Turkish President Erdogan holds talks with Russian counterpart Putin, discusses grain deal, Ukraine conflict
Sindh Human Rights Commission recommends action against police officer for curbing religious freedom
"SIT doesn't have courage to issue notice to BRS leaders": BJP leader Bandi Sanjay on summons in paper leak case
NETAJI’S LEGACY: THERE’S A SCRAMBLE FOR IT?
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is remembered every day, every moment and it will remain so... FOREVER… However, after so many years, currently the reported “ownership” of the great freedom fighter’s legacy is being claimed by one and all parties and this is so very evident on January 23rd each year on his birth anniversary. Bengal or in that matter, India, will remember Netaji forever but the clamour for “Whose Netaji he is?” Crosses all limits of decibel especially on this day. And this year, it was no different… On the contrary, this year the clamour had created quite a din. We look at all the arguments and counter-arguments that took place before, during and after the birth anniversary programmes. It may be recalled that days before the RSS had planned to celebrate Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary in Kolkata, his daughter Anita Bose-Pfaff had said that the organisation’s ideology and the nationalist leader’s ideas of secularism and inclusiveness were “poles apart and do not coincide”. She agreed that the fanfare over the celebration of her father’s birth anniversary is to “partially serve their (BJP, RSS) own interests”. As far as ideology is concerned, the Congress has a lot more in common with Netaji than any other party in the country, she said.
BJP and RSS do not reflect the idea of respecting all religions as preached by Netaji, who was a devout Hindu but believed in respecting other faiths. He was in favour of productive cooperation between members of different religions, Bose-Pfaff said. “The RSS and BJP do not necessarily reflect this attitude ...If you want to put a simple label, they are rightists and Netaji was a leftist,” she had told PTI in an interview over phone from Germany. “From what I hear about the RSS ideology, I would agree that it and Netaji’s ideology are poles apart. The two value systems do not coincide. It will certainly be good if the RSS felt it wanted to embrace Netaji’s ideals and ideas. Many different groups want to celebrate Netaji’s birthday in different ways and a number of them necessarily agree with his ideas,” Bose-Pfaff said.
Speaking on the recent pomp and fanfare over Netaji’s birth anniversary celebrations, she lauded the BJP-led government at the Centre for taking a “lot of initiatives” to honour him. “This has two aspects. After Independence, the official Congress stand on Netaji was reserved and not shared by all Congressmen. It wanted to keep the narrative that it was only the civil disobedience movement that led to the country’s freedom. But after Netaji files were declassified, we came to know that the Indian National Army (INA) played a very key role in it,” she said. “The BJP has made a lot of effort to honour Netaji. With any politician, you have first to allow them to look at his/her interest. If Netaji was alive today and held a different view from that of the government, then the BJP would not have honoured him. So (in this case) it is their interest that is served,” she said.
It may be recalled that the Trinamool Congress and BJP had locked horns to appropriate Netaji’s legacy on his 125th birth anniversary ahead of the assembly polls in 2021. In 2015, the West Bengal government released 64 files on the leader held by the home department. The next year, the Narendra Modi government at the Centre released 100 files on him.
COMMISSION AFTER COMMISSION
After Independence, the Centre had formed three inquiry commissions to unravel the mystery of Netaji’s disappearance. Two of them -- the Shah Nawaz Commission and Khosla Commission were formed by the Congress governments and concluded that Bose died in an air crash on August 18, 1945, soon after taking off from Taihoku airport in Taiwan. The third one -- the Mukherjee Commission formed by the BJPled NDA government said he did not.
THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY THE AUTHOR ARE PERSONAL
ROBIN ROY The writer is Senior Journalist and former Managing Editor, First India