Kolkata, Jan 18: President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday unveiled a restored 'Wanderer' car used by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in which he made his 'great escape' from house arrest at his ancestral home by the then British government in January 1941.
Mukherjee, visiting West Bengal from January 18 to 20, also sat in the car and paid homage to the great freedom fighter whose birthday falls on January 23. Mukherjee called him "a great son of our motherland who dedicated his life to the nation and the people".
On the occasion, the President also inaugurated the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Netaji Research Bureau founded by Dr Sisir Kumar Bose in 1957 at Kolkata. Speaking on the occasion, Mukherjee described Dr Sisir as a close friend of Netaji for many years.
The President remembered how Netaji had asked Dr Sisir in December 1940: "Amaar ekta kaj korte parbe? (Can you do some work for me?)." The President said Dr Sisir never stopped doing Netaji's work until he passed away. "He (Dr Sisir)built the Netaji Research Bureau with singular determination and devoted his entire life to the work of Netaji."
He congratulated the bureau for having refurbished the 'Wanderer', which was witness to the 'great escape' of this extraordinary personality who served the nation for 60 years. The President also called upon the bureau to continue its important work in the days to come.