NEW DELHI: On the 119th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will today put in the public domain, for the first time, 100 files on the freedom fighter that have been classified till now.
PM Modi had, in his meeting with members of the Bose family in October last year, announced that the government would declassify the files relating to the leader whose disappearance 70 years ago remains a mystery.
“The National Archives of India (NAI) is placing 100 files relating to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in public domain after preliminary conservation treatment and digitization… the Prime Minister will release the digital copies of these files in public domain,” an official release said on Friday.
Two commissions of inquiry had concluded that Netaji died in a plane crash in Taipei on August 18, 1945. A third commission of inquiry and many people, including some of his relatives, have contested that theory.
Over a dozen members of the Bose family will be present when the PM will make public the files at an event in the national capital today.
But a grandnephew of the leader, Harvard historian Professor Sugata Bose is not expecting much. He believes Netaji died in the air crash.
“Tragically, Netaji died on the battlefield, fighting for India’s freedom, when the Japanese military bomber crashed at Taipei on August 18, 1945. We ought to honour his martyrdom,” Prof. Bose said in Kolkata where he and his mother, Krishna Bose run the Netaji Research Bureau.
Interestingly, both have not been invited to today’s event.
There are two other recurrent theories about Netaji’s disappearance, one of them being that the leader fled to the Soviet Union to continue to fight for India’s independence but was killed. The other says that Netaji returned to India as an ascetic, ‘Gumnami Baba’, and continued to live in Uttar Pradesh’s Faizabad till 1985.
Rejecting the ascetic theory as “total nonsense”, Netaji’s daughter Anita Bose Pfaff, who lives in Germany, said that her “personal belief” is that her father “died in the plane crash”