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Posted at: Apr 14, 2019, 7:12 AM; last updated: Apr 14, 2019, 5:46 PM (IST)

Today’s youth need to know how freedom was achieved: Khattar

Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, April 13

The danger to the freedom that India earned after incalculable agony and loss of precious lives today comes from terrorism, communalism and casteism. The only real tribute that Indians can pay to the martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh firing is to rise above the divisive lines of religion, regionalism and caste to build a united India.

This was stated by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in his address to mark 100 years of the Jallianwala Bagh tragedy at a function organised by The Tribune at Bhargava auditorium here today.

Terming the Jallianwala Bagh as a tragedy that created a new consciousness in an India grappling with pulling the British down, Khattar lamented that, in the present times, nationalism seemed in short supply.

“We need to educate the youth about the trying times we went through to earn freedom. This connect is what will take India higher to a more exalted position,” he said.

Referring to poems written during the freedom struggle as “inspirational”, Khattar chronicled the various historical events while highlighting the unity among the people of various religions.

Khattar said that The Tribune was also the result of a growing awakening that happened after the first struggle for independence in 1857. This period of Indian renaissance in the 19th century saw Raja Ram Mohan Roy fight the ills in society. The establishment of Arya Samaj by Swami Dayanand and the address of Swami Vivekananda in Chicago contributed to the build-up.

“Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a social reformer, established The Tribune Trust in 1881 at Lahore to contribute his bit to the struggle. To raise the voice of the people and to take out a newspaper in those times was a valorous task and the paper began to speak the voice of the downtrodden,” he said.

Emphasising the contribution of the then Editor Kali Nath Ray, Khattar said that he hit out at the British by talking tough in his editorials. He was even sent to two years of rigorous imprisonment for his writings which were considered “anti-national”.

“The newspaper was not only fined, but the publication suspended,” he recalled. Khattar hoped that the book “Martyrdom to Freedom” released at today’s function would inspire the youth and remind them of the sacrifices that freedom demanded.

Khattar also especially mentioned that Punjab has been leading from the front whenever the nation demanded any sacrifice. He attributed this ingrained sentiment to the Gurus who led by example and sacrificed everything without fear.

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