Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File photo)

TMC MP asks PM Modi to publish controversial book on Netaji, IMA

Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said that as per an official note exchanged between the MoD and the ministry of external affairs, pages 186 -191 of the unpublished book could add to the view that Netaji may not have died but survived the plane crash in August 1945
By HT Correspondent | Edited by Sameer
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 03:26 PM IST

Trinamool Congress (TMC) member of Parliament Sukhendu Sekhar Roy has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to publish a controversial book on the role played by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and the Indian National Army (INA) in India’s freedom struggle between 1942 and 1945.

“The history division of MoD [ministry of defence) had prepared a full-fledged book under the leadership of noted historian Pratul Gupta on the role played by Netaji and Azad Hind Fauj [INA] in India’s freedom struggle during the period 1942 – 45. Unfortunately, the book didn’t see the light of the day till date,” he said.

Roy claimed to have received an anonymous letter with an official note exchanged between the MoD and the ministry of external affairs (MoEA) a few years back. He said that according to that note, pages 186 -191 of the unpublished book could add to the view that Netaji may have not have died but survived the plane crash in August 1945. Hindustan Times could not verify the authenticity of the note.

Also read | Parakram Diwas: All you need to know about Bose anniversary controversy

“In the note, the MoD had wanted to know from the MoEA whether publishing the book may in any way harm India’s relations with any countries. The MoEA gave a green signal to publish the book. The MoEA note, however, says that pages 186-191 would likely to be more controversial as those only added to the view that Netaji may have escaped alive from the plane crash,” Roy wrote.

He added in 2009, Chandrachur Ghose, a researcher from Haryana, filed a PIL saying that either he should be given a copy of that book or it should be published. In September 2010, the then chief information commissioner directed the Centre to either hand over a draft copy of the book to Ghose or publish that book. The then government moved the Delhi High Court, where the case is still pending.

“On June 7, I had sent a letter, urging the Prime Minister that as his government was committed to declassifying all files related to Netaji, the Centre may file an application before the high court saying that it was ready to publish the edited version of the book. The PM acknowledged my letter but thereafter no steps were taken. This is very unfortunate,” said Roy.

On January 19, he again wrote a letter to the Prime Minister with a similar content requesting that the Centre should publish the book and all files related to Netaji.

He said that in 2015, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee declassified all the files related to Netaji. Since then, they are displayed at the Kolkata Police Museum. A few months later in 2016, with an eye on the West Bengal assembly polls, the Union government declassified around 100 files. Later another 100 files were declassified in two phases.

“They [the Centre] however say that around 350 files have been declassified over which I have serious doubts. I have a strong feeling that still the PMO [Prime Minister’s Office], IB [Intelligence Bureau], defence ministry and external affairs ministry are yet to declassify many secret files. I have raised several questions on this in the Rajya Sabha but every time I got half-truth and my questions were evaded,” said Roy.

“Yesterday I have sent a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office and it has been received. A copy has also been forwarded to the Union defence minister Rajnath Singh.”

The request comes three days ahead of the 125th birth anniversary of Bose, which the Centre is celebrating as Parakram Divas (day of valour). TMC has alleged it was not consulted in the decision-making process for Parakram Diwas and wants the day to be celebrated as Desh Nayak Diwas (the national hero’s day).

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