Trinamul Congress MP Mahua Moitra ridiculed President Ram Nath Kovind for unveiling a portrait of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, claiming that it was the painting of Prosenjit Chatterjee who played the role of the freedom fighter in the movie Gumnaami and not Netaji himself.
President Kovind unveiled the portrait of Subash Chandra Bose on Parakram Diwas – the 125th birth anniversary of the freedom fighter. Taking to Twitter, TMC’s Mahua Moitra pointed out that the portrait that was unveiled was that of actor Prosenjit and not Netaji while she took a dig at President Kovid for donating Rs 5 lakhs for the construction of Ram Mandir.
Posts on social media also claimed on Monday that the portrait was that of an actor who played Netaji in the biopic.
BJP sources have rubbished the charge, asserting that the photo was provided by Netaji’s family to famous Padma Shri award winning artist Paresh Maity, who painted the portrait. “The photo does not resemble Prosenjit at all. It is an unnecessary controversy,” the sources said.
It is not clear yet which member or which branch of the family provided the photo.
Paresh Maity, 56, is from Bengal’s East Midnapore district and currently lives in Delhi.
In his role as Netaji, Bengali movie star Prosenjit Chatterjee bears a striking resemblance to the renowned freedom icon in the 2019 film and he reportedly used prosthetics for his transformation. The claim that his portrait is up as Netaji’s at Rashtrapati Bhavan has inspired several memes and jokes on Twitter, with people calling for the inauguration of a portrait of Ben Kingsley as Mahatma Gandhi and Vivek Oberoi as Narendra Modi.
TMC vs BJP face-off over Netaji
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, while addressing a rally on his birth anniversary, mocked the Central government asking what is “Parakram.” Mamata’s jibe came as the Centre declared that Netaji’s birth anniversary will be celebrated as Parakram Diwas. CM Mamata Banerjee opined that Netaji was a ‘Deshbhakt’ and the star of the country, hence, the state government pays tribute to him by celebrating the day as – ‘Desh Nayak Diwas’.
Moreover, Mamata demanded that there should be four capitals in the country. To buttress her point, she said that Kolkata was the Capital of India under the British and pitched that the state should be declared as the “National Capital of Bengal”. “I believe that India must have 4 rotating capitals.” The West Bengal CM concluded raising slogans Jai Hind, Subhas Bose Zindabad, Joy Bangla and said – “What Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow.”
Fight over Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s legacy
The Government of India decided to observe Netaji Subash Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary on January 23 every year as Parakram Diwas. The Centre announced its move to pay tribute to the freedom fighter to inspire the youth of the nation to ‘act with fortitude in the face of adversity’. Ahead of Netaji’s 125th birth anniversary, the Ministry of Culture issued a circular announcing January 23 to be observed as Parakram Diwas every year from now on.
Soon after, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that the birth anniversary of Netaji will be celebrated as ‘Desh Nayak Diwas’ annually. A train has also since been renamed to Netaji Express. Moreover, TMC has demanded that the book on Netaji that was written by defence ministry panel decades ago to be made public.