On the occasion of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s 119th Birth Anniversary, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declassified 100 files and its digital copies that are related to Bose’s life and death at the National Archives of India.
With a huge mystery surrounding Bose’s death (or disappearance) back in 1945, his family has been asking for declassification of these files for many years.
With West Bengal government having declassified 63 files under their possession in September last year, the Cenre also decided to declassify the 100 files under its possession.
Process of declassification of files relating to Netaji will begin on 23rd January 2016, Subhas Babu’s birth anniversary.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 14, 2015
On January 23, PM Modi, ahead of the declassification ceremony tweeted a proclamation letter written by Bose as a tribute to the great freedom fighter and said that it was a ‘special day for all Indians.’
Today is a special day for all Indians. Declassification of Netaji files starts today. Will go to National Archives myself for the same.Advertisement
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 23, 2016
The documents that were digitally declassified, can be accessed at netajipapers.gov.in.
The documents revealed that till her marriage, Netaji’s daughter Anita Bose Pfaff was given Rs 6,000 per month and that the amount was initially offered to his wife Emilie Schenkl, who had refused to accept it.
The files also revealed that Bose’s family was informed about his death back in 1962 by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
It stated that Nehru had written a letter to Netaji’s relative Suresh Bose on May 13, 1962, informing them about Netaji’s death but said that he had no precise and direct proof and only ‘circumstantial’ evidence.
The letter had also said:
“The lapse of time now and the extreme improbability of his being alive secretly somewhere when he would be welcomed in India with great joy and affection, adds to circumstantial evidence.”
Following the declassification process, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma came out and raised serious question with regard to its intent.
Sharma refereeing to a letter that was allegedly written by ‘Jawaharlal Nehru to England Prime Minister Clement Atlee’ back in 1945, said it was not only fake but was released to malign Congress.
The letter had cited Nehru calling Netaji a ‘war criminal,’ but had no signature on it.
It must be noted that many believe that Netaji died in August 1945, and this letter was supposedly written four months later in December 1945.
It had first surfaced last year when 115 year old Colonel Nizamudin who was Netaji’s former chauffeur brought it to media forefront.
Soon after Modi government came out and declassified the documents, Congress held a press conference condemning the letter and calling it a mischievous act to malign Congress. Sharma said:
“This is a deliberately created confusion and conspiracy by political forces and elements who have been ideologically opposed to the leadership of India’s struggle for independence led by the Indian National Congress.”
Sharma then further added that the Modi government was trying to ‘belittle the stalwarts of freedom struggle like Jawaharlal Nehru.’ He also said:
“The BJP and their mother organisation and their affiliate organisations cannot claim any leader who were at the forefront of freedom struggle and made notable contribution.”
He then went on to condemn it, but said Congress was determined to identify and punish those behind it.
“By these cheap conspiracies and spreading canards truth cannot be suppressed. The Congress not only condemns this mischief but is determined to identify and punish those behind it.”
With regard to rest of the classified Netaji related files, cultural minister Mahesh Sharma said that the government is planning to issue 25 files in similar fashion every month.
— ANI (@ANI_news) January 23, 2016