NEW DELHI(PTI): Union Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday said the NDA Government was honouring all those who struggled for the people and the country unlike in the past when such recognition was given only to ‘members of one family’.
Without naming anyone, he said “There was a time stamps were released for the members of one family.” It was the BJP-led regime that released stamps for mathematics genius Srinivasa Ramanujam, poets Tiruvalluvar and Subramania Bharathiar and noted vocalist M.S.Subbulakshmi, he said here. “We honour all those people who struggled for the People and the country. We don’t play politics in release of stamps or honouring martyrs,” Prasad said while releasing a commemorative stamp in honour of 18th century freedom fighter Veeran Azhagumuthu Kone, among the first to fight against the British in southern Tamil Nadu.
Prasad said NDA Government had sought names of martyrs and those who rebelled against the then British government in the country so that they could be honoured with a postal stamp. “There are many who lost their lives for the freedom of the country, who were revolutionaries and fought for freedom of India. The BJP wants to honour them. We have sought lists from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and other states for honouring them,” he said.
The Minister said it was unfortunate that the previous governments did not release stamp for leaders like Veeran Azhagumuthu Kone who raised their voice against the British and apologised for not honouring such great martyrs so far. The Centre had in September this year decided to discontinue postage stamps of former prime ministers Indira and Rajiv Gandhi with the government saying only one family cannot get this honour, a move which drew protests from Congress.
Prasad also said the BJP-led government at the Centre wanted to maintain cordial relationship with all states and was helping them at times of need. As soon as the Tamil Nadu government wrote to the Centre about the recent flood havoc in Chennai, the Modi Government released about Rs.1,950 crore immediately. Union Minister of State Pon.Radhakrishnan expressed hope that jallikattu, bull taming sport, would be held in the coming year.
“The Central government is studying the legal implications and trying to remove the hurdles in the way of holding jallikattu,” he said. The sport, conducted traditionally co-inciding with the harvest festival of Pongal, held in mid-January, has been banned by the Supreme Court last year and there have been demands for steps to lift the ban.