Union Culture Minister Prahlad Patel on Sunday said Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s cap has been given to Victoria Memorial in Kolkata for an exhibition, refuting the freedom fighter’s grandnephew’s claims stating the artefact has been “transferred to another place it was not meant to be at”. Taking to Twitter, Chandra Kumar Bose had said the cap was handed over to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the inauguration of a museum dedicated to Netaji at Red Fort in Delhi.
Tagging the prime minister and the Union culture minister in a tweet, he said, “Bose family had handed over Netaji’s historic cap to Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi ji to be kept at Red Fort Museum and not to be shifted around. Request Narendra Modiji to instruct placing cap in its original place.”
A few hours later, Patel in a tweet said, “Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s cap and his sword are completely safe. ASI has given 24 items related to Netaji on loan to Victoria Memorial Kolkata. These were given for the exhibition organized on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji. Those are being brought back soon.”
Sources in the Ministry of Culture said that the iconic cap was moved to Kolkata’s Victoria Memorial in January this year where an event to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji was held in the presence of Prime Minister Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
“Following protocol, the cap was loaned from the Red Fort Museum to Victoria Memorial for a period of six months starting January and extendable for a year. This was done after a memorandum of understanding was signed.”
“The cap was among many artefacts loaned by the ASI for the 125th birth anniversary programme. Those were sent to Kolkata with proper escort and insurance. The MoU expires on July 18 and further steps will be taken,” a source in the ministry said.
On January 23, 2019, the Union government inaugurated a museum dedicated to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at Red Fort.
The museum was inaugurated by PM Modi and the Bose family had gifted the cap to him for the archives.