The prime minister gave this assurance to Surya Bose, the eldest son of Amiya Nath Bose, at the Hotel Adlon in Berlin. Bose, the president of the Indo-German Association in Hamburg, had a half-hour meeting with Prime Minister Modi after a reception in Berlin late on Monday night where he presented a proposal on behalf of the Netaji family requesting the PM to release all the classified 'Netaji Files' held by the government.
"Prime Minister Modi was extremely positive and has promised to personally look into the declassification of the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose documents," Bose told Mail Today. Previous statements on the government's inability to declassify the Netaji files had been made without his knowledge, the PM told Bose.
The meeting with Prime Minister Modi, who is the German leg of his three-nation tour, comes in the wake of sensational revelations by India Today and Mail Today that the Intelligence Bureau (IB) snooped on the Bose family for 20 years.
The Bose family letter, a copy of which is with Mail Today, states that in view of the revelations, it had become 'even more important to declassify all files pertaining to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose'. Declassifying the files, family members believe, could help solve the mystery of Netaji's disappearance.
"The people of India and his admirers and followers worldwide would like to know the truth about what happened to Netaji on and after 18 August 1945, but also any other information that may throw further light on the Indian freedom struggle and its aftermath," the letter states.
Right to Information (RTI) appeals have revealed that the Prime Minister's Office holds 39 secret files relating to Netaji.
The Ministry of Home Affairs claimed in December that the release of the Netaji-related records may prejudicially affect 'relations with a foreign country'. In February this year, the PMO responded to an RTI application stating that the PM had no discretionary powers to declassify the Netaji files.
The PM's assurance in Berlin, the first by a head of government in recent years, has sparked new hope among the Bose family who have pushed for a declassification of all documents.
The proposal from the Bose family, whose co-signatories include Surya Bose's younger siblings Madhuri Bose and Chandra Kumar Bose, also asks for distortions in books on India's freedom struggle to be rectified and the role of freedom fighters like those of the Gadar Party, Rash Behari Bose, Chandrasekhar Azad and Bhagat Singh to be documented.
The Bose family letter also asks for a bust of Netaji to be placed in the premises of India House, the Indian High Commission in London.
The family also reiterated the demand for a Special Investigation Team to be constituted under a leading Supreme Court judge. The SIT would include professionals from the IB, CBI, MEA, historians and researchers. The family has also asked for Netaji's birthday, January 23 to be declared 'Desh Prem Divas'.
- Published in National