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Netaji would have been proud of a new, self-reliant India: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee release a book during an event to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose at the Victoria Memorial in Kolkata on January 23, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday wondered how Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose would have felt had he seen the new India, which is not only becoming self-reliant but also giving a befitting reply to those interfering in its territorial sovereignty.

“Netaji had imagined a kind of strong India. Today the world is seeing India in its new avatar; from LAC to LoC wherever anyone is trying to pose any challenge to the territorial sovereignty of the country is given a befitting reply,” Mr. Modi said.

 

The Prime Minister was speaking in Kolkata while participating in the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of the iconic freedom fighter.

Addressing a gathering on the lawns of the Victoria Memorial Hall, Mr. Modi said Netaji would be satisfied and proud to see the new self-reliant India.

‘Equipped with Rafales’

The Prime Minister said, “Today our forces have jets such as Rafale and it is manufacturing advanced jets such as Tejas. When he [Netaji] would see that the armed forces of his country are so strong and have the advanced equipment which he wanted, how would he feel,” the Prime Minister asked.

He went on to say that Netaji would be proud to see that his country had not only fought the COVID-19 pandemic and but also developed a vaccine and is helping other countries with the technology.

 

“Netaji once asked people not to lose hope of free India; similarly, no one can stop India from being self-reliant,” he added.

During his speech of more than 40 minutes, Mr. Modi referred to a question that Netaji asked his nephew Sisir Bose before executing the daring escape from the country in January 1941. Netaji had asked his nephew in Bengali “Amar ekta kaaj korbe (Will you do something for me)?”

“ If today, every Indian places his hand on his heart and feels the presence of Netaji, then he will hear the same question: will you do something for me? This work, this task, this goal is to make India self-reliant today,” Mr. Modi said.

Reflecting on the contribution of West Bengal in the freedom struggle, the Prime Minister said the State will have to take up new responsibility for a self-reliant India (Atmanirbhar Bharat).

 

“Along with the dream of self-reliant India, Netaji is the biggest inspiration for Sonar Bangla (Golden Bengal). As with the role played by Netaji in the freedom struggle, West Bengal will have to take up the same responsibility for a self-reliant India. A self-reliant and Sonar Bangla will have to take lead in making a self-reliant India,” he said.

The reference to “Sonar Bangla’ by Mr Modi is significant as the term is the BJP’s catch phrase for its campaigns in the State. scheduled to hold Assembly polls in the next few months. Mr. Modi called on the people of the State to come forward and restore their pride and like Netaji not rest till the objective is achieved.

Pointing out that all the 130 crore Indians are indebted and will remain so to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Mr. Modi said January 23 is not only the birth anniversary of the national icon but also the day of birth of “self-pride” of the country.

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Printable version | Mar 1, 2021 7:27:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/netaji-would-have-been-proud-of-new-self-reliant-india-modi/article33645982.ece

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