Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (AP)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (AP)

On Bose's 125th birth anniversary, PM Modi visits Netaji’s ancestral house

  • PM Modi was escorted inside Netaji Bhawan by Netaji's grandnephews Sugata Bose and Sumantra Bose.
By HT Correspondent, Kolkata
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:02 PM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the ancestral house of legendary freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in south Kolkata on the latter's 125th birth anniversary on Saturday. Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders waited outside on the request of Netaji’s family members.

PM Modi was escorted inside Netaji Bhawan by Netaji's grandnephews Sugata Bose and Sumantra Bose.

“I had requested the Prime Minister’s Office that PM Modi should visit as the Prime Minister of India as it was the question of Netaji’s honour on his birthday. Our request was considered and we made arrangements inside the Bhawan accordingly. Everything was done in a dignified manner,” said Sugata Bose, chairman of the Netaji Research Bureau and a former Trinamool Congress MP.

The Prime Minister was taken on a short tour of the museum inside the house and was shown the black German Wanderer sedan that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose rode for his great escape in January 16, 1941. He also saw Netaji’s bedroom, his study room and the room of Sarat Chandra Bose, Netaji’s elder brother.

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“Almost every Prime Minister of India - from Jawaharlal Nehru to Manmohan Singh - had visited the Netaji Bhawan in the past. They all came here as the Prime Ministers and not the leader of any political party. So, we maintained that even Modi should come as the Prime Minister and not as any political leader,” said Bose.

Senior leaders of the BJP including Kailash Vijayvargiya, BJP’s national general secretary and BJP MP Swapan Dasgupta waited outside. BJP workers could be heard raising slogans of Jai Shri Ram outside the house on the road.

Another of Netaji’s grandnephew and BJP leader, Chandra Kumar Bose, however, said, "Modi was taken inside alone as it is the pandemic time and we decided not to allow a huge gathering inside."

PM Modi is, however, not the first prime minister to have visited the Netaji’s ancestral house on January 23. Earlier, Lal Bahadur Shastri and PV Narasimha Rao had visited on Netaji’s birth anniversary. Other prime ministers have also visited but on different occasions.

Members of the Bose-family also expressed their reservations on the Centre’s decision to celebrate the icon’s birth anniversary as 'Parakram Diwas' (day of valour) and not by the names they had proposed. The West Bengal government has named the day as 'Deshnayak Divas'.

Chandra Kumar Bose had earlier said the day should be observed as Desh Prem Diwas (day of patriotism).

“I personally prefer 'Deshnayak Divas' because that was the name given to Netaji by Rabindranath Tagore. I don’t link 'Parakram Divas' because Netaji was not just a soldier. He won the hearts of India with his love,” said Sugata Bose.

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