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Inclusion of Anita Pfaff in high-power panel irks Netaji’s kin, researchers

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By Soudhriti Bhabani

Kolkata, Jan 21 (IANS) At a time when the Centre has constituted a high-level committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, a section of Bose’s family and researchers are unhappy with the inclusion of Anita Bose Pfaff in the panel.

“Anita Pfaff is not an acceptable member in the birth celebrations committee. Her birth certificate does not mention Subhas Chandra Bose as father at all,” Rajyashree Chaudhuri, Netaji’s great grand niece, told IANS.

Chaudhuri said Pfaff has been manipulated into the Bose family, vide affidavit, by some family members and the Nehru government, as per the declassified files.

Anita Bose Pfaff is a German economist and the only daughter of Subhas Chandra Bose and Emilie Schenkl. She has previously been a professor at the University of Augsburg as well as a politician in the Social Democratic Party in Germany.

“She or her guardian, the so called wife Frau Emilie Schenkl, never came before any inquiry committee or commission on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose,” she said.

According to Chaudhary, all natural instincts of being the daughter of Netaji are absent in her and she is only interested in Netaji being declared and in the air crash on August 18, 1945 and bring back the ‘ashes’ from the Renkoji Temple in Tokyo.

“The Renkoji Temple was gutted to ashes in September 1989. From where the so called ashes reappeared? How it survived the fire,” Netaji’s kin questioned.

The high-level committee on Netaji will decide on the activities for a year-long commemoration beginning January 23. The members of the committee include distinguished citizens, historians, authors, experts, family members of Bose, as well as eminent persons associated with the Azad Hind Fauj.

The committee will lend guidance to the commemoration activities in Delhi, Kolkata and other places associated with Netaji and the Azad Hind Fauj, both in India as well as overseas, a statement issued by the Union Ministry of Culture said.

“If this 125th birth celebrations committee is to establish all these false things, then we will protest and bring about a people’s revolt against the committee and its programmes,” Chaudhari said.

“Only celebrations will not help. The committee needs to take action towards a positive direction if it really wants to honour Bose. Unfortunately, it has not included any Netaji researcher on the occasion of commemorating his 125th birth anniversary. But inclusion of Anita Pfaff into the body is absolutely questionable as she has no valid proof to be recognised as Netaji’s daughter,” said noted Netaji researcher Jayanta Chowdhury.

Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote a letter to the Centre demanding that January 23 be declared a national holiday in the memory of the founder of the Azad Hind Fauj. She also demanded that the Centre should declassify all the files related to Bose.




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