Pledge to carry forward genuine legacy of Netaji Subhash


Dignitories on dais

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, an unforgettable name still today evokes deep emotion, admiration and respect in people throughout the country. He is known for his selfless, heroic and uncompromising role in Indian freedom struggle. Thousands of students and youth, at his clarion call, plunged into the freedom movement happily, sacrificing comfort, personal aspirations and career, facing imprisonment, torture, exile and even facing the gallows bravely, noosed, hooded and strangled to death by the British imperialist rulers. Despite frantic attempts from the quarters of vested interest to distort his role in history and consign his memory to the abyss of oblivion, he is still held in high esteem and emotion by the people of the country. Unable to ignore this immense reverence for him among the masses, the ruling dispensation as well as other bourgeois and social democratic forces who are diametrically opposed to the ideology Netaji stood for and even did not hesitate to call him traitor, reactionary, stooge of Japanese imperialism and so forth, have overnight turned into his admirers. When the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji was on the anvil and the people at large were gearing up to observe the occasion, these reactionary forces had jumped on the bandwagon with much fanfare, started staging hollow pomp and show to exploit the glory of this legendary revolutionary for their petty political interests, dupe the masses and keep people blinded from the real history. Because real history has the potential to inspire the toiling masses to understand the present day social, economic and political problems and to fight against the root cause of exploitation and injustice. Even if when the observance was delayed by a year because of Covid pandemic, there was no let up on their part in demonstration of pseudo-respect for Netaji and appropriate his inheritance for wrong causes.
As against this vile and motivated posture of the opportunist circles, democratic-minded right- thinking people, eminent personalities of various walks of life, vibrant youth and students free from being polluted with degenerated culture and defiled thoughts came together to observe the occasion in a befitting manner and unleash a proper cultivation of Netaji by highlighting his ideals, teachings as well as eventful life struggle. Together, they formed a ‘Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose 125th Birth Anniversary Celebrations Committee’ under the aegis of which a year-long programmes were undertaken throughout the country. Since the concluding programme could not be organized on 23 January 2022 due to pandemic, it had to be deferred by a year. Accordingly, all India committee earmarked the day this year and gave a call to celebrate the occasion with due importance and solemnity. The main programme was held at the University Institute Hall close to College Square, Kolkata. The venue was full to its capacity with even the corridors leaving no space to step in. Hundreds of people thronged the streets outside the Hall. The programme was inaugurated by Prativa Bharati Mukherjee, the General Secretary of the Committee by garlanding the statue of Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar, the great Renaissance personality of indomitable manhood, undying humanity and secular humanist principles, at College Square. After a brief garlanding ceremony there, a 126-odd brigade of teen-aged fervent volunteers marched towards the venue of the meeting and offered guard of honour to Netaji Subhash with flags bearing his name. Then, a well-designed exhibition on the life and teachings of Netaji outside the meeting venue was inaugurated by Jaheeruddin Ali Khan— Editor of Siasat, the well-known Urdu daily. Thereafter, floral tributes were offered by the dignitaries and Committee executives.
Dr. Soumitra Banerjee, Bhatnagar award-winning eminent scientist, Professor at IISER, Kolkata and President of the Committee read out the pledge on behalf of every one present on the occasion.
Then the main programme was inaugurated inside the venue by an opening song. Justice J Chelmeswar, retired Supreme Court judge, was the first speaker. ‘‘Subhas Chandra Bose had not dreamt of achieving freedom of the country just through getting the ‘dark-skinned’ rulers in power instead of the ‘fair-skinned ones!’, he observed. Then Anita Bose Paff, Netaji’s daughter and retired professor of economics, addressed the gathering through ‘zoom’ from Germany. She appealed to the students and youth to imbibe the ideology and spirit Netaji represented.
Then, recorded videos of Justice B M Srikrishna, former Supreme Court judge, Admiral General V Ramdas, former chief of Indian naval force, and Shyam Benegal, the renowned film maker, were played on the screen. Next to speak was Lt. General, also former VC of Aligarh Muslim University-Jamiruddin Shah. He, inter alia, stressed on the secular values that Netaji nurtured and spread among his followers as well as the countrymen.
In his speech, Barrister Bimal Chatterjee, former advocate General, West Bengal, dealt on how Netaji had distinct plans for the reconstruction of the country and also for socialist mode of production and distribution. Dr. Ram Puniyani, retired professor of Biomedical engineering, IIT, Mumbai, in his valuable speech interspersed with wits and humous bantering the self-proclaimed inheritors of Netaji, stressed on the importance of today’s battle against communalism and sectarianism. Dr. Dhrubajyoti Mukherjee, former Head of the Department of Geology, Calcutta University, Member of Indian Science Association and a renowned scientist spoke on how Netaji stood for socialist ideology and values, how he held Marxism, communism and great Stalin in high esteem and spoke of a second revolution after independence to establish socialism. Written messages from Prof. Irfan Habib, celebrated historian and Dr. Aditya Mukherjee, noted economist, were also read out. In between the speeches, a few songs by different organizations were presented. Dr. Soumitra Banerjee, in his concluding remarks, clearly indicated the difference between genuine followers of Netaji and the sham admirers of his. Apart from the dignitaries on the dais, also present were Justice Ashok Ganguly, former Justice of Supreme Court and Dr. Binayak Sen, noted medical personality and social activist.
The programme had a completely different flavour of solemnity, seriousness and resolve to carry forward the genuine legacy of Netaji. It could be clearly distinguished from the ritualistic observances of the quarters of vested interest.

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