Patiala: Announcing to realize the dreams of great freedom fighters, martyrs and national heroes by making Punjab a front runner in the country, the Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann on Tuesday said that every single drop of his blood is committed for this noble cause.
Addressing the gathering after unfurling the national flag during the state level function to mark Independence Day, the Chief Minister said that Punjabis are born leaders and they can’t lag behind in any field but the need of hour is to channelize their unbounded energy for which the state government is making concerted efforts. He said that the day is not far when due to these persistent efforts, the state will lead the country, adding that once Punjab leads the nation, India will guide the world. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that every effort is being made by the state government in this regard and no stone will be left unturned for this noble cause as a humble tribute to the national heroes.
The Chief Minister said that the role played by Punjabis in the national freedom struggle stands out as a story of courage and sacrifice with no parallel anywhere in the world. He said that more than 80% of great warriors and patriots who laid down their lives or were subjected to British tyranny in one form or another were Punjabis. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the heroic gems like Baba Ram Singh, Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev, Lala Lajpat Rai, Shaheed Udham Singh, Kartar Singh Sarabha, Diwan Singh Kalepani and several others shed every drop of their blood to achieve the ultimate goal of Independence.
The Chief Minister said that it is a matter of great pride and satisfaction that even today, the brave people of this state continue to work hard to usher in an era of overall development in the country besides protecting the borders of the country. He said that whenever India faced any challenge from internal or external aggression, the brave Punjabis have always safeguarded the integrity and honor of the country from the forefront. Likewise, Bhagwant Singh Mann said that it is a well known fact that the hard working and resilient farmers of the state had played a crucial role in making the country self-reliant in food production.
The Chief Minister said that the hard working farmers of the state exploited the only available natural resources of the state in terms of fertile soil and water to feed the nation, a tradition which has been successfully carried from 1960s till now. He said that despite the vagaries of weather the contribution of the state in the national food pool has always been on the top. Bhagwant Singh Mann also recalled the stellar role of the Punjabis in carving out a modern day India.
The Chief Minister said that the zeal to serve the country and fight against tyranny, oppression and injustice, as taught by great Gurus, is still imbibed in Punjabis. He said that Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji raised voice against atrocities of mighty Mughals whereas Sri Guru Arjun Dev ji and Sri Guru Teg Bahadur attained martyrdom fighting against atrocities. Likewise, Bhagwant Singh Mann said that Sri Guru Gobind Singh sacrificed his entire family for the sake of the panth which is unparalleled in the history of the world.
The Chief Minister said that every village of Punjab has the footprint of one or another martyr who had sacrificed their lives for the country. He said that even today the youth of state are valiantly safeguarding the borders of the country whether from the side of Pakistan, Bangladesh or China. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that some people are living in fool’s paradise when they try to teach us nationalism adding that the Punjabis don’t need NOC from these ‘pseudo nationalists’.
The Chief Minister said that martyrs and great nationalists didn’t fight an aim battle but they had a single agenda and that was to free the country from foreign emancipation. He said that Shaheed Bhagat Singh was always worried that in whose hands the country would go after freedom. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that even after 76 years of independence the country is still in shackles of corruption, poverty, unemployment and others.
The Chief Minister exhorted the younger generations to acquaint themselves with their rich cultural heritage. He said that though Punjab played a key role in the freedom struggle, it also had to bear the brunt of the partition as one million people migrated from the country. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the line drawn by Britishers gave deep wounds to the countrymen in general and Punjabis in particular.
The Chief Minister said that his government is taking path breaking initiatives to realize the dreams of the great freedom fighters. He said that 117 Schools of Eminence are being constructed across the state for imparting quality education to the students. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that equipped with ultra modern infrastructure these schools will provide the best quality education to the students with the aim of grooming the students for professional and competitive courses including engineering, law, commerce, UPSC and NDA.
Likewise, the Chief Minister said that in order to provide best healthcare facilities to the people the state government has opened 659 Aam Aadmi Clinics including 76 such clinics that have been dedicated to people on this Independence Day. He said that these clinics have revolutionized the health care sector in the state as more than 95% of patients visiting these clinics daily recover from their ailments. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the Aam Aadmi Clinics clinics are acting as a cornerstone in the revamping of the healthcare system in Punjab as ever since the starting of these clinics from August 15, 2022 these clinics have witnessed a footfall of more than 43.74 lakh patients, who have been provided the facility of free medicines, diagnose and clinical tests.
The Chief Minister further said that the state government has already sets wheels in motion to recruit 1800 Constables and 300 Sub Inspectors every year in Punjab Police to overcome the scarcity of cops. He said that the notification of this recruitment in current year was held in January and the result will be out in the month of September adding that the Physical for this will be held in months of October-November and these cops will join in the month of December. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that this is helping in channelizing their unbounded energy in a positive direction and help them in weaning away from the menace of drugs.
The Chief Minister said that the state government had on July1, last year launched the guarantee to provide free power to the people. He said that since then 90% of the households in the state are getting free power and have got zero power bills since last July. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that it is a matter of immense pride and satisfaction that along with domestic consumers, the food growers of the country are also getting free and uninterrupted power in the state.
The Chief Minister said that the state is already excelling in the field of Industrial growth as due to concerted efforts of Punjab government state has emerged as the most favorable investment destination in the country. He said that the big companies like Tata Steel and others have made huge investments in the state. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that as per the data of Government of India, Punjab leads the north India in terms of registration of MSMEs.
Announcing to launch a severe blow on the menace of drugs to save the youth of the youth, the Chief Minister vowed to make Punjab a ‘drug free’ state by the next Independence Day. He said that the blueprint for this crusade against drugs is ready and it will be implemented with the pro-active support of the people. Bhagwant Singh Mann envisioned that due to this foolproof planning of the state government, the state will remove the shackles of drugs by Independence Day 2024.
The Chief Minister further said that the state government is according top priority to health, education, employment and agriculture sectors for realizing the dream of our great freedom fighters, martyrs and national heroes. He bemoaned that the dreams of martyrs have not been fulfilled even after the passing of more than 76 years of independence adding that the entire country is indebted to these great heroes for which their dreams have to be realized. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that for this the state government is making tireless efforts by laying major thrust on these sectors.
The Chief Minister further said that due to concerted efforts of the state government Punjab is heading towards being a corruption free state. He said that already a massive campaign has been started to weed out the corruption from the state with the support of the people. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the state government is adopting a zero tolerance policy against corruption.
The Chief Minister said that the state government is ensuring judicious utilization of the funds from the state exchequer. He said that contrary to his predecessors, who always chanted that the state treasury is empty, the state government is using every single penny for the well being of the people. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the state government has checked the pilferages in the public and now this fund is being used for welfare of people and development of the state.
The Chief Minister also announced that efforts will be made to depoliticize the elections of village Sarpanchs. He said that the villages electing their Sarpanchs unanimously will be given a number of grants for the development of the villages. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the motive is to ensure that no violence takes place in the panchayat elections and a congenial atmosphere is maintained in the villages.
Launching a scathing attack on the royal leaders of the state, the Chief Minister said that these opportunist leaders had never been with the people but they had always sided with either Mughals or Britishers or Congress and now with BJP whatever has suited them. He said that to appease the Britishers these people had described revolutionaries like Shaheed Bhagat Singh as ‘misguided youth’ besides unleashing a number of cruelties on great patriots like Shaheed Sewa Singh Thikriwal. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that these leaders had always given preference to their own vested interests over that of the state and its people.
Earlier, the Chief Minister took the salute during an impressive march past by the contingents of ITBP, Punjab Police (men and women), Himachal Police, Punjab Home Guards, NCC, Saint John Ambulance Brigade of Red Cross, Scouts and Guides and PAP Pipe and Brass Band led by the parade Commander Jasroop Kaur Bath IPS.
Earlier, a colourful variety programme comprising CM di Yogshala, tent pegging, variety program by school students, Gatka, Giddha, Bhangra and other traditional folk dances performed by the school and college students enthralled the audience.
The Chief Minister also honoured three freedom fighters namely Mohkam Singh, Avtar Singh and Charan Singh along with members of Freedom Fighters Association Patiala.