Kolkata set to release pre-1947 cabinet files

Kolkata set to release pre-1947 cabinet files

Kolkata set to release pre-1947 cabinet files
Days after declassifying 64 files on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in possession of the state government, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced her decision to also bring to public minutes of the state Cabinet meetings between 1937 and 1947.

She said the minutes could throw light on what happened to Bose, whose reported death in a plane crash in 1945 has continued to remain a highly contentious issue.

“As part of our continuous efforts towards greater transparency in governance, we intend to place the Cabinet papers for the period 1938-1947 in the public domain on and from September 28 for use by historians, researchers and the general public. I hope this will throw new light over a crucial period of our pre-Independence era,” Banerjee said on Wednesday. She had hinted that her government would take this move while addressing the state Assembly on Tuesday.

According to experts, minutes of the Cabinet meetings from pre-Independence days could provide crucial insight into how Bose was viewed by the powers that be during the period when he gradually emerged as a young and popular political leader to someone who shot to pan-Asian fame, before disappearing during the final days of World War II. Banerjee, who reiterated her demand for the Centre to release the 135 files related to Bose, rued that Netaji’s contribution and legacy have not been assessed properly.

“We’ve declassified 64 Netaji files. The immense contribution of Netaji has not been evaluated properly. We feel the Centre should follow us and declassify the files,” Mamata told the Assembly, urging the Centre to follow the state’s example.

She added that the state government will soon digitise the files of the Cabinet decisions taken by the British administration between 1937 and 1947 just like her government did with the 64 Netaji files.

Although the recently released files did not throw light on what happened to Bose after 1945, it further went on to establish that successive Congress governments at the Centre and the state had snooped on his family members till as late as 1970.
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