Lawyer who collects Netaji memorabilia



Kendrapara (Odisha): Rare photographs of Subhash Chandra Bose have been collected painstakingly for over three decades by a lawyer who idolises Netaji since childhood and has turned his home into a private museum at Badahaat area in this town in Odisha's Kendrapara district.

The great leader shaking hands with Adolf Hitler, his broadcast to the nation, his visit to the infamous Cellular jail in the Andamans, Rash Behari Bose handing over the baton of the Indian National Congress president ship to him and sharing private moments with his family, figure in the collection of 45-year-old Mohammad Mustaque.

"Children adore Bollywood heroes, but since childhood I was a fan of Netaji. His magnetic personality drew me to know more and more about him. Later on, I began to collect everything on him that I could possibly lay my hands on," Mustaque said.

"It was quite a task to collect the photographs. I had to part with hard earned money. From bookshops at College street in Kolkata to various individuals in the state, my search for Netaji memorabilia still continues. I feel my labour has been worth it," he said proudly.

Besides photographs, his collection includes letters, manuscripts, magazines, journals and coins related to the great leader.

A postal stamp issued by INA to commemorate the liberation of Manipur, a 1913 gazette notification of Bihar and Orissa on Bose passing the high school entrance examination in 1913, a handwritten letter of Captain Laxmi Saigal of the Indian National Army are part of the collection.

There is also an original copy of the magazine Forward published by Netaji, a special issue of INA Basumati, Bengali magazine, 'Meaning of Leftism' and an article by Netaji in the Socialist Republican magazine.

"It has been three decades of perseverance and hard work that is now paying dividends. I take pride that my personal collection on the great leader is drawing people from various parts of the state and country," the lawyer said.

"I am now planning to turn the private museum into a trust as some organisations are showing interest to preserve the articles I have collected," he added.

PTI