The Union Government has declassified the first set of 100 files pertaining to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, on 119th birth anniversary of the iconic freedom struggle figure in overseas and founder of the Azad Hind Fauz (INA) but there is no clue whatosoever on some radio speeches made by Bose after the purported aircrash. Another paper said he was carrying Rs.1 crore worth INA treasure at the time.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Saturday visited the National Archives at a function attended by Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/C) for Culture & Tourism, Babul Supriyo, Minister of State for Urban Development and the family members of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
Later, the PM met the family members of Netaji, including Prof. Chitra Ghosh, Chandra Bose, and Surya Kumar Bose. The declassification comes after the promise the PM made at his residence in New Delhi on 14 October 2015 to the family members that the Government of India would declassify the files relating to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in a phased manner, and make them accessible to the public.
As a first step, the National Archives of India is placing 100 files relating to Netaji in public domain after preliminary conservation treatment and digitization. “The remaining files too shall be placed in public domain after their conservation treatment and digitisation,” said a statement.
The Government of India has also written to the concerned foreign Governments to declassify all files or papers related to Netaji. The Government is committed to pursue this matter with them. The digitized files are put on website, specially designed by NIC, at –www.netajipapers.gov.in
The family members in turn thanked the Prime Minister for taking the initiative and expressed satisfaction that the files which remained classified for nearly 70 years has now come in the public domain.
However, the 36 files of Prime Minister’s office, 18 files of Ministry of Home Affairs and 46 files from Ministry of External Affairs covering the period 1956 to 2013, reveal that the stand taken by the government based on long-held view that Bose was killed on August 18, 1945 in an aircrash at Taihoku or modern Taiwan.
The National Archives of India further plans to release digital copies of 25 declassified files on Netaji in public domain every month. It may be added that in 1997 the National Archives of India had received 990 declassified files pertaining to the Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauj) from the Ministry of Defence, and in 2012, 1030 files/ items pertaining the Khosla Commission (271 files/ items) and Justice Mukherjee Commission of Inquiry (759 files/ items) from the Ministry of Home Affairs. All these files/ items are already open to the public under the Public Records Rules, 1997.
Meanwhile, President Pranab Mukherjee, who had visited the temple where the ashes of the Indian leader were kept in Tokyo in 1995, paid homage to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on his 119th Birth Anniversary at Rashtrapati Bhavan today (January 23, 2016) with floral tributes in front of a portrait of Netaji at Rashtrapati Bhavan.