Mamata Banerjee says Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose fought for secular India, opposed Hindu Mahasabha’s divisive politics

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Darjeeling | Updated: January 23, 2020 5:50:02 PM

Bose through his struggle for Independence had sent the message of respect for all faiths and the best tribute to the nationalist leader will be to work for a united India, she said.

Mamata Banerjee, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Subhas Chandra Bose, Subhas Chandra Bose jayanti, Subhas Chandra Bose jayanti 2020, Hindu Mahasabha, secular IndiaShe also slammed the Centre for “not being serious” about unravelling the mystery shrouding Bose’s disappearance.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had fought for a secular and united India and opposed the “divisive politics” of Hindu Mahasabha. The country needs leaders like Netaji who can take everybody along, she said and demanded that his birthday be declared a national holiday, Banerjee said.

Bose through his struggle for Independence had sent the message of respect for all faiths and the best tribute to the nationalist leader will be to work for a united India, she said. “Netaji advocated secularism. He was a true leader, who had the ability to lead the country. Only those who have those qualities of secularism can take everybody along, can lead the nation,” she said in an apparent dig at the present BJP-led government at the Centre.

Banerjee said Netaji had in 1940 opposed the divisive policies of the Hindu Mahasabha. The Hindu Mahasabha (officially Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha) is a Hindu nationalist political party formed in 1915 to protect the rights of the community in British India after the formation of the All India Muslim League in 1906 and the then British India government’s creation of separate Muslim electorate in 1909.

“Netaji had opposed the Hindu Mahasabha’s divisive politics … He had clearly said that this divisive politics is just for the sake of creating a votebank. He had fought for a secular India. Now efforts are on to oust those who follow secularism,” she said at an event here to celebrate Bose’s birth anniversary. “Does my being a Hindu stop me from participating in festivals of other religions? Is this a quality of a true leader? The answer is no,” she said.

Banerjee also slammed the Centre for “not being serious” about unravelling the mystery shrouding Bose’s disappearance. “They (the Centre) had only declassified a few files and have not taken any step to find out what actually happened. It is a matter of shame that even after more than 70 years, we don’t know what happened to him,” Banerjee said.

The Planning Commssion was the brainchild of Netaji but it has been closed down by the BJP-led government after it came to power in 2014, she said. Continuing her attack on the Centre, the TMC supremo said “We have been demanding that Netaji’s birthday be celebrated as national holiday. But the Centre is not bothered about it”.

On September 2015, Banerjee had released all the 64 classified files related to Netaji, which were in the possession of Kolkata Police and West Bengal Police. In 2016 on Netaji’s birth anniversary, the Narendra Modi government had released 100 files regarding the nationalist leader.

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