Ahead of 2021 Bengal polls, PM constitutes high-level panel to commemorate Subash Chandra Bose’s 125th birth anniversary

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The Centre said that the members of the commemoration committee will include experts, historians, authors, Netaji’s family members, as well as eminent people associated with Azad Hind Fauj

Representational image. PTI

New Delhi:┬áThe government has decided to constitute a high-level committee, headed by Home Minister Amit Shah, to decide on activities for a year-long commemoration of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s 125th birth anniversary starting next year.

The 125th birth anniversary of the noted freedom fighter and nationalist from West Bengal will fall on 23 January, 2022.

In a statement, the Ministry of Culture said the commemoration is being held as a tribute and a mark of gratitude to the colossal contribution Netaji made to India’s freedom struggle.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted about the development. “Netaji Subhas Bose’s bravery is well-known. A scholar, soldier & statesman par excellence, we are soon to commence his 125th Jayanti celebrations. For that, a high-level committee has been formed. Come, let us mark this special occasion in a grand manner!” he said.

The ministry’s statement said the members of the high-level commemoration committee will include experts, historians, authors, family members of Netaji as well as eminent people associated with Azad Hind Fauj, the military force Bose had formed with an aim to end the British rule in India.

The committee will also lend guidance to the commemoration activities in Delhi, Kolkata and other places associated with Netaji and Azad Hind Fauj, both in India as well as overseas.

In the recent past, the central government has taken several steps towards preserving and conserving heritage linked to Netaji, a nationalist icon and a venerable figure, especially in West Bengal, the statement said.

It noted that a museum has been set up on him at Red Fort, New Delhi, which was inaugurated by the prime minister on 23 January, 2019.

A permanent exhibition and a light and sound show on Netaji is planned to be set up at Kolkata in the historic Victoria Memorial building, it added.

In 2015, the government had decided to declassify files relating to Netaji. The first lot of 33 files were declassified on 4 December, 2015, and digital copies of 100 files were released by Modi on 23 January, 2016, to meet the long-standing demand of the people, the statement said.

During his visit to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 2018, Modi joined the programme to mark the 75th anniversary of hoisting the tricolour by Netaji.

The prime minister also renamed three islands in Andaman and Nicobar as a tribute to Bose. The Ross Island was renamed as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep, the Neil Island as Shaheed Dweep, and the Havelock Island as Swaraj Dweep, the statement noted.

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