Modi to head panel to commemorate Netaji’s 125 Birth Anniversary

Subhas Babu was also known for his intellectual prowess and organisational skills. We are committed to fulfilling his ideals and creating a strong India: Narendra Modi

The BJP-led central government has decided to commemorate the day by organizing a grand event. A high-level committee has been formed under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to outline the celebrations. A gazette notification regarding this committee was released on Saturday. The committee consists of 85 members, including Union Ministers, Members of Parliament from Bengal, Chief Ministers of some states, historians and other distinguished citizens. The Centre has also appointed members of Netaji’s family in this committee. The High Level Committee will decide on the activities for a one year long commemoration, beginning 23rdJanuary 2021.

The Members of the Committee include distinguished citizens, historians, authors, experts, family members of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, as well as eminent persons associated with Azad Hind Fauj (INA). The Committee will lend guidance to the commemoration activities in Delhi, Kolkata and other places associated with Netaji and Azad Hind Fauj, both in India as well as overseas. The chief ministers in the panel include Mamata Banerjee representing Bengal, Naveen Patnaik (Odisha),  Neiphui Rio (Nagaland), N. Biren Singh (Manipur), Zoramthanga (Mizoram), Biplab Kumar Deb (Tripura), and  Conrad Sangma (Meghalaya).The panel has maximum 11 MPs from the BJP who come from Bengal, while Trinamool Congress is represented by Sudip Bandhyopadhyay, Congress by Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Ghulam Nabi Azad, Sharad Pawar (NCP), Bhartru Hari Mahatab (BJD). CPM is represented by former Bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. BJP MPs part of the panel are Swapan Dasgupta, Roopa Ganguly, Raju Bista, Sunil Mondol, Jagannath Sarkar, Jayanta Kumar Roy, Khan Saumitra, Khagen Murmu, Dilip Ghosh, Jyotirmay  Singh Mahato. Former TMC minister Suvendu Adhikari, who recently switched sides to join BJP has also been made member of the panel.The prominent personalities who have found place in the panel include former cricketer and BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly, actress Kajol, Kaushik Ganguly, Mithun Chakraborty, Subrata Bhattacharya and eminent musician AR Rahman. Among the INA freedom fighters Rama Khandwala, Lakshmi Krishnan, Asha Sahai John Lobo, Ishwarlal Singh have been included.  Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s daughter Anita Bose, Bose’s nephew Ardhendu Bose, grandnephew Chandra Kumar Bose and Bose’s grandniece Renuka Malaker are part of it. Other members include Brig(Rtd) R.S. Chhikara, Major General (Rtd.) G.D. Bakshi, J. S. Rajput, Kapil Kumar, Purabi Roy,  Vera Hildebrand, Vekho Swuro, Md Ashraful Islam, Premanand Sharma Ravi Kasliwal, Kanchan Gupta,  Anirban Ganguli, former army chief Shankar Roy Chaudhary and former air force chief Arup Raha. 

Secretary Culture, Shri Raghvendra Singh said that the125th Birth Anniversary of Netaji would include a grand  exhibition on Netaji at Victoria Memorial, Kolkata. Projection mapping will be taken up at the memorial and an eminent personality will deliver the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Memorial lecture. The celebrations would also include cultural programmes in West Bengal under the “Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat programme”, especially in partnership with paired State of West Bengal, Rajasthan.

Some of the suggestions made by the participants included reprinting of some of the books written by Netaji as well as INA members, short lectures in schools and colleges, promoting Netaji as a youth icon and champion of gender equality, promotion through short videos on social media, activities for the youth using new technologies, starting fellowships for studies on Netaji, and inviting veterans of INA to lead the Republic Day parade, among others.

Speaking about Netaji Bose, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had said, “India will always remain grateful to Subhas Chandra Bose for his bravery and indelible contribution to resisting colonialism. He was a stalwart who committed himself towards ensuring every Indian leads a life of dignity. Subhas Babu was also known for his intellectual prowess and organisational skills. We are committed to fulfilling his ideals and creating a strong India.”          

In the recent past, Government of India has taken several steps towards preserving and conserving the precious heritage of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. A museum has been set up on Netaji at Red Fort, New Delhi, which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister on 23.01.2019. A permanent exhibition and a Light and Sound show on Netaji has been planned to be set up at Kolkata in the historic Victoria Memorial building.

In 2015, Government of India decided to declassify the files relating to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and make them accessible to public. The first lot of 33 files were declassified on 4 December 2015. Digital copies of 100 files relating to   Netaji were released by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on 23rd January 2016 to meet the long-standing demand of the people.

During his visit to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 2018, the Prime Minister joined the programme to mark 75th anniversary of hoisting Tricolour by Netaji Bose. He paid tributes to Subhas Chandra Bose’s Provisional Government of Azad Hind, which administered the Islands during World War II. The Prime Minister renamed 3 islands in Andaman and Nicobar. The Ross Island was renamed as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep; the Neil Island as Shaheed Dweep; and the Havelock Island as Swaraj Dweep.

Ankita Chakraborty

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