PM Modi unveiled the statue of Netaji Bose in Delhi’s Kartavya path on September 8 replacing King George V’s statue. The Rajpath was also renamed Kartavyapath. This is a welcome move towards decolonisation which the PM had emphasized in his independence day address.
The statue is 28 feet tall and has been carved out of a monolithic block of black granite weighing 280 metric tonnes. The granite was brought in from Telangana and the statue was completed in two months. The monument weighs 65 MT and 26000 man-hours of artistic effort were put in to create it. The team of sculptors was headed by Arun Yogiraj. It is a part of the Rs. 13450-crores Central Vista project that will house the new parliament building.
Netaji’s daughter Anita Bose-Pfaff expressed her gratitude and said it is of great symbolic value as colonial symbols were being replaced with important leaders of the freedom struggle. She was glad the freedom fighter’s name and memory were retained even though not much official recognition was given to his contribution to date.
On this occasion, she also wanted Netaji’s ashes presently in Tokyo’s Renkoji Temple to be brought back to Bharat. “I wish at least his remains return to his motherland and find a final resting place. I feel his remains should at least touch the soil of India and bring closure to the matter,” Anita said in her statement.
“I congratulate all the countrymen who are witnessing this historic moment. We are leaving behind the past and adding new colours to the picture of the future. King’s Way which was also called Raj Path was a symbol of slavery and it has become a past now. A new history is created in the form of the Kartavya Path. I congratulate all the countrymen for getting rid of another symbol of slavery in the Amrit Kaal which is the 75th year of independence”, the PM said in his address to the nation.
PM Modi added the country has established a strong and modern Bharat by installing Netaji’s statue in place of a symbol of slavery. Speaking of Netaji, the PM noted “Subhash Chandra Bose was such a great man who was beyond the challenge of position and resources. His acceptance was such that the whole world considered him a leader. He had courage and self-respect. He had ideas and vision. He had leadership ability and policies”.
During the ceremony, he also highlighted how the country got rid of colonial symbols such as British-era laws, the timing & date of the Indian budget, etc. He also pointed out that the National Education Policy will liberate the country’s youth from the compulsion of foreign languages.
He also said that the architecture and soul of Rajpath, a symbol of slavery, have been changed. “The Kartavya Path is not just a path of bricks and stones. This is the living path to India’s democratic past and all-time ideals”, PM Modi said.
Explaining the symbolism of Netaji’s statue, an Outlook India report quotes researcher and author Anuj Dhar:
The Congress governments had no intention of removing the statue of King George V from the canopy near the India Gate. This had to be forcibly removed in 1968, when agitated citizens threw stones at it, breaking its nose and ears, and placed Netaji’s pictures there. After this, successive governments floated proposals in the Parliament to install a statue of Gandhi there. This was even accepted by the Cabinet in 1993, but it never materialised.
In October 2015, the Mission Netaji team was invited by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his residence. He heard us and promised to do everything possible in his capacity to help find the truth and establish the legacy of Netaji. He has kept his word and since then a number of files/documents have been declassified by this government. However, there are still a lot of files that hold the key to the truth about Netaji’s death.
Recently, a new navy insignia was unveiled celebrating the country’s rich maritime heritage. The change in insignia is in keeping with the Bharatiya military’s policy of bringing decolonization through changes in military band tunes, pre-independence war honours, mess procedures, and emphasis on Bharatiya war heroes in military studies thereby indigenizing the armed forces and ensuring a connection with Bharat’s pre-colonial era.
(Featured Image Source: ANI)