Below is the full text of a press statement released on the occasion of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s 126th birth anniversary by his daughter Anita Bose Pfaff. Her statement comes two days after Bose Pfaff said that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s planned celebrations of her father’s birthday is to “partially exploit” her father’s legacy. Bose Pfaff has multiple times requested the Modi government bring her father’s remains back to India from Japan.
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was born 126 years ago.
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.
They remember him not only in a detached manner as a person who played a role in the struggle for India’s independence. Members of all parties, across the entire political spectrum, parties who share his ideas and his ideology and those who do not, pay tribute to him and thank him for his sacrifice for India.
With their respect and love they repay him for his sacrifice for their country.
Netaji should be remembered for what he stood for and envisaged for independent India:
- India was to become a modern state, respected by other countries. Education for all men and women was therefore of utmost importance to him.
- He believed in equal rights, opportunities and duties for men and women, for members of all religions, castes and all social strata. This meant the empowerment and emancipation of all disadvantaged people.
- 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 practiced in the Indian National Army and in his own actions.
- He was a politician inspired by socialism who envisioned India to become a modern, socialist – or in today’s terms social-democratic – state, with equal opportunities for the wellbeing of all. 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.
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!
Anita Bose Pfaff is an economist. She is the daughter of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.