Emulate Netaji’s ideals in political, personal actions: Anita Bose Pfaff
Bose Pfaff said Netaji should be remembered for what he stood for and envisaged for an independent India, including the creation of a modern state where education for all men and women was of utmost importance.
Men and women who admire Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose can honour him best by upholding his values in their political and personal actions and by bringing back his remains to India, the legendary freedom fighter’s daughter Anita Bose Pfaff said on Sunday.
In a statement issued on the eve of her father’s birth anniversary, Bose Pfaff said members of all parties across the political spectrum, including those “who share his ideas and his ideology and those who do not,” pay tribute to Netaji and thank him for his sacrifice for India.
She listed the ideals her father envisaged for an independent India, including equal rights for members of all religions, and a secular state where people of all faiths would live together peacefully.
Bose Pfaff, an Austria-born economist, is the daughter of Netaji and his wife Emilie Schenkl. She was only four months old when her father left Germany for Southeast Asia during World War 2 to take the fight against Britain. Bose Pfaff has long contended that her father was killed in a plane crash in Formosa and that his remains are at Tokyo’s Renkoji Temple.
“Men and women who love and admire Netaji can honour him best by upholding his values in their political and personal actions – and by welcoming his remains back in India. Let us bring Netaji’s remains back home!” she said in her statement.
“Even though he died in a foreign country more than 77 years ago and his remains still rest in a foreign land, many of his countrymen and his countrywomen have not forgotten him,” she added.
Bose Pfaff said Netaji should be remembered for what he stood for and envisaged for an independent India, including the creation of a modern state where education for all men and women was of utmost importance. “He believed in equal rights, opportunities and duties for men and women, for members of all religions, castes and all social strata,” she said.
“As an individual, he was a religious person. However, he wanted free India to be a secular state where members of all religions would live together peacefully and with mutual respect. These values were practised in the Indian National Army and his own actions,” she added.
Netaji was inspired by socialism and envisioned India to become a “modern, socialist – or in today’s terms social-democratic – state” with equal opportunities for the wellbeing of all.
In a reference to Netaji turning to Germany and Japan for support during World War 2, she said: “In his struggle for India’s independence, he saw himself forced to seek the cooperation and support of fascist countries who did not share his ideology and his political agenda. At that time, they were the only countries willing to support this struggle against a common adversary.”
Several of Netaji’s Indian relatives, however, have contended he survived the crash of a Japanese military aircraft at Formosa, now in Taiwan, on August 18, 1945, and that the government should continue a search to establish where he travelled to from Taiwan.