On the occasion of Netaji's 105th birth anniversary on Thursday, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee admitted that the communists had misunderstood Subhash Chandra Bose's actions during India's freedom struggle.
"We still oppose Netaji's role in aligning with axis powers like Germany, Italy and Japan to liberate India from the British. But we [the communists] should apologise for making a wrong evaluation of the great leader."
"I apologise for our mistaken assessment of Netaji," Bhattacharjee said while saluting the freedom fighter's statue in Kolkata.
"Though Netaji had dissociated himself with Gandhiji, his role during the liberation struggle should not be viewed in isolation," Bhattacharjee said.
He criticised the Congress for not according 'due importance' to Netaji, 'as it did to Gandhiji'.
Netaji did not agree with Mahatma Gandhi's non-violent methods of fighting for independence.
Bhattacharjee said Netaji's ideals of nationalism and secularism were still relevant as they were necessary to counter communal forces.
Warning the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh against exploiting the names of Swami Vivekananda and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose for their own 'vested interests', he said, "These forces have no right to take the names of great leaders."
He said Netaji's secular outlook was beyond doubt and his ideals should be emulated by all.
"Netaji never compromised with any communal force, but strove hard to strengthen communal amity."