With his death still shrouded in mystery and stories around his disappearance now part of popular folklore, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s family and those who study his life and work say the way to truly honor him is to to follow his ideology of inclusiveness and secularism, and to unveil the suspense around his disappearance.
The Union government announced on Friday that a large statue of Bose, the founder of ‘Azad Hind Fauj’, will be installed at the India Gate in the nation’s capital as a symbol of the ”debt” of the India towards him. Until the granite statue is completed, one of his hologram statues would be installed at the same location, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced, adding that he would unveil the hologram on January 23, the anniversary of Modi’s birth. Bose. ”My father dreamed of an India where all religions coexist peacefully. The statue shouldn’t be the only tribute to Netaji, we must also honor his values,’ Anita Bose-Pfaff said hours after Modi’s announcement.
Bose’s great-nephew Chandra Kumar Bose urged the government to implement the freedom fighter ideology in the country. ”Netaji cannot be honored simply by building his statue, creating a museum or making a painting. A towering figure like Netaji can only be honored by following and implementing his inclusive ideology of uniting all communities to build the India he envisioned,” he said.
Although Bose is thought to have died over 70 years ago, questions about the circumstances of his disappearance – the time, year and place of his death – are still shrouded in mystery.
In fact, the TMC demanded that the Center declassify records of Bose’s 1945 disappearance, and said the ashes kept at a temple in Japan believed to be that of the freedom fighter should be sent for DNA analysis.
Anuj Dhar, who has closely studied Bose’s life and the mystery of his death and co-author of Conundrum: Subhas Bose’s Life After Death, told PTI that while the location of the statue in the heart of the nation’s capital is a magnificent tribute to the iconic chef, it was time to unravel the mystery behind his death.
”The statue will be at the heart of Delhi and is the greatest tribute to Netaji’s legacy. The cumulative conclusions of all that has been published about him so far is that he was the reason India became free. We hope that in the time to come, the issues surrounding his death will be resolved.
”In fact, never has the time been so propitious for the declassification of all files. For the first time, the Center government and the state government are not hostile to Netaji. They are on the same page on the issue. The TMC also demanded the declassification of files on Netaji’s 1945 disappearance and death,” Dhar said.
Chandrachur Ghose, the author of Bose, The Untold Story of an Inconvenient Nationalist, and co-author of Conundrum: Subhas Bose’s Life After Death, agrees that the installation of the statue has symbolic significance as it is a official recognition of Bose’s position in the pantheon of freedom fighters. ”The treatment given to Netaji in independent India had two aspects. First, always marginalized. Official acknowledgment has never been given that the exit of the British Raj was hastened by his activities. Second, successive governments have kept the question of his fate secret. Even the current NDA government, which was strident on this issue against the previous government, has strangely decided to toe the UPA line. “Now that the first problem has been resolved by giving his statue pride of place, clarifying its position in the pantheon of national icons, it is time to address the second problem,” Ghose said. The NDA government must reopen the case of Netaji’s fate and close it by declassifying all intelligence files and appointing an empowered multidisciplinary committee if necessary. Controversy over this mystery should not be allowed to linger,’ he added.
While historians would like the politics around Bose to take a back seat, news of the statue’s installation has sparked a new spat over his life.
“Perhaps we will take some time to realize how prodigious this act is to install Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose on the pedestal where the statue of King Emperor George V once stood. minister understood this. That’s why they bleat, “play politics”, said BJP leader and former governor of Meghalaya and Tripura Tathagata Ray. “Since the Haripura Congress in 1938, then his estrangement with Mohandas Gandhi, the main Indian politicians have only denounced Netaji. This is the first time his greatness has been brought to the notice of the nation,” he added.
TMC Rajya Sabha MP Jawhar Sircar asked if the BJP was trying to ‘hijack’ Bose. “If Modi is so keen on hijacking a staunchly secular Netaji, he first adopts the three ideals that Bose set out for his Azad Hind Fauj: Itmad (Faith), Ittefaq (Unity) and Kurbani (Sacrifice),” a- he declared.
On Sunday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also raised questions as to why the issue of Netaji’s death has not been looked into by the Centre.
“Until today, we don’t know where Netaji is. They (the Center) had said that when they came to power, they would work on it, but nothing happened. In fact, we (declare) have released and declassified all files on Netaji Bose,’ he said.
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)