The Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu today called for greater focus in school books on the tales of sacrifice, patriotism and valor of iconic national leaders and freedom fighters to inspire the younger generation.
In a Facebook post today on the occasion of the birth anniversaries of great freedom fighters—Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Chandra Shekhar Azad, the Vice President paid rich tributes to them and asked people to strive to realize their dreams for this great country.
He also urged the media to regularly highlight the stories of freedom fighters and national leaders instead of merely covering commemorative occasions.
Highlighting the contribution of Lokmanya Tilak and Chandrashekhar Azad, the Vice President said both the leaders played pioneering and inspiring roles in shaping India’s struggle for independence.
“I feel that the present-day youth must read about their lives and the invaluable contribution made by them to the freedom struggle”, he stressed.
The colonial forces often referred to Bal Gangadhar Tilak as the ‘father of the Indian unrest’, he said he was among the first and strongest advocates of ‘Swaraj’. Naidu said he was a scholar, mathematician, philosopher, journalist, a social reformer and a fierce nationalist.
“His famous declaration “Swaraj is my birth right, and I shall have it” served as a powerful clarion call to the future revolutionaries of India’s struggle for independence” VP said.
The Vice President praised Lokmanya Tilak for galvanizing the national spirit and taking it beyond the circle of educated elite by transforming household festivals such as worship of Lord Ganesha into grand public events like the Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav.
He also highlighted the role of two weekly newspapers owned and edited by Lokmanya Tilak — Kesari and The Mahratta, in awakening the political consciousness of the people.
Mentioning that Lokmanya was one of the founding fathers of the Deccan Education Society created in 1884, Naidu said that he saw education as a force multiplier in the dissemination of the ideas of democracy and liberalism. “He was a strong believer in educating the masses”, VP added.
Remembering the patriotic fervour, valour and selflessness of Chandra Shekhar Azad the Vice President said he was drawn into the Indian national movement at a very young age.
Naidu lauded Azad for supreme leadership skills and organizational ability which helped him reorganize HRA as Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HRSA) and strengthen it.
Calling Azad as a mentor, philosopher and guide to a number of young freedom fighters, including Bhagat Singh, the Vice President said at the age of 25 years, he was one of the most inspirational youth leaders of the freedom movement.