CHENNAI: Unfurling the tricolour on the ramparts of Fort St George on the 70th Independence Day, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday said equality of all and economic freedom were the two important pillars of true independence.
“Freedom does not mean freedom of expression and self-governance alone. The essence of true freedom lies in economic independence and equality for all,” the Chief Minister said delivering her Independence Day address.
Quoting poet Subramaniya Bharathi’s vision of having an India where there are neither poor nor slaves and where no human being is degraded in the name of caste, she said since quality education alone would be the foundation of individual and social growth, her government has been giving great importance to education.
Recalling the key role played by Tamil Nadu in the freedom struggle, Jayalalithaa said that about 35 years before Independence, Vanchinathan had hoisted the Bharat Matha flag at Sengottai. The Chief Minister also gave a long list of freedom fighters from the State.
She also announced that the pension for freedom fighters would be increased from Rs 11,000 to Rs 12,000 and that for their legal heirs from Rs 5,500 to Rs 6,000.
After delivering her speech, the Chief Minister drove past the enclosures of invitees and the general public and exchanged greetings. She also distributed sweet packets to the differently-abled children. Sweets have been distributed to over 1,000 differently-abled studying in many institutions on Monday.
Meanwhile, to promote social unity among various sections of the society, the State government had arranged for public feast at 451 temples under the Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments (HR & CE) Department across Tamil Nadu. In Chennai, it was held in 33 temples, including the Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple (Mylapore), Sri Marundeeswarar Temple (Thiruvanmiyur) and Sri Kalikambal Temple (Parrys Corner). Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal and all State ministers and Chennai Corporation Mayor S Duraisamy took part in these feasts.