Bengal pays tribute to Netaji on his birth anniversary

Kolkata: West Bengal on Monday celebrated legendary freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s 120th birth anniversary with floral tributes, devotional songs, meetings and rallies.

The main function, organised by the state government was held in northern Bengal’s picturesque Darjeeling hill station.

Attended by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the function commenced with blowing of a siren alarm at 12.15 p.m. sharp to mark the exact time of Bose’s birth in 1897.

Paying homage to Bose, Banerjee pledged to fulfil his dreams by working for all sections of people without discrimination.

“We will fulfil the dream of Netaji. We will keep working for the common people. Netaji was a leader of the country. A true leader does not discriminate and works for all,” she said.

The Banerjee government has been observing the legendary revolutionary’s birth anniversary in the hills for the last three years.

Banerjee announced that Rs 10 lakh has been allotted for the renovation of the house in the hills where Netaji resided.

“We celebrate the birth anniversary of Netaji every year but we do not know about his death. This is a tragedy,” she said.

In another function held at Netaji Bhavan, the ancestral house of Bose in South Kolkata, Governor K.N. Tripathi paid glowing tributes to the freedom fighter.

Netaji’s family members were present on the occasion. The programme concluded with the Netaji Birthday concert where Meeryung Hall, the wife of the present US consul general to Kolkata Craig Hall, took part.

Political leaders conveyed the message of communal harmony on the occasion and Left parties took out a rally in the city.

“Let us take an oath to maintain communal harmony which will be a true homage on Netaji’s birth anniversary. He believed in Indian nationalism,” CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said here.

School children, local clubs and social organisations across the districts garlanded the freedom fighter’s statues and sung patriotic songs.

Exhibitions, sit-and-draw competitions, debates and quizzes on Netaji’s life and works were organised throughout the state to mark the occasion.