It’s time to unlock Netaji secret files

The Upanishads say those who know the truth become the truth

Like an intriguing trailer to a blockbuster film comes the declassification of a set of files on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. These 64 files just whet the appetite, as the clamour grows for the whole lot to be declassified so that Indians can have closure on one of the most charismatic and controversial figures in their history. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has stolen the thunder by releasing the files, almost daring the Centre to follow suit.

The BJP, which advocated their release while in Opposition, seems to have developed cold feet and certainly lost political ground in Bengal, where unravelling of the Bose mystery is seen as a popular cause.

There has been a consensus of scholarly opinion on Bose, once Congress president and later head of the Indian National Army, and his alleged demise on the airfield in Taihoku in Japanese-occupied Formosa (now Taiwan). If we believe the conspiracy theorists and a clutch of doubters in intelligence services of America and Britain, and accept Netaji was not the human torch who ran out of the plane and died on August 18, 1945, there is every reason to demand that all Bose files be declassified so that we get a better chance to crack a 70-year-long mystery.

Some reasons for the reluctance to declassify, like its possible effect on our foreign relations, sound like an old aunt’s tale. Not even the Edward Snowden revelations rocked international ties so much as to upend them. Nor has Paul Assange’s whistleblowing caused more than a ripple in how nations see each other today as friends, foes or “frenemies”. Why would the Indian state not set its spies upon Netaji, given his extremely colourful history as he ideologically flitted and tactically moved from one position to another with astounding rapidity?

History will record Bose was a man of an indescribable mystique — a nationalist who sought absolute freedom from the British yoke, who first uttered the inspirational words “Jai Hind”, a liberal who wanted women to be empowered and yet supported the naked fascism of Hitler’s Germany and expansionism of Imperial Japan, a freedom fighter who waged war against his own country if only in his attempts to rid it of its occupier, a Congress loyalist who fought with Mahatma Gandhi for unqualified “swaraj” and a charismatic leader who propped up the Azad Hind movement with its own national currency, stamps and civil code.

Should such a man’s end be shrouded forever in mystery that tests the patience of a nation while politicians indulge in their strange rite of self-preservation? To deny history its due would be a sin. The Upanishads say those who know the truth become the truth. Let’s do it now: Unlock the Netaji files.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
Next Story