Cuttack:6/2/23: Family members of veteran officer in Netaji’s Indian National Army (INA) Bel Bahadur Nirola visited the Netaji Birthplace Museum in Cuttack, today.
Nirola was in the Netaji Brigade and was a close associate of the latter on the Burma front. He was born in 1922 in Burma and had joined Netaji’s Azad Hind Fauj at the age of 22 years. He was in charge of the Azad Hind Bank. He was also an office-bearer of the INA Association and worked for the veterans till his death in 2016.The veteran’s family, comprising three generations was greeted at the Museum by Anil Dhir and Hitesh Seth, who took them around the galleries. Nirola’s son Youdishter Kumar spoke of his father’s undying love and respect for Netaji and the sacrifices that Nirola and the other veterans had made.The great-grandson of the veteran garlanded the statue of Netaji. His family has promised to donate all the documents and memorabilia of the late INA veteran Nirola to the museum.
Hitesh Seth of the Cuttack Heritage Walks said that Netaji Museum has become an important landmark of the millennium city with many visitors coming even on days other than Netaji’s anniversaries.According to Anil Dhir, the Netaji Birthplace Museum is a Mecca for all freedom fighters and nationalists. The Government of Odisha should invite all the living INA veterans to Cuttack and honour them.“There are only a dozen of them left, the last remnants of Netaji’s Army. They all should be invited to Cuttack. That is the least we can and must do,” said Dhir.Dhir is in touch with R Madhavan, the 97-year-old man who had joined the Indian Independence League and was the Recruitment Officer and Fund Raiser for the Azad Hind Bank.Madhavan was lodged for eight months in Rangoon Jail from May to December 1945. The veteran is keen to visit Cuttack and give his final tribute to his leader. If the State government does not respond, he himself will arrange to bring the veteran Madhavan to Cuttack, Dhir asserted.