Netaji had vision for economic strength of India, was champion of gender equality: Daughter

NEW DELHI, Jan 21: Netaji lived, lives and will continue to live in the hearts of Indian people, his daughter Anita Bose Pfaff said on Friday and welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement that a grand statue of the iconic freedom fighter will be installed at the India Gate.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had a vision for financial and economic strength of India and had set up a planning commission even before the country got its independence, Pfaff, who lives in Germany, said while speaking at a webinar organised by the Culture Ministry.

She also said that he was a champion of gender equality and his vision was to build a nation where men and women not only have the same rights but can also deliver the same duties.

Later, speaking to PTI over phone from Germany, she welcomed the Centre’s decision to erect her father’s statue at the India Gate.

“I am very happy about the decision. It is a very good location. I am certainly glad that his statue would be put up at such a prominent place,” Pfaff said.

“What surprises me is it came all of a sudden now. One might have prepared a bit earlier, but better late than never, I must say. I hope that the controversy about the tableau can also be put to rest in a satisfactory manner,” she said.

West Bengal’s tableau, which was set to highlight contributions of freedom fighters, was excluded from the upcoming Republic Day Parade in Delhi.

The proposed tableau was set to commemorate the contributions of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and his Indian National Army (INA) on his 125th birth anniversary year.

While making the announcement of the statue, Prime Minister Modi said it will installed as a symbol of India’s “indebtedness” to Netaji.

Till the statue, made of granite, is completed, a hologram statue of his would be present at the same place, Modi said, adding that he will unveil the hologram statue on January 23, the birth anniversary of the Azad Hind Fauj founder.

During the webinar, Pfaff also gave a detailed description on the life and contribution of Bose in the freedom struggle and nation building.

“Netaji lived, lives and will continue to live in the hearts of the Indian people. Though my father was a devout Hindu but he had respect for all religions, and he dreamt of an India where all religions coexist peacefully,” she said.

“He was a champion of gender equality. His vision was to build a nation where men and women not only have the same rights but can also deliver same duties. It is on the women themselves to emancipate, women should win and they can win,” Pfaff said.

The freedom fighter’s grandniece Renu Malakar, who is a trustee of the Netaji Subhash Bose INA Trust Delhi-India, said in her address that Netaji had extreme love for his countrymen.

“The youth of India are its future. The youth should keep the nation uppermost in their minds and if it happens no one can stop India from progressing,” she said.

The government has decided to celebrate Netaji’s birthday on the January 23 every year as “Parakram Diwas” to inspire people of the country especially the youth. (PTI)