Urge 4 rotating capitals for India: Mamata
Kolkata: Taking a swipe at the Centre for not taking any initiative to set up a Netaji Memorial, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday raised a demand for four capitals on a rotational basis in the country, including one in Kolkata.
"Kolkata was the capital of the country during the British period. But it was shifted to Delhi. We have to change our thinking and concept as there should be four capitals with each in northern, southern, eastern and western parts of the country and Parliament sessions should also be held in different places," Banerjee said while addressing a mammoth gathering at Dorina Crossing, where the 7-km-long grand procession of Netaji's 125th birth anniversary ended.
The rally, headed by the Chief Minister started from Shyambazar Five Point Crossing after she paid floral tribute to Netaji's statue and a siren alarm was blown at 12.15 pm marking the exact time of Bose's birth.
Protesting against the adverse effect on the country's federal structure with the abolition of the Planning Commission, Banerjee said: "It was Netaji's idea to set up the Planning Commission. But it was abolished. We have no idea why it was done. The state cannot interact with the Centre properly since it was abolished. The Centre has to bring back the national Planning Commission. Showing respect to Netaji and abolishing the Planning Commission cannot go hand-in-hand." She accused the abolition of the National Planning Commission as an attempt to change the country's history.
While addressing the rally in the presence of Netaji's family members, Banerjee said the Centre is yet to declare his birthday as a national holiday. "They are spending a huge amount to build new Parliament buildings and new planes. Why has no initiative been taken to set up a memorial as a tribute to Netaji?"
Banerjee raised the question attacking the Centre for renaming the Kolkata Port after Syama Prasad Mookerjee. While speaking about Delhi, she said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is also not allowed to work independently. The Chief Minister has also taken a jibe at the Centre for celebrating Netaji's birthday as "Parakram Divas".
"They may not like me. But they could have consulted Netaji's grand-nephew Sugata Bose. We have named it as "Deshnayak Divas" because Rabindranath Tagore himself gave "Deshnayak" title to Netaji," Banerjee said, besides reiterating her concern over the attempts to change the National Anthem.
"None apart from Netaji had endorsed Tagore's 'Jana Gana Mana' as our National Anthem. So we will fight against the game that is going on to change it," Banerjee said. She once again demanded declassification of files as people have the right to know about the real facts behind Netaji's death. As a means of inspiration, Banerjee announced that Swami Vivekananda's "Call to the Nation" and Netaji's "Tarun-er Swapna" will be made compulsory in the school curriculum.
In a tweet, Banerjee has further stated that "a monument, named after Azad Hind Fauj, will be built at Rajarhat. A university named after Netaji is also being set up, which shall be funded entirely by the state, and will have tie-ups with foreign universities...This year's Republic Day parade in Kolkata will also be dedicated to Netaji."
Banerjee also paid a visit to Netaji's ancestral home in South Kolkata earlier in the day.