The family members of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose will not be there as Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveils the statute of the iconic freedom fighter at the India Gate on Thursday evening.
“There would be no official representation from our family,” Netaji’s kin in Kolkata confirmed the speculations to The New Indian.
Explaining the reasons, the grandnephew of Netaji Chandra Bose said, “Four days back, we were unofficially told about the event. We wanted to know the importance of the date, September 8, that is chosen to unveil the statue.”
“We proposed October 21, the Azad Hind Day, or January 23, Netaji’s birth anniversary. September 8 is meaningless,” Chandra Bose said.
Bose, who is also a member of the high-level central committee to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Subhash Chandra Bose, wrote to the Prime Minister on September 3, stating that September 8 has no relevance to Netaji.
He, however, said that the family is happy that the government did not choose August 15 as the date for the unveiling of the statue. “Earlier, we were told that the statue will be unveiled on the 15th of August. Netaji always wanted ‘purna swaraj’. However, on August 15 (1947), we only got Dominion status,” Bose said.
“The country was partitioned on the religious ground that Netaji would have never accepted, so we were happy that the unveiling was not done on August 15,” he added.
Bose also explained that it will be difficult for Netaji’s daughter, Anita Bose Pfaff, to travel at such short notice. “Anitaji, who stays in Germany, cannot travel alone. She needs to be accompanied by her son. It will be too difficult to do all the planning on such short notice especially when covid restrictions for long-distance travelling are very much there,” Bose explained.
Bose, however, said that Netaji’s daughter could visit the country later in the year. “Anitaji wanted an appointment with the Prime Minister so that she could meet him over certain issues. We would very much like to bring back Netaji’s remains back to India from Renko-ji Temple in Tokyo, Japan,” Bose said. “She will probably come later in the year if she gets the appointment,” he added.
Earlier, in a statement, Anita Bose Pfaff expressed the family’s desire for closure over the mysterious death of Netaji. “I feel his remains should at least touch the soil of India and bring closure to the matter. A closure was denied to my late mother Emilie Schenkl and I hope that it will not be denied to me as well,” she had stated.
“I appeal to the people of India and to all Indian political parties, to unite in an apolitical and bipartisan manner to bring my father’s mortal remains to India,” she said in her statement.