Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose would have been proud to see that the country has become strong and is following his footsteps from the LoC to the LAC.

IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, at Victoria Memorial in Kolkata. Photograph: Ashok Bhaumik/PTI Photo

The Line of Control divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan, while the Line of Actual Control separates India and China.

The prime minister said that Netaji is the biggest source of inspiration for the dream of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (Self-reliant India) and ‘Sonar Bangla’ (Golden Bengal).


Netaji would have been proud that the government he dreamt of is fighting a pandemic with vaccines developed by it, and gave a befitting reply whenever its sovereignty was challenged, Modi said on the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji which was celebrated by the Centre as ‘Parakram Diwas’.

“I sometimes wonder how Netaji would have felt had he seen how a new and strong India is taking shape,” he said at a programme at the Victoria Memorial Hall in Kolkata.

“From the LAC to LoC, the world is witnessing a strong India that was once envisioned by Netaji. India today is giving a befitting reply wherever attempts are made to challenge its sovereignty,” he said.

IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee releases a book during 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, at Victoria Memorial. Photograph: Ashok Bhaumik/PTI Photo

Referring to the question that Netaji had asked his nephew Sisir Bose before his daring escape from house arrest, Modi said, “If today Indians place their hands on their hearts and feel Netaji’s presence, they will hear the same question: Will you do something for me? This task is to make India self-reliant.”

Noting that Netaji had identified poverty, illiteracy and diseases among the biggest problems of the country, he said the society will have to come together to solve these problems.

He said Atmanirbhar Bharat has to be led by Atmanirbhar Bengal and Sonar Bangla.

IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi releases a commemorative stamp during 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Photograph: Ashok Bhaumik/PTI Photo

“Bengal needs to play an important role in the quest for Aatmnirbhar Bharat, just like the role that Netaji played in the freedom of the country. Aatmnirbhar Bharat has to be led by Aatamnirbhar Bengal and Sonar Bangla,” he said.

Hailing Netaji as the embodiment of India’s power and inspiration, Modi said that the country has decided to celebrate the freedom fighter’s birth anniversary as ‘Parakram Diwas’ to honour his indomitable spirit and selfless service to the nation.

Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel said that Netaji ‘Dilli Chalo’ (March to Delhi) call had united the nation against the British Rule.

He said the freedom fighter’s life was marked by the spirit of search and quest.

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