`Children must be told about their contribution in the Independence struggle'
BANGALORE: Health and Family Welfare Minister R. Ashok on Friday said patriotism should be inculcated among the younger generation through books.
"The struggle and contribution of freedom fighters should be highlighted in all books published by the departments of Education and Kannada and Culture," he said.
Speaking after unveiling the statue of 16th century freedom fighter Rani Abbakka at the Jayachamaraja Wadiyar Circle in front of Karnataka Soaps and Detergent Factory Ltd. in Rajajinagar, the Minister expressed displeasure that the younger generation was more interested in globalisation and its impact. "Our children should be given lessons on freedom fighters and their struggle, India's culture, tradition and heritage from the primary level itself. This is as essential as science and technology," he said.
The former Chief Minister M. Veerappa Moily asserted that there was need to create awareness about the freedom movement and those who were responsible for securing Independence. "We should ensure that the present and future generations are made aware of our great warriors, who fought to free India from British rule," he said.
Pointing out that he had great respect for Rani Abbakka, especially because she hailed from his native place Ullal, Mr. Moily said, "I am happy that she has finally come to Bangalore, at least in the form of a statue."
Recalling Rani Abbakka's contribution to the freedom struggle, Mr. Moily said that she was one of the few warriors of the 16th century who did not get tired even after waging several wars against the Portuguese from 1544 to 1582.
Kannada and Culture Secretary I.M. Vittala Murthy regretted that people forget to maintain the statues after installing them. "We are always ahead in installing statues. But we do not bother to maintain them properly," he said.
He wanted residents and welfare organisations to involve themselves in the maintenance of statues in their areas.
N.L. Narendra Babu, Rajajinagar MLA, was upset that Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, who had promised to unveil the statue, could not make it to the programme. "This has pained me," he said.
The statue, which has cost Rs. 15 lakh, was ready three years ago.
"I am happy that it has been finally installed," he said. M. Veerandra, a descendant of Rani Abbakka, and K.C. Ballal, president of Tulu Koota, were among those present.