Silence on Netaji`s end is a shame: Mamata

Last Updated: Monday, January 23, 2012 - 20:37

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata
Banerjee on Monday lamented that final word was yet to be spoken
on the date of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose`s death and said
this `shame` would remain till it was done.

``Sad, but true, we know the birthday of Netaji, but not
the date he died. This is a shame and it will remain till the
date is discovered,`` Banerjee said at Netaji`s 116th birth
anniversary function at his ancestral house Netaji Bhavan.

Controversy persists over the mysterious disappearance
of Netaji and the successive governments at the Centre set up
three commissions of enquiry to inquire into it.

While the Shahnawaz Committee and Khosla Commissions,
set up by the successive Congress governments at the Centre,
concluded that that Netaji had died in a plane crash at
Taihoku (Taipei) in Japan on August 18, 1945, the Manoj
Mukherjee Commission, set up by the BJP-led NDA government,
said that the leader did not die in the crash.

``After Netaji left this house, no one knows whether he
is alive or dead,`` Banerjee said, referring to Bose`s escape
from the house in 1941.

In an apparent reference to the CPI(M) which criticised
her government for not inviting the Opposition to the official
garlanding of Bose`s statue today, Banerjee said, ``Those who
once called Netaji the `dog of Tojo (the then Japanese prime
minister)` are now paying homage to him. This cannot
happen.``

Without naming the party, she said, ``It is said that a
prophet is not honoured in his own country. Some are having a
late realisation of this, but it is good that they are
realising it at least.``

Banerjee, who earlier garlanded Nejai`s statue, said
that this was for the first time that the government had
honoured the leader with a march past by the Kolkata Police.

``I am proud of this. I have also written to Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh to declare Netaji`s birthday as a
national holiday,`` she said.

Recalling the influence of Swami Vivekananda on Netaji,
Banerjee said their writings had inspired her from an young
age to face adversities with boldness.

The chief minister ended her speech by saying `Netaji
Amar Rahe,` but immediately after she corrected herself by
adding, ``I will not say this. I do not know whether he is
alive or dead. So I will say `Long Live` and wish him a long
life.``

PTI



First Published: Monday, January 23, 2012 - 20:37

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