The files on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose that were declassified by the West Bengal government on Friday contain letters supporting the theory that he was alive after 1945 and that his family was snooped upon, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said.
“There are intercepts. I have seen the documents and it is clear from them that the family of Netaji was spied upon,” she told the media here.
On the snooping, she said it was “unfortunate” that after India’s independence, Netaji did not get due honour. In addition, she said, some letters said he was alive after his “disappearance”.”There are certain letters where many have said that he was alive after 1945,” the chief minister said.
The digitised version of the declassified 64 files was made available in a set of seven DVDs. The original files are housed at the Calcutta Police Museum. The files will be accessible to the public from Monday on a first-come-first-served basis.
“Each and every page is important. Historians and researchers must study these files minutely. We must know the truth about the great, brave son of the soil,” Banerjee added.
The Trinamool Congress supremo said the central government should also declassify the files in its possession.
“The truth should come out. If there is nothing to hide, why is the Centre not declassifying (the files)?” she asked.
“You cannot suppress the truth. Let the truth come out. It will come out today or tomorrow.”
Quizzed on whether the declassification of files by the Centre could affect bilateral relations with some countries, she countered: “Why would relations with other countries be spoiled if we honour our great icons who fought for our freedom? Now, we have got independence.”
Banerjee said that before declassifying the files, the state government has seen that “internationally nothing will happen. If we have bilateral relation with a country, it is necessary to review it”.
Further, she asserted that law and order problems were unlikely to arise due to the declassification and if at all such problems surface, the state government was ready to tackle them.
An August 22, 1945, Tokyo Radio announced the ‘death’ of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in an air crash in Formosa (now Taiwan) on August 18, 1945, en route to Japan.
But the crash theory has been rejected by scores of Netaji’s followers and admirers and claims of the revolutionary leader resurfacing continue to intrigue and divide Indians over the years.
Recently declassified files of the union home ministry revealed that the family of Netaji was placed under intensive surveillance from 1948 to 1968 by the central government.
The country had three Congress prime ministers during these 20 years — Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Indira Gandhi.