“BJP and RSS are rightists, and Netaji was a leftist”: Netaji’s Daughter
On the 126th anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, which comes on Monday, Anita Bose-Pfaff, Netaji’s daughter, has said that the RSS’s plan to commemorate her father’s birth anniversary in the city on January 23 is being made to “partially exploit” his legacy.
My humble homage & tributes to the greatest son of Bharatmata Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose on his birth anniversary.His indomitable spirit & unforgettable deeds are ever inspiring for all Indians.The memorial (Moirang) is a pilgrimage centre of modern India.
-Dattatreya Hosabale pic.twitter.com/Ti9xZQAQal
— RSS (@RSSorg) January 23, 2023
She claimed that the secularism and inclusiveness espoused by the nationalist leader and RSS are “poles apart and do not coincide.” According to Bose-Pfaff, Congress has more ideological similarities with Netaji than any other party in the nation.
At the public ceremony organised in the city to honour Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat will give a speech.
According to Bose-Pfaff, The BJP and RSS do not reflect Netaji’s ideology of respect for all religions. He was a devoted Hindu but also believed and had respect for other faiths. He was in favour of productive cooperation between members of different religions, she said. “RSS and BJP do not necessarily reflect this attitude … If you want to put a simple label, they are rightists, and Netaji was a leftist,” she told PTI.
“From what I hear about the RSS ideology, I agree that it and Netaji’s ideology are poles apart. The two value systems do not coincide. It would certainly be good if the RSS wanted to embrace Netaji’s ideals and ideas. Many different groups want to celebrate Netaji’s birthday in different ways, and a number of them necessarily agree with his ideas,” Bose-Pfaff told PTI in a telephonic interview from Germany, where she lives. She agreed that the fanfare over the celebration of her father’s birth anniversary is to “partially exploit his legacy”.
In response to a question on Netaji’s views on the RSS, she said, “I don’t know any quote (of Netaji) which I can give you. He may have made critical statements about RSS members. I know what his (Netaji’s) views are about RSS. The two value systems do not coincide. RSS and Netaji’s ideology of secularism do not coincide with each other,” she said.
Speaking on the recent pomp and fanfare over Netaji’s birth anniversary celebrations, she lauded the BJP-led government at the Centre for taking a “lot of initiatives” to honour him. “This has two aspects. After Independence, the official Congress stand on Netaji was reserved and not shared by all Congressmen. It wanted to keep the narrative that only the civil disobedience movement led to the country’s freedom. But after Netaji files were declassified, we learned that Indian National Army (INA) played a very key role in it,” she said.
On the second aspect, Pfaff wondered whether BJP would have honoured Netaji if he had held divergent views from that of the present-day government. “The BJP has made a lot of effort to honour Netaji. With any politician, you must first allow them to look at their interests. If Netaji were alive today and held a different view from the government’s, then the BJP would not have honoured him. So (in this case) it is their interest that is served,” she said.
Ahead of the 2021 assembly elections, the Trinamool Congress and BJP fought to claim Netaji’s legacy on the 125th anniversary of his birth. 64 files on the leader held by the home department were made public in 2015 by the West Bengal government.
The following year, the Narendra Modi government at the Centre publicly filed 100 files about him. The Center established three inquiry bodies after India gained Independence to solve the mystery of Netaji’s disappearance.
Two of them, the Shah Nawaz Commission and the Khosla Commission, were established by the Congress regimes and concluded that Bose passed away on August 18, 1945, in an aeroplane crash shortly after taking off from Taiwan’s Taihoku Airport. The third one — the Mukherjee Commission formed by the BJP-led NDA government said he did not.