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Revisiting history

A great man was once heard saying, “What Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow”. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stayed true to the statement, as the state government declassified 64 files on the late freedom fighter Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose earlier last month. This was soon followed by the Modi Government. Prime Minister Modi further added that he would go ahead and approach nations including that of Japan, Russia, USA, UK, Singapore and Malaysia to also aid this initiative by declassifying all files related to Subhash Chandra Bose.

The whole process was aggravated on March 10 when former Supreme Court Judge, Markandey Katju expressed his feelings about the late freedom fighter on a popular social media site boldly accusing Bose being a promoter of Japanese Fascism. He further went on to say that Bose was being used by the Japanese as an agent. He also added that if Japan did help India drive away the British, India would then be converted into a Japanese colony and brutally looted. Katju, post his remark faced a lot of flak on Twitter from across the country. Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice President Hamid Ansari openly disapproved Katju’s comments saying that the house was in absolute disapproval and condemned such remarks about not only Bose being described as a Japanese agent but also Gandhi being called a British agent by the same man. The leader of the House and Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley further went on to question the former Apex court judge’s utterances saying that such a mindset on historical leaders of the country was not only shocking but also unacceptable. Katju’s relationship with the Bengal Government, especially with Mamata Banerjee, has been strained. However, with PM Modi announcing declassification of the Bose files, Mamata has managed to return a strong blow to the former judge.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on Wednesday, saying that the process of this declassification of the Bose files would commence on the 115th birthday of the iconic freedom fighter on the 23rd of January 2016. He further condemned the idea of strangling history saying that nations that forget their history also lack the ability to make it.  The Prime Minister’s active participation came forward after his meeting with Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s family at his residence on Wednesday. He also spoke to the media saying that History as a subject cannot be prepared for a study if the correct information on Bose wasn’t released. Post the meeting, Netaji’s grandson, Chandra Kumar Bose, spoke to the media addressing his grievances against earlier Governments in power which have continuously suppressed all documents in the past and declared that it was about time they were released for public knowledge.

Though this remains a dig at history amongst some political rivalries between state, Centre and former Judge Katju, the declassification of the files will be a part of the greater good that could be awarded not only to the society but also the national hero in the late Subhash Chandra Bose. It will open an area of research to scholars to explore the secret behind the death of Bose and probably even the determination and cause for the same sometime shortly.
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