Bhubaneswar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said virtual museums would be set up at 50 places in the country to highlight the "significant" role of the tribals in the freedom struggle.

Felicitating family members of 16 freedom fighters, who fought in the 1817 Paika rebellion in Odisha against the British rule, Modi said, "Unfortunately, the history of freedom struggle was restricted to a few families, years and a few incidents. It was a massive people's movement for many years and the present generation must know about it."

Hailing the role of tribals in the war of independence as "significant", the Prime Minister said in order to recreate and remember their contributions, steps were being taken to have virtual museums at 50 places in the country.

The government seeks to present before the present and future generations the sacrifices made by the tribal communities in the country's freedom struggle, he said at a function organised at the Raj Bhavan here.

As several events took place for many years of the freedom struggle, it is important to remember all such events, he said.

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Noting that the contribution made by the people of Odisha was significant, Modi said the glorious chapters of history serve as inspiration and people should link themselves with the past.

History plays an important role in fulfilment of dreams in the journey of human life, he said.

Remembering and knowing about the lives of those who made supreme sacrifice for the country is necessary, the prime minister said after honouring the family members of the freedom fighters with shawls and citation.

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"It is a proud moment for me to remember the sacrifices made by the martyrs. I am fortunate to meet their family members," said Modi while describing the Paika rebellion as one of the major historical events in the war of independence.

Modi honoured the family members of freedom fighters - Jayee Rajguru, Buxi Jagabandhu, Samant Madhab Chandra Routray, Pindiki Bahubalendra, Krutibas Patsani, Dama Subudhi Mangaraj, Chakra Bisoyee, Rendo Majhi, Veer Surendra Sai, Chakhi Khuntia, Madho Singh, Raghunath Mohanty, Dibakar Parida, Laxman Nayak, Laxmi Indira Panda and Dinabandhu Samantray Mohapatra.

The Paikas were the traditional landed militia of Odisha and in 1817, Paikas of Khurda and other parts of the state had raised their strong voice against the British rule and waged a war against them.

The Paikas were led by Bakshi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar, the former bakshi or commander of the forces of the king of Khurda.