The first tranche, a 100 of the Netaji Bose files have been declassified today by the PMO. Prime Minister Modi coming good on his promise of releasing crucial files with his office related to what can only be called a mountain of information that the govt has acquired over six decades on Netaji and what happened to Netaji after his alleged death in a plane crash in Taipei in 1945.
Now at the outset, let us make two things very clear. One, the information supplied by this first tranche has, by no means, ended speculation on Netaji and his death. In fact if anything, there are more questions now than answers, given the fact that many papers give credence to the air crash theory. Two, the political war that the BJP and Congress have been fighting over Netaji, the alleged appropriation of Netaji's legacy is now only going to intensify, not subside. Having said that, there is now more information on what the govt, and by that we mean successive govts over the past six decades has amassed in the public domain, and by no means can they be taken either as the gospel truth or completely debunked – something that both political parties are trying at some level or the other. For example the Nakamura testimony that claims that Netaji died in front of Nakamura, or the account of Shyam Lal Jain.
Pandit Nehru's typist who claims that Nehru referred to Bose as a "war criminal" when communicating with the Russians, there is also a high intensity battle being fought on political lines. With the Congress claiming a conspiracy to malign Nehru and an attempt to benefit from it politically while the BJP is already claiming vindication saying the Congress is jittery and keeping up the pressure.
Promising there is more to come in the coming months, what the truth is we still don’t know as there are various versions of it. But there is one fundamental fact we can agree upon, that in the larger interests of transparency, this move could go a long way in perhaps laying the foundation of a national policy that mandates the declassification of govt data after a stipulated period of time in national interest as is the norm in most successful democracies in the world. The big Netaji exclusive on NewsX, we will handle this, like no other channel. That’s a guarantee, the entire debate tonight dedicated to Netaji Bose.