KUALA LUMPUR: Indian freedom fighter Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose laid a strong foundation to solidify the modern-day relationship between India and Malaysia, says India’s High Commissioner to Malaysia B.N. Reddy (pic).

He also said that Netaji also holds a special place in the memories of the people in Malaysia and India.

Reddy, in his speech during a commemoration ceremony held to observe the 125th birth anniversary of the freedom fighter, highlighted that the Selangor Padang in Kuala Lumpur holds historical significance, as Netaji had given an inspirational speech to over 60,000 people who were present there on Sept 5, 1943.

“The deep historical ties and civilisational linkages that existed between India and Malaysia were given a modern and lasting connection, particularly between the Malaysian Indian community and India.

“This people-to-people connect is an inalienable and firm part of our strategic partnership with Malaysia,” he said in his speech during the celebration held on Sunday (Jan 23) at Wisma Tun Sambanthan, here.

Meanwhile, MIC president Tan Sri S.A. Vigneswaran, who is Malaysia’s special envoy to South Asia, in his speech, dwelt on Netaji and the legacy of the Indian National Army (INA) in Malaysia, including INA’s influence in the formation and shaping of the MIC as Malaysia’s largest ethnic Indian political party.

Appreciating the joint efforts of the High Commission of India in Malaysia, the Netaji Service Centre and the Netaji Welfare Foundation in keeping the spirit of Netaji alive in Malaysia, he announced that MIC will dedicate a monument to Netaji in the party’s new headquarters.

The speech of Netaji’s grand nephew, Chandra Kumar Bose, was the highlight of the event, which was also attended by three INA veterans accompanied by their families.

At the event, some 125 Tamil school students were provided financial assistance by the Netaji Welfare Foundation, besides cheques being distributed to a representative group of 20 school students.

The proceedings of the celebrations are available on the official website of the mission at www.hcikl.gov.in. – Bernama