Manmohan move to get Bose ashes was stopped
DECLASSIFIED MEA was worried it would mean acknowledging Netaji is dead
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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