On October 21, 2018, PM Narendra Modi, breaking all precedents, visited the Red Fort, Delhi and hoisted the Tricolor. The October 21 1943 clarion call of ‘Dili Chalo !!’ by Netaji, had been accomplished on October 21, 2018. The same was a highly emotional day.
Strong nations celebrate their date of declaration of independence. Most of the youngsters who make use of the internet are well aware of the fact that July 4 is the independence day of the USA.
However, very few are aware that July 4 is not the date when the British left the USA; in fact 4th of July is the date when a few learned men / women of USA declared that they shall be independent of the British rule.
On October 21, 1943, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had established the first Government of free united India, the provisional Government of Azad Hind or Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind, in Singapore.
Government back then was internationally recognised by several countries; it had its own bank, its own embassies , its own currency , its own army and every possible thing which a Government ought to have.
Under the provisional Government, Netaji was the PM and the Minister for war/ foreign affairs Captain Lakshmi headed the women’s organisation while SA Ayer headed the publicity wing. Revolutionary leader Rash Behari Bose was designated as the supreme adviser. In 1968 the then Minister attached to PM of India Nandini Satpathy had ensured that the Silver Jubilee of Azad Hind Government be marked with a commemorative postage stamp as well as with a mini memorial at Moirang where the last battle for Independence of India had been fought by the valorous men and women of Azad Hind Fauj.
Unfortunately not much was done in subsequent five decades to remember this glorious past of India, till October 21, 2018.
A petition with the President of India as well as with the Prime Minister to set the records correct reads: August 15, 1947 witnessed the murder, rape, loot and misery of hundreds of thousands. The decision of partition compelled several to become refugees in their own country, be it in Pakistan or in India.
August 15 is not a happy day, thus why must it be celebrated? What July 4 is to USA, October 21 is to India. Our declaration of Independence Day is ‘October 21’ and should we be a strong nation we ought to commemorate this date instead.
(The writer is a sociopolitical leader. He is the chairman of SNSMT and a lead member of the movement for declassification of the Netaji files. He can be found on Facebook and Twitter @SuparnoSatpathy )