‘Just As He Worked Hard for Freedom’, SC Junks Plea for Declaring Holiday on Netaji’s Birth Anniversary

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NEW DELHI — The Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain a plea seeking a direction to the Centre to declare Netaji Subash Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary on January 23 as a national holiday and to also build memorial halls and museums for him in New Delhi and other state capitals.

A bench headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and comprising Justice J.B. Pardiwala told the petitioner’s counsel that the best way to celebrate is by working hard, “just as he worked hard for freedom”.

The Chief Justice said this is a matter for the government of India to consider.

Addressing the lawyer, representing the petitioner K.K. Ramesh, he said: “What will the court do? Take jurisdiction of the court seriously. You are also a lawyer.”

Saying that “today is Children’s Day and we celebrate many other days like Buddha Purnima”, he asked “why not this?”

To this, the Chief Justice asked the counsel not to make a mockery of the PIL.

The counsel pressed he had approached the concerned authorities seeking the same relief but nothing has happened so far.

Dismissing the petition, the bench said the directions sought by the petitioner clearly falls in the domain of the executive policy.

Ramesh, a resident of Madurai, contended in the plea that Netaji had committed many sacrifices for India’s Independence and every Indian should not forget his famous slogans — “Delhi Chalo” and “Jai Hind”.

“But, the Indian government failed to honour him till today even though thousands of Indian National army men died for India’s Independence. The Indian government is always trying to hide the history of Netaji and nowadays young Indian students and people are not aware about the sacrifice of Netaji and his Indian National Army. In the world many countries including Japan honoured Netaji,” said the plea.

It further said that Netaji stood for unqualified Swaraj (self-governance), including the use of force against the British and this meant a confrontation with Mahatma Gandhi, who in fact opposed Bose’s presidency, splitting the Indian National Congress party.

“Bose attempted to maintain unity, but Gandhi advised Bose to form his own cabinet. The rift also divided Bose and Nehru. Bose appeared at the 1939 Congress meeting on a stretcher. He was elected president again over Gandhi’s preferred candidate Pattabhi Sitaramayya,” the plea added. — IANS

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