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130 crore Indians will always be indebted to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose for his contributions: PM
Netaji gave new direction to the dream of independent India: PM Modi
Netaji is embodiment of India's might and inspiration: PM Modi

Jai Hind!

Jai Hind!

Jai Hind!

The Governor of West Bengal, Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar ji, Chief Minister of West Bengal, Sister Mamata Banerjee ji, my colleagues in the Cabinet, Shri Prahlad Patel ji and Shri Babul Supriyo ji, the close relatives of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, the brave members of the Azad Hind Fauj who have enhanced the pride of India, their kin, the luminaries of the art and literary world present here and my brothers and sisters from this great land of Bengal,

My arrival in Kolkata today is a very emotional moment for me. Since childhood, whenever I heard this name, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, it permeated a new energy in me, no matter in which situation I was. Such a towering personality that words fall short to describe him! He had such a deep foresight that one has to take several births to comprehend it. He had so much morale and courage even in a formidable situation that the world's greatest challenge also could not deter him. I bow down to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and salute him. And I salute the mother, Prabhadevi Ji, who gave birth to Netaji. Today, that hallowed day is completing 125 years. On this day 125 years ago, the brave son who gave a new direction to the dream of a free India was born in the lap of Mother Bharati. On this day, in the darkness of slavery, a consciousness rose and stood in front of the world's greatest power and said, "I will not ask you for freedom, I will take away freedom." On this day, Netaji Subhas was not born alone, but India's new self-pride was born; India's new military prowess was born. Today, on the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji, I salute this great man on behalf of the grateful nation.

Friends,

Today, I respectfully salute this virtuous land of Bengal for making the child Subhas into Netaji, and chiseling his life with austerity, sacrifice and forbearance. The great men like Gurudev Shri Rabindranath Tagore, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, Sharad Chandra have infused this virtuous land with the spirit of patriotism. Saints like Swami Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Aurobindo, Maa Sharda, Ma Anandamayi, Swami Vivekananda, Sree Sree Thakur Anukulchandra have made this revered land supernatural with asceticism, service and spirituality. Many social reformers like Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Guruchand Thakur, Harichand Thakur, the pioneers of social reform, have laid the foundation for new reforms in the country from this sacred land. Jagadish Chandra Bose, P C Ray, S N Bose and Meghnad Saha and countless scientists have irrigated this virtuous land with knowledge and science. It is the same sacred land which has also given national anthem to the country, and also the national song. The same land introduced us with Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, Syama Prasad Mookerjee and our beloved Bharat Ratna Pranab Mukherjee. I also bow down at the feet of such millions of great personalities of this land on this holy day.

Friends,

Earlier, I visited the National Library, where an international conference and artist camp on Netaji's legacy is being organised. I experienced how much energy everyone is filled with when they hear Netaji's name as if this energy of Netaji's life is connected with their inner mind! His energy, the ideals, his austerity, his sacrifice is a great inspiration for every youth of the country. Today, when India is moving ahead with Netaji's inspiration, it is our duty that we remember his contribution all the time. It should be remembered generation by generation. Therefore, the country has decided to celebrate Netaji's 125 birth anniversary with historic and unprecedented grandeur events. Since morning today, various programmes are being held in every nook and corner of the country. As part of this, a commemorative coin and a postage stamp have been issued in memory of Netaji today. A book on Netaji's letters has also been released. An exhibition and project mapping show on Netaji’s life is starting at Kolkata in Bengal, which has been his ‘karmabhoomi’.  The 'Howrah-Kalka Mail', which runs from Howrah, has also been renamed as Netaji Express. The country has also decided that we will celebrate Netaji's birth anniversary, i.e., 23rd January as 'Parakram Diwas' (Bravery Day) every year. Our Netaji is also a model of India's valour and inspiration. Today, when the country is heralding the 75th year of its independence, when the country is moving ahead with the resolution of Atmanirbhar Bharat, Netaji's life, his every work, his every decision is a great inspiration for all of us. There was nothing impossible for a steely-willed personality like him. He went abroad and shook the consciousness of Indians living outside the country, strengthening the Azad Hind Fauj for freedom. He made people from every caste, religion and region soldiers of the country. In the era when the world was discussing the general rights of women, Netaji included women and formed the ‘Rani Jhansi Regiment’. He trained the army soldiers for modern warfare, gave them the spirit to live for the country, gave them the purpose of dying for the country. Netaji said “भारोत डाकछे। रोकतो डाक दिए छे रोक्तो के। ओठो, दाड़ांओ आमादेर नोष्टो करार मतो सोमोय नोय। i.e., “India is calling. Blood is calling for blood. Arise! Stand up. We have no time to lose.”

Friends,

Only Netaji could give such a confident war cry. And after all, he also showed that the empire, where the sun never set, could be defeated by the brave soldiers of India on the battlefield. He had taken a pledge to lay the foundation of the independent government of India on the land of free India. Netaji also fulfilled his promise. He came to Andaman with his soldiers and unfurled the Tricolour. He went there and paid tributes to those freedom fighters who were tortured by the British and were given the harshest punishment. That government was the first independent government of a unified India. Netaji was the first head of the Azad Hind government of a unified India. And it is my privilege to preserve that first glimpse of freedom and we named the island of Andaman, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island in 2018. In keeping in line with the emotions of the country, the files pertaining to Netaji were also made public by our government. It was the privilege of our government that the INA veterans attended the January 26 parade. Today, this event is also being attended by the brave sons and daughters of the country who were in the Azad Hind Fauj. I bow down to you again and say that the country is and will always be grateful to you.

Friends,

In 2018, the country celebrated the 75 years of the Azad Hind government with the same fanfare. The country also launched Subhas Chandra Bose Disaster Management Awards in the same year. Netaji's dream of unfurling the flag at the Red Fort by giving a slogan “Delhi is not far away” was fulfilled by the country by unfurling the flag at the Red Fort.

Brothers and sisters,

When I hoisted the flag at the Red Fort by wearing the cap of the Azad Hind Fauj, I placed it on my forehead. So much was going inside me at that time. There were many questions and things and there was a different feeling. I was thinking of Netaji, thinking about the countrymen. For whom did he take risk throughout his life? The answer is it was for us and you. For whom did he fast for several days -- for you and us? For whom did he go to jail for months – for you and us? Who can he be to make a daring escape despite the mighty British Empire after him? For whom did he risk his life and made rounds of embassies in Kabul for several weeks – for us and you? During the World War when the relations between countries were swinging every moment, why was he going to every country and seeking support for India? So that India can be liberated, we and you can breathe in a free India. Each and every Indian is indebted to Netaji Subhas Babu. Every drop of blood flowing in the body of more than 130 crore Indians is indebted to Netaji Subhas. How will we repay this debt? Will we ever be able to repay this debt?

Friends,

When Netaji Subhas was imprisoned in his 38/2, Elgin Road, house here in Kolkata, he had decided to flee India. He called his nephew Shishir and said, "Can you do one thing for me? Then Shishir ji did something which became one of the biggest reasons for India's independence. Netaji realized that the British Empire would be hit the hardest if it was hurt from outside during the World War. He could foresee that the British power would wane and its grip on India would loosen if the World War prolonged. This was his vision, his foresightedness. I was reading somewhere that at the same time; he had also sent his niece Ila to Dakshineswar temple to seek the mother's blessings. He wanted to get out of the country immediately, to unite the pro-India powers outside the country. Therefore, he had told the young Shishir: “Can you do one thing for me?”

Friends,

Today, every Indian should put his hand on his heart and feel Netaji Subhas, and he will again hear the question – Can you do one thing for me? This job, this goal is making India self-reliant today. Every individual and region of the country is associated with it. Netaji said, पुरुष, ओर्थो एवं उपोकरण निजेराई बिजोय बा साधिनता आंते पारे ना. आमादेर अबोशोई सेई उद्देश्यो शोकति थाकते होबे जा आमादेर साहोसिक काज एवंम बीरतपुरनो शोसने उदबुधो कोरबे. i.e., we should have the purpose and power that inspires us to govern in a courageous and heroic manner. Today, we also have the objective and the power too. Our goal of Atmanirbhar Bharat will be fulfilled by our ability and our self-determination. Netaji said: “आज आमादेर केबोल एकटी इच्छा थाका उचित – भारोते ईच्छुक जाते, भारोते बांचते पारे। i.e., “Today, we should have the only desire that our India could survive and move forward.” We also have the same goal. We live for the country by sweating your blood and make the country self-reliant with our diligence and innovations. Netaji used to say, “निजेर प्रोती शात होले सारे बिस्सेर प्रोती केउ असोत होते पारबे ना’ i.e., “If you are true to yourself, you cannot be wrong to the world.” We have to make the best quality products for the world, nothing inferior, and it should be Zero Defect- Zero Effect products. Netaji told us: “स्वाधीन भारोतेर स्वोप्ने कोनो दिन आस्था हारियो ना। बिस्से एमुन कोनो शोक्ति नेई जे भारोत के पराधीनांतार शृंखलाय बेधे राखते समोर्थों होबे” i.e., “Never lose confidence in the dream of a free India. There is no power in the world that can bind India.” Indeed, there is no power in the world that can prevent 130 crore countrymen from making their India a self-reliant India.

Friends,

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose counted poverty, illiteracy, disease as the biggest problems in the country. He used to say, ‘आमादेर शाब्छे बोरो जातियो समस्या होलो, दारिद्रो अशिकखा, रोग, बैज्ञानिक उत्पादोन। जे समस्यार समाधान होबे, केबल मात्रो सामाजिक भाबना-चिन्ता दारा” i.e., “Our biggest problem is poverty, illiteracy, disease and lack of scientific production. To solve these problems, the society has to be together, to make concerted efforts.” I am satisfied that today the country is making painstaking efforts to empower the aggrieved, exploited, deprived, farmers, and women of the country. Today, every poor person is getting free treatment. The farmers of the country are being given modern facilities from seeds to markets. Efforts are being made to reduce their expenditure on farming. The education infrastructure of the country is being modernized to ensure modern and quality education for every youth. A large number of institutes like AIIMS, IITs and IIMs have been set up across the country. Today, the country is also implementing a new national education policy in accordance with the needs of the 21st century.

Friends,

I often think of how Netaji would feel seeing the changes that are taking place in the country today, the shape India is taking. How would he feel seeing his county becoming self-reliant in the world's most modern technologies? How would he feel seeing India making its name in the big companies all over the world, in education and in the medical sector? Today, modern aircraft like Rafael are also with the Indian Army, and India is also making sophisticated aircraft like Tejas. How would he feel seeing that the army of his country is so powerful today and is getting modern weapons that he wanted? How would he feel seeing India battling such a huge epidemic and developing modern scientific solutions like vaccines? How proud would he have felt seeing India helping other countries of the world by giving medicines? In whatever form Netaji is seeing us, he is giving us blessings and his affection. The world is watching the strong India that he imagined from LAC to LOC. India is giving a befitting reply today wherever an attempt was made to challenge India's sovereignty.

Friends,

There is so much to speak about Netaji that several nights would pass talking about him. All of us, especially the youth, get to learn so much from the life of great personalities like Netaji. But one more thing that impresses me a lot is the relentless effort for one’s goal. During World War, when fellow countries were facing defeat and surrendering, the substance of what Netaji said to their colleagues was that other countries might have surrendered, but not us. His ability to realize his resolutions was unique. He kept the Bhagavad Gita with him and was inspired by it. If he was convinced of something, he would go to any extent to accomplish it. He has taught us that, even if an idea is not very simple, not ordinary, even if there are difficulties, one should not be afraid to innovate. If you believe in something, you must show the courage to start it. Once you may feel that you are flowing against the stream, but if your goal is sacred, you should not hesitate. He showed that if you are dedicated to your far-reaching goals, you are bound to get success.

Friends,

Netaji Subhas is also the biggest inspiration of Sonar Bangla along with the dream of Atmanirbhar Bharat. The role that Netaji played in the country's independence today is the same role West Bengal has to play in the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign. The Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign is also to be led by self-reliant Bengal and Sonar Bangla. Bengal must come forward; enhance its pride and that of the country. Like Netaji, we also don't have to stop until we achieve our goals. May all of you are successful in your efforts and resolutions! On this auspicious occasion, let us move forward to realize the dreams of Netaji with your blessings from this sacred land. With this spirit, I thank you all. Jai Hind, Jai Hind, Jai Hind!

Many many thanks!

Modi Govt's #7YearsOfSeva
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September 28, 2021
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