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It’s a shame, we still don’t know what happened to Netaji: Mamata on his 121st birthday

The Bengal chief minister slammed the Centre for not declaring Subhash Chandra Bose’s birthday as a national holiday.

india Updated: Jan 23, 2018 17:35 IST
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Kolkata,west bengal,bengal
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee pays floral tributes at the statue of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose on his 121st birth anniversary in Kolkata on Tuesday. Netaji's grand nephew Sugata Bose is also seen. (PTI Photo)

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee slammed the Centre on Tuesday for not declassifying all files related to Subhas Chandra Bose, on his 121st birthday, and not declaring it as a national holiday.

She said the national leader is yet to get his due honours.

“It’s a shame that we still do not know what happened to Netaji after he left Bengal in 1941. Files related to him have still not been declassified. His birthday is not yet a national holiday… Cannot we show this much respect to him?” Banerjee said.

According to the members of Bose family, 77 Intelligence Bureau (IB) files lying with the Centre are yet to be declassified.

Incidentally, Banerjee was the first head of a government to declassify files related to Netaji. In 2015, the state government declassified all 64 files in its possession, following which the Centre started releasing secret files in the public domain from January 23, 2016.

Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, too, took a jibe at the Centre on the issue. In a social media post on Tuesday, he wrote, “The most crucial NETAJI FILES have not yet been declassified despite the promises been made, according to sources.”

Banerjee also used the occasion to hit out at the Centre for disbanding the planning commission. “Netaji had envisaged the formation of the planning commission but it was disbanded (by Modi government),” she rued.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, too, took to social media to reassert his commitment towards declassifying Netaji files lying with the Centre. “We have started the process of declassifying all files related to Netaji and the process continues. The people of the country have a right to know what happened to their beloved leader. I have also requested other countries to share with us files related to Netaji,” Modi said in a short video released from his Twitter handle.

Responding to the CM’s response, Netaji’s grand nephew and Bengal BJP vice-president, Chandra Kumar Bose, said he respected her sentiments, “but I beg to disagree with her on the demand for declaring his birthday as a national holiday”. “His birthday should be declared Deshprem Divas and the Centre is working towards it,” Bose told HT over phone from Gawahati. He said the PM has entrusted home minister Rajnath Singh with the task of declassifying IB files related to Netaji. “I have been coordinating with Singh every week.”

He said the Centre is also working towards forming a Special Investigating Team, as was demanded by the members of Bose family, for a comprehensive investigation and report on information available from the declassified files.

First Published: Jan 23, 2018 17:11 IST