New Delhi : The Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu today said that many of our heroes of the freedom struggle did not get the recognition and respect they deserved, in our history books. Therefore, he called for making people aware of the sacrifices made by such great men and women so as to inspire the new generation to walk in their footsteps and work for nation building.
Addressing a gathering after releasing the biography of late freedom fighter and political leader, Shri Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna at Upa-Rashtrapati Nivas today, the Vice President said that the history of our freedom struggle is replete with innumerable stories of sacrifice and selfless devotion to the motherland and we should be proud of our glorious past.
The book titled, ‘Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna: A Political Crusader’ (English) and ‘Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna: Bhartiya Chetana KeSamwahak’ (Revised edition in Hindi) has been written by Prof. Rita Bahuguna Joshi and Dr. Ram Naresh Tripathi.
Observing that Shri Bahuguna was deeply wedded to the concept of liberty, Shri Naidu said that he joined the freedom movement at the young age of seventeen and was imprisoned and tortured by British authorizes for his role in Quit India movement. Praising his selfless love for motherland, the Vice President referred to an incident wherein Shri Bahuguna declined to accept a piece of land offered to him under freedom fighter quota, with a request that it may be allotted to some other needy freedom fighter.
Calling Shri Bahuguna a man of principles and Gandhian values, the Vice President lauded him for opposing the imposition of Emergency in the country. Referring to his sensitive and caring nature, he said that since his student days, Shri Bahuguna always took up the cause of poor children at school and tried to help them in various ways. “As Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, the state stood first in India in land distribution to the SC/ST community. Impressed by his contribution Sri Vinoba Bhave gave him the title of Mitti Nandan,” he added.
Praising Shri Bahuguna’s concern for the underprivileged sections of the society, the Vice President said that he would often assemble boys and conduct cleanliness drives in the village and help women fetch drinking water from far distances. Complimenting the Government for taking these issues of the common man on priority through various programs such as Swachh Bharat Mission, Shri Naidu appealed to every citizen to become an active partner in the implementation of these programs and work for making India neat, clean and green.
The Vice President also mentioned an incident when in 1980, Shri Bahuguna resigned from his political party, and as a matter of principle, resigned simultaneously from the Parliament as well, even though there was no anti-defection law at that time mandating his resignation. He called such principled and high moral standards as a shining light for our parliamentarians today to emulate. “Shri Bahuguna’s impatience was not for power but for a positive change in the system,” he added.
Complimenting the authors for coming up with this well-researched and insightful biography of one of the foremost figures of Indian politics and freedom struggle, Shri Naidu expressed confidence that the book would send an inspirational message to the youth of this country and will motivate them to follow the path of patriotism and service to the needy.
The Union Minister of Defence, Shri Rajnath Singh, Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Shri Pushkar Singh Dhami, Union Minister of State of Law and Justice, Prof. SP Singh Baghel, former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Shri Vijay Bahuguna, Smt. Rita Bahuguna Joshi and other eminent personalities graced the occasion.