The process of declassification of secret government files related to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose will begin on January 23, 2016 — the freedom fighter’s birth anniversary — Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Wednesday, complying to a long-standing demand by activists and the leader’s kith and kin.
Modi met Netaji’s family members on Wednesday evening and tweeted, “It was a privilege to welcome family members of Subhas Babu to 7RCR. We had a remarkable & extensive interaction. “
He added: “There is no need to strangle history. Nations that forget their history lack the power to create it. Process of declassification of files relating to Netaji will begin on 23rd January 2016, Subhas Babu’s birth anniversary.”
Modi also wrote that he will request foreign governments to declassify files on Netaji available with them, beginning with Russia in December.
In September, 64 secret Netaji files were declassified by the West Bengal government, out of which nine belonged to the Intelligence Branch and the remaining 55 to the Kolkata Police special branch (intelligence wing).
According to the accepted version of events, Netaji died in an air crash in Taiwan in 1945. But many of his relatives, friends and followers have disagreed with this narrative, forcing the Indian government to commission three different inquiries into the event between 1956 and 1999.
Two secret files declassified in April showed that several members of Bose’s family were kept under surveillance between 1948 and 1968. The files were sent to the National Archives after being declassified in 2012.
Anuj Dhar, the author of “India’s Biggest Cover-Up”, a book on the mystery surrounding Netaji’s reported death, found the two intelligence files at the National Archives a few months ago. “These files were declassified by mistake. When there is a large-scale declassification of files, some files come out by mistake,” Dhar had told .