West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging the government to declare birth anniversaries of Swami Vivekananda and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose as national holidays.

Banerjee in a tweet said, “Swami Vivekananda and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose are national and international icons. I have written a letter to the PM urging the GOI to declare both their birthdays (Jan 12 and Jan 23) national holidays”.

Swami Vivekananda’s 155th birth anniversary was celebrated on 12 January and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose birth anniversary will be celebrated on 23rd January.

Swami Vivekananda was born on 12 January, 1863 and his original name was Narendra Nath Datta. He was the chief disciple of the 19th-century saint Ramakrishna and a key figure in introducing the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world. The spiritual leader became famous in the western world after his powerful speech at the World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893.

The government in 1984 declared that his birth anniversary will be observed as the National Youth Day.

Subhas Chandra Bose, who was also referred as Netaji, was born 23 January 1897 in Bengal constituency (now Odisha state) in India. He was a Indian Independence movement activist and a member of Indian National Congress Party. He became the party president in 1938. Netaji left India after he had a falling-out with Mahatma Gandhi and later approached Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan to assist in making India an independent country.

Netaji died from third-degree burns on 18 August 1945 after his overloaded Japanese plane crashed in Japanese-ruled Formosa (now Taiwan). His death has been mired in controversy, as the circumstances of his death were not accepted by his supporters.