A DAY before the Centre places 100 files relating to Subhash Chandra Bose in public domain on the occasion of his 118th birth anniversary, officials said footfall at Kolkata Police Museum, where 64 such files made public by the Bengal government in September last year are kept, seems to be decreasing.
Since September 15, 2015, when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had declassified the files — the same were made available on 10 computers at the museum — only 3,298 visitors have visited the museum till January 21, 2016. The museum register shows that while there were 600 visitors in September 2015 and 1,100 (500 from St Thomas School) in October, the number of visitors in November and December 2015 was 900 and 450, respectively. In January this year, 248 people have visited the museum till Thursday.
“Most of the young people who come here are bored within five minutes of looking at the scanned copies of pages after pages of the files. They don’t have the patience to go through the documents, which will take hours. Only around half-a-dozen elderly persons, who were there when Netaji was alive, visit regularly for 5 to 6 days a month and go through these files,” said a museum official.
He added that initially, several high-ranking administrative officials had visited the museum from different parts of the country. Even school students from districts like Darjeeling, Burdwan and Purulia had come.
Museum in-charge Rajiv Ganguly, however, maintained he was happy with the footfall. “Something like this will take time to pick up. We will send proposals to the police commissioner for taking different steps, like introducing audio visual to generate more awareness and interest among youth about Netaji,” he said.
Netaji’s grandnephew and Trinamool Congress MP Sugata Bose, meanwhile, claimed these files were not very important. “It is a complete misnomer. Of course any files pertaining to Netaji should be in the public forum but these are not very important. The actual material relating to Netaji have been compiled painstakingly for 50 years and have been kept at the museum at Netaji Bhavan in Kolkata where there is a steady flow of interested youth. These comprise letters, pictures, voice records and film footages among others,” he said.