Monday, December 1, 2014

#NetajiFiles #BJP toeing #Congress line on #Netaji's disappearance

The BJP-led government has refused to make public nearly 39 classified files on the mysterious disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and related matters, in sharp contrast to the demands of disclosure raised by its senior leaders when in Opposition.

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's grand nephew has said that this refusal by the Modi led NDA Govt to disclose the files confirms that there was an international conspiracy surounding Bose's disappearance.

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in a recent RTI reply accepted that there were 41 files related to Bose, of which two had been declassified, but refused to disclose them taking a position similar to that of the erstwhile Congress-led UPA government. "Disclosure of documents contained in these files would prejudicially affect relations with foreign countries. As such, these files are exempted from disclosure under Section 8(1)(a) read with Section 8(2) of the Right to Information Act," the PMO said in its reply to RTI activist Subhash Agrawal.
All India Forward Block, a party founded by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, today said ruling BJP is following the same path of Congress in suppressing the facts about the revolutionary leader. 'The current "somersault attitude" of the party regarding the issues related to Netaji is highly "condemnable" and they should apologise for "be-fooling" the people,'Debabrata Biswas, General Secretary, AIFB said in a statement.
It was the year 1956. Justice Phani Bhusan Chakravartti, then Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court, asked visiting British Prime Minister Clement Atlee about why the Britishers left India. Citing the conversation, NSA Ajit Doval said in a recent Conference:

“Clement Atlee was asked that why did you (the British) leave India, after all you had won the Second World War. The burst was over since then. The Quit India Movement was a flop in 1942. So what was the tearing hurry in 1947 that you decided to leave the country immediately?

Then British Prime Minister replied it was (because of) the spark that Subhas Chandra Bose created among the soldiers of Indian Army. Atlee said, ‘It was the threat of Subhas Bose and the rise of Indian nationalism from which we understood that it was a matter of time’.”

Recall Royal Indian Navy Mutiny. The stories of Subhas Chandra Bose and INA’s fight during the Siege of Imphal and in Burma were seeping into the glaring public-eye. From the initial flashpoint in Bombay, the revolt spread to Karachi and Calcutta. There was similar resistance in Indian Army, thanks to the influence of Subhas Bose.

In January when the Lok Sabha election campaign was at its peak, the then BJP president Rajnath Singh, during a visit to Cuttack - the birthplace of Netaji - on the occasion of his 117th birth anniversary, had demanded that the UPA government make public the records related to the freedom fighter. Singh is now the Home Minister.

Singh had claimed during the election campaign that there was larger public interest in the disclosure of the documents, but the PMO under Modi seems not to be in agreement as is evident from the reply which considered the larger public interest disclosure clause - section 8(2) - of the RTI Act but chose to withhold the documents. The section 8(2) says, "Notwithstanding anything in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 nor any of the exemptions permissible in accordance with sub-section(1), a public authority may allow access to information, if public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interests." "The entire country is impatient to know as to how Netaji died and under what circumstances," Singh had said, releasing a book on the eve of Netaji's birth anniversary in Cuttack on January 22. The PMO said in its reply, "Yes this office has some files related to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. A list of files unclassified/classified/declassified with number and subject matter relating to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is enclosed."