Other States

Cuttack celebrates Bose’s 125th birth anniversary

At a time when the 125th birth anniversary celebration of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose continues to have political overtones in neighbouring West Bengal, the occasion in his birthplace Cuttack was a stark contrast on Saturday. Janakinath Bhawan, the ancestral home where Netaji was born January 23, 1897, and which has been converted into a museum, received a steady flow of visitors despite COVID-19 restrictions. Six photographs of Bose's daughter Anita were this year’s attraction.

“We have received old pictures treasured by D.N. Soor, a family in the Sheikh Bazaar area of Cuttack. The Soor family had hosted Netaji's daughter in 1961. The photographs are displayed in gallery number 11, which is based on Netaji's family,” said J. P. Das, curator of the museum situated in the city's Odia Bazaar.

The prominent freedom fighter spent the first 16 years of his life in Cuttack. "He lived in this house with a large family of eight brothers and six sisters. His father Janakinath Bose was a lawyer by profession and a man of repute during his time. Subhash Bose passed entrance examination from Ravenshaw Collegiate School in 1913 and thereafter went to Calcutta to pursue higher studies,” says the information provided by the administration.

"I have never seen such a huge footfall at the museum. People were curious to know about the life of the great leader. There are 23 rooms in the double-storeyed building. As many as 12 galleries have been created in 12 rooms," Mr. Das said.

The galleries are themed on Bose's political life; his stint in the Indian National Army; his family and early childhood, etc. In one room, a study table, a geometry box and a platinum pen used by Netaji are preserved.

A part of the interesting collection at the museum are the 22 original letters written by Netaji from Geneva, Milan and Berlin; the Rangoon Jail in Myanmar and the Presidency Jail and Alipore New Central Jail in Kolkata, to his parents and family members.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik paid tribute to Bose on his birth anniversary. He laid the foundation stone for a modern bus terminus named after Netaji at Cuttack. “Netaji is a son of Cuttack and he was born here. The State government will undertake an year-long 125 birth anniversary [celebration] of Netaji,” said Mr. Patnaik.

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Printable version | Mar 1, 2021 10:22:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/cuttack-celebrates-boses-125th-birth-anniversary/article33644048.ece

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