Mamata calls for nationwide vacation on Netaji’s birthday

Shubhadeep Choudhury

Tribune News Service

Kolkata, November 18

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has reiterated the demand for declaring national holiday on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s birthday on January 23.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mamata urged Modi to personally intervene so that Netaji’s birthday could be declared a national holiday.

The West Bengal Chief Minister further urged the PM to take appropriate steps to unravel the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Bose.

“People of the country, especially those from Bengal, have the right to know the truth,” Banerjee wrote in the letter, a copy of which was made available to the press.

Mamata’s latest push for declaring Netaji’s birthday a national holiday is believed to have been made with an eye on the next year’s Assembly polls in the stat.

In the letter dated Wednesday, Mamata described Bose as “one of the greatest sons of Bengal”.

She said Bose was an icon of India’s freedom movement against the British rule.

“Under his untiring leadership thousands of valiant soldiers of the Indian National Army (INA) made supreme sacrifice for the motherland”, the CM wrote.

Bose’s birth anniversary is celebrated every year all over the country with great dignity and reverence, Mamata wrote and pointed out that declaration of national holiday on January 23 was a long pending demand of West Bengal.

It would also be an appropriate step in the run-up to the celebration of the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji in 2022, Banerjee wrote in the letter.

Mentioning the controversy surrounding Netaji’s disappearance, Mamata wrote that West Bengal Government declassified and placed in public domain many files related to the issue.

She said the Central government should also take “decisive steps to find out what happened to Netaji and place the matter in public domain”.

“Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose has a special place in our hearts. I would like to request for your kind personal intervention to see that the Central government declares 23rd January, Netaji’s birthday, a national holiday,” she wrote.

“…also take appropriate steps to give conclusive position to the issue relating to the disappearance on Netaji and unravel the truth by giving the people of the country and abroad the much awaited opportunity to know what happened to their great leader – their inspiration and their passion,” she added.

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