Centre to declassify Netaji files on 23 January

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced that the government will start de-classifying files related to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose from January 23 – his birth anniversary.

Modi said this in a series of tweets after meeting members of Bose’s extended family at his residence here.

Also read: West Bengal government releases Netaji files, digitised copies distributed among public, family members

The prime minister said the government would also request foreign governments to declassify their files on Bose, whose reported death in a plane crash in 1945 in Formosa, now Taiwan, is widely disputed.

Modi said he will begin the process involving other countries with Russia in December when he visits Moscow. 

Full coverage on Netaji files controversy

Bose, a leading light of India’s freedom movement who at one time was elected the Congress president, was said to be fleeing to Russia when his plane reportedly crashed and caught fire.

This version has been challenged for decades by innumerable Bose fans who have held varying versions of what happened to him after 1945.

Bose’s family members met Modi in the light of the West Bengal government’s declassification of official files related to the last days of Bose, who set up the Indian National Army (INA).

“It was a privilege to welcome family members of Subhas Babu to 7RCR. We had a remarkable and extensive interaction,” Modi said. 

“I told Subhas Babu’s family members – please consider me a part of your family. They shared their valuable suggestions with me,” he added.

Modi said: “There is no need to strangle history. Nations that forget their history lack the power to create it.”

The prime minister had announced in September that he would meet over 50 members of Bose’s extended family living in India and abroad.

This announcement comes weeks after the West Bengal government voluntarily decided to release 64 classified files on the Netaji.

Soon after this announcement, some of the BJP leaders were heard criticising previous Congress regimes at the centre for doing little in releasing the classified documents.

Chandan Mitra of BJP added that the the files released by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee were insignificant and the real revelation will happen on 23 January.

Chitra Ghosh, the neice of Netaji, disagreed with the BJP leader.

She said, “It’s wrong to say nothing came out from the files she released. What Mamata did was great. We may not have got answer to how he died, but at least we cane to know how netaji’s family members were scooped upon by the Congress government.”

Neeladri Banerjee, an activist who has been fighting for the Netaji files to be released, said that “we also need to know what happened after 1945. What did he do, where he went?”

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