The senior BJP leader also said that ever since Narendra Modi became the prime minister, continuous efforts are being made to accord Bose the respect which he rightly deserves.
“There was a time in independent India when the contributions of Bose were either deliberately ignored or undermined, it was not evaluated correctly. It was done to the extent that several documents related to him were never made public,” Singh said while addressing a programme at a private university in Greater Noida.
“In 2014, when Narendra Modi became the prime minister of India, he started giving the respect to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose which he always and rightly deserved,” the minister said.
Singh said he was serving as the home minister of India when he got to meet the family members of Bose, after which over 300 documents related to him were declassified and dedicated to the people of India.
The defence minister said every Indian should be told about Bose.
“Sometimes people wonder what more is there about Netaji that we do not know. Most Indians know him as a prominent freedom fighter, as supreme commander of the Azad Hind Fauj, and a revolutionary who underwent several difficulties for India’s freedom.
“But very few people know him as the first prime minister of undivided India,” Singh said.
“Friends, the Azad Hind Fauj and the Azad Hind Sarkar, which was the first swadeshi government of India, I have zero hesitation in calling it the first swadeshi sarkar. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had formed this government and taken oath as prime minister on October 21, 1943,” he said.
The Azad Hind sarkar was not a symbolic government but one which had presented thoughts and policies on several important aspects of human life, he said.
“This government had its own postal stamps, currency, and a secret intelligence service. Developing such a system with limited resources was not an ordinary feat but a big achievement,” he added.
Singh noted that though Bose was faced with a mighty foe in the British empire, but he was undaunted in his resolve, which he had nursed since childhood, to make India free of foreign rule.
Singh was addressing the inaugural session of Young Researchers Conclave 2022 at the Galgotias University in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. The conclave was organised by Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal (BSM), an offshoot of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Gautam Buddh Nagar MP Mahesh Sharma, Jewar MLA Dhirendra Singh, Rajya Sabha MP Surendra Nagara were among those present in the session attended by over 450 researchers from across the country.