Kolkata: Daughter of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Emilie Schenkl, Anita Bose Pfaff welcomed Monday the Centre’s announcement to form a high level committee to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of the nationalist leader in 2022. Anita Bose Pfaff in a statement expressed happiness that members of Bose family have been invited to the committee to join experts and members of Indian National Army (INA) which had been founded by Netaji.
This committee will be chaired by the Union Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah. It will meet and decide on a one-year long programme to mark the occasion.
“On behalf of the family of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, we join the people of India in welcoming the recent announcement by the Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi of the formation of a High Level Committee to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji on 23 January 2022,” Pfaff said.
The 78-year-old German economist expressed happiness that the committee will guide commemoration activities not only in India but also in South East Asia, Germany and Japan, places where Netaji went in the quest for India’s freedom.
Pfaff also hailed other recent initiatives by the government of India, including the release of classified files on Netaji which was a long-standing demand by the Bose family. She also welcomed the inauguration of a museum dedicated to Netaji at Red Fort at Delhi on his birthday. She pointed out that 2021-22 also marked the 80th anniversary of some events in Germany during 1941-4 connected with Netaji.
Pfaff referred to a meeting of the Indo-German Association on September 11, 1942 in Hamburg where the song ‘Jana Gana Mana’ was played for the first time as the Indian National Anthem, introduction of the salutation ‘Jai Hind’ by Indian Legion in Germany in 1941 and Subhas Chandra Bose being hailed as Netaji for the first time.
“The family of Netaji looks forward to a celebration of the life of a man who was hailed by Mahatma Gandhi as the ‘Patriot of Patriots’ who fought for an independent and united India. He had a great vision for India where privileges based on birth, caste, religion or gender would not continue to exist and where equal opportunities would be thrown open to all,” Pfaff said.