23rd January 2021 heralds the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, whose name evokes deep emotion, admiration and respect. Throughout the country, Netaji Subhash is known for his selfless, heroic and uncompromising role in the Indian Independence struggle. At his clarion call, thousands of youths and students plunged into the freedom movement happily, sacrificing the comfort of their homes, personal aspirations and careers, facing imprisonment, torture, exile and even hanging at the gallows at the hands of the British imperialist rulers.
This anniversary reminds us of a glorious era in Indian history when our country in its battle against British Imperialism gave birth to great personalities of the Indian Renaissance, the vibrant freedom struggle, and flowering of science, art, literature and culture; but the memory of that glorious era is almost buried in oblivion after independence thanks to the design of the ruling class and ruling parties of the country.
We are noticing with grave concern that those political parties which opposed, obstructed and tried to malign this great leader in his political struggle have now jumped on the bandwagon to observe this occasion with fanfare to exploit the glory of this legendary revolutionary for petty political interest, in a bid to mislead the people.
It should not be forgotten that Netaji represented the line of armed revolution opposed to the rightist, compromising and reformist leadership of the Congress.
He won the support of educated youth, students, different revolutionary groups, enlightened section of the people, but was considered as a danger by British imperialism and national capitalism.
At that time the National Congress was a broad platform, within which there was intense inner struggle between the revolutionary line and the reformist line. Netaji was elected twice as Congress President, the first time unanimously for the Haripura session. But because in his presidential address he demanded full independence instead of dominion status, suggested to draw workers, peasants into the freedom movement, abolition of Zamindari system and glorified Soviet Union as a friend of freedom struggles against world imperialism, this frightened the rightists. They tried to defeat him in the subsequent presidential election for the Tripuri session by putting up another candidate against him. But the rightists were defeated and he was elected. Infuriated rightists conspired and were ultimately successful in forcing him to resign and thereafter he was expelled from the Congress. He expected support from the left party, CPI, but was disappointed by its opposition. Netaji was very much opposed to religious fundamentalism and communalism. He proclaimed that politics is to be free from religion and is only to be guided by scientific outlook, rational political and economical theories. In addition, Hindu Mahasabha-RSS and Muslim League were opposed to freedom struggle. Naturally, these forces also were vehemently opposed to Netaji. Ultimately Netaji left the country, formed INA, utilized conflict between allied and axis powers in the Second World War to liberate the country. The rest is history.
All of us know that the historic struggle led by Netaji culminated in a tragic end. The real sacrifice and struggle of one of the greatest sons of the country has remained actually unknown to our countrymen. The country achieved political independence. But people’s economic, political and social emancipation, which Subhash Chandra Bose dreamt of, has remained unfulfilled. We know that these unfulfilled dreams were also the aspiration of thousands of martyrs in our freedom struggle like Kshudiram Bose, Mastarda Surya Sen, Asfaqulla Khan, Chandra Sekhar Ajad, Bhagat Singh and many others.
What do we find today in India? Millions of youth are unemployed, millions retrenched, thousands dying daily out of starvation. Hundreds of women old, young even children are raped every hour. In the name of parliamentary democracy practically a mockery of democracy is going on. Democratic rights, freedom of speech, right to protest, all are brutally suppressed. Unbridled corruption, unchecked deception have become the routine practice of all who are in power. Younger generations are dehumanized being drowned in complete degeneration. All human feelings, love, affection, social obligation, as well as the argumentative mind, scientific reasoning are being destroyed. The fire of communal, parochial and casteist conflicts is engulfing the country. All these are perpetrated to serve the interest of the ruling class. Is this the freedom for which Netaji Subhas Chandra and thousands of martyrs, freedom fighters sacrificed their lives? People should get the answer.
Here lies the importance of observing the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose from the people’s point of view. The common people comprising students, teachers, intellectuals and the saner section of the populace need to take the initiative to observe this occasion. Through this celebration people should come to know the real history, study it and learn from it. On their part Netaji and other fighters have fulfilled their obligation towards our society. Now on our part, it is our obligation to stand up on the occasion! Let us strive to fulfill the dreams of Netaji. As a first step, we have to fight against the distortion of real history and inherit the true legacy of Netaji.
From this point of view we the undersigned are proposing to constitute an All India Committee to observe the historical occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in a befitting manner. Your participation and cooperation are earnestly solicited.