‘Efforts Made To Forget Netaji’, Says Amit Shah at Kolkata Event
The Home Minister was on a two-day party visit to West Bengal.
Union Home Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Amit Shah, spoke about the legacy of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose at an event in Kolkata, while on a two-day trip to West Bengal.
“Efforts are being made to ensure Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is forgotten but they have failed. His legacy of courage, patriotism, sacrifice, and selfless service to the nation will continue to inspire," said Shah at an event in Kolkata's National Library, where a ‘Shauryanjali Programme’ had been organised to pay tribute to Bengali revolutionaries.
"Netaji is still loved and respected by people like he was many, many years ago. His indomitable spirit still inspires people. Only a young generation that knows history can build a strong nation," said Shah, asking the younger generation to read more about Bose's life.
Shah also inaugurated ‘Biplabi Bangla’, an exhibition on the life of freedom fighters from Bengal and also flagged off a cycle rally. The rally, divided into three teams – Netaji, Khudiram Bose and Rashbehari Bose – will see cyclists travel 900 km to spread awareness about the illustrious lives of Bengali revolutionaries.
Shah's comments come at a time when there's a massive political tug-of-war in Bengal to appropriate the state's luminaries like Netaji Bose, Rabindranath Tagore, and Swami Vivekananda, among others.
The battle over Netaji's legacy reached a tipping point on 23 January at an event to commemorate his 125th birthday, organised by the Central government in Kolkata. Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee attended the programme.
At the event, Banerjee refused to give her speech as she was heckled by 'Jai Shri Ram' chants by the audience when she was taking the dias.
“This is a government programme and not a political programme. There has to be dignity. It doesn’t behove anybody to invite people and insult. I won’t speak. Jai Bangla, Jai Hind," said Banerjee.
West Bengal is slated to go to polls in April-May this year in what looks to be a contest between the incumbent Trinamool Congress and the BJP.
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