It might have taken 24 deaths in the recent Mathura clashes for the Swadheen Bharat Subhash Sena (SBSS) to gain prominence as the ‘Netaji cult’, but on most fronts, its ideology doesn’t resonate with either the All India Forward Bloc (AIFB) – a Left party founded by the late freedom fighter in 1939 – or Netaji’s family members.National secretary of AIFB, G Devarajan said the party’s Uttar Pradesh committee is trying to talk to the SBSS leaders to assess how genuine their demands are, and is expecting a report soon, since the party is unsure of the state police claims.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>“However, we see little merit in their claims of meeting Netaji in jungles of UP or even their demands of a parallel governance,” Devarajan told dna.According to Devarajan, SBSS is likely to be one of the dozen smaller outfits claiming to be followers of Netaji, such as the Punjab-based Netaji Subhash Kranti Manch, Subhash Sena (different from the Mathura group) and have often approached the party to take part in events organised by the AIFB. Other popular groups include Netaji Subhash Foundation and Netaji INA Trust.However, the party leader does show some solidarity with the SBSS in the Mathura incident. “Whatever happened was because of a complete administration failure. These people are not nomads, they have an ideology for which they need land, shelter. They had settled on the land two years ago, and they can’t suddenly be asked to evict the land without any alternate plan,” Devarajan said.“It’s interesting to note, they are hailing from Sagar in Madhya Pradesh, which has a huge Netaji fan following, since Netaji and his brother were imprisoned in the Seoni jail there,” he said, adding that whenever there is removal of encroachment, there is some retaliation.“In this case, the retaliation was higher, but all we know, including the claims of recovering arms and ammunition from there, is just the police version. Only a judicial inquiry can bring out the truth,” Devarajan said. Based on further reports, the AIFB is considering talking to the myriad of other Netaji cults – some political and a few apolitical ones – to see if they can be brought into mainstream national politics under their banner.On the other side, Chandra Kumar Bose, Netaji’s grand nephew, who lost against Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on a BJP ticket, said the so-called Netaji cult may not have any connection with Netaji.“The group is probably using Netaji’s name to shield their other interests. We have to abide by the Constitution of India. Netaji believed in armed struggle to evict foreign powers, but he would have never supported the Mathura incident,” the Bengal BJP vice president said.Hitting out at the UP state government, Bose called the Mathura incident a failure of the state administration. “If they had indeed amassed arms and ammunition right under the government’s nose, they must have got some political patronage,” he said.Bose is also the convenor of the Open Platform for Netaji, which has 50 members of the Bose family, along with 450 other members. Laughing at the SBSS’ claims of Netaji still being alive, Bose said it isn’t possible and that Netaji would be 120 years old by now. “There are people who have lived up to that age, but Netaji wasn’t physically fit enough for that, given the kind of life he led,” he said.
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