75th anniversary of Azad Hind Government, PM Modi to hoist tricolour at Red Fort

This is be the first time since Independence that an Indian PM would do so.

For the first time since Independence, an Indian Prime Minister would be hoisting the national flag from the ramparts of the Red Fort on a day other than 15 August.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in a flag-hoisting ceremony on Sunday to mark the 75th anniversary of the Azad Hind Government headed by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

Traditionally, the Indian PM hoists the tricolour at the historic Red Fort on Independence Day.

The PMO said in a statement that Modi would also be unveiling the plaque to celebrate the 75th anniversary. The Prime Minister would also lay the foundation stone of a museum dedicated to the Azad Hind Fauj.

The PM had on Wednesday announced his decision to attend the ceremony during an interaction with BJP workers via video-conference.

Accusing the Congress of neglecting the contributions of many great personalities towards India’s freedom, Modi said that the BJP respects everybody who served the country, irrespective of party affiliation.

“While the Congress neglected the likes of Bhim Rao Ambedkar, Bose and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the BJP believed in remembering everybody who contributed to nation-building,” he said, citing his government’s works, including constructing museums for noted tribal personalities and developing five places linked to Dalit icon Ambedkar.

The event will also be attended by Minister of State for Culture Dr Mahesh Sharma, Chandra Kumar Bose, grand nephew of Netaji, INA Veteran Lalti Ram, and Brigadier RS Chikkara.

The decision to hoist the national flag at the Red Fort was taken in August this year by a group of Netaji followers and family members, including Chandra Kumar Bose. They had then extended a proposal to the government for the flag-hoisting from Red Fort on the 75th anniversary day of the Azad Hind Government and requested the PM to unfurl the flag.

According to reports, invitations had been sent to all chief ministers including West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. The Centre had till then not responded to the proposal.

Founded on 21 October 1943, the Azad Hind Government was inspired by the ideals of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, who was also the Head of State of this Provisional Indian Government-in-exile.

It was a part of the freedom movement, originating in 1940s outside India with a purpose of allying with Axis powers to free India from British rule.

The existence of the Azad Hind Government gave a greater legitimacy to the independence struggle against the British. Pertinently, the role of Azad Hind Fauj or the Indian National Army (INA) had been crucial in bequeathing a much needed impetus to India’s struggle for Independence.

The Red Fort will remain closed for the general public and visitors till the function in over.

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