Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today called upon the youth to take inspiration from the life of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and strive towards building an India where every Indian has equal opportunities and inspired by a shared and common sense of pride.
Speaking after unveiling the statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in Raj Bhawan, Chennai, on the occasion of his Birth Anniversary today, the Vice President said, “in the task of building a ‘New India’, there is so much to draw from the life and struggle of Netaji, his vision and his nationalistic outlook.
Calling Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose as one of the most illustrious sons of mother India, Vice President Naidu said that his clarion call of ‘Give me blood, and I shall give you freedom’ inspired millions to fight for the nation and he still lives in our hearts.
Admiring his charismatic personality that made him a natural leader, Vice President Naidu said that very few leaders have inspired the youth of our country like Netaji has and he can be the guiding light for the Indian youth of the 21st century.
Referring to the diversity of philosophies and approaches in our freedom struggle, the Vice President said it was a bouquet of individual and collective actions, ranging from peaceful satyagraha to more organized resistance.
“Even as Gandhiji was turning ‘ahimsa’ into a powerful weapon of our struggle, the likes of Bhagat Singh and Subhas Chandra Bose continued with their approach of unsettling the British through force”, he said.
Although Gandhiji was not in favour of Netaji’s militant approach, he respected him and once referred to him as the ‘patriot of patriots’.
Highlighting his leadership of Azad Hind Fauj, Vice President Naidu said that Netaji Bose unfurled the Tricolor in Port Blair on 30th December 1943 and declared Andaman and Nicobar Islands to be the first Indian Territory free from British Raj.
Recalling the close connection of the people of Tamil Nadu with Indian National Army, the Vice President paid rich tributes to Shri Muthuramalinga Thevar who was a close confidante of Netaji.
“Shri Muthuramalinga Thevar was an influential leader who was instrumental in establishing Subhas Chandra Bose’s strong presence in Tamil imagination”, Vice President Naidu said. Shri Muthuramalinga Thevar also launched a Tamil Weekly Nethaji and was one of the founding pillars of Forward Bloc.
He had played an instrumental role in mobilizing huge support for INA, VP said.
He also lauded the daredevilry of Lakshmi Swaminathan who had set up the Rani of Jhansi Regiment in INA and came to be known as Captain Lakshmi Sahgal.
Expressing pride in the fact that we Indians are inheritors of five thousand years old civilization, Vice President Naidu highlighted that Netaji firmly believed in our civilizational values and its history. This history should form the bedrock of our national pride and collective self-confidence, he added.
Lauding the Government’s recent decision to declassified all records and files associated with Netaji, the Vice President said that researchers will now be able to delve deep into his life and come up with many more meaningful publications on the life story of this great patriot.
On this occasion, Vice President also paid tributes to all freedom fighters, including Veer Savarkar, who had bravely fought against the British in the face of the most daunting odds and was subjected to inhuman treatment in cellular jail.
“Unfortunately, some people are trying to belittle his invaluable contribution to the nationalistic cause and the freedom struggle”, he said.
The Vice President also emphasized that our history textbooks must highlight the life stories of our national icons like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Veer Savarkar who were not given due recognition.
“We must continue to take inspiration from their sacrifices and strive to build a strong, inclusive, progressive, peaceful and harmonious nation”, he said.
Remembering the life history of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Vice President Naidu said that he was the son of a wealthy and prominent Bengali lawyer. In his youth, he was deeply influenced by Swami Vivekananda’s teachings and was known for his patriotic zeal.
In 1920, Netaji Bose had passed the Indian Civil Service examination, still he resigned from the coveted service in April 1921 and devoted his life for the cause of his country’s freedom.
He was jailed several times for his nationalistic activities. In 1938, Netaji was elected president of the Indian National Congress and formed a National Planning Committee, which formulated a policy of broad industrialization.
Later, he founded the All India Forward Bloc in a bid to unify the more radical elements in the struggle for independence.