Staff reporter ; Kolkata, 23 January :The 123rd Birth Anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose,one of the most valiant and renowned freedom fighters and the founder of the ‘Azad Hind Fouz’ (Indian National Army) was celebrated all over West Bengal today along with the rest of the country by millions of people with huge enthusiasm,dignity and due solemnity.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee took part in a solemn programme at the hill resort city of Darjeeling during her stay there today by garlanding Netaji’s statue there and recalling his great and unmatched contribution to the freedom struggle of India both within the country and also from foreign soils.
Large number of people including Gorkha Janmukti Morcha President Binay Tamang were present on the occasion amid shivering cold and paid their homage to the great leader with cheers and unfurling of the National flag.
As the death of Netaji is still shrouded in huge controversy and mystery with vast majority of people of all ages believe that Subhas Chandra Bose did not die in any air crash at the then Taihoku airstrip in Taiwan on 18 August 1945,and was alive long afterwards, possibly in Russia or elsewhere, large number of his followers and common people celebrated his birth anniversary today through various manners and by paying glowing tributes to him for his uncompromising dedication and struggle for the freedom of his motherland India from the British rule.
As per the long tradition, the day long programmes to celebrate the Birthday of Netaji began in Kolkata and all over West Bengal in the morning with hundreds of ‘Prabhat feries ‘(Morning March past) being taken out by School children in every district when the portrait of this greatest freedom fighter was also garlanded by all and natonal tri-colour unfurled amid patriotic songs.
Later a number of debates, seminars and workshops on various activities of Netaji and his contribution to the freedom struggle, were organised in different institutions to mark the day, while fruits and sweets were distributed among the poor and the old by several volunteer organisations and even by leaders of various political parties.
Moreover,like all previous years,large number of people visited the ancestral house of Netaji Subhas Bose in South Kolkata from where he escaped to freedom,hoodwinking his British guards and left for Europe via Afghanistan in early 1940s. Besides paying homage and garlanding his portrait,the people visited the house as he spent several years there before escaping.
Large number of people today also visited the city’s Police Museum to see for themselves several top secret files and other objects related to Netaji while paying homage to him to know more about the great leader.
State BJP President Dilip Ghosh and several other senior party leaders including Rahul Sinha,and Sayantan Basu also paid homage to the great leader and garlanded his portrait at the state party headquarters.
As the state government declared a public holiday today,all government offices,banks and most of the other institutions remained closed for the day.