Kolkata: President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday said Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's 1938 speech as Congress President had inspired him to draft his own acceptance speech on becoming the head of state. "When I drafted my acceptance speech on being elected as the President of the Republic - and that is one speech which I had to draft myself.. what struck me first.. please
let me go through the address of Subhash Chandra Bose as Congress President. And there I got the inspiration," Pranab said at a function to commemorate Netaji's 116th birth anniversary.
Pranab credited several important features of our constitutional system as part of Bose's vision. He said the Directive Principles of State Policy, which are now a part of our Constitution and the concept of Five-Year plans, were a part of the freedom fighter's vision for governance of India after Independence. "Subhash Chandra Bose gave the clarion call and laid the basic foundation about the responsibilities and duties of independent India 10 years before the actual liberation. The concept of planning, the directive principles of the state,
planned economic development.." he said.
Reminiscing his association with Netaji, Pranab said, "I had the privilege of working with him in close cooperation with this very son of Bengal". He called Netaji the real icon of India, particularly to the younger generation. The President also outlined the influence of Swami Vivekananda, who's 150th birth anniversary is also being celebrated this year, on the life of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
"The tremendous influence which Swami Vivekananda had on Netaji are well researched and well documented. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose himself wrote that at the early age of 15 when Swami Vivekananda entered into his life. Even in the height of the war in Singapore, whenever Netaji had time he used to visit Ramkrishna Mission here and spent considerable time in meditation," he said.
Paying homage to Netaji, he said, "This great son's life was nothing short of sacrifice and service.. Perhaps in many centuries we may not have one like him". The President also praised the Netaji Research Bureau, and the contribution of Netaji's nephew Sisir Bose, to bring different aspects of the life and facts of Netaji. On the occasion, Bose's daughter Anita Pfaff presented Mukherjee a copy of the Bengali version of Sugata Bose's book 'His Majesty's Opponent'. Anita remarked that very few people were so lovingly remembered by their countrymen as her father.