January 23 – Desh Prem Diwas – the day on which Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was born. On this day last year, BJP leader Rajnath Singh took to Twitter to state that the people wanted to know how Netaji died and under what circumstances. He even challenged the UPA to declassify the secret files about Bose’s disappearance. 365 days later, it appears that the same Rajnath Singh who is India’s home minister now, has brazenly gulped down his own hot words with several glasses of cold water.
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.
During the last general election campaign, the BJP challenged the UPA to disclose all the secret files about Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, in public and national interest. Rajnath Singh tweeted this on 23-Jan-2014 and he spoke about it in Cuttack where he garlanded a Netaji statue. A few months after swearing in, the new BJP government rejected our RTI petition asking for the declassification of those files, for the same reasons its political adversary cited for dismissing such requests earlier. We were also told that the government does not see any public interest in this matter.