Prime Minister Narendra Modi declassified Netaji files at National Archives on today, 23 January 2016. PM Modi also released the digital copies of 100 files related to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose on his birth anniversary today and met his family members.
The files were declassified and put on digital display at the National Archives of India (NAI) here by the Prime Minister, who pressed a button in the presence of Bose family members and Union Ministers Mahesh Sharma and Babul Supriyo.
PM Modi said process of declassification of Netaji files will begin on 23 January. Later, Modi and his ministerial colleagues went around glancing at the declassified files, spending over half an hour at the National Archives. He also spoke to the members of the Bose family.
In October 2015, the PM Modi had met the family members of Netaji and announced that the government would declassify the files relating to the leader whose disappearance 70 years ago remains a mystery.
While two commissions of inquiry had concluded that Netaji had died in a plane crash in Taipei on 18 August, 1945, a third probe panel, headed by Justice M K Mukherjee, had contested it and suggested that Bose was alive after that. The controversy had also split members of the Bose family too.
The first lot of 33 files were declassified by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and handed over to the NAI on 4 December 2015. The Ministries of Home Affairs and External Affairs too initiated the process of declassification of files relating to Bose in their respective collection which were then transferred over to the NAI.
Chandra Bose said “We couldn’t go through all the files as of now. But as of now, what we could go through, there are only circumstantial evidence of the air-crash but no conclusive evidence of the air crash.”
“Even in one of the letters that we saw here which was written by Lal Bahadur Shastri to Suresh Bose that there is no conclusive evidence about the air crash, only few circumstantial evidence,” he told after the files were declassified.
He also stressed that the files lying in KGB archives in Russia and those with Germany, UK and USA “will bring out more that what lies in those files. As we apprehend that certain files might have been destroyed.”
Just ahead of the declassification ceremony, an aged family member broke down in the presence of the Prime Minister.
Besides the controversy over whether Subhash Bose died in the 1945 air crash or not, those who believe he was alive after that have different theories about what happened to the leader. While one of the theories says Bose fled to the former Soviet Union to continue to fight for India’s independence but was later killed there, the other says that Netaji returned to
India as an severe, named ‘Gumnami Baba, and continued to live in Uttar Pradesh’s Faizabad till 1985.
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