also unveiled a 28-foot-tall statue of Bose at India Gate. Crafted by renowned sculptor Arun Yogiraj, the statue has been carved from a monolithic granite stone and has been placed under a canopy where a statue of King George V stood till 1968.
"At the time of slavery, there was a statue of the representative of the British Raj. Today the country has also brought to life a modern, strong India by establishing the statue of Netaji at the same place," Modi said.
The prime minister urged the citizens to visit and take pictures and selfies and upload those on social media with the hashtag #KartavyaPath.
"I know this entire area is the heartbeat of the people of Delhi, and a large number of people come with their families to spend time in the evening. The planning, designing, and lighting of the Kartavya Path have also been done keeping this in mind," he said.
"I believe that this inspiration of Kartavya Path will create a flow of duty in the country and this flow will take us to the fulfillment of the resolve of a new and developed India," he added.
Describing Bose as someone who was beyond the challenge of position and resources, Modi said, "His acceptance was such that the whole world considered him a leader. He had courage and self-respect. He had ideas, he had visions. He had leadership abilities and had policies." The prime minister said no country should forget its glorious past. "India's glorious history is in every Indian's blood and tradition. Netaji was proud of India's heritage and at the same time, he wanted to make India modern." Recalling his visit to Netaji's Kolkata residence and the energy that he felt at that time, Modi said, "It is our effort that Netaji's energy should guide the country today. Netaji's statue on the 'Kartavya Path' will become a medium for that." Modi said Bose was the first head of Akhand Bharat, who freed Andaman before 1947 and hoisted the tricolour.
"At that time he had imagined what it would be like to hoist the tricolour at the Red Fort. I personally experienced this feeling, when I had the privilege of hoisting the tricolour at the Red Fort on the occasion of 75 years of the Azad Hind government," Modi said.
He also talked about the museum dedicated to Netaji and the Azad Hind Fauz in the Red Fort and recalled the Republic Day Parade in 2019 when a contingent of Azad Hind Fauz also marched, terming it a long-awaited honour for the veterans.
Modi said India's ideals and dimensions are it's own today and so are its resolve, its symbols, its paths, and its goals.
"Today when the Rajpath ceases to exist and has become a Kartavya Path and when the Netaji statue has replaced the mark of the statue of George V, this is not the first example of the abandonment of slavery mentality. This is neither the beginning nor the end. It is a continuous journey of determination till the goal of freedom of mind and spirit is achieved," he said.
Modi said the Kartavya Path is not just a road of bricks and stones but a living example of India's democratic past and all-time ideals.
He said when the people come here, the Netaji statue and the National War Memorial will be a source of great inspiration and will fill them with a sense of duty.
Modi said that today's India is working on cultural infrastructure, along with physical, digital, and transport infrastructure. For social infrastructure, he gave examples of new AIIMS and medical colleges, IITs, water connections, and Amrit Sarovars.
Talking about cultural infrastructure, the prime minister said it does not mean just the infrastructure associated with the places of faith but also includes infrastructure related to our history, our national heroes, and our national heritage.
He said the development of such sites is also taking place with equal urgency.
"Be it Sardar Patel's Statue of Unity or a museum dedicated to tribal freedom fighters, PM Museum or Babasaheb Ambedkar Memorial, National War Memorial or National Police Memorial, these are examples of cultural infrastructure," he said.
Elaborating on what defines our culture as a nation, Modi said, "It defines what our values are, and how we are protecting them." "An aspirational India can make rapid progress only by giving impetus to social infrastructure, transport infrastructure, digital infrastructure and cultural infrastructure as a whole. I am happy that today, the country is getting another great example of cultural infrastructure in the form of Kartavya Path," he said.
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