Vijayawada, May 11: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Chief K S Sudarshan has called upon the youth to read books written on the 1857 movement, including V D Savarkar's 'The Indian War of Independence', and draw inspiration and motivation from them.
Addressing a gathering here last night after taking part in the 1857-Pranamanjali, a meeting, organised jointly by the Krishna Agricultural and Industrial Exhibition Society and Samskara Bharati, to pay tributes to freedom fighters of the 1857 revolt, which was often referred to as the first war of Indian Independence, Mr Sudarshan said though the British tried to undermine the importance of the revolt by dismissing it as a 'sepoy mutiny' and just a 'sporadic' one, many researches had later proved that it was not just a mutiny.
The RSS Chief narrated the incidents that inspired and stimulated the movement and said only 8,000 sepoys were with the British, though the total strength of the army was 1.35 lakh. As many as four lakh people sacrificed their lives, while more than four crore people either directly or indirectly were associated with the movement, he added.
Mr Sudarshan said the nation required people, who could live for the country rather than die for it. Living for the nation was more difficult than sacrificing for the country and we need people, who can build the nation and take it forward, he added.
The organisers of the function lit 150 lamps and arranged in the shape of the number '1857', at Tyagaraya Kalavedika in Swaraj Maidan.
The participants paid tributes to the freedom fighters by observing a two-and-a-half minute silence.