Prime Minister Narendra Modi threw open the country's first underground museum, 'Gallery of Revolutionaries' - 'Revolution Saga' - at the Maharashtra Raj Bhavan, here on Tuesday.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that knowingly or unknowingly, we limit India's Independence to a few incidents, where the struggle involved the 'tapasya' (penance) of countless people and the collective impact of many instances at the local level was national.
"The means were different but the resolution was the same, the Prime Minister added. He noted that irrespective of social, family, or ideological roles, the place of the movement, whether within the country or abroad, the goal was one - complete independence of India," said Modi.
The Prime Minister recalled the multi-hued contribution of stalwarts like Vasudev Balwant Phadke, Damodar Hari Chapekar and Vishnu Hari Chapekar (Chapekar Brothers), Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bhikaiji Rustom Cama (Madam Cama), etc.
He pointed out that the Indian Freedom struggle spanned locally as well as globally, and "this spirit from local to global is the basis of our 'Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan', citing the examples of Gadar Party, Azad Hind Fauj of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and India House of Shyamji Krishna Varma.
Frowning at the "indifference toward unsung heroes continued for a very long time" the Prime Minister lamented how the great freedom fighter Shyamji Krishna Varma's remains waited for so long to reach India till he (Modi) himself brought them back to India a few years ago.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that just 3 months ago, the President had inaugurated the Darbar Hall of Raj Bhavan and today, the Prime Minister has come to unveil the Gallery of Revolutionaries.
"The inauguration of the Kranti Gatha is not only a coincidence but a great moment to celebrate the 75th Year of Indian Independence. The question arises whether we could have enjoyed this freedom if it had not been for the supreme sacrifices, the sufferings of the freedom fighters. We have secured Freedom by fighting for it, and now we must cherish it," said Thackeray.
Present on the occasion were Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Chief Justice of Bombay High Court Dipankar Datta, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and other prominent dignitaries.
The Gallery of Revolutionaries has come up in a pre-World War I British-era bunker discovered by the then Maharashtra Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao in 2016.
With 13 big and small chambers, adequate lighting and other facilities, it was earlier used by the British rulers as a secret storage depot for arms and ammunition.
It was decided to conserve and renovate the subterranean bunker in 2019 and convert it into a the first of its kind museum dedicated to revolutionaries and freedom fighters of Maharashtra.