Even as West Bengal on Wednesday observed the 111th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose with various programmes, an organisation dedicated to popularising the freedom fighter's ideals has urged the United Nations to declare Jan 23 as International Patriotism Day.
In a letter addressed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Jayanta Chowdhuri, the general secretary of the Kolkata-based Netaji Chetana Mancha, said: "I would request you to kindly announce Jan 23 as International Patriotism Day, taking into consideration the enormous and unparalleled contribution of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in the freedom movement of India and other oppressed nations."
Chowdhuri added: "Subhas Chandra Bose is not only a national hero but also a patriot in the true sense in the entire world. Mr Bose had sacrificed his whole life to liberate the suffering Indian masses from the shackles of British imperialism."
"He had refused a coveted white collar job and all comforts of life for the cause of Indian independence. He had been twice elected as the president of the Indian National Congress, put behind bars 11 times and had escaped from house-arrest on the eve of World War II."
In the letter, he said: "To liberate his motherland, he continued the struggle and had escaped to Afghanistan and finally to Germany disguised as Orlando Mazotta. There Mr Bose had established the Indian Legion and through its various radio stations, delivered lectures to mobilize the masses of India and abroad and also make people aware of the struggle of freedom-loving patriotic Indians."