New Delhi, Aug 16 (IANS) Just a couple of days ahead of what is considered as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's death anniversary, a sitting member of Parliament has set off a row by alleging that India has not yet declassified the entire set of files on Netaji while firing a salvo at Jawaharlal Nehru for an alleged conspiracy against one of the country's foremost freedom fighters.
Trinamool Congress MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, who has been relentlessly raising the issue of transparency in the disappearance of Bose, both inside and outside the Parliament, has all guns blazing in an interview to IANS.
Here are some excerpts from the interview.
Q: After 75 years of Netaji's disappearance, do you think we know what happened with him?
A: There has been a concerted conspiracy for ages to ensure the truth doesn't come out. I would urge that hidden files in Britain, America, Russia and Japan be declassified. Why are they not being done? I would add even Vietnam to that list.
Q: Are you suggesting that primacy should be given to urge those governments to declassify their files pertaining to Netaji?
A: The British released some files but extended the release period of the classified ones till 2025 in 2000 when they were supposed to be declassified. So where is the guarantee that they won't extend it to 2050 when 2025 comes. After 3-4 generations, no one would be this interested in what happened to Netaji. That seems to be their idea.
Q: According to you, what should be the solution?
A: I wrote to (then External Affairs Minister) Sushma Swaraj over this issue. She told the Rajya Sabha that the US has informed them of their inability citing scattered records. When we are talking about Digital India and when all the information is at the click of a mouse, the US claiming “scattered records” is laughable. Britain said they have declassified those files they deemed fit. Japan didn't reply. Then I wrote again to Sushma Swaraj asking her to urge all these foreign governments. But what can one MP do when all other MPs don't care? No MPs are interested in the issue.
Q: But back home, India declassified Netaji files, unravelling a lot of unknown truths, won't you agree?
A: I am challenging that India has not declassified all the Netaji Files. Still there are documents pertaining to Netaji in the Defence Ministry, and the PMO.
Q: You have mentioned a ‘conspiracy' since the days of the Raj. Can you elaborate?
A: The INA (Indian National Army) was the reason India got independence. Scores of INA soldiers were detained in camps in India, and others tried in the Red Fort. Sea of people were waiting outside chanting Netaji's slogans. Jawaharlal Nehru, who never practiced law in his life, along with Tej Bahadur Sapru, went to defend the INA soldiers only to be seen on the side of the INA. Nehru wore a gown and went there for publicity. The conspiracy is that old. Why was the Shahnawaz Committee formed? Why an enquiry by a former INA member? The moment that enquiry was over, he was made a Deputy Minister in the Central government.