Saturday, 19 September 2015

Should the Files Pertaining to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Need to be Declassified?


There has been an aura of mystery in the sudden disappearance of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in 1945. The most followed story that tried to do away the sudden disappearance of this great patriot was that he died tragically in a plane crash in a place near Taiwan. But there are other stories that rubbish this claim away by saying that the Netaji was very much alive even after Indian independence. Moreover, the relatives of Netaji were snooped upon by the Indian government post independence for no fault of theirs. These details have been kept in some classified documents by the Indian government these many years, despite the demand for their declassification. For many years, the relatives of the patriot have been asking for the declassification of documents that tell about his last few years.

subhash chandra bose

Snooping of Netaji Family

Immediately after the independence, the Jawaharlal Nehru-lead Indian National Congress government ordered the surveillance of the activities of the close relatives of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. No explanation was given on that. Most of the time the surveillance was non-intrusive and many letters and other forms of correspondence were intercepted and copied before handing them over to the family members. Since independence, the family members of this great patriot were crying foul on this type of behaviour of the security agencies. But nobody showed any interest in this issue. The declassification of the files on Netaji would embarrass the previous Congress governments that ruled the country for a long period of time under Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Narasimha Rao and Dr. Manmohan Singh. That is the reason why the Indian National Congress tried to be guarded in its response on this issue. Most of the time, the party tried to distance itself from this by saying that its government never did anything like that to disgrace the service of this great son of Indian soil.  Even the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) also chose to sit on this issue due to some strange and unknown reason, despite its election promise that truth about the life of Netaji would be brought to the public domain.

netaji disappearance

West Bengal Government Takes Lead

With election in West Bengal State Assembly is coming in the next year (2016), the state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took a decision on this matter and declassified about 64 files in the possession of the state government. She also openly challenged the central government to declassify the remaining files pertaining to Netaji in its possession and tell the truth about the true son of the soil. She knows that her state has high regard for Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. She wants to enjoy the benefits of early bird on this matter. Undoubtedly, this would force the central government to take steps on the declassification of files and portray the Indian National Congress as well as its first family in poor light. If the leakage of certain portions of the documents is to be believed, the Gandhi family has to do some hard explaining to wriggle itself out of the situation. Otherwise, the Indian National Congress would not be able to open its account in that state for many years to come. Even Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would have to explain why its government at the centre has not declassified the documents. Let us see how the situation unfolds itself in the coming days.

Thuruvananthapuram Kolkata, West Bengal, India