Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Mamata Banerjee may be their arch enemies in politics but the Marxists in Left Front have approached both with the request to officially declare January 23 - Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s birthday - as Desh Prem Diwas.
In separate letters sent to Modi and Banerjee on Monday, Bengal Left Front chairman Biman Bose has said that Netaji was never properly honoured by any government in Independent India.
In an apparent bid to put political pressure on the BJP, Biman Bose, in his letter to Modi, has criticised the previous Congress-led UPA government for failing “to respond to the desire aspirations of the people of the country” by not declaring January 23 as Desh Prem Diwas.
This paragraph is curiously missing from the letter sent to Banerjee. She has been requested to observe the day at all district headquarters as well as schools and colleges across Bengal. Since a decision to this effect was taken by the Left Front in January 2011, four months before it was voted out of power, copies of the memo issued by the erstwhile state government has been attached with the letter with the request to “redeclare” the decision.
Interestingly, Netaji was criticised by all Indian communist parties even till the early 90s for taking help from the Axis powers at the peak of World War II in his fight against the British. But the Marxists subsequently realised that no matter what they preached Netaji remained a national hero for the masses.