West Bengal to release 64 files on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose – HT

Chandra Kumar Bose

Mamata Banerjee“I congratulate the chief minister on behalf of the Bose family. The Centre should take a cue from the decision and put everything in the public domain,” said Chandra Kumar Bose (above left), great grand-nephew of Subhas Chandra Bose.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has decided to put in public domain 64 intelligence department files related to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, capping decades of speculation on what they contain and rising demands to publish them. 

“We have decided to put in public domain all government files on Netaji that we have,” Banerjee told media persons at the state secretariat.

Bureaucrats at the Prime Minister’s Office, home ministry and ministry of external affairs have so far stonewalled attempts to access the classified files that can throw light on Netaji’s disappearance.

The Centre has 130 files and is yet to take a decision on whether to make them public despite amid clamour from a number of circles.

“The state government has a number of files on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. There is a huge curiosity among the public to know what is in those files. The state government also wants that people should want more about Netaji. I have decided to put the files in the public domain from next Friday at the police archive at the office of the DC North of Kolkata Police,” Banerjee added.

“This state government believes in total transparency and therefore, we have decided to put them out in the public domain,” she added. She also said all documents between 1937 and 1947 are being digitised.

“We have discussed it with the Kolkata police commissioner and the director general of state police. We won’t think there will be any internal problems if we bring the contents in public,” she said.

The chief minister also said the one-member Mukherjee Commission set up to probe the mysterious disappearance of Netaji asked for some files from the state. He gave the files back after going through them, she said.

“I congratulate the chief minister on behalf of the Bose family. The Centre should take a cue from the decision and put everything in the public domain,” said Chandra Kumar Subhas Chandra Bose memorial in the Renkoji Temple TokyoBose, great grand-nephew of Subhas Chandra Bose.

An August 22, 1945, Tokyo Radio broadcast announced the ‘death’ of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in an air crash in Formosa (now Taiwan) on August 18, 1945, en route to Japan.

But the crash theory has been rejected by scores of Netaji’s followers and admirers and claims of the revolutionary leader resurfacing continue to intrigue and divide Indians over the years.

To the public, a section of his family as well as some historians, the news of his “death” was largely unacceptable due to insufficient evidence and since Bose in his numerous escapades had proved to be a master of disguise.

Some believe he fled to the erstwhile Soviet Union and was locked up in a labour camp.

Others say he escaped altogether and appeared in Paris in 1969.

Or did he indeed carry on in hiding? The Indian government constituted as many as three probe commissions to ferret out the truth behind the disappearance, but the mystery lingers on. – Hindustan Times, 11 September 2015

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose


2 Responses

  1. Mamata’s order to release Netaji files to put pressure on Centre – Ravik Bhattacharya – Hindustan Times – Updated: Sep 11, 2015

    While there was an all-round feeling that the decision by Bengal chief minister to declassify all 64 files that are lying with her government will put pressure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to put the files with the centre in the public domain, BJP Bengal leaders described her announcement as a gimmick designed to divert attention from the sad state of affairs in the state.

    On Friday the chief minister suddenly announced that her government has started digitising the files that will be made available to the public from September 18 at the office of the deputy commissioner, north, Kolkata Police.

    A few Trinamool Congress leaders described the move as a masterstroke that will give a boost to her popularity at a time when opposition parties are hitting the streets keeping the 2016 Assembly polls in mind.

    After the announcement, some members of the Bose family and sundry activists were planning to put pressure on the centre to do its part.

    Significantly, Narendra Modi met Bose family members four times in the past few years — and thrice as the prime minister — indicating he was not merely paying lip service to the demand of declassification.

    The Bose family members and other activists recently even held a dharna at Jantar Mantar and met with BJP national president Amit Shah over the issue.

    “Now the centre has to declassify the files. There are a large number of files, and important ones, with the central government. The state has decided to put up 64 files in the public domain. The centre should follow suit. We will try our best to see that it is ensured,” said Chandra Bose, family member of Netaji.

    Campaigners have claimed nearly 130 secret files on Netaji are in possession of the central government. “It was the prime minister who professed support for the cause of Netaji files declassification. When we met him in Delhi he even said that the nation had a right to know,” added Bose.

    Netaji family members met with the PM a number of times in Germany, Delhi and even at Raj Bhawan Kolkata with their demand of complete declassification.

    “This is great news for us. We are now waiting to see the files. We believe the files will reveal how family members of Netaji were snooped upon. But the files with the centre are more important and now we will exert pressure on the central government,” said Sayak Sen, activist with ‘Open Platform for Netaji’.

    “We have been demanding the declassification of the files for a long time. I don’t know why suddenly the chief minister made such a decision, but it is welcome. However, she should also demand that centre should declassify files which are with them and which are more important,” said Mohammed Salim, CPIM politburo member and Lok Sabha MP.

    “Mamata Banerjee’s decision is correct. I fully endorse it. The centre should follow and reveal the contents of the files in its possession. I have always maintained that any classified file more than 50 years old should be declassified. It’s a question of freedom of information and a sign of a mature archive policy,” noted historian Sugato Bose told HT from MIT. Bose, who is a grand nephew of Netaji and a Trinamool Lok Sabha MP, used to teach history at Harvard University.

    Forwad Bloc leaders, too, welcomed the initiated. Hafiz Alam Sairani, FB leader said, “It is a good move and people should know.”

    BJP, however, dubbed the move as politically motivated and designed to divert attention from the sorry state of affairs in Bengal. “All her promises of development in Bengal have turned hollow.

    Now the chief minister has nothing to woo the people with. Therefore, she is trying all these gimmicks,” said Rahul Sinha, state BJP president.

    Former Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya, too, played down the move saying, “Let her declassify the files. Nothing important will come out of it I believe.”

  2. Very clever move, Mamataji!

    You make the PMO and PM Modi look bad for failing to keep promises to a famous freedom-fighting family!

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