The government has decided to observe January 23 as 'Parakram Diwas' to commemorate the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Union minister Prahlad Singh Patel said on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the first 'Parakram Diwas' programme in Kolkata on January 23 on Bose's 125th birth anniversary and inaugurate an exhibition on the grounds of National Library to mark the occasion, Patel said.
He said PM Modi will also felicitate prominent members of the Indian National Army (INA), formed by Bose, and their family members in Kolkata on Saturday.
An 85-member high-level committee helmed by PM Modi has been formed to plan year-round programmes to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Bose.
The minister said 200 Patua artists from West Bengal will make a painting on a 400-metre-long canvas depicting Bose's life.
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will participate in a programme in Cuttack, Odisha, where Bose was born.
Another programme will be held in Haripura village in Gujarat's Surat district where Bose was elected as president of the Indian National Congress in 1938.
The culture ministry is also considering building a memorial in the honour of around 26,000 martyred members of the INA, Patel said.
Kadam Kadam Badhaye Ja -- the regimental quick march of INA -- will be included in the Beating Retreat ceremony, he said, adding Air India will carry Bose's pictures on its aircraft.
Football tournaments, marathons, padyatra and 'cycle yatra' will also be organised as part of the celebration, he said.
Patel said the idea is to inspire the people of the country, especially the youth, to act with fortitude in the face of adversity as Netaji did, and to infuse in them a spirit of patriotic fervour.
TMC, Forward Bloc criticise Centre's decision
The ruling Trinamool Congress and the Forward Bloc in West Bengal on Tuesday criticised the Centre's decision to observe January 23 as 'Parakram Diwas'.
TMC leader Saugata Roy said, the announcement to observe the day as 'Parakram Diwas' (day of valour) was not enough.
"January 23 should be announced as a national holiday. It is our long-standing demand. As he was a national leader and head of Azad Hind Fauj, these two aspects are not reflected through 'Parakram Diwas'.
"We had also demanded observance of the day as 'Desh Prem Diwas' (patriotism day).
"It appears to be a stunt keeping in mind the upcoming assembly polls in the state, and not as a mark of respect to Netaji," he said.
Naren Chatterjee, state secretary of the Forward Bloc, the party formed by Netaji in 1939, said, "Instead of 'Parakram Diwas', the day should be celebrated as 'Desh Prem Diwas'.
"The demand to observe January 23 as 'Patriotism Day' was made by the Left Front when it was in power".
Netaji kin Prof Sugata Bose said, "It is a decision of the Centre. It is difficult to find a brave leader like Netaji in the world. He believed in unity and equality. It needs to be remembered that he was just not a fighter."