Tuesday 13 April, 2010.
Defence Minister A K Antony on Tuesday led the nation to pay homage at the Jallianwala Bagh on the 91st anniversary of the brutal massacre of innocent people, including women and children who had gathered to listen to their leaders on the occasion of Baisakhi.
He laid the wreath at the Flame of Liberty in the presence of Central Ministers including Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni and Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Punjab Jail Minister Hira Singh Gabria and Health Minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla.
In an emotional speech, Mr Antony said, he felt proud to be in the sacred land of Punjab but at the same time, it was a matter of regret and pain that the dreams of the freedom fighters remained unfulfilled.
''The barbaric episode had electrified the freedom fighters and there was a need to spread the information about this major incident of Indian history,'' he said and appealed to the people to re-dedicate themselves for the national cause.
Appreciating Punjab's contribution in ''ending starvation in remote states like his homeland Kerala'', Mr Antony said Punjab had always been in forefront when the nation was in need.
All the speakers were unanimous in noting that the ''dreams'' for which the freedom fighters sacrificed their life remained ''unfulfilled'' and there was a need to spread awareness about the freedom struggle and instil the feeling of patriotism among masses as barely 400 people had gathered on the occasion.
Ms Soni agreed to Ms Laxmi Kanta Chawla's suggestion that a daily slot should be dedicated on television and radio for programmes, films or documentaries on the freedom struggle highlifghting the life of martyrs, to spread awareness among the youth.
Noting that today was also an auspicious day as the beginning of harvest season and founding day of the 'Khalsa Panth', the leaders felicitated the people on the occasion.
A light and sight programme would be formally inaugurated later in the day to highlight the Jallianwalan event and the freedom struggle.(ST-13/04)
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