Odisha Govt Urged To Release Names Of 1500 Odia Patriots In Netaji’s INA
Bhubaneswar: Ahead of the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose on Saturday, the Bharat Raksha Manch has requested the Odisha government to declassify the secret files on Netaji in its possession.
In a memorandum addressed to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday, the president of the Manch’s Odisha chapter, Dr Ashoak Acharya, wrote, “The West Bengal government has released all the files. The National Archives of India too has divulged the details of all their documents. I request you to please release any secret files that were maintained on Netaji and his INA veterans. If the Odisha government does not have any files, let this be known to the public. As the birthplace of this great patriot, the state of Odisha owes him this much.”
The Manch had made a similar demand in 2016.
The organisation also requested the government to release the names of 1,500 Odias who had served in the Indian National Army.
Secretary of the Manch, Anjan Kumar Debata said, “Offering lip service to Netaji on his anniversaries is not enough. The government should release the names of the 1,500 Odias who served in the INA, many of whom sacrificed their lives. Their stories remain unheard; their sacrifice has never been acknowledged. A proper memorial should be made and inscribed with the names of all the Odias who served under Netaji. The Netaji Museum in Cuttack has a pathetic collection of artefacts and books. Proper materials should be collected and a study centre established.”
On her part, Sanghamitra Rajguru, the president of the Manch’s Mahila Morcha, pointed out that the Ravenshaw Collegiate School in Cuttack, which is Netaji’s alma mater, is on the verge of ruins.
“A few years ago, the Odisha government had taken steps to initiate proper conservation and restoration of the old building and the initial report was prepared by INTACH. However, the plans were shelved and now the building is in a dangerous state,” Rajguru said.
She also demanded the inclusion of the INA’s history in the school curriculum of Odisha.