[The family members of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose presenting a portrait of Netaji to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at 7 Race Course Road, in New Delhi on October 14, 2015.]
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced that the government will start de-classifying files related to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose from January 23 - his birth anniversary.
Modi said this in a series of tweets after meeting members of Bose's extended family at his residence here.
The prime minister said the government would also request foreign governments to declassify their files on Bose, whose reported death in a plane crash in 1945 in Formosa, now Taiwan, is widely disputed.
Modi said he will begin the process involving other countries with Russia in December when he visits Moscow.
Bose, a leading light of India's freedom movement who at one time was elected the Congress president, was said to be fleeing to Russia when his plane reportedly crashed and caught fire.
This version has been challenged for decades by innumerable Bose fans who have held varying versions of what happened to him after 1945.
Bose's family members met Modi in the light of the West Bengal government's declassification of official files related to the last days of Bose, who set up the Indian National Army (INA).
"It was a privilege to welcome family members of Subhas Babu to 7RCR. We had a remarkable and extensive interaction," Modi said.
"I told Subhas Babu's family members - please consider me a part of your family. They shared their valuable suggestions with me," he added.
Modi said: "There is no need to strangle history. Nations that forget their history lack the power to create it."
The prime minister had announced in September that he would meet over 50 members of Bose's extended family living in India and abroad.