‘‘Had Netaji an opportunity to serve his country after independence, most certainly he would have given priority to such issues as proper education for all and public health and particularly, he would have been proactive for eradication of illiteracy as well as communalism….He also wanted to eradicate oppression, religious-casteist divides and subjugation of women…He used to inspire the students and youths to come forward and perform a determining role in bringing about social change. He had established a separate female regiment in INA as a mark of his respect for women.’’
Such were the words of Netaji’s daughter and former professor of economics Dr. Anita Basu Puff, while taking part in an on-line webinar on 31st December, right from Munich, Germany. While giving a brief account of Netaji’s eventful revolutionary life, his ouster from Congress Presidentship by Gandhite right-wing leaders, betrayal of so-called leftists to his righteous cause and Netaji’s martyrdom for country’s freedom to his staunch opposition to communalism and religious fanaticism, she was overwhelmed to find at what high esteem her father is held even today.
Dr. Soumitro Banerjee, Bhatnagar award winner renowned scientist counted among the first two percent of the eminent scientific personalities of the country, who spoke after Dr Anita Bose Puff, pointed out that Netaji’s was a life-long battle against communal mentality and forces, which he had compared with cancer. He threw light upon the unique role played by Netaji in the uncompromising trend of our freedom movement, his avowed support for soviet socialism and dream of an exploitation-free India after ouster of the British imperialists. But his attempt for a left consolidation against rightist leadership of the Congress did not materialize as the so-called communist party and other leftist forces, instead of standing by him, opposed him tooth and nail. Most surprising is that the Hindu fundamentalists and pseudo-communists who called him reactionary and traitor, are now claiming his legacy to play to the gallery.
The webinar was organized as a ‘curtain raiser’ on the occasion of observance of Netaji’s birth anniversary on 23 January 2023 by ‘Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose 126th Birth Anniversary Committee’, a public body of eminent intellectuals, scientists, jurists, doctors, educationists, litterateurs, film personalities, journalists and other democratic-minded admirers of Netaji. The Committee informed that as, because of pandemic, the concluding programme of year-long observance of the 125th birth anniversary of this leading light of Indian freedom movement could not be organized on 23 January 2022 in the manner contemplated to widely spread his thoughts and acquaint one and all with his illustrious life struggle, it had to be deferred by a year.