The de-classification of the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose files in West Bengal has given ample fodder for debate. There are several notings that go on to suggest that he may have been alive after 1945. Another interesting finding is that Bose could have been in China in the year 1948.
The West Bengal government de-classified 64 files last week and now Netaji's relatives will meet with the Prime Minister of India next month urging him to de-classify the files which are there with the union government.
Anuj Dhar, a leading researcher on Bose and the author of the book, "India's biggest cover up," says that the truth relating to Netaji lies in Faizabad.
In this interview with OneIndia, Dhar says that it is now time to raise the China angle as it has been revealed that Netaji may have have been there in 1948.
What are your thoughts on the files de-classified by West Bengal?
It is for the first time that a leader of state has said that Bose may have been alive after 1945. That by itself is a big achievement for all us who have always suggested that Netaji was alive after 1945.
The second important part is the Chinese angle. I have been saying this all along and the files suggest that he may have been in China in 1948. This basically disproves the theory that he died in Russia in the year 1945.
However, we must dig deeper in Faizabad where there were reports Bose was present as Gumnami Baba. He was alive at Faizabad and the Government of India was aware of it.
Do the de-classification of files by the WB govt put pressure on the union government now to do the same?
The only thing that works in this country is public pressure. Public pressure will talk and the government understands only that language. The biggest boost that all of us have got from the disclosure is that it has increased the pressure on the union government.
After dodging the issue for an year now, the Prime Minister and the Home Minister are willing to talk about it. If the government goes by the safe brand of Gandhi, then these files will not be disclosed.
What about the allegations of snooping as disclosed in the files?
I feel that the government must stop celebrating Nehru's birthday. I would instead like to suggest that the government must rename the National Technical Research Organisation after Nehru. He was a master at snooping.
I must add here that I have seen the Mi5 files and can say that they are on par with the ones that were released in West Bengal. All that the government did was snoop on Bose's family.
Was Netaji being snooped upon for his communist leanings?
Netaji was not a communist. He was a worshipper of Kali Maa. He was pro-Russia, but not a communist.
How do you plan on ensuring that the Union Government de-classifies the files?
We will continue to exert pressure. We will continue to build up public opinion. I request the West Bengal Chief Minister to instruct all her Members of Parliament to rake up this issue in the next session of Parliament. They must ensure that the files are de-classified.
How many files are there with the union government? Can you give us a break-up?
There are two kinds of files. The one we know about and the other we do not know about. I can give you a break up of the files that we know about. There 41 in the Prime Minister's Office, 27 with the Ministry of External Affairs, 77 with the Intelligence Bureau and the Home Ministry has files running into 60,000 pages.
There are also records with the Odisha government as well. However, the crucial files are with the Prime Minister's Office and the Ministry for Home Affairs.
What do you propose to speak with the Prime Minister when you meet him along with the rest of the family members?
We are meeting the Prime Minister on October 14th. We will press for the files to be de-classified apart from asking him to reach out to Russia and the United Kingdom and ask for the files. We want to ensure that every piece of document is brought out in public domain.