Kolkata: Amid a tussle over Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s legacy between the West Bengal government and the Centre, TMC MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy on Wednesday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking to declassify several ‘secrete’ files and a ‘book’ in custody of the Centre that claimed Netaji may have survived the plane crash on August 18, 1945.
Addressing a press conference, Roy said, “The Central governments during the UPA and the NDA rules kept many secret files on Netaji under wraps. They are not making it public. Not the least, there is a book in custody of the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of External Affairs in which it is specifically mentioned (between page numbers 186-191) that Netaji may have survived the plane crash.”
“It is unfortunate that the present NDA government at the Centre is ignorant towards Netaji and for publicity they are celebrating his birth anniversary as ‘Parakram Diwas’. I have written a letter to our Prime Minister and requested him to declassify the file which was kept secret,” he said.
“The West Bengal government has released all the files it had on Netaji. Why can’t the Centre also do it? I think people of India have every right to know what has happened to Netaji and his 26000 soldiers who sacrificed their lives for our nation,” Roy said.
Roy’s letter to the prime minister comes amid the standoff in West Bengal over Netaji’s legacy. The Centre wanted to celebrate his birth anniversary on January 23 as ‘Parakram Diwas’, while the Trinamool Congress insisted that the day should be celebrated as ‘Desh Nayak Diwas’.
Prime Minister Modi is likely to visit West Bengal on January 23 to attend Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary celebrations at the Victoria Memorial in Kolkata. He may also visit the National Library in Kolkata.
His visit to Bengal is significant considering the crucial Assembly polls in the state scheduled to be held in April or May.
Roy, who is also a ‘heritage activist’, is also silently fighting for India to get back the world's most infamous diamond ‘Koh-i-Noor’ from Queen Elizabeth II, through his book.
Based on old documents, Roy claimed that it was wrong to believe that Maharaja Duleep Singh had gifted the diamond to the Queen of England.
He filed a PIL in this regard in the Supreme Court. “We have copies of treaties dated back to 1846 and 1849, which clearly mentioned that the Maharaja Duleep Singh (then 11-years old) shall surrender the Kohinoor diamond to the Queen of England as the entire estate of the Maharaja is confiscated. If the estate was confiscated, then how can we consider it as a gift to the Queen of England,” he had said.