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Bose was the tallest among nationalists

Gurkirpal Singh Sidhu’sThe Unsung Hero” (Saturday Extra, Jan 23) was extremely well written. It is indeed unfortunate that even 60 years after Independence, the Indian National Congress and the successive Indian governments have not bothered to clear the mystery around the disappearance of Netaji, who had acquired a legendary status with his escape to Germany and his subsequent emergence as the head of the INA in Southeast Asia.It is worth remembering that among the nationalists who deviated from the path set by Mahatma Gandhi, Subhas Chandra Bose was the tallest.

There is no iota of doubt to say that Netaji’s faith in a novel blend of national socialism, nationalistic culture and staunch patriotism was different from the Mahatma’s and Nehru’s genteel socialism.

Gaurav Julka,Ferozepore


While serving in the Indian Navy in the 1950s, I visited Thailand, Penang, Hong Kong, Singapur, North Burneo, Saigon and many other places where Netaji’s contribution to the fight for the freedom of India was well appreciated.

Some ex-soldiers of the INA, including my cousin brother, late Balwant Singh, who had settled there and married a local girl, told me that Netaji did board the plane but came out of it as he suspected that some secret agents were shadowing him. This was confirmed in 2006 even by Nizamuddin, then 102 years old, claiming to be the driver-cum-bodyguard of Netaji. He maintained that Netaji did not die in an air crash in May 1945.

Netaji is considered a symbol of India’s pride, but our political leaders even fear to remember him, lest some foreign countries get annoyed.

Multan Singh Parihar Jalari-Hamirpur (HP)

Flying colours

The article The Kite runners by Azera Rahman (Spectrum, Jan 17) was interesting. As many as 105 kite lovers from 34 countries, including 120 persons from various parts of India, participated in the 20th International Kite Festival ‘Uttarayan’ at Ahmedabad.

The roots of kite flying can be traced back to the Ramayana. Great poet Tulsidas has scripted in the Ramcharitmanas that Lord Rama also flew a kite with his brothers. The kite reached Indralok (heaven).

The script reads – “Ram ik den ‘chang’ udaee, inder lok-mein Pahunchee Jaee”.

HARBANS SINGH,Ambala Cantonment

Time to professionalise regional theatre in Chandigarh

I read Nonika Singh's article In need of a push (Saturday Extra, Jan 23). The article deals with the state of regional theatre in Chandigarh by rightly asking: Does our regional theatre have an identity of its own, or is it a summation of individual success stories?

Theatre in Chandigarh has not developed in the terms of public taste. It is because theatre here is not professional like in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata. Though there are capable and talanted producers, directors and theatre artistes in Chandigarh, in the absence of resources and sponsorships, it is very difficult to stage a show here.

The main problem is finance which is needed for the production of a play. Expenses have to be incurred on rehersals, conveyance, entertainment of artistes for at least one month, rehersals, the hall charges etc. One has to spend money from one's own pocket without any returns as there are no tickets for the shows. The Chandigarh Administration does not give exemption on the exorbitant entertainment tax to the theatre groups for which the “tickets culture” cannot be introduced. Theatre groups have been requesting the authorities for this exemption but in vain. If theatre is to grow in the region, the government should immediately abolish the entertainment tax. This way at least the cost of staging plays can be recovered and more and more theatre activity with qualitative performances can be witnessed in the region.

R.K.Kapoor, Chandigarh 



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