Responding to claims of PM Modi appropriating Sardar Vallabhai Patel by constructing the 'Statue of Unity' and inaugurating it with great aplomb despite the Iron Man of India belonging to the Congress party, PM Modi on Friday, said that Sardar Patel's efforts in uniting India were not recognized by the Congress.
In an exclusive interview with Republic Media Network's Executive Editor Abhishek Kapoor - the Prime Minister's final interview of the 2019 Lok Sabha election campaign - he highlighted how the Congress had similarly not acknowledged the Dandi march:
"The Dandi March which happened in 1930, is not claimed by Jan Sangh, RSS or BJP. This march, which was the turning point in India's fight for independence, was not recognised by them (Congress) despite being active in politics for 125 years. Today, the Dandi Memorial made by us, according to the information I have, initially attracted 10,000 people per day. Now, the new generation is getting to know about the role played by Mahatma Gandhi. When anyone across the globe Googles about the world's tallest statue, India's name pops up. Sardar Patel was India's unifier. Future generations should get these living examples about the essence of unity so as to strengthen the nation's unity," he said.
(Dandi ki ghatna 1930 ki hai jise koi Jan Sangh, RSS ya BJP wala daava nahi karta hai. Dandi, jo Azadi ka turning point tha, 125 years ke liye satta mein rehne ke bavajood kuchh banaya nahi hai. Aaj Dandi ka jo smaarak humne banaya hai shuru mein per day 10000 log aate the aur abhi naye pidhi ke log ko Mahatma Gandhi ka bhoomika pata chalta hai. Duniya mein sabse bada statue kahaan aisa google kiya to India ka naam chamakta hai. Sardar sahab ne desh ki ekta ke liye kaam kiya tha. Aane wale pidhi ko ekta ka jeevan udharan milte rehna chahiye desh ki ekta ko majboot banane ke liye.)
Talking about the reason for constructing such memorials to various freedom fighters, the Prime Minister said that irrespective of beliefs or political affiliations one must pay tribute to their struggles. He also revealed his plan to erect more memorials for Adivasi freedom fighters throughout the nation.
"I have just one thought behind this - a society that gets delinked from history, can't create history. We have to live with our history. Hence I am on mission mode that across the country and in every state, from 1857 to the Adivasis' contributions to the freedom struggle, we build memorials so that their history helps the next generation. My role is just for the nation. No matter which party or which ideology they belonged to, or whether they agreed with us or not, we don't evaluate on that basis," he added.
(Iske peeche mere ek mat hai ki jo samaj itihaas se kat jaye wo samaj itihas nahi bana sakta. Hume hamare itihas ke saath jeena chahiye. Aur isi liye maine mission mode mein kaam liya hai ki poore desh mein, 1857 se lekar jo adivasi logon ne swatantra ke liye kaam kiya, unka smarak banaya jaye taki wo itihaas hamare aane wale pidhi ki kaam aaye. Isliye meri bhoomika sirf desh hai, wo kis dal ke the, vichar ke the, hum se sehmat the ki nahi uski aadhar ke moolyon par nahi hota hai.)
This interview is the Prime Minister's last interview before the country goes to polls in the final leg of elections on Sunday. Notably, the Prime Minister kicked off his Lok Sabha election campaign with an interview to Republic Media Network's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami on March 29, 2019.