HOWRAH-Kalka Mail renamed Netaji Express

Historic Kalka Mail between Howrah and  Kalka in Haryana via the national capital is being renamed as  Netaji Express  as part of the government’s nationwide programs to celebrate the 125th birth anniversary of the iconic freedom fighter  Netaji Subash Chandra Bose  as PRAKRAM DAY. Announcing the renaming  of India’s one of the oldest trains, Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal said “Netaji’s prakram has  put India on the express route of freedom and development. I am thrilled to celebrate his anniversary with the introduction of “Netaji Express”. The government has announced to celebrate the great freedom fighter’s birth anniversary on 23rd January every year as “Prakram Diwas” to inspire people of the country, especially the youth, to act with fortitude in the face of adversity as Netaji did, and to infuse in them a spirit of patriotic fervour,” Union Minister for culture Prahlad Singh Patel has said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi would attend the Netaji celebration in Kolkata on January 23. Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan would be present at a programme in Cuttack, Netaji’s birthplace,  and Gujarat BJP chief and Navsari MP CR Patil will also mark festivities in Surat.PM Modi is expected to visit Netaji’s  Kolkata ancestral home. Kalka Mail, it may be recalled,  is operated by Kolkata headquartered  Eastern Railway zone. It was flagged off in 1866 as the “East Indian Railway Mail”. Before Howrah-New Delhi Rajdhani commenced operation on 1 March 1969, the train was the first preference of the elites for travelling to Delhi from the eastern part of India, especially Kolkata and neighbourhood. Incidentally,  Oscar-winning film director written  The Mystery of the Kalka Mail,  the three main characters travel from Calcutta to Delhi and on to Kalka on the train. The plot involves a stolen diamond and an unpublished manuscript. The story was also made into a radio play. In  Nayak Bangla movie directed by Satyajit Ray  Bengal’s matinee idol Uttam Kumar and Sharmila Tagore playing the lead roles meet for the first time accidentally in Kalka Mail. Netaji’s grandnephew Chandra Bose and daughter Anita Bose Pfaff, 78, a German citizen, are expected to be part of the celebrations proposed to be organised in all the places associated with Netaji Subash Chandra Bose. Edited by Pranab Kumar Chakravarty

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