Updated 22 Jan 2022, 10:17 am
WHEN NETAJI was organising the Indian National Army in South-East Asia for its forward march to Delhi, a close associate of him advised that instead of having separate prayer meetings for the Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Christian soldiers; a common prayer meeting can be arranged by incorporating the educative and exemplary traits of all religions so as to forge absolute unity among the Indian fighters.
Netaji praised his associate for his well-intention, but also warned that if religion gets used to bind all Indian soldiers together by heart; then this very religion itself can also be exploited by the evil forces to create discord and disunity among the soldiers.
So not the thread of religion, which should ideally remain confined to one's personal and private domain only; but one and only the chord of patriotism and undiluted love for the motherland needs to be nurtured and nourished so as to bind all Indian soldiers psychologically and work towards a common goal.
What a contrast to the present state of affairs when religion has been allowed to infiltrate even the social life and political sphere also in this heterogeneous constitutionally secular nation leading to violence and supreme intolerance towards the food habits, dignity, human rights and safety of our very own fellow Indian brothers and sisters!
Netaji not only dreamt of a British-free India; but also a country free of poverty, hunger exploitation and inequality so that the citizens can experience true independence with head held high - An egalitarian society with inclusive prosperity complete with labour rights. But today each and every policy simply excludes human rights of the have-nots.
Taking unfair advantage of the pandemic, many hard-earned labour laws have been diluted so that the employers can exploit them mercilessly. Demonetisation to GST, mammoth increase of fuel price and railway fares, reduction of bank Interest combined with stringent penalties for failing to retain "minimum balance" have simply devastated the non-privileged sector.
Less said about the unfathomable miseries "gifted" to the poorest of poor following an instant lockdown without notice in March 2020 the better! And exclusive policies like NRC-CAA bear testimony to how "development of all" gets pursued nowadays!
Yet, certain outfit is seen to project itself as one of its icons! Netaji, the humanitarian must be turning in his grave on witnessing how "faithfully" his social and economic vision have been "adopted" by the concerned authority!
Also, it is high time it needs to be asked whether there have indeed been any serious attempts to unearth the mystery of the disappearance of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
It is very easy to declare that nothing has come out of the investigations, but the bigger question which needs to be asked is whether there have indeed been any sincere attempts to get to the bottom of the case! If the concerned authorities had been so “sincere”, then why was the Justice Manoj Kumar Mukherjee commission not allowed free access to Netaji-related files which are kept within the safe custody at Red Fort?
Some files concerning Netaji were released with much fanfare a year ago. But the information released through such files are hardly relevant as far as Netaji’s disappearance saga is concerned. Yes, there lies every reason to believe that Netaji’s disappearance and conspiracy are synonymous terms.
Some “nationalists” also come up with the theory of “international relation” to be “harmed” if all Netaji files get disclosed!
This hush-hush matter directly proves that indeed there lies something fishy related to Netaji’s disappearance.
Now, which is the bigger issue --- “international relationship” or the fate of that epitome of patriotism named Netaji who had sacrificed his career and devoted his entire life for the sake of independence of the motherland from imperialist force?
If the answer is “international relationship”, the sincerity of solving the mystery stands blatantly exposed!
Instead of merely garlanding his statue or portrait on January 23, and paying lip service to him; it is high time India wakes up to the secular values, ethics and humanity propagated by Netaji so as to unite the country in psychic and economic terms and thereby award due honour to this Patriot of Patriots through practical deed, not mere words or rhetoric.
First published:22 Jan 2022, 10:17 am
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Special Contributor, KOLKATA, West Bengal