Rajya Sabha held a special debate on Wednesday to mark the 75th anniversary of Quit India Movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi in 1942. The members unanimously resolved to re-dedicate themselves for building a self-reliant, inclusive, secular and democratic India.
The House also recalled the sacrifices made by numerous Indians, who defied the brutal repression of British forces and shook the foundation of British rule.
Leader of the House Arun Jaitley initiated the debate by saying that India had faced many challenges over the decades but the country “became stronger with each challenge”.
Amid the ongoing border standoff with China in Dokalam in Sikkim, Jaitley said the Indian armed forces are strong enough to meet any challenge. He also underlined that lessons have been learnt from the 1962 war.
Compared to 1962, the armed forces were made stronger in 1965 and 1971 wars, Jaitley said.
In 1962, India had to face a war imposed by China and suffer severe reverses. However, in the wars of 1965 and 1971 thrust by Pakistan, India had emerged victorious, he added.
“I agree that some challenges are still there. Some people are targeting our country’s sovereignty and integrity. But I am fully confident that our brave soldiers have capabilty to keep our country secure, may it be challenges on the eastern border or the western border,” Jaitley said.
In his speech, Jaitley also referred to the occupation of parts of J&K by Pakistan soon after Independence.
“Initially (after Independence), we faced a crisis. Our neighbour had an eye on Kashmir. Even today, we cannot forget that a part of the country has got separated. It is a wish of every Indian today as to how to retrieve that part,” the minister said.
Jaitley called for a strong, just and economically-progressive India. He underlined the need for freeeing the country from all kinds of violence, be it in the name terrorism, politics or religion.
Emphasising that different religions and castes are an integral part of the country, Jaitley said it is important to manitain harmony in the country. The minister said there should be no place in the country for violence in the name of politics, religion and terrorism.
“The country should be freed from such violence,” he said.
While recalling the events related to Quit India movement launched on this day in 1942, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad took a jibe on the ruling BJP, saying “last night too several incidents happened”, an apparent reference to Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat and subsequent events.
Samajwadi Party member Ram Gopal Yadav talked about contribution of socialist leaders like Ram Manohar Lohia and Jai Prakasah Narayan.
Senior JDU leader Sharad Yadav stressed that one should learn from history. “History should not distorted,” Yadav said.