KOLKATA: After making public 64 secret files on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will now declassify all files on the creators of East Pakistan and Cabinet papers related to the pre-Independence era, which will expose several leading politicians of the time.
Files from 1937 when Fazlul Haque was the first Prime Minister of undivided Bengal, to the regime of Huseyn Shaheed Surhawardy, both creators of East Pakistan, will be made public. During the British Raj, the first PM of undivided Bengal was Sher-e-Bangla Fazlul Haque of Krishak Praja Party, which was voted to power with the support of the Congress by a limited electoral collegium appointed by the British. But the Congress later withdrew support forcing Haque to join hands with the then All India Muslim League. Mamata intends to expose the role of the Congress in bringing down governments for narrow political gains even before independence. “All cabinet papers from 1937 to 1947 will also be made public. People will come to know the truth from them,” she announced and again demanded that the Central government immediately declassify the Netaji files in its possession. The state chief secretary and home secretary along with officials of the home political department have examined contents of the files and cabinet papers of the decade from 1937 to 1947. The papers of that period when British Governors used to preside over cabinet meetings provide an interesting insight into the politics of those days. The cabinet of the time, it appears, had discussed the “crisis” during the Second World War and how to “combat the emergency” in case the Indian National Army of Netaji along with Japanese forces “occupied Bengal.” The detailed action plan of the administration was noted in those papers.
The cabinet papers also throw light on the “great famine of Bengal” in 1943 and how the British regime, in collusion with politicians and civil servants, had deliberately hoarded foodgrains leading to the death of lakhs of people. The files also reveal Congress leaders’ role in the deadly 1946 riots.