New Delhi: The government on Friday set up a 259-member high-level national committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to commemorate 75 years of India’s independence.
The members of the panel include former president Pratibha Patil, Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, 28 chief ministers, artistes like Lata Mangeshkar, A.R. Rahman, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, senior BJP leader L.K. Advani, almost all Union ministers and several governors.
Opposition leaders like Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, NCP leader Sharad Pawar, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and former Uttar Pradesh chief ministers Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati are also part of the committee.
Noted present and former sportspersons like Sunil Gavaskar, Mary Kom, Abhinav Bindra, Pullela Gopichand, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, PT Usha and Prakash Padukone are part of the committee.
It also has a long string of spiritual leaders in the list of members including Baba Ramdev, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan among others. Business leaders Ratan Tata, Azim Premji and Nandan Nilekani have found themselves on the list of members.
The notification on the panel.
Earlier, a National Implementation Committee under the chairmanship of Union Home Minister Amit Shah had been constituted for the 75 years Independence celebrations. A Committee of Secretaries has also been set up for this purpose.
“The government has now constituted a national committee under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister of India with 259 members, for which a gazette notification has been issued today,” an official statement said.
The panel includes dignitaries and eminent citizens from all walks of life, it added.
The committee will provide policy direction and guidelines for the formulation of programmes for the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence, at national and international levels, a statement from the Union Ministry of Culture said.
The celebrations are proposed to be launched 75 weeks prior to August 15, 2022, on March 12, 2021, which is the 91st anniversary of the historic Salt Satyagraha led by Mahatma Gandhi.
In order to discuss modalities relating to preparatory activities for the celebrations, the high-level committee will hold its first meeting on March 8, according to the statement.