Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s daughter has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declassify files relating to the leader that are with the Centre so that the mystery surrounding his disappearance over 70 years ago is unravelled.
On the recent release of 64 secret files on Netaji by the West Bengal government, 72-year-old Anita Bose Pfaff said she was yet to receive copies of the documents. “I am, therefore, not aware of their content, especially not of any information about his death.”
She also said, “I would appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declassify the files that are with the Centre.”
“As a scholar, I certainly believe that all the old files which have been kept closed beyond thirty years should be declassified. As a daughter, I certainly also demand that those on my father be declassified,” Anita said in an email interview with PTI, joining the growing chorus for release of the Netaji files held by central government departments.
Members of the Bose family, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and many others have been demanding declassification of the Netaji files by the Centre.
Asked whether she would appeal to the British, Russian and Japan governments to declassify the files they have on Netaji, Anita said, “It would be helpful, if the Indian government appealed to those other governments to make files available for study. Some countries have a ‘right to information’. However, as long as the Indian government has not declassified their files, they are in a poor position to ask others.”
Anita, a noted economist based in Germany, also demanded that DNA test of the ashes — believed to be that of Netaji — kept at Japan’s Renkoji temple be carried out in order to settle the mystery surrounding his death in an air crash.
Noting that she believed her father died in the air crash in Taihoku airport in Taiwan in August in 1945 “until proved otherwise”, she said the ashes hold key to unravelling the mystery.
“I certainly would like the ‘mystery’ settled. An agreement between Indian and Japanese governments to a DNA-test of the remains at Renkoji temple would certainly be helpful,” she said.
“Moreover I wish the Indian public would concern themselves more with his life and his achievements from which there is much to be learned than with his death!” she said.
She alleged that successive Congress governments had neglected the contributions made by Bose and his Indian National Army (INA).
“The Congress governments have by and large neglected Netaji and INA’s contributions. The (Mukherjee) Commission did get a lot of time, some resources, though seems to have gotten little support,” Anita said.