Society Magazine

Nation's Pride - Nethaji Stands at India Gate - Today Hologram .. .. Sooner in Granite !!

Posted on the 23 January 2022 by Sampathkumar Sampath

Day 23rd Jan 2022 – Venue :  Delhi and a great moment to cherish – a technological one at that !!

Nation's pride - Nethaji stands at India Gate - today hologram .. .. sooner in granite !!

Ever heard of or know the significance of “Third Anglo-Afghan War” aka   the British-Afghan War of 1919 that began on 6 May 1919, when the Emirate of Afghanistan invaded British India and ended with an armistice on 8 August 1919. The war resulted in a treaty with the Afghans gaining independence and control of foreign affairs from Britain, and the British recognising the Durand line as the border between Afghanistan and British India.. .. also ever wondered the relevance of that war, and some other skirmishes in  France, Flanders, Mesopotamia, Persia, East Africa, Gallipoli and elsewhere in the Near and the Far East !!!

Holography is a technique that enables a wavefront to be recorded and later re-constructed. Holography is best known as a method of generating three-dimensional images, a  hologram is made by superimposing a second wavefront (normally called the reference beam) on the wavefront of interest, thereby generating an interference pattern which is recorded on a physical medium. When only the second wavefront illuminates the interference pattern, it is diffracted to recreate the original wavefront. Holograms can also be computer-generated by modelling the two wavefronts and adding them together digitally.  I did not understand much – yet the moment is of monumental significance !

The 28 feet-by-6 feet hologram statue is powered by a 30,000 lumens 4K projector. The light is thrown on a high-grain, 90 per cent transparent holographic screen that is not visible to visitors. It is one of the great freedom fighter ‘NETHAJI SUBHAS CHANDRA BOSE’.  Our beloved Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji unveiled it today, stating that sooner  it  will be replaced by a granite statue.  The hologram statue is a placeholder until a granite statue is installed at the site.  Shri  Modi said: "It is unfortunate that after Independence, along with the culture and rites of the country, work was done to erase the contribution of many great personalities." He added, "The freedom struggle involved the penance of lakhs of countrymen. But efforts were made to limit their history as well. But today, after decades of independence, the country is correcting those mistakes".

Nation's pride - Nethaji stands at India Gate - today hologram .. .. sooner in granite !!

Give Me Blood! I Promise You Freedom!!   The British are engaged in a worldwide struggle and in the course of this struggle they have suffered defeat after defeat on so many fronts. The enemy having been thus considerably weakened, our fight for liberty has become very much easier than it was five years ago. Such a rare and God-given opportunity comes once in a century. That is why we have sworn to fully utilise this opportunity for liberating our motherland from the British yoke.  The first phase of our campaign is over. Our victorious troops, fighting side by side with Nipponese troops, have pushed back the enemy and are now fighting bravely on the sacred soil of our dear motherland.

Nation's pride - Nethaji stands at India Gate - today hologram .. .. sooner in granite !!

Movie is only a form of entertainment, yet there are some films / some scenes that move us. Shankar directed ‘Indian’ [Bharatheeyudu] was a good film.  To many the hero was not the young Kamal but the older Indian Senapathy. The flashback in black & white was really moving taking us to older days, especially the footage of the great Nethaji Subash Chandra Bose.  The story shows Senapathi as a young valiant fighter joining  Bose’s army with the full support of his wife Amirthavalli. The handful of Nation’s soil to be smeared on forehead daily is poetic.  Senapathi gets captured,  survives the brutalities and comes to back in free India riddled with corruption, and he fights that !!

Nation's pride - Nethaji stands at India Gate - today hologram .. .. sooner in granite !!

On Sept 16th, 1985, in a dilapidated house in Faizabad, formerly the capital of Oudh province in India, a reclusive holy man known as Bhagwanji or Gumnami Baba (‘the saint with no name’) breathed his last. Locals had long suspected that he was none other than Subhas Chandra Bose (1897-1945),  the greatest revolutionary  who raised an independent army against the British Empire seeking  total independence for India. The Second World War had enabled him to practice what he preached and his Indian National Army  fought with the Japanese in Burma attempting to drive the British out of the subcontinent.  Sadly, his death has remained mysterious.  Nethaji was reported killed in an air crash in August 1945, while trying to escape to the Soviet Union, many believed then and continue to believe now that, helped by his Japanese allies, he faked his death, reached Russia and returned to India many years later to lead the secret life of a hermit.

The man, the rebel with a cause, for sure was brilliant, innovative and out of the box – in 1942, in Berlin,  – six months after Adolf Hitler had assured Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose that he could travel to Japan, he was still stuck in Germany. It was at that time,  Emilie Schenkl gave birth to their daughter, Anita. But duty beckoned the warrior. On February 8, 1943, Bose bade them farewell and boarded a German U-180 boat. He would not see them again.

One man who has left the most indelible impression on India – as fighter par excellence, a great martyr, a man who could have shaped the destiny of India - certainly ‘Nethaji Subash Chandra Bose’ and the Nation remembers him today ..

Train 12311/ 12312 runs 1743 kms for 32 hr 10 mins from Howrah – Kalka is  named as ‘Netaji Express’ after the great Subhash Chandra Bose.   The train first operated in the year 1866 and it has been in service of the nation for more than 150 years.   It is said that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose took this train from Gomoh under Dhanbad district to escape from the British administration 80 years ago.

A Nation must remember its martyrs who gave its freedom.  We became independent in 1947 and 73  years have rolled since.   There have been many unsung heroes – slowly we are losing generation which fought or witnessed the Freedom struggle ~ sometimes the news that we read in media about them are heart-rending.  After their first defeat at the hands of British in 1757, there arose many instances  when Indian patriots formed groups and fought hard and bitter battles exhibiting selfless sacrifice.  Alongside hundreds of Velu Thampi, Peshwa Baji Rao, Sardar Shyam Sing, Rani Laximibhai, Tantia Tope, Maharaj of Dumraon, Nana Sahib, there are many hundreds hidden whose exploits, history did not record or were neglected by the British historians and later partisan historians. .. towering among them all would be ‘Nethaji Subash Chandra Bose’.  Ever since India attained freedom and PM addressed the Nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort in August 1947 – there have been Congress politicians and most of the heroes never received the attention and mention they deserved.

Nation's pride - Nethaji stands at India Gate - today hologram .. .. sooner in granite !!

History records that Subash Bose, whose success in Indian National Congress was not accepted by Mahatma Gandhi had their last face-to-face meeting and ‘long conversation’ in June 1940 before Subhas’s imprisonment and daring escape. Subhas made ‘a passionate appeal to Mahatma to come forward and launch his campaign of passive resistance’. Gandhi was ‘ non-committal’ because he felt ‘the country was not prepared for a fight’.

Interestingly, do you know that he was conferred with Bharat Ratna but the award was subsequently withdrawn. The award was established by the first President of India, Rajendra Prasad, on Jan 2, 1954. The original statutes did not make allowance for posthumous awards but later added in 1955 statute. Subsequently, there have been  posthumous awards, including the award to Subhash Chandra Bose in 1992, which was later withdrawn due to a legal technicality, the only case of an award being withdrawn. It was withdrawn in response to a Supreme Court of India directive following a Public Interest Litigation filed in the Court against the “posthumous” nature of the award. The Award Committee could not give conclusive evidence of Bose’s death and thus it invalidated the “posthumous” award. 

After the Union Home Ministry declassified files of Nethaji kept with National Archives – the files did throw open some dirty secret. For two decades, between 1948 and 1968, the government placed the Bose family members under intensive surveillance. Sleuths intercepted, read and recorded letters of the family of a freedom fighter who was Nehru's political co-worker for 25 years. IB sleuths discreetly tailed family members as they traveled around India and abroad, recording in minute detail who they met and what they discussed. The surveillance was exactly as it would be today on a wanted terrorist's family-rigorous, methodical yet unobtrusive. The revelations have shocked the Bose family. "Surveillance is conducted on those who have committed a crime or have terrorist links. Netaji and his family fought for the freedom of the country, why should they be placed under surveillance?" asked his grandnephew Chandra Kumar Bose. 

We have been feeling very bad that Nethaji did not get the right honours he deserved – denied his proper recognition by the Congress Govt .. .. today, that stands changed as Nethaji stands proudly at India Gate !!  - what a moment for the Nation.

The India Gate (formerly known as the All India War Memorial) is a war memorial located astride the Rajpath, on the eastern edge of the "ceremonial axis" of New Delhi, formerly called Kingsway. It stands as a memorial to 90,000 soldiers of the British Indian Army who died in between 1914 and 1921 in the First World War, in France, Flanders, Mesopotamia, Persia, East Africa, Gallipoli and elsewhere in the Near and the Far East, and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. 13,300 servicemen's names, including some soldiers and officers from the United Kingdom, are inscribed on the gate.  Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the gate evokes the architectural style of the triumphal arch such as the Arch of Constantine, in Rome, and is often compared to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, and the Gateway of India in Mumbai. 

Following the Bangladesh Liberation war in 1972, a structure consisting of a black marble plinth with a reversed rifle, capped by a war helmet and bounded by four eternal flames, was built beneath the archway. This structure, called Amar Jawan Jyoti (Flame of the Immortal Soldier), has since 1971 served as India's tomb of the unknown soldier.  

Much earlier in 1930, the Maharaja of Kapurthala State, organised an appeal amongst the Indian princely rulers to erect a statue of King-Emperor George V in New Delhi to commemorate the sovereign's recent recovery from sepsis.  As originally conceived, the statue would have depicted the monarch in marble riding in a howdah atop a red stone elephant; a canopy was not then included in the design. The final concept, approved by George V before his death, dispensed with the elephant, instead including a red stone canopy and pedestal, with the pedestal standing 34.5 feet   tall marble statue of the King-Emperor wearing his Delhi Durbar coronation robes and Imperial State Crown, bearing the British globus cruciger and scepter.  The statue's installation in the autumn of 1936, amidst the Indian independence movement, made it a target for Independence activists; on the night of 3 January 1943, during the Quit India movement, Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna and Manubhai Shah scaled the statue, smashed its nose and draped it with a large black cloth inscribed "Death to the Tyrant."  The statue remained standing at its original site for two decades following the nation's independence in 1947, in Aug 1958, the royal insignia of George V and the Tudor Crown atop the canopy were removed.   Two days before Independence Day in 1965, members of the Samyukta Socialist Party overpowered two constables guarding the site, covered the statue in tar and defaced its imperial crown, nose and one ear, also leaving a photo of Subhas Chandra Bose at the monument.

Now a big statue of Nethaji would be positioned there.. .. tobe sculpted by  Awaita Gadanayak, the director-general of the National Gallery of Modern Art.  Adwaita Gadanayak was born and brought up in Neulapoi village of Dhenkanal district in Odisha. In 2016, he became the director generation of the National Gallery of Modern Art. Before that, he was heading the School of Sculpture at Bhubaneshwar's KIIT University.

Interesting !  - long live the Nation – long live the memories of Great martyr Nethaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar23rd Jan 2022.

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