Modi ‘Tribute’ to Netaji is Misleading and Motivated

Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, All India Forward Bloc, Revolutionary Socialist Party and Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)-Liberation have issued the following joint statement on December 1

IT is a historical truth that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose headed the Provisional Azad Hind government formed in exile on the soil of South-East Asia on October 21, 1943, which is a red-letter day in the history of freedom movement of India. This government declared war against Britain and America and was recognised by nine foreign countries, including De Valera's Ireland. Netaji, under the banner of this government, along with its three million INA men launched the final war of independence to 'bring about the expulsion of the British and their allies' from the soil of India. The INA, led by Col. S A Malik, entered the Indian soil and raised the free India's flag at Moirang (in Manipur) on April 14, 1944. The INA government was active there for more than three months having their own bank, currency, post office and other infrastructure. From there, the INA launched their final march towards Imphal.

Ultimately, the impact of Netaji’s INA struggle created a great post war uprising in India, during November 1945 to July 1946, which compelled the British government, amongst other factors, to transfer power in August 1947.

On completion of 75 years of Netaji's Provisional Azad Hind government, the whole country paid their respectful homage to the great revolutionary leader and patriotic son of the country, on October 21, 2018. Taking advantage of the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra  Modi, for the first time, raised the national flag at the Red Fort in memory of Netaji and his Azad Hind government on October 21. He spoke at length on the occasion, but completely avoided the most pertinent issue of national integrity and communal harmony which Netaji ideally implemented in his Azad Hind government and the INA. The INA trial roused and galvanised the Indian people’s final assault against the British colonial rule. The slogan that reverberated across the country-Sehgal, Dhillon, Shahnavaz- stands testimony to the inclusive politics of Netaji and exemplified the fighting spirit of the freedom movement uniting people of all faiths, castes and gender. Narendra Modi heads a government that is patronising sharpening of communal polarisation. The consequent alarming growth of hate and violence has led to barbarous attacks on Muslims, dalits and religious minorities. It is thus both hypocritical and futile for PM Modi to pay respect to Netaji and INA. People of India have many aspirations and long-standing demands in respect of their most beloved national hero Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. We would therefore reiterate the demands to be fulfilled immediately:

(i)                Declare Netaji's Birthday (January 23) as 'Desh Prem Divas' (Day of patriotism), which would go a long way to rejuvenate poverty-stricken unemployed and frustrated young generation.

(ii)             Make all-out efforts to compile on authentic national history on Netaji's Provisional Azad Hind government, his INA and their contribution to the freedom movement of India.

If these are not done, Modi's so-called gesture will only prove to be a motivated stunt to mislead the people in view of the forthcoming general elections hoping to recapture power.

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