As a kid when he was admonished by his father once, he looked down guiltily and his father disapprovingly had told him ‘Only Cowards Look Down, The Brave Do Not.’ Yes that’s my earliest memories about him. Sitting on my grand-dad’s lap this used to be my favourite story about. Needless to mention this small boy from Cuttack went on to become one of India’s most iconic hero. His famous words were, ‘give me blood and I promise you freedom!’ His death is still a mystery and there are millions like me who get inspired by this great man every hour. Yes I am talking about Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose as the nation offers him tribute on his birth anniversary.
But this happens to a little more than a day when we garland every statue of him across the country, forward messages about his greatness on What’sApp and then conveniently forget for another year. 100 files on him have been declassified. Prime Minister Narendra Modi today officially released digital copies of 100 files related to Netaji at the National Archives and this single move is expected to unveil the truth about his sudden disappearance, his mysterious death and the erstwhile Government’s apathy in keeping his legacy shrouded in mystery.
One of the most keenly followed element from these files have been whether Jawaharlal Nehru indeed referred to Netaji as war criminal. Congress has been on the offensive ever since these contents came to the fore with spokesperson Anand Sharma even mentioning that , “Congress will expose & take action against this mischievous fake letter (allegedly written by Nehru to Atlee).” Whether fake or not it decidedly cannot be negated that Bose’s immediate family has always refuted the plane crash theory about his death and these declassified files could throw light on a lot of grey zone. Not just that there are many more notes of discord, be it the eventual difference he had with Mahatma Gandhi, scant support from Congress towards his ideologies and also the fact that had he been in the picture after our independence, the country’s history would have been inked differently. The Prime Minister’s office has also indicated that 25 files will be released every month hereon.
As the nation remembers the great hero on his 119th birthday, perhaps one of the longest mysteries and the theories surrounding his disappearances and death could be set to rest sometime soon in the foreseeable future.