West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Finance Minister Amit Mitra announce the declassification of cabinet papers for the period 1938-1947 in Howrah yesterday.


The West Bengal government yesterday declassified 401 cabinet files from the pre-independence era.
Announcing the declassification of the files which date from 1938 to independence, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the files throw light on various decisions by the then British government including about the Quit India Movement.
“From 1938 to 1947, it is a very important period of Indian history and these files provide a lot of information about the cabinet decisions taken at the period including historic events like the Quit India Movement,” Banerjee said at the state secretariat.
Both hard and soft copies of the cabinet meetings between 1938 and 1947 will be kept at the state archive at the secretariat library and the Kolkata Information Centre.
“There are a total 401 documents about the cabinet meetings that took place. In 1938, 52 cabinet meetings took place, in 1939, 39 meetings, in 1940, 66 meetings, in 1941, 26 meetings, in 1942, 51 meetings, in 1943, 47 meetings, in 1944, 46 meetings, in 1945, 13 meetings, in 1946, 31 and in 1947, 30 such meetings took place,” she said.
Banerjee also took a jibe at the Narendra Modi government’s “Digital India” initiative and said all the state government files after independence will be digitised in a phased manner.
“Just by clamouring about digital India will not suffice, you need to show that in deeds. You need to maintain transparency by making documents public which we are doing.
“It’s the need of the people to be aware about the history and we are doing that by making public all these documents. In a phased manner we will digitise all the files and people; researchers and students will get to know about the history which they have a right to know,” said Banerjee, who is also the Trinamool Congress supremo.
Besides sending copies of the digitised files to both Lok Sabha speaker as well as Rajya Sabha vice chairman, Banerjee, who is embarking on a trip to Delhi, will personally hand over a copy to President Pranab Mukherjee today.