What surprises will Netaji files hold for us?

We have never been this close to finding out.

 |  1-minute read |   22-01-2016
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On Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s 119th birth anniversary tomorrow, the government of India will begin the declassification of files held by the prime minister’s office.

This follows an assurance given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to members of the Bose family who he met on several occasions last year.

The impetus for this declassification was provided by revelations in India Today magazine last April, of a two-decade long surveillance on members of the Bose family by the Jawaharlal Nehru government after independence.

What can we expect in the classified Netaji files held by the government? Well, we have a fair idea of what is there in the files thanks to some relentless work by RTI activists.

The government has a library of over 150 files relating to the freedom fighter held by the PMO, home ministry and the foreign ministry.

What is being declassified tomorrow are least 37 files from the prime minister’s office. Four files have been classified "Top Secret", 20 of them marked "Secret", 5 of them confidential and 8 files are unclassified.

These files relate to the appointment of three enquiries in the 1950s, 1960s and 2006 into the mysterious disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, what are said to be his ashes kept at the Renkoji temple in Tokyo, correspondence between the government and Netaji’s wife Emilie Schenkl.

What surprises will the files hold for us? We have never been this close to finding out.


Sandeep Unnithan Sandeep Unnithan @sandeepunnithan

The writer is Executive Editor, India Today.

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