A section of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s family Tuesday hit out at the West Bengal government for carrying out renovation work unilaterally at the family’s ancestral home in South 24 Parganas district’s Kodalia.
“Extensive changes including destruction of the boundary wall have been carried out, as discovered by family members who visited (the house) on Dec 29. This is being done without even informing the family members,” some members of the family said in a statement.
The members said the house was built by Netaji’s grand father Haranath Bose over 150 years back “and has been repaired and maintained in good condition by the heirs of Janaki Nath (Netaji’s father), the present members of the Bose family”.
“It’s clearly a case of trespass in a private property, which was handed down by Prabhabati Bose, wife of Janaki Nath, to her seven sons. There is no report of Netaji ever spending a night in the Kodalia house, and obviously there is no connection with the Indian National Army,” the statement said.
They said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was informed in writing about the circumstances of the Kodalia property and an interview with her was sought. “But there was unfortunately no response.”
Denying reports that the house was in shambles, the family members, including Netaji’s grand-nephew Chandra Kumar Bose, said it was thoroughly repaired in 1996 with contributions from the 25 stakeholders and a small museum established on the first floor with photographs and other memorabilia of the Bose family.
“This room is open to the public and is visited by his admirers from all over the country as evident from the Visitors Book. Regular repairs are carried out every year and the rooms kept in a habitable condition,” said Chandra Kumar Bose, the spokesperson of the aggrieved section of the family.
“If I enter somebody’s house and start painting without his permission, is it right? They (the government) must have sought permission of majority shareholders.”
Bose said the family was taking legal opinion on the issue. “We will decide on the our next course of action after we receive the legal opinion”.
He also alleged that some local boys attached to the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress entered the house sometime back by taking the key from the next door neighbour and took away the family photographs that adorn the house.
“They said they want to salvage the photograph. But then, these photographs are not family property. There are photographs of my father, my grandfather. Did anyone care to seek permission from the majority of stakeholders?” He asked.
He suggested using the ancestral land at Malancha – about 2 km south of Kodalia – that has two plots belonging to Netaji,for erecting a memorial to the legendary revolutionary leader and other freedom-fighters of the area.