Certain media reports on the alleged spying on Netaji Subhash Bose’s family after his mysterious death have created a great political debate and storm. As per these reports, Pt Nehru had ordered spying on Netaji’s family, which went on until 1968. It has been made public by two Intelligence Bureau files, which were de-classified and transferred to the National Archives by the West Bengal government. To add fuel to the fire, it has been claimed that some crucial files related to Netaji were destroyed by the Indira Gandhi government in 1972 while an enquiry commission was working on Neaji’s alleged disappearance.
But like the previous UPA government, the BJP government too has refused to make public all the files on Netaji Subhas Bose’s disappearance. There are 41 files on Subhas Chandra Bose, created between 1953 and 2000. Of them, two have been declassified and are accessible at the National Archives. Of the rest, four are ‘Top Secret’, 20 ‘Secret’, five ‘Classified’ and 10 ‘Unclassifed’.
Two ‘Top Secret’ files are about the transfer of Netaji’s ashes to India and the official correspondence with, and about, his widow and daughter. The other two are titled ‘Death/Disappearance of Netaji SC Bose Justice Mukherjee Commission of Inquiry’. While most of the 20 ‘Secret’ files are on Bose’s disappearance, one is titled ‘Bharat Ratna Award: Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Subhas Chandra Bose, JRD Tata and Morarji Desai’, cleraly a discussion on who should get the highest civilian award. One of the ‘Classified’ files is on Bose’s mortal remains “kept in the Rankoji Temple in Japan on behalf of the Governemnt of India”. In all, 21 files pertain to disappearance or circumstances of Netaji’s death, and various inquiry committees.
At least three judicial commissions have probed the matter, but the reports were never accepted by the government. The Justice Manoj Mukherjee Commission of Inquiry set up in 1999 said that Netaji was indeed dead, but he did not die in the said plane crash over Taiwan, and that the ashes in a Japanese temple were not Netaji’s. But this report was rejected by the government. As the ‘mystery’ continues, the demand for the files to be made public keeps getting stronger.