Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asserted that Government is committed to enhancing the growth of the Eastern parts of the country that has been neglected for far too long.

Speaking at the book launch ceremony of Hindi Version of the  ‘Odisha Itihaas' written by Dr Harekrushna Mahtab in New Delhi today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated that the Centre has a focussed approach for growth in all areas which need immediate attention. Highlighting the special projects for the North-Eastern states and Eastern Region, Mr. Modi said the government has initiated several key projects for the development of Infrastructure and Industries in the region. He said the Centre is committed to the Blue Revolution for the betterment of fishermen in the country living along the coastal lines. Mr. Modi said, Odisha has flourished with a wide network of national highways, coastal ways, oil and gas pipelines.

The Prime Minister stressed the need for the much wider study of History. He said history should not only be a lesson of the past but should also mirror the future. Mr Modi said the country is keeping this in focus while celebrating Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav and enlivening the history of the freedom struggle. He lamented the fact that many important events and stories of the freedom struggle could not come before the country in proper form. The Prime Minister said in the Indian tradition, history is not limited to kings and palaces. He said, History evolved with people over thousands of years. Mr Modi said, it is the foreign thought process that has turned the stories of dynasties and palaces into history. 

Giving an example of Ramayana and Mahabharata, the Prime Minister, most of the description in it is of the common people and in our lives, the common person is the focus point.   

The Prime Minister emphasized that with struggles like Paika Rebellion, Ganjam Revolt to Sambalpur Struggle, the land of Odisha always gave new energy to the fire of revolt against the British rule. He said, Surendra Sai of Sambalpur Andolan is a source of inspiration for all of us. The Prime Minister remembered the immense contribution of leaders like Pandit Gopabandhu, Acharya Harihar, and Dr. Harekrushna Mahtab. He paid tribute to the contribution of Ramadevi, Malti Devi, Kokila Devi, and Rani Bhagyawati.

The Prime Minister also noted the contribution of the tribal community who always troubled the British with their patriotism and valor. He also remembered the great tribal leader of the Quit India Movement Laxman Nayak. The Prime Minister said that the history of Odisha represents the historical strength of the entire India. This strength, reflected in history is connected with the present and future possibilities and work as a guide for us. 

Mr Modi said, it is important that the diverse and comprehensive history of Odisha should reach the people of the country. He made a call for making the Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav a truly People’s movement and expressed that this campaign will lead to the flow of similar energy as was witnessed during the independence struggle.
Dwelling upon the development of the state, the Prime Minister said that for business and industry, the first requirement is infrastructure. He informed that thousands of kilometers of national highways, coastal highways are being constructed in Odisha which will lead to the connectivity of the parts of the state. Mr. Modi said hundreds of kilometer-long rail lines have also been laid in the states in the last 6-7 years. He said thousands of crores have been invested to realize the vast possibilities in the oil sector and steel sector in the state. Similarly, efforts are on to improve the lives of the fishermen of Odisha through the blue revolution.

The Prime Minister also talked about the efforts being undertaken in the skill sector. He said, for the benefit of the youth of the state, foundations have been laid for institutes like IIT Bhubaneshwar, IISER Berhampur, Indian Institute of Skills, IIT Sambalpur in the state.
Speaking about former Odisha Chief Minister and author of the book 'Odisha Itihaas', Dr. Mahtab, the Prime Minister said that he was not only a notable figure in the Indian Independence Movement but was also a political personality who contributed a lot to the making of modern Odisha. He noted that during the Emergency, Dr. Mahtab went to jail opposing the party under which he became Chief Minister. He said Dr. Mahtab went to prison for both independence and for saving the country’s democracy.
The book, available in Odia and English so far, has been translated into Hindi by Shankarlal Purohit. Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Member of Parliament Lok Sabha, Bhartruhari Mahtab were present on the occasion. 
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