23-Jan-2013 marked the 116th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the greatest yet the most ignored Indian freedom fighter. We know his date of birth but do we have his definitive date of death? What happened to him during the peak of the Second World War? Official version of Indian government is that Bose was killed in a plane crash in Taiwan on 18-Aug-1945. But then how can he die if the Taiwan government says there was no such plane crash in their country on or around that date? Two Indian enquiry commissions finalised that Bose died in the crash whereas a third commission proved in 2005 that there was no such plane crash! So, what happened to Bose if he saw the morning of 19-Aug-1945? Isn’t that the beginning of an unclear and unheard story?
Our government has all the information, but it still maintains secrecy about the incidents post 18-Aug-1945. Here are some numbers that can give you a shock – the various government agencies and departments today maintain more than 1000 secret files about Bose. The Prime Minister’s Office is holding 33 such files, out of which 7 are labelled TOP SECRET which according to the PMO, can potentially create exceptionally grave damage if they come out. The remaining files are labelled either SECRET or CONFIDENTIAL. The Ministry of Home Affairs holds 70,000 pages of secret information on Bose. The Ministry of External Affairs is holding at least 12 secret files. The Intelligence Bureau has 77 secret files. RA&W (Research and Analysis Wing) says it does not have any secret files about Bose but a sworn affidavit filed to one of the commissions reveals that it also possesses secret information. Even the Ministry of Urban Development, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, and the Department of Food & Public Distribution hold secret files about him!
Why can’t we end this secrecy about Bose’s death? What bomb does those files contain that can harm India’s sovereignty and foreign relations as the government keeps telling us? That too, even after 67 years of his “death”? As the Dalai Lama famously said, “Lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity”. Join us at Mission Netaji (www.subhaschandrabose.org & www.missionnetaji.org) to ask the government to bring to light each and every unknown record about Bose and end the secrecy!