Railway's station tribute to Netaji - Gomoh rechristened to honour freedom fighter

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By RESHAM MUKHERJEE in Dhanbad
  • Published 23.05.08
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Dhanbad, May 23: Gomoh railway station has been renamed as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Junction to honour the freedom fighter from where he set out on a long journey never to return to his motherland.

If it was jubilation time for Forward Bloc, the party founded by Netaji in 1939, it was also moment for celebrations for Bharatiya Bangla Bhashi Mahasabha, an association of literary and cultural committees. It was a fruit of their prolonged demand for renaming Gomoh, 40km from here on the Grand Chord section.

The notification in this regard was sent from the Railway Board on May 13 while the Dhanbad divisional railway officials received it on May 20, senior divisional commercial manager Sameer Kumar said. But the ground-level implementation formalities are yet to be completed. “The change of boards, new printings in ticket printing system and related tasks would take some time but we are expecting to complete them very soon and officially start working as the new junction,” he added.

Forward Bloc general secretary Debabrata Biswas said that it was a “big success” for all those who wanted this “due recognition” of Netaji. “We had not left any stone unturned to fulfil this demand. Netaji had an immense contribution to Jharkhand and we wanted to remember him at least by this small act as he left from Gomoh for the final journey. We separately approached the governments at the state and the Centre,” said the veteran parliamentarian.

Biswas added that during his recent meeting with railway minister Lalu Prasad, he had placed a two-point proposal associated with the new station. First, to mark the “inauguration” of the station with a celebration and secondly, to fix a permanent exhibition on the life and contribution of Netaji at the renamed station as a memorial.

History has it that Netaji had come at Barari coke plant in Jharia coalfield, where his nephew Sisir Bose was employed as a chemical engineer. On January 16, 1941, after Netaji left his Elgin Road home in Calcutta in a car, he came to Dhanbad via Asansol-Burdwan on January 17. From Barari, he left for Gomoh in the same car on January 18 disguised as an Afghan businessman. From Gomoh, he took the Kalka Mail, then 63UP Howrah-Peshawar Express, after midnight for the long journey, known as “mahanishkraman”.

Remembering him, Bharat Coking Coal Limited declared Barari colliery, which came under BCCL later, a tourist spot. It also organises a programme every year from 1997 remembering the day of “mahanishkraman”.

Senior members of Forward Bloc added that Netaji stayed for a long time in Jamadoba in Jharia when he fell seriously ill after attending the Tripuri Congress in March 1939. He had led a protest movement organising the industry workers of Jamshedpur and formed the first coal workers’ union in the coal belt. He also signed an agreement with Tisco (now Tata Steel) in Jamshedpur which is monumental for both industrialists and workers. The agreement, being preserved by Tata Steel, has Netaji’s hand-written words.

About a month-and-a-half ago, Forward Bloc members met the Union government for the last time to demand for renaming. The Bangla Bhasha-o-Sanskriti Rokkha Samiti, Dumka, a group under Bharatiya Bangla Bhashi Mahasabha has also been demanding for renaming Gomoh. The association’s central executive committee assistant secretary Gautam Chatterjee said that it has also demanded for renaming Gomoh town as Netajinagar.

Gomoh station renamed to honour Netaji