Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Prime Minister's Office
31-October-2006 13:56 IST
PM releases stamp in honour of Bishwanath Roy
The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, released a commemorative postal stamp in honour of freedom fighter and M.P, Shri Bishwanth Roy at a function held in the Parliament House today. Dr. Shakeel Ahmed, Minister of State for Communications & Information Technology, Chaudhary Ranbir Singh, Member, Constituent Assembly and veteran freedom fighter,Chief Minister of Delhi, Smt. Sheila Dikshit and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

Following is the text of the Prime Minister’s address on the occasion:

“I deem it a great honour to associate myself with the release of a postage stamp to commemorate memory of late Bishwanath Roy. He was a veteran freedom fighter, an able administrator, an accomplished parliamentarian and, above all, a fine human being.

Born in the year when the first Satyagraha was organized by Mahatma Gandhi, Bishwanathji was deeply influenced by the freedom movement and plunged into it as a soldier right from his student days. His political outlook has a fascinating blend of ideas and ideals that evolved with the times. His political life began as a participant in militant national action against foreign rule. However, he graduated to take up Gandhian forms of struggle and became deeply committed to the practice of non-violence. He was, at once a disciple of Mahatma Gandhi and of revolutionaries like Ram Prasad Bismil. The diverse streams of our freedom struggle impacted on his mind and inspired him to dedicate himself to the cause of India’s freedom.

As a student he participated in the Swadeshi Movement, fired by deep nationalism. When Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru founded the Indian Youth League, he made Shri Bishwanath Roy a member of the executive council, impressed by his spirit of service and sacrifice. In that capacity Shri Roy worked for the uplift of the downtrodden sections of society.

His participation in the Civil Disobedience Movement of 1930, and the manner in which he organized a total strike in his college, showed great organizational capabilities. He hoisted the tri-colour in Allahabad and faced bullets which killed two of his friends. Subsequently, he was imprisoned for that act. He then joined the Hindustan Socialist Republican Party established by Chandra Sekhar Azad. His revolutionary action made him a dangerous enemy who was then arrested and tortured. Recognizing his ardent nationalism and capacity for service, Pandit Jawahalal Nehru encouraged him to give up such militancy and violent action and move closer to the Gandhian path of non-violence.

As a member of the Lok Sabha for twenty five years, from 1952 to 1977, he remained an active parliamentarian and also served the country as a Union minister. He will be long remembered for his performance as a member of Parliament, especially his deep commitment to the cause of agriculture and the cause of our farmers. I believe that he took keen interest in horticulture and held the view even in the 1960s, that if India could have better yield of fruits she can easily fight the scarcity of foodgrains. In launching the National Horticulture Mission, our Government is paying tribute to the visionary outlook of Shri Bishwanath Roy.

Our nation is really fortunate to have had leaders like Shri Bishwanath Roy who had not only stature, but a vision and a deep commitment to values which inspired our freedom struggle. These are now required even more today to face the present day challenges. I thank the postal department for bringing out a postage stamp in memory of such an outstanding personality. I hope it will contribute to our efforts to rediscover the ethos of our freedom struggle and understand it in a new perspective.”

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