Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday more than 50 relatives of Subhas Chandra Bose will visit him next month, an announcement that came against the backdrop of the West Bengal government making public 64 secret files on the firebrand freedom fighter.
“There is something I am very happy to share. In May I went to Kolkata where I met the family of Subhas babu,” Modi said. “I have wanted to invite the entire family of Subhas Bose to my residence and in October, over 50 family members will come to 7RCR.”
Highlighting how Bose used radio during his struggle for India’s freedom, Modi said during his monthly radio address Mann Ki Baat: “It is a matter of joy for me that I can host (the Bose family) at my residence. They are coming from various nations.”
Though Modi did not give more details, there has been a fresh clamour for the declassification of 130-odd files on Netaji that are with the Central government.
Also read: The ball is in Modi’s court
Bose’s relatives and researchers have maintained that the secret files in Delhi are of great significance as they could contain the answer to the disappearance of the Netaji.
Bose, the leader of the Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army), is said to have died on August 18, 1945 in a plane crash at Taihoku in Taiwan.
Also read: What the Bengal files say
The files with 12,744 pages made public by West Bengal showed several people writing to members of Bose’s family and saying they were told the freedom fighter was alive but experts said the documents contained no conclusive proof.
During his radio address, Modi also lauded the Election Commission, saying it had become a facilitator that is very “voter friendly”.
His comments came on the heels of the poll panel giving the go-ahead for the Prime Minister’s radio address after the Congress sought curbs on it before the assembly elections in Bihar from October 12 to November 5.
Modi did not touch on politics in his address. He stressed how his radio show and pet schemes had struck a chord with the nation.
“My fellow citizens, this is 12th episode of Mann Ki Baat, a year has passed. I had addressed you in October last year,” he said in the beginning.
“One year, a lot of conversation. I learnt a lot from you. Jan Shakti (people’s strength) is very important in a democracy.”
Harping on his Clean India campaign, Modi said, “Parliament talks about cleanliness now, I am also criticised for it but I do not consider this to be a bad thing.”
He recalled the response to campaigns such as “Selfie with daughter” and “Incredible India” and asked people to spend time at Shauryanjali, an exhibition by the army to mark the golden jubilee of the 1965 war with Pakistan and soak in history.
Reiterating his mantra of “Jan Shakti”, Modi signed off by saying: “This is your Mann Ki Baat. This makes me very happy.”