Declare Netaji's birthday as a nat'l holiday, Mamata writes to Modi
Kolkata: Reiterating her demand to declare January 23 as a National Holiday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his "personal intervention" for "decisive" steps to "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 rest for your kind intervention to see that the Central government declare 23 January, Netaji's birthday, a National Holiday, and also takes appropriate steps to give conclusive position to the issue relating to the disappearance of Netaji and unravel the truth by giving the people of the country and abroad much-awaited opportunity to know what happened to their great leader – their inspiration and their passion," Banerjee wrote in her two-page letter.
It was on August 18 in 1945 when Netaji had disappeared. Though many reports claimed that he had died in a plane crash at Taihoku Airport in Taiwan, differences of opinion had cropped up over and again leaving a mystery surrounding his disappearance as many claimed that no air crash took place on that date.
With Netaji's 125th birth anniversary to be celebrated in 2022, Banerjee stated in her letter that declaring January 23 as a national holiday "would be a very appropriate recognition to the National Leader, who is an epitome of determination, courage, leadership, unity and love for motherland".
Stating that Netaji's birthday is celebrated every year all over the country with great dignity and reverence, Banerjee wrote to the Prime Minister that "you may kindly recall that over a long time, we have been requesting the Central Government to declare Netaji's birthday as a National Holiday. However, this has not materialised so far". The state government gives holiday on January 23 every year.
Banerjee further stated that "the people of the country and especially of Bengal, have the right to know the truth about Netaji's disappearance. West Bengal government has already declassified and placed in public domain many files in this connection". Sixty-four files containing 12,744 pages, which were in possession of Kolkata Police and West Bengal Police, were declassified in 2015 and the same have been kept at the museum of the Kolkata Police in the office of the Deputy Commissioner (North). Mentioning about repeated pleas of the state government to the Centre for steps to give conclusive picture regarding the matter, the Chief Minister wrote "we would once again request the Central government to take decisive steps to find out what happened to Netaji and place the matter in public domain so that people get to know what finally happened to the great leader".