For ages, the Congess-led Indian government has been keeping an indifferent stand on the declassification of the secret files about the death of Indian freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The BJP used this as a political tool against the Congress government during its campaign for the Indian general election earlier this year. The current home minister Rajnath Singh also claimed back then that the BJP government would declassify the files and end the secrecy surrounding Bose’s death.
It has been several months after the BJP government has come to the centre, and yet we see no serious plans from the government to disclose the truth. Even more disturbing is its current stand on this issue – various government agencies (including the PMO and Rajnath Singh’s home ministry) resort to the lame excuses the Congress government used for not declassifying the files. This is a complete U-turn from its pre-election promise. We (MIssion Netaji) wrote to the prime minister Narendra Modi multiple times and haven’t received any satisfactory reply in this regard.
Among other things, the government fears that the disclosure of the truth will spoil India’s friendly relations with foreign countries. This is one excuse that is really hard to understand. The one country that can be associated with Bose’s whereabouts post the official death date of 18 August 1945, is the USSR obviously. But the very fact that this country no longer exists makes things even more complex and complicated. If it is not the USSR, which country is potentially at a risk of losing friendly ties with India? This also shows that the government does not have any commitment to its people and that it cares only about foreign relations and not its citizens and national heroes. If that is the case, I bear shame to be called myself an Indian.
The only ray of hope today is that there is an unusual momentum that this issue is gathering. The Trinamool Congress in the Went Bengal has been keeping secrets about Bose’s death mystery. But one of its MPs in the Rajya Sabha today raised a demand for the declassification on the floor of the parliament. Dr Subramanian Swamy of the BJP stated it very clearly that he supports declassification and that he expects the government to release the secret files in due time. Vir Sanghvi wrote on The Hindustan Times yesterday about the non-cooperation of the BJP government in this issue. MDMK’s Vaiko called for a peaceful protest on the 23rd of this month to demand the centre for declassification. In a very promising move, the Kolkata high court today asked various government agencies including the PMO, National Advisory Council, R&AW, IB, defence secretary, prime minister’s private secretary, home affairs department, and the West Bengal government to file affidavits stating their stand on the declassification issue. As Dr Swamy himself tweeted, the nation needs to put pressure on the prime minister to go for total declassification. Truth is like the sun; it cannot be kept behind the clouds for all times to come.
Image: The last known photograph of Bose. Courtesy of hindustantimes.com.