Kolkata: Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Netaji Bhavan to celebrate the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in Kolkata.(PTI)
Kolkata: Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Netaji Bhavan to celebrate the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in Kolkata.(PTI)

Modi becomes 3rd PM to visit Kolkata's Netaji Bhawan on Bose's birthday

  • The central government is celebrating Bose’s birthday as Parakram Diwas - the day of valour.
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 06:24 PM IST

PM Modi on Saturday became the third prime minister after former PMs Lal Bahadur Shastri and P V Narasimha Rao to visit Kolkata’s Netaji Bhawan on freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose’s birthday. The mansion on Elgin Road, where the freedom fighter’s family lived, now houses a museum on Bose.

“Lal Bahadur Shastri was the first Prime Minister who visited this historic building on January 23 while being in office,” said Bose’s grandnephew and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Chandra Kumar Bose who was present during Modi’s visit. Rao visited the building in 1995 to attend Bose's birthday celebrations.

The prime minister's plane landed at Kolkata airport around 3 pm. He reached the RCTC ground in the Maidan area in a chopper and his motorcade reached Netaji Bhawan around 3.30 pm. Crowds gathered at several places to have a glimpse of the prime minister. A huge crowd started shouting his name in chorus when he waved at people outside a popular shopping mall on Elgin Road.

The central government is celebrating Bose’s birthday as Parakram Diwas - the day of valour. This has triggered a controversy with West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) celebrating the day as Desh Nayak Diwas - the day of the national hero. The Forward Bloc, which Bose formed in 1939, and a section of his family demanded that January 23 be observed as Desh Prem Diwas or day of patriotism.

Also read: 'Netaji would have been proud to see India's export of Covid vaccine' - PM Modi

“The prime minster saw the Wanderer car that Netaji used. He visited Netaji’s study and his elder brother Sisir Kumar Bose’s room and also saw Netaji’s uniforms, swords and old photographs. The prime minister was inquisitive about Netaji’s visit to Haripura in Gujarat and we showed him some photographs,” said Bose’s grandnephew Sugata Bose who showed PM Modi around.

Haripura is located in Surat. Bose was elected president of the Congress party at the Haripura convention held in February 1938. Records says that Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel decided that the convention would be held at Haripura which was then a village.

After visiting Netaji Bhawan, Modi went to the National Library where he talked to senior library officials and researchers. He also posed for a group photograph with them. After spending around 30 minutes at the library campus, the prime minister’s motorcade left for the Victoria Memorial grounds where several cultural programmes were lined up. One of these was a performance by 125 children from different states. This was planned by singer Usha Uthup.

Mamata Banerjee, who criticised the Centre in her speech in the morning, was present at Victoria Memorial Hall. She accompanied Modi when he took a tour of the galleries in the museum.

Slogans, such as Jai Sri Ram, were raised by sections of the crowd that gathered around the sprawling campus of the Victoria Memorial Hall.

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