Netaji Statue Replacing King George’s at India Gate Has ‘Great Symbolic Value’: Daughter Anita Bose-Pfaff

Welcoming the unveiling of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s statue in New Delhi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, the revolutionary’s daughter Anita Bose-Pfaff said the statue, which will be replacing King George V, is of great symbolic value to India’s freedom struggle.

“Netaji’s statue will be replacing King George V’s statue, it is of great symbolic value that India has moved to place one of important leaders of freedom struggle at such place where once colonial powers once rested,” she told ANI news agency.

The canopy of India Gate, standing on four columns of the Delhi Order devised by Sir Edwin Lutyens, had been lying empty since the statue of the king was removed in 1968.

Bose-Pfaff, who had earlier said she won’t be able to attend the programme, said she is glad that Netaji’s name and memory was retained after decades as his role in the independence struggle was not “officially recognised much.”(I’m) Glad Indian countrymen retained his name and memory after so many decades. People remember him even when his role in the independence struggle was not really, officially recognised so much. But he played an important role in forming India.”

The remarks are similar to PM Modi’s statement during the inauguration ceremony of Kartavya Path, the stretch of road from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate earlier known as Rajpath. He said that Kingsway or Rajpath, a symbol of slavery, has now been consigned to history and has been erased forever. “If India had followed path shown by Subhas Chandra Bose, then country would have reached a new high; sadly he was forgotten,” he said.

Bose-Pfaff further said while Netaji could not set foot in free India due to his demise, she hopes the ashes at Renkoji Temple, which she claimed is of her father, are brought back to India. “He could not set foot in free India. I wish at least his remains return to his motherland and find a final resting place… Documentation is proof that he died on Aug 18, 1945 in plane crash in present-day Taiwan. I hope his ashes are brought back to the country.”

In a statement, she had earlier expressing gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the unveiling of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s statue. “I am gratified to note that a statue of my father, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, will be unveiled on September 8 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and will occupy pride of place in New Delhi,” Bose-Pfaff,” she had said.

She also urged political parties in the country to work for bringing the ashes at Tokyo’s Renkoji Temple to India. “It was my father’s ambition to experience a free India. Tragically his untimely death denied him this wish. I feel his remains should at least touch the soil of India and bring closure to the matter,” she said in a statement.

“Therefore, I appeal to the people of India and to all Indian political parties to unite in an apolitical and bipartisan manner to bring my father’s mortal remains to India,” she added.

(With inputs from PTI)

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