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Left buries hatchet with Netaji - The Economic Times

Ritwik Mukherjee ()
11 December 1996

Title : Left buries hatchet with Netaji
Author : Ritwik Mukherjee
Publication : The Economic Times
Date : December 11, 1996

As in love and war, every-thing is fair in politics too.
In politics, it does not really matter if someone is
rejected outright as an untouchable at one point of time
and then given, say a 21-gun salute a few years down the
line. That is exactly the case with the Indian Communists
regarding their attitude towards Netaji Subhash Chandra

Notwithstanding the derogatory remarks that the undivided
Communist Party of India had used against Subhash Bose
during his lifetime, the Communist Party of India (Marx-
ist) (CPI(M)), which is today the largest rump of that
undivided party, is now gearing up in its own special way
to celebrate the birth centenary of the fierce patriot.

And as public memory is truly very short, the CPI(M) is
definitely much better placed than the Centre in the game
of oneupmanship with regard to Netaji's birth centenary

Perhaps to make up for their past mistakes, the ruling
Left Front has drawn up a grand eleven-point programme
featuring a sonet lumiere, an international cricket fest
and a permanent exhibition to celebrate the revolutionary
freedom fighter's birth centenary.

The state government in collaboration with Philips India,
is at present working round the clock to put together the
sonet lumiere, the second of its kind in Calcutta after
the one at Victoria Memorial, on the life and works of
Bose at the historic Eden Gardens compound.

This will be formally dedicated to the nation by the
veteran Communist leader and the West Bengal chief min-
ister, Mr Jyoti Basu, on January 23. Eminent Bengali
writer Sunil Ganguly has been assigned to compose the

The state government, as usual a late-starter, does not
think the sonet lumiere will be complete by January 23
and proposes to make it fully operational by October 21,
the Azad Hind Government day.

During the course of the year-long Netaji birth centenary
celebration, the state government and the celebration
committee plans to start an international cricket tourna-
ment in Calcutta to be christened Netaji Gold Cup. The
detailed schedule of the tournament is yet to be worked

The state government will also put up a permanent exhibi-
tion complex on Netaji's life and works somewhere in
Calcutta and illuminate all historic buildings in Calcut-
ta on Bose's birthday.

The state public works department (PWD) has been given
necessary instructions in this regard. It has also urged
all chambers of commences to organise illumination of
corporate offices in Calcutta.

These apart, the Left Front cabinet has,asked its educa-

tion department to incorporate the life and writings of
the national hero into the syllabus as compulsory sub-

Meanwhile, the Forward Bloc central committee has urged
the West Bengal government to allot 2 bighas of land near
the Vidyasagar Setu (second Hooghly Bridge) to build up a
Netaji Centenary Bhawan, particularly for national and
international research scholars. As many as 190 veteran
INA cadres will also be feliciated by the state govern-
ment on this occasion at the Mahajati Sadan on February

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