Man­mo­han move to get Bose ashes was stopped

DE­CLAS­SI­FIED MEA was wor­ried it would mean ac­knowl­edg­ing Ne­taji is dead

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE -

NEW DELHI: For­mer prime min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh ap­proved the shift­ing of Sub­has Chan­dra Bose’s pur­ported re­mains from Tokyo’s Renkoji Tem­ple to the In­dian em­bassy but the move was shot down af­ter the ex­ter­nal affairs min­istry pointed out it would be tan­ta­mount to ac­knowl­edg­ing the ashes were those of Ne­taji.

A se­cret file from the Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice — one of 100 files de­clas­si­fied by the NDA govern­ment on Satur­day — de­tails op­tions con­sid­ered by the UPA regime re­gard­ing the ashes, such as “in­creas­ing sub­stan­tially” the amount paid for their up­keep or shift­ing the re­mains to an­other Ja­panese tem­ple.

PM Naren­dra Modi un­veiled the files run­ning into some 16,600 pages dur­ing an event at the Na­tional Ar­chives. De­liv­er­ing on his pledge to make pub­lic doc­u­ments on the iconic free­dom fighter, Modi clicked a but­ton to ac­ti­vate a web­site with the files in the pres­ence of mem­bers of Bose’s fam­ily. Soon af­ter the event, a political con­tro­versy erupted as a fake let­ter that claimed for­mer prime min­is­ter Jawa­har­lal Nehru had

called Ne­taji a “war crim­i­nal” did the rounds on so­cial me­dia. The op­po­si­tion Congress de­scribed the let­ter as “mis­chievous and fake” and said the de­clas­si­fi­ca­tion of files was an at­tempt by Modi to di­vert peo­ple’s at­ten­tion from the “fail­ures of his govern­ment”.

Many of the de­clas­si­fied files

re­late to the stance adopted by suc­ces­sive gov­ern­ments with re­gard to the ashes, col­lected from a cre­ma­to­rium in Tai­wan where Ne­taji’s last rites were per­formed fol­low­ing his death in a plane crash on Au­gust 18, 1945.

The files also de­tail the dif­fer­ent po­si­tions adopted by gov­ern- ments over the years on the is­sue of Bose’s death.

In Novem­ber 1977, the Janata Party govern­ment, in which BJP lead­ers Atal Bi­hari Va­j­payee and LK Ad­vani were min­is­ters, had found it un­nec­es­sary to launch any fresh in­quiry into Ne­taji’s death.

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