THE COUNTRY’S political discourse is likely to change after January 23 next year when the government unveils secret files related to Subhas Chandra Bose, BJP leader and party co-observor for Bengal, Sidharth Nath Singh, said on Thursday.
He also questioned why the Congress governments did not disclose the files so far.
Singh, who was present during the interaction that Netaji’s 35 relatives had with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Wednesday, said the decision to declassify the files was “historic”, as it will help bring to light many things that have been hidden in the last seven decades.
“The wait of 70 years has come to an end by the historic decision taken by Prime Minister Modi. The political discourse of the country is likely to change after January 23, 2016,” Singh said while referring to the decision to declassify the files on that day — the birth anniversary of Bose.
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There are about 300 files and the first set will be declassified on January 23. While the government will make public the documents available with it, the PM will personally take up with leaders of some other countries like Russia, China, Japan, Germany, Britain and Taiwan, urging them to declassify files related to Netaji, he said.
Singh, BJP’s secretary in-charge of West Bengal, rejected the perception that the Centre decided to declassify the files “under pressure” as Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee government did so recently.
He said that the PM told Bose’s kin that after taking over in May last year, he had read about the controversy as well as refusal of the previous governments to declassify the files and had immediately asked Home Minister Rajnath Singh to look into the matter.
“Subsequently, a committee headed by the cabinet secretary was set up in April-May to study the subject,” Singh quoted Modi as saying. “It is not in our DNA to strangle history,” Modi told the family, said Singh.
Giving details about Wednesday’s interaction, he said the Prime Minister told Bose’s family members that it was an
“honour” for him to serve the nation and a “privilege to serve the family of Netaji”. He added that Modi told the family members that they should consider him as one of them and instead of making a request, they should make him do this work.
Contending that the decision to declassify was “a result of that effort which has been going on for months”, Singh went on to suggest that Mamata had declassified the files because of the initiatives of Modi who had met some relatives of Netaji in Germany in April and some others in West Bengal later. “Nevertheless, we are happy that Mamata declassified the files,” he added.
The BJP leader said Congress had become “jittery” because of the decision as the “history will be re-written now”.
Questioning why the previous Congress governments had refused to declassify the files despite demands over the last seven decades, Singh asked: “Did they have something to hide? Was there a cover-up in not declassifying the files?”
The files declassified by West Bengal government and certain leaked documents have already “pointed fingers towards Congress, particularly Jawaharlal Nehru ji,” Singh said, referring to reports that the Bose’s relatives were snooped upon in 1950s and 1960s by the then government. He also questioned why the Nehru government had not given the due pension to the members of Indian National Army (INA) headed by Netaji.