New Delhi: On the 119th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Prime Minister Narendra Modi 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.
In a tweet this morning, the Prime Minister had said:
Today is a special day for all Indians. Declassification of Netaji files starts today. Will go to National Archives myself for the same.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 23, 2016
Twelve members of the Bose family attended the event at the National Archives of India (NAI) in Delhi where the PM made public digital copies of the files.
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.
“I don’t believe the air crash theory. We may not get all the answers today but I do hope that some indications will be given,” Chandra Bose, a grand nephew of Netaji, had told NDTV earlier today.
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 and was unable to attend the event, said that her “personal belief” is that her father “died in the plane crash”.
The National Archives of India plans to release digital copies of 25 declassified files on Netaji in the public domain every month.
The first lot of 33 files were declassified by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and handed over to the the National Archives in December last year.