100 files related to Netaji declassified by PM Modi on his birth anniversary

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose

New Delhi: Files related to the Iconic leader Subhas Chandra Bose, commonly known as Netaji, were declassified today by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Netaji, who raised an army in Singapore to fight the British, passed away in a plane crash which continues to be a mystery.

Today, on the birth anniversary of Netaji, Modi released digital copies of 100 files at the National Archives of India following the government’s decision to declassify the files of the freedom fighter.

PM Modi also launched a web portal https://netajipapers.gov.in to release the digital version of the 100 files.

“As a first step, the National Archives of India is placing 100 files relating to Netaji in the public domain after preliminary conservation treatment and digitization,” a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

It added that the remaining files will be placed in the public domain after their conservation treatment and digitization.

“The Government of India has written to the concerned foreign governments to declassify all files or papers related to Netaji. The government is committed to pursue this matter with them,” the statement said.

Bose’s family members, who were present during the declassification, were overwhelmed by the decision, calling it a “great day for the entire nation”.

Modi also met Netaji family members, including Professor Chitra Ghosh, Chandra Bose and Surya Kumar Bose.

Earlier, in a meeting held in Delhi on 14 October’15, Modi promised Netaji’s family member that the union government would declassify the files relating to Netaji in a phased manner and make them accessible to the public.

Following the announced, the first lot of 33 files was declassified by the PMO and handed over to the National Archives of India on December 4, 2015.

“Subsequently, the ministries of home Affairs and external affairs too initiated the process of declassification of files relating to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in their respective collection which were then transferred to the National Archives of India,” the statement added.

Netaji, an important personality in Indian freedom fight, was not only a president of Indian National Congress but also formed Indian National Army to fight the British India.

Bose’s death which was reported to be in a plane crash in Formosa, now Taiwan, in 1945 has remained a mystery. The patriotic freedom fighter was born on January 23, 1897, in Cuttack, Odisha.

The National Archives received 990 declassified files, pertaining to the INA, from the defence ministry in 1997.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee demanded that Netaji should be declared “Leader of the Nation”.

“Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose must be given the title ‘Leader of the Nation’. He deserves that honour,” Banerjee tweeted minutes after Modi declassified the files.

Mamata Banerjee’s government on September 18, 2015, had released 64 files running into 12,744 pages in the presence of Netaji’s family members, campaigning for declassification of the files to unravel the mystery surrounding his sudden disappearance over 70 years ago.

The release of the files “will meet the long-standing public demand” and “will also facilitate scholars to carry out further research on Netaji”, a culture ministry statement has said.

Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen said in Kolkata on Saturday that he was interested in seeing the contents of the files. But it was far more important to debate his (Subhas Chandra Bose) life and work, to follow his vision, rather than to discuss in what circumstances he died.(IANS)