A demand to declare January 23, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, as ‘Desh Prem Diwas’ (Patriotism Day) and a national holiday, was made in the Rajya Sabha today. Raising the issue through a Zero Hour mention, Ritabrata Banerjee, who was recently expelled from the CPI(M), narrated the heroic tales of Bose who had made a daring escape from house arrest by the British rulers in Calcutta and made his way to Germany via Afghanistan and then on to Japan in a German submarine. He demanded that the government declare January 23 as ‘Patriotism Day’ and a national holiday as a fitting tribute to “the forgotten hero” of the Indian independence struggle. Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu hoped the government will take note of the suggestion but went on to add that members should not be seen asking for holidays.
It is the sentiment behind seeking declaration of the day as Desh Prem Diwas, which should be acknowledged, he said. Sanjiv Kumar (JMM) raised the issue of starvation deaths of several poor persons in Jharkhand allegedly due to denial of cheap ration under the public distribution scheme for not possession of biometric identifier Aadhaar.
Vishambhar Prasad Nishad (SP) asked the government to secure the release of 500 Indian fishermen lodged in Pakistani jails. Shwait Malik (BJP) demanded a strict law to check cyber crimes like hacking, cyber bullying and cyber terrorism, saying cyber crime was like a termite which is eclipsing the achievements made in IT and digital advancement.
Pramod Tiwari (Cong) raised the issue of unspent amount of Rs 2,600 crore meant for Ganga river cleaning. “Governments in the past have betrayed the people, but this government is betraying even the gods,” he said, adding neither have schemes formulated to utilise the Rs 2,600 crore allocated for cleaning of Ganga river.
“Ma (mother) Ganga”, he said, washes sins but it would not wash “this sin of the government as it has betrayed even Ma Ganga.” Harivansh (JD-U) drew the attention of the House to three recent incidents of mistreatment of passengers by a private airline including physical assault of a passenger and rude behaviour with sportsperson P V Sindhu. He asked the government to ensure that private airlines follow rules and regulations.