Mamata celebrates Netaji birth anniversary in Darjeeling
The West Bengal government, for the first time, celebrated legendary freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's birth anniversary outside the state capital, in Darjeeling in north Bengal.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee led the programme from the Mall in Darjeeling, amid a gathering of stars from the Bengal film industry and members of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).
Saluting Netaji on his 117th birth annivesary, she said: "Darjeeling has always been neglected. We wanted to reverse that. So, we organised today's function here. Despite being such a great freedom fighter, Netaji remains in oblivion. We are paying him a small tribute. We can't forget his contributions."
"He went out of the country to fight for our independence but he never came back. That grief still persists. No one has any clue whether he is alive or not. Such people can never die," said the Trinamool Congress supremo.
Artists and celebrities participated in various cultural programmes to mark the day. Singer Nachiketa, and actors Dev and Mimi Chakraborty regaled residents of the hilly region.
Also present were Bose's family members, Sugato and Sumantra Bose, great-grandnephews of the leader.
"I am being referred to as Netaji's family member. But for him, the entire country was his family," Sugato Bose said.
Banerjee reiterated her commitment to Netaji's ideology of working with unity. She said: "I want to make a commitment on the birth anniversary of Netaji. Till my last breath, I will work for the people and keep Bengal united."
(Posted on 23-01-2014)