Claiming that there is “hardly any mystery” about the disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen on Saturday said instead of getting excited by “speculations”, focus should be on his message of secularism and democracy.
Sen said, “right now in the country, there is a sense of division which has often been cultivated along communal lines so much so that the word secularism is often used as a bad word… We are waiting for the day when democracy and liberty would be used as a bad word too.”
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“We are looking for a word to describe the harmony between different communities teaching them not just tolerance but respect and giving them the kind of liberty and freedom that they need… all Indians and all humans need,” Sen said. “And I think if there are forces against that,……. they have to go through Subhas Chandra Bose’s writings,” Sen said.
The Nobel laureate said that after Independence, successive governments had failed to pursue the demand of equity and justice and the present government had also failed in that. “I don’t think since Independence, India has pursued the demand of equity and justice and the present government is doing even less. And I think we are in a situation where the inspiring vision of Subhas Chandra Bose is very needed in all spheres of life,” he added.
Sen said, “it’ll be hard to think that he is alive. I don’t see much mystery about it (death of Netaji). If there is any mystery, it would be nice to know it (through the releasing of the files). But I do not think it would have any profound influence on Netaji’s vision,” Sen said while speaking at Bose’s 119th birth anniversary celebrations at the Netaji Bhawan here.
“You have to concentrate on the big thing and not get excited on the wrong thing (speculations whether Netaji was dead or alive).. And not concentrating on the peculiar circumstances of his death, ignoring his message of unity, secularism, democracy will be a big mistake,” Sen said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi today made public digital copies of 100 secret files relating to Bose, which could throw some light on the controversy over his death.