Has Netaji Research Bureau become Trinamool’s political tool?

Kolkata: A section of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s family which has been campaigning for the declassification of secret files on him, Tuesday alleged the Netaji Research Bureau (NRB) – the oldest such centre in the country – had become a political tool in the hands of the ruling Trinamool Congress.

The Open Platform for Netaji – comprising a host of descendants of the nationalist leader and researchers attacked NRB director and Trinamool Congress candidate from Jadavpur, Sugata Bose for opposing declassification and accused him of defeating the purpose of the Bureau which was set up in 1957 for commemoration and propagation of the Bose legacy.

“Rather than the independent and accessible research centre for which it was established by the founders, the NRB with Sugata as its director and his mother Krishna as its chairperson, has become a tool of politics first in the hands of Congress and now the Trinamool,” Platform convener and Netaji grandnephew Chandra Kumar Bose told media persons here.

The Platform which has already lodged a complaint with the Election Commission (EC) against Sugata for taking “undue advantage of Netaji’s name” will now be approaching the National Commission for Protection of Children’s Rights.

“A child dressed in the Indian National Army’s uniform has been accompanying Sugata’s poll campaign which is a gross violation a child’s rights. We have drafted the complaint and formally approach the NCPCR at the earliest,” said Chandra Kumar.

He also said the Platform will approach international child righst forums as the use of the child during the poll campaign was also in contravention of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child to which India is a signatory.

Researcher and author of the “India’s Biggest Cover up” Anuj Dhar, flaying Sugata for being the “only professor and historian in the world” to oppose declassification, also wondered why the Intelligence Bureau (IB) has a file on the NRB.

“The question is why the IB has a file on the NRB entitled ‘Netaji Research Bureau-Aims and Objectives’. Is there something more than what meets the eye,” said Dhar as he claimed the NRB has been getting government funds including “Rs. 3 crore in 1996”.

Claiming that there are over 100 secret files on Netaji with various departments of the central government including the PMO and 64 files with the West Bengal government, the Open Platform has been relentlessly campaigning for their declassification even approaching political parties to incorporate the issue in their manifestos.