Veer Surendra Sai Jayanti commemorated at the Indian Consulate in Dubai


Great revolutionary and freedom fighter Veer Surendra Sai’s 215th Birth Anniversary was commemorated in Dubai, United Arab Emirates today (23rd January). At a symbolic function, attended by leading community members, in the premises of the Consulate General of India, Dubai, rich tributes were paid to Veer Surendra Sai’s valor, bravery and heroism. The function also commemorated Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s 126th Birth Anniversary which is being celebrated as ‘Parakram Diwas’.
Headlining the tributes was Dr. Aman Puri, Consul General of India, Dubai. He talked about two stalwarts of the Indian Freedom struggle Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Veer Surendra Sai, both of whom epitomized courage and patriotism. In his address to the gathering he said ‘Veer Surendra Sai is an iconic hero and today is an opportunity for all of us to learn more about the his heroic life’. He said that Jharsuguda airport in Western Odisha, inaugurated by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi in 2018 was named after Veer Surendra Sai to pay the nation’s tribute to the brave patriot.
The function started with the traditional lamp lighting ceremony followed by floral tributes to the legendary freedom fighters. A video on Veer Surendra Sai’s life and times was also played out in front of the gathering.
Prominent Non Resident Odia and community elder, Captain Soumya Ranjan Patnaik gave out a brief life history of Veer Surendra Sai. He talked about how Veer Surendra Sai continues to inspire millions of Odias across the globe with his valor and bravery. He talked about Surendra Sai’s first revolt at the age of 18 and also about his participation in the sepoy mutiny of 1857.
Another prominent Non Resident Odia, Priyadarshee Panigrahi, talked about this commemoration being an emotional moment for all Odias, as this was the first time Veer Surendra Sai’s birth anniversary has been commemorated in any diplomatic mission across the world. Priyadarshee also said that Surendra Sai’s imprisonment for a total of 37 years (in two phases of 17 & 20 years) was probably the longest any freedom fighter in the world has been through. Calling Surendra Sai an unsung hero, Priyadarshee said a lot more needs to be done to propagate his legacy.
An overwhelming sentiment expressed in the meeting was one, that more could be done by way of documenting Veer Surendra Sai’s life and times. It was opined that a request could be made to the Govt. of Odisha to make an official / formal documentary on Veer Surendra Sai’s life.
This was the fourth consecutive year of the commemoration of Veer Surendra Sai’s Birth Anniversary in Dubai, UAE. It was commemorated for the first time outside India in Jan, 2020, again in Dubai and since then the community has tried to organize it every year. The 2022 commemoration had to be shifted to online mode due to the pandemic.

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