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Netaji is an icon for youth: Pranab

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on January 20, 2013

President Pranab Mukherjee delivering his speech at the inaugural ceremony of 116th birthday ceremony of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and release of the Bengali edition ‘Deshanayak’ of Sugata Bose’s biography ‘His Majesty’s Opponent” by Anita Pfaff at Netaji's residence "Netaji Bhavan" in Kolkata. Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

Anita Pfaff, Netaji’s daughter delivering her speech at the inaugural ceremony of 116th birthday ceremony of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose at his residence "Netaji Bhavan" in Kolkata on Sunday. Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

President, Pranab Mukherjee releases the Bengali edition ‘Deshanayak’ of Sugata Bose’s biography ‘His Majesty’s Opponent” by Anita Pfaff, Netaji’s daughter, along with Krishna Bose (right), niece-in-law, Sugata Bose, grand-nephew of Netaji and Governor of West Bengal, M.K. Narayanan, in Kolkata. Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

President Pranab Mukherjee arriving at the inaugural ceremony of 116th birthday ceremony of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose at Netaji's residence “Netaji Bhavan’ in Kolkata. Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

Describing Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose as an “icon” for the youth, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Sunday that the legendary revolutionary’s life was a story of sacrifice and service to the cause of India.

According to Mukherjee, Netaji was greatly influenced by Swami Vivekananda’s ideals of “tyag” (sacrifice) and “seva” (service) from a very early age.

“I pay my respectful homage to this great son of India whose life was nothing but a story of sacrifice and service. Perhaps in many centuries we may not have one like him,” the President said.

Mukherjee was inaugurating the 116th birth anniversary celebrations of Subhas Chandra Bose at his ancestral home in Sarat Bose Road (South Kolkata).

He also released a biography on Netaji titled “Deshnayak” – an eponymous appellation given by Rabindranath Tagore in 1939. “Deshnayak”, is the Bengali translation of Sugata Bose’s (Subhas Bose’s grand-nephew) “Her Majesty’s Opponent – Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and India’s Struggle against the Empire”. The book was released in the presence of Anita Pfaff – Netaji’s daughter, her husband Martin and other family members that include Sugata Bose and his mother Krishna Bose, a former Parliamentarian.

Hailing Bose as a “great son of India who fought for its liberation till the last moment of his life”, Mukherjee said: “He gave the clarion call and laid the basic foundation about the responsibilities and duties of independent India ten years before the actual liberation.”

Referring to a letter written by Bose in 1937 to the then chief ministers of eight Indian (colonial India) provinces (then called Premiers) where the Indian National Congress had formed governments; Mukherjee said it provided the base which were later developed as the directive principles of India’s Constitution.

“He not only conceptualised and articulated the concept of planning or planned economic development,” he added.

According to Mukherjee, he had taken the reference from two of Bose’s addresses in drafting his acceptance speech on being elected as President. The speeches were made by Bose during his days as Indian National Congress President.

>abhishek.l@thehindu.co.in

Published on January 20, 2013

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