True to its promise, Modi government at the centre has declassified 100 files on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. The files included 16000 pages mostly correspondence. Government promised to release more files gradually, around 25 files per month.
I have not read the files. Listening to Television channels and gleaning through news paper reports, I came to understand that nothing really incriminating has emerged that can crucify past governments. If anything, congress party was supporting daughter of Subhash Chandra Bose with a monthly stipend of Rs. 500. Earlier declassification has revealed that congress government was also tracking correspondence of family members of Bose family.
Listening to discourses on Television, four points became apparent.
- First, one set of family members lead by Ms Anita Pfaff, Prof. Sugato Bose and Mr. Ashish Ray claimed their view was confirmed that Netaji died in plane crash.
- Rest of the family members, lead by Mrs. Chitra Bose, believed nothing actually has come out about Netaji’s death. Though the family welcomed Prime Ministers move, they wanted more information from intelligence file to come out. Historian Anuj Dhar also supported the view.
- Congress party came out all guns blazing. Party spokes person Mr. Anand Sharma threatened to sue central government, RSS and BJP. According to Mr. Sharma, revelations are politically motivated and intended to destroy reputation and legacy of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, first prime minister of India. After some brainstorming about aggressive stance of congress party, it became apparent, that Mr. Sharma was in all likelihood alluding to a letter circulating in social media which suggest that Pandit Nehru wrote a letter to Clemont Atlee about Subhash Bose. However, no information came out about this letter being part of documents revealed.
- Another theory that is going around is slow and sustained release of information is likely to be timed for Bengal election. With most damaging bit coming out closest to the election. I find this argument strange. If anyone to be damaged by revealation, it will be congress that has marginal presence in Bengal. Mamata Banerjee will emerge unscathed from any such revelation. On the other hand, BJP will be living in a dream land if they think they will become a player in Bengal piggybacking on Netaji documents declassification. Bengal is generally pro left. Political space is likely to be changed between left and TMC. BJP has a long way to go to carve a niche for them in the state.
I had always felt and wrote that Subhash Chandra Bose was an extraordinary leader. He had managed to sell a vision of nationhood to diverse set of people of Indian origin coming from diverse background and belief. So much so many had contributed their lives savings to the formation of Indian National Army. It is probably academic after so many years, if he really died in air plane crash or he managed to survive. A worthy son of India who sacrificed everything for the nation, must be given his due.