Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare 23 January, the birth anniversary of Netaji as a National Holiday and urged him to ‘take decisive steps to find out what happened to Netaji and place the matter in the public domain.’

“To truly pay respect to our great leader and a National Hero, we would reiterate our request that 23rd January is declared a National Holiday. The birthday of Netaji is celebrated every year all over the country with great dignity and reverence. You may kindly recall that over a long time, we have been requesting the Central Government to declare Netaji’s birthday as a National Holiday. However, this has not materialised so far,” Miss Banerjee wrote to Mr Modi.

Miss Banerjee had made this request in previous years as well. Describing Netaji as one of the ‘Greatest sons of Bengal, a National Hero, a national leader and an icon of India’s freedom movement against the British Rule’, who has a ‘special place in our hearts’ Miss Banerjee pointed out that 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose will be celebrated on 23 January 2022 and this would be a ‘very appropriate recognition to the National Leader’, who is an epitome of determination, courage, leadership, unity and love for the motherland.

“He is an inspiration across all generations. Under his untiring leadership, thousands of valiant soldiers of the Indian National Army made supreme sacrifice of the motherland,” she wrote. Miss Banerjee further urged the Centre to take decisive steps to find out ‘what happened to Netaji and place the matter in public domain so that people get to know what finally happened to the great leader.”

“Moreover, you are also aware of the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Netaji. People of the country and especially of Bengal have the right to know the truth about this matter. West Bengal government has already declassified and placed in public domain many files relating to Netaji on this issue in the past, on several occasions, we had requested the Central Government to take further appropriate steps to give a conclusive picture to this matter,” her letter read.

“I would like to request for your kind personal intervention to see that the Central Government declares 23rd January, Netaji’s birthday, a National Holiday, and also takes appropriate steps to give a conclusive position to the issue relating to the disappearance of Netaji and unravel the truth by giving the people of the country and abroad the much-awaited opportunity to know what happened to their great leader – their inspiration and their passion,” she concluded.