Kolkata, March 6 IANS | 10 months ago

Nominated as a Trinamool Congress candidate for the Lok Sabha polls, renowned historian and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's grand nephew Sugata Bose Thursday said he would lay special emphasis on education as part of his campaign.

Describing 2014 as a "crucial" year in India's political timeline, Bose said he hoped to introduce a new thinking in the country through his participation in politics.

Bose, who would be trying his political luck from Jadavpur, incidentally would replace party rebel and famed musician Kabir Suman - who won in 2009.

"My campaigning will be at various levels ... including welfare activities for the Jadavpur residents. And since I am from the field of education, I will stress on education and I can make a difference there," Bose said.

The 57-year-old Harvard University professor, who has authored Netaji's biography "His Majesty's Opponent" iterated that he agreed to join politics in view of the present situation in India.

"It is highly doubtful if I would have joined politics if it were any other year. I saw Congress reaching its nadir. And the other alternative is centred around religious majoritarianism and is in favour of big business," he said.

"I felt it is important for me to contribute...even if a little...to the creation of a federal unity by uniting people of all religious and language backgrounds, and therefore this moment is very critical," he said.

Bose said he was "familiar" with the issues plaguing the residents of Jadavpur - that stretches from the outskirts of the city to the interior areas of neighbouring South 24 Parganas district - as his mother Krishna is a three time parliamentarian from the constituency.

"I have earlier campaigned for my mother. I also used to accompany her when she took up development initiatives for solving the problems of drinking water, sewerage etc," he said.

Bose's father, the late Sisir Kumar was the son of Netaji's elder brother Sarat Chandra. Sisir, a leading paediatrician, was a Congress legislator from Chowringhee for a term (1982-1987) before he quit the Congress and joined the Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress floated by Pranab Mukherjee.

In 1941, Sisir helped Netaji escape from the British, an incident marked as the 'Great Escape' in Indian history.

Considered close to Banerjee, Sugata Bose is also the chairman of the Mentor Group for Presidency University.

However, Bose made it clear that he would continue his academic pursuits.

"I am not quitting academics...you can't ever distance yourself away from reading and writing and that is my forte. If I can usher in a new thinking in the country then that would be good work.

"I will do a very positive campaign and I will try to express what I can do for the residents of Jadavpur and for the Bengalis...I will highlight issues concerning Bengal in Delhi," he said.

(Posted on 06-03-2014)

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