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By Alka JainStadtbergen (Germany)/New Delhi [India], January 18 (ANI): With the Centre replying to letters of West Bengal and Tamil Nadu chief ministers and conveying reasons for non-inclusion of their state tableaus in the upcoming Republic Day parade, Netaji Subash Chandra Bose's daughter Anita Bose-Pfaff has said that it not "optimal to fight over such things" and that the legendary freedom fighter's contribution should be honoured during the celebrations as "he was not only a Bengali but Indian too".

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to include the tableau commemorating the contributions of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and his NIA's 125th birth anniversary in the Republic Day parade on the 75th year of India's independenceSpeaking to ANI on Tuesday from Germany where she lives Bose-Pfaff said: "I think the Centre is well aware that the Bengal government is particularly close to Netaji, because for them he is the favourite son of the freedom fight. But of course, he was not only a Bengali but was an Indian too. He was deeply rooted in his home and religion too.""It's not an optimal thing to fight over these things rather it is adequate that he should be honoured in Republic Day celebrations because this is very close to him datewise," Netaji's daughter said.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in her letter to PM Modi had written "It is even more baffling for us that the tableau was rejected without assigning any reasons or justifications."The proposed tableau commemorating the contributions of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and his NIA's 125th birth anniversary year and was carrying portraits of some of the most illustrious sons and daughters in this country - Vidyasagar, Rabindranath Tagore, Vivekananda, Chittaranjan Das, Sri Aurobindo, Matangini Hazra, Birsa Munda, Nazrul Isla, the letter read.

When asked about the CM's letter, Bose-Pfaff said: "Who does what and what is better is senseless. The best way to honour him on the government's part is to give the chance to people who remember the values of freedom fighters, also of Netaji.

Bose-Pfaff also said that reaching across political and religious boundaries has become more relevant now.

She further stated that there are obviously political reasons behind this decision to some extent.

"I appreciate that you utilize the different opportunities to attract the attention for political reasons, nothing is wrong in that, but making petty fights on it is not the right thing," she said.

"I first heard that Bengal was offered to contribute in the tableau, and it was turned down later. I was kind of thoughtful why this would be the case" Netaji's daughter said.

"One case that came to my mind that the central government must have made a tableau themselves, but let's hope that it would be a good occasion to remember Netaji," she added.

On being asked whether she will write to Centre urging them to reconsider their decision, Bose Pfaff said, "I do not intend to do so, but yes, I would appeal to the Centre if somebody hears in this interview or any other, that they should include West Bengal government's contribution in the Republic Day celebrations. I will not specifically write to PM or anyone."She also informed that she had plans of visiting India to celebrate the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, but dropped it due to COVID-19.

"Once the COVID-19 situation becomes under control, there will be another occasion to go to India...remembering Netaji also," she added.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today wrote to West Bengal CM on the Republic Day controversy.

In his letter, Singh said, "I would like to tell you that Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's contribution to the country's independence is unforgettable for every Indian."Keeping this spirit paramount, the Prime Minister has declared Netaji's birthday, 23 January, as the Parakram Diwas. From now onwards, every year the Republic Day celebrations will start from January 23, the birthday of Netaji and end on January 30, the letter read.

Republic Day is celebrated in India every year on January 26 to commemorate the day the Constitution of the nation came into effect. (ANI)

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