Amid the ongoing high-pitched campaign for the upcoming West Bengal Assembly elections, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee has said that she has written to the Centre seeking a declaration of January 23, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, as a national holiday. Stating that the country hasn't done enough for Netaji, the West Bengal CM said that it is her 'demand' to get January 23rd declared as a national holiday in the country.
Previously in November, Banerjee had written to PM Modi regarding the same and had also urged him to 'take decisive steps to find out what had happened to Netaji and place the matter in the public domain'. Moreover, in a press address on Monday, the West Bengal CM said that 'Desh Nayak Diwas' would be observed in the state on January 23. She added that a rally will be taken out from Shyambazar to Netaji Statue in Kolkata at 12:15 pm, along with a police band.
"A tableau will also be displayed on the theme based on Netaji's life on January 26. I would appeal everyone in the country including NRIs to blow conch at 12:15 pm on 23rd January, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose" Mamata Banerjee said on Monday.
This is not the first time that a demand for a national holiday on January 23rd has been raised. The All India Forward Bloc, the party Bose formed after leaving the Congress, has been demanding for years that January 23 be observed as a national holiday.
I personally feel we haven't done anything important for Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose after independence. I've written a letter to Center to declare 23rd January, birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, as a national holiday. It is my demand: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee pic.twitter.com/Lotng46RMt— ANI (@ANI) January 4, 2021
As per sources, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit West Bengal on January 23, which is celebrated as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's birth anniversary. Earlier in December, the Centre constituted a high-level committee to commemorate Bose's 125th birth anniversary as a mark of his stellar contribution to India's freedom struggle. Headed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the committee also includes experts, historians, authors, family members of Bose as well as eminent persons associated with Azad Hind Fauj.
This panel will decide on the activities for the one-year commemoration starting January 23, 2021. Since assuming power at the Centre in 2014, the Modi government has taken several initiatives towards preserving Subhas Chandra Bose's legacy such as setting up a museum at Red Fort and declassification of files related to him and making them accessible to the public. In 2018, three islands in Andaman and Nicobar- the Ross Island, the Neil Island and the Havelock Island were renamed as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep, Shaheed Dweep and Swaraj Dweep.