“Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and his many feats of military and political courage live on,” said Indian High Commissioner to the UK Vikram Doraiswami in his address following floral tributes to a portrait of Netaji in the Gandhi Hall of India House in London – to mark the 126th birth anniversary of the legendary freedom fighter this week.
He said: “The museum in his memory is Calcutta is well worth visiting to see the courage, daring and enterprise that he displayed in escaping from custody in house arrest, his extraordinary journey through India, his efforts to mobilise an army including prisoners of war – all of this is the stuff of legend.
“His message essentially was to reject the idea that had been imposed upon us since 1857, that the people of our subcontinent were largely not a martial race, that Indians couldn’t actually fight… Netaji showed that was not true.”
The birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, marked the world over on January 23 as Parakram Diwas, involved moving tributes and a special diaspora portrait exhibition in London. Hosted by the Indian High Commission, community leaders and members of the British Bengali diaspora gathered to pay homage to Netaji.
‘Sangram’, an exhibition made up of portraits of revolutionaries who fought in the Indian freedom struggle drawn by members of the Indian diaspora from around the world, was displayed by Heritage Bengal Global to mark the occasion.
A lecture by journalist and historian, Dr Vijay Rana, took the audience through the key moments in Netaji’s military campaign for India’s independence.
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The commemorative event also involved patriotic music by the Bengal Heritage Foundation, including the moving INA battle anthem of ‘Kadam, Kadam’ and concluding with the Indian National Anthem 'Jana Gana Mana'.