Tuesday 28 June 2022
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Modi refers to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose as 1st PM of India… almost

Prime Minister Narendra Modi made this comment while replying to President Ram Nath Kovind's Motion of Thanks in the Rajya Sabha today

Responding to the Motion of Thanks by President Ram Nath Kovind in Rajya Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today referred to freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose as the ‘First Prime Minister’. “India’s nationalism is not narrow-minded, selfish or aggressive. It is inspired by the values embodied in Satyam Shivam Sundaram… Chairman, sir, this was said by the First Prime Minister of the First government of Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army),” Modi said.

Citing Bose in the context of patriotism, the prime minister said, “Our democracy is not a Western institution by any standards. It is a human institution. Indian history is replete with examples of democratic institutions. We have records of 81 democracies in ancient India. Today, it is important to make the citizens aware about nationalism, at a time when India is under attack from all corners.”

The provisional government of the Azad Hind (1943-45) had a cabinet headed by Bose who was the head of the state, the prime minister and the minister of war and foreign affairs. Netaji mysteriously disappeared on 18 August 1945, the date that the government of India often mentions as his death anniversary even though not just the aeroplane that was carrying the INA head did not crash but also there was no air crash anywhere in the world that day. The doctor who testified before the Khosla and Shahnawaz Commissions of Inquiry to probe the whereabouts of Netaji said he was told the man who had died under his watch was Bose. Journalist-turned-activist Anuj Dhar found the dead person to be a Japanese soldier named Ichiro Okura.

In 2005, the government provided emails to Dhar that it has no records of a plane crash during the period of 14 August to 25 October 1945.

Last month on 23 January, Netaji’s birth anniversary, Prime Minister Modi visited the Netaji Bhawan, a memorial and research centre dedicated to the late freedom fighter, along with Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, Bose’s grand nephews Sugato Bose and Sumantro Bose. He spoke at an event where West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made news for getting irritated by the ‘Jai Sri Ram’ slogan raised by a section of the crowd.

Speaking at the Victoria Memorial Hall, Prime Minister Modi had remarked, “I sometimes wonder how Netaji would have felt had he seen how a new and strong India is taking shape. From the to LoC, the world is witnessing a strong India that was once envisioned by Netaji. India today is giving a befitting reply wherever attempts are made to challenge its sovereignty.”

The Modi government has declared 23 January as Parakram Divas while the Banerjee government calls it Desh Nayak Divas.

India attained independence on 15 August 1947, with Jawaharlal Nehru made the first prime minister of independent India.

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