'Leader of the Nation' title sought

'Leader of the Nation' title sought

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose continued to be part of the political tug-of-war between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as the Bengal chief minister demanded the title “Leader of the Nation” for the freedom fighter.

Mamata’s demands came within hours of Modi declassifying some 100 Netaji-related files with the Central government.

“He must be given the title. He deserves this honour. We all know Netaji was deprived of due respect. It’s time we fulfill our duties in regard to our great leader,” Banerjee said.

She, however, did not elaborate on who she believed had kept from honouring the leader, believed to have died in a plane crash over Taiwan on August 18, 1945. Despite no available proof, Mamata had thrown her weight against the belief.

“The country has the right to know about the fate of Netaji. He left India 75 years ago but we still don’t know anything about his disappearance. People have a right to know the truth,” she said. Keeping up pressure on the Centre, she said: “We want to see the files that would bring to light details of his disappearance. The truth must come out through documentation and proof.”

Although Mamata had declassified 64 files in September 2015, neither those nor the ones released on Saturday, threw any light on what happened to Netaji after 1945. Noted American historian, Leonard . Gordon, and Harvard historian, Sugato Bose, a descendent of Bose, both claimed in their respective work that Netaji died in the crash.

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