Odisha celebrates Netaji’s birth anniversary

Cuttack/Puri: Odisha on Saturday celebrated the 119th birth anniversary of eminent freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

On the occasion, chief minister Naveen Patnaik offered floral tributes to the statue of Netaji at Janakinath Bhawan, the birthplace of the revolutionary leader, which has been declared as Netaji museum by the state government.

“Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is a son of our soil. Cuttack is witness to his early life. His life is an example of rarest courage and patriotism. We all are proud of him. I pay my heartfelt tribute to him on his birth anniversary,” Patnaik said.

The chief minister later went round the museum.

Early in the morning, Ramdhun was sung by the museum staff. Later a yajna was performed inside the room of the museum where Netaji was born.

The museum authorities have put up a painting of Swami Vivekananda, the spiritual guru of Netaji at the spiritual gallery. An album of members of the Azad Hind Fauz (Indian National Army) has also been kept inside the museum for the visitors.

Tourism and Culture minister Ashok Panda said’ “Bose is the son of the soil of Odisha who had played a stellar role in making India free from the British rule. He used to tell the people to give him their blood and promised to give India its independence in return. He had launched the famous ‘Delhi Chalo’ campaign. We feel proud that he was born in this millennium city of Odisha.”

Talking about the decision of the Centre to make the secret files of Bose public, he said the secret files would be kept at the Netaji museum here for the visitors.

He further said the state government had decided to set up a fountain in the Netaji museum premises. “Besides, some books on Netaji will be kept inside the museum while efforts are on to compile some more books for which we have received a number of write-ups,” he added.

BJD MLA Debashish Samantray said the time has come for the Centre to accord national museum status to the Netaji museum here. “The kin come to the birth place of Netaji every year, which confirms that Cuttack was his birth place. Though Netaji had started his freedom struggle from Bengal with the formation of Azad Hind Fauz, it was in Cuttack from where he had developed the concept of freedom struggle during his early days,” he pointed out.

Talking to media persons here, BJP leader and former minister Samir De said unlike the previous birth anniversaries of Netaji, the birth anniversary of the veteran freedom fighter this year would be remembered as the Centre has made public all his secret files. “With this, the suspense the people of Odisha and the country had on Netaji is now over. People from all over the world will come to know about the efforts Netaji had made to make India free from foreign domination,” he noted.

“When the central government has released some secret files of Netaji today the state government will definitely declare and release if it found any files under the Home departnmnet,” said BJD spokesperson Samir Das

The birth anniversary of Netaji was also celebrated in Puri. People in large numbers attended meeting at Subhas Bose Square where eminent personalities and speakers spoke about his life and achievements.

Besides, a competition among the students was also organised on behalf of Makhanlal Haldar Smriti Sansad to mark the occasion.