Ministry of Tourism launches Independence Day themed webinars

The Ministry of Tourism organises a webinar titled 'Memoirs of 1857 - A Prelude to Independence'. This is first in this series of ‘Independence Day’ themed webinars and the 45th among overall Dekho Apna Desh webinars.

India’s struggle to freedom is a significant chapter in the nation’s history and holds a value greater than any significant event of the past. The Ministry of Tourism as part of its ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ webinar series to commemorate and honour nation’s most significant day has lined up a series of five webinars that  collectively touch upon themes encompassing the freedom movement, places significant to it and pioneers who had a notable participation in helping India secure its independence.

The Ministry of Tourism organised a webinar titled 'Memoirs of 1857 - A Prelude to Independence'. This is first in this series of ‘Independence Day’ themed webinars and the 45th among overall Dekho Apna Desh webinars. Dekho Apna Desh Webinar Series is an effort to showcase India’s rich diversity under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat and it is continuously spreading the spirit of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat through virtual platforms.

The webinar, presented by Nidhi Bansal, CEO, India City Walks & India with locals and Dr.Soumi Roy, Researcher and Story Teller and moderated by Rupinder Brar , Additional Director General, Ministry of Tourism took a virtual tour of the saga of our independence and the first war of India’s independence fought in 1857 and the string of events kept following till we attained complete independence in 1947. The presenters highlighted the monuments and buildings that bore the brunt of the revolt or came up as a result of it. From Delhi, Kanpur, Meerut, to many other cities across the country, the presentation showed the viewers a story of valour, sacrifice and bravery.

The presenters touched upon the reasons that sparked the revolt like pathetic socio economic conditions, problems of land and revenue administration, destruction of economy, low position of Indians in administration, Doctrine of Lapse, ill-treatment of Bahadur Shah Zafar, Annexation of Oudh, biased Police and Judiciary, and discrimination with Indian sepoys.

The speaker spoke about the role of Mangal Pandey - An Indian soldier in the British army, one of the key figures behind Sepoy Mutiny or India’s First War of Independence in 1857. They narrated the incident of the afternoon of 29 March 1857, when Lieutenant Baugh, Adjutant of the 34th Bengal Native Infantry, then stationed at Barrackpore was informed that several men of his regiment were in an excited state. Further, it was reported that one of them, Mangal Pandey, was pacing in front of the regiment's guard room by the parade ground, armed with a loaded musket, calling upon the men to rebel and threatening to shoot the first European that he set eyes on.  Due to his attack on two British soldiers, Mangal Pandey was hanged to death on April 8, 1857, at the age of 29.

The webinar captured the sequence of the revolt after the outbreak of the mutiny in Meerut and how the rebels quickly reached Delhi, whose 81-year-old Mughal ruler, Bahadur Shah Zafar, was declared the Emperor of Hindustan. Soon, the rebels had captured large tracts of the North-Western Provinces and Awadh (Oudh). 

The presenters brought to light some lesser known facts and personalities associated with the First War of Independence 1857 like Raja Nahar Singh, the king of Ballabgarh, Faridabad who guarded Delhi's borders from British forces and kept Delhi liberated for over 120 days. The highlights of other battles were included in the same. 

The presenters listed various places and sites associated with the First War of Independence and how one can experience the popular trail of 1857. 

Apart from that, there are many museums associated with the revolt of 1857 which can be witnessed showcasing the valour and struggles of the Museum in 1857, Red fort, Azadi ke Diwane museum, Shahid Smark And Government Freedom Struggle Museum etc were highlighted upon. 

Rupinder Brar in her concluding remarks spoke about the Ministry of Tourism’s   Incredible India Tourist facilitator certification programme which will also act as an enabler for transforming and encouraging the citizen with knowledge about destination, products and story trails.  The saga of India’s freedom movement cannot be told without referring to the notable contribution made by the Indian National Army (INA) led by Subash Chandra Bose. India’s military history is very fascinating and visits to some of the museums like Jaisalmer War Museum, Jaisalmer, Air force Museum, New Delhi, Indian War Memorial Museum, New Delhi, Naval Aviation Museum, Goa, Samudrika naval marine Museum, Andaman and Nicobar etc.  These museums showcase the weapons, vehicles and aircraft used by the Indian military over the years. We salute all the valiant Indian Army personnel and recall with pride their indomitable spirit, valour and sacrifices in making India a safer place.


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