MakeMyTrip: Where is Netaji in Your Story of India’s Journey towards Independence?

Is Netaji the forgotten hero in India’s journey towards freedom? This controversial question knocked me this 69th Independence Day of India when I came across a few blog posts, videos and articles including MakeMyTrip’s visual tribute to the freedom of India. It is nice to see MakeMyTrip’s creative way of telling the story of India’s struggle for freedom. At the same time, it is disheartening to see Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose missing from MakeMyTrip’s version of India’s journey towards independence.

Netaji played a pivotal role in the war of freedom. The significance of his contribution to India’s history of freedom movement is immense and undeniable. His anti-British activity, popularity and leadership collectively made so powerful a threat to the British Government that he was put under house arrest at his own residence in Kolkata (then Calcutta) from where he made an escape to Berlin in 1941. It was Netaji who reached out to Hitler in Berlin, Ras Behari Bose in Singapore and Indian soldiers in Myanmar to build the Indian National Army against the British in India.

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Also, MakeMyTrip’s story of India’s journey towards independence did not mention Rabindranath Tagore or the anti-partition movement in the then undivided Bengal. Bengal’s anti-partition movement in 1905 and Rabindranath Tagore’s role in it are important episodes in the history of Indian freedom movement. The Bard of Bengal hit the streets to tie Hindus and Muslims into a bond of brotherhood using Rakhi. The Raksha Bandhan ceremony during the movement against the partition of Bengal in 1905 was the first celebration of nationalism in British India. It was Rabindranath Tagore who fired up the spirit of the revolutionaries with his patriotic song, “Ekla Chalo Re” and his patriotic poem, “Chitto Jetha Bhayshunyo,” (Where the Mind is without Fear).

Bengal was instrumental in active revolution against the British from the historic Battle of Plassey in 1757 till Netaji’s mysterious death in 1945. Though Mangal Pandey was the first martyr in India’s journey towards independence, Bengal’s history of nationalism and fight for freedom is not all about him. No mention of Netaji in any version of India’s struggle for freedom is an act of forgetting or denying the contribution of such revolutionary figures as Khudiram, Chittaranjan Das, Surya Sen, Prafulla Chaki, Bipin Chandra Pal, Matangini Hazra, Bagha Jatin, Sri Aurobindo and others.

So, Netaji Subhash is the forgotten hero in MakeMyTrip’s tribute to the 69th Independence Day of India, which sends a wrong message to MakeMyTrip’s lakhs of followers on social media.

Here is MakeMyTrip’s Story of India’s Journey towards Independence.

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