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By Shali Ittaman
Subhas Bose was present in the erstwhile Soviet Union in 1946! The proof lies in the high-security Paddolsk Military Archive, situated 40 km from Moscow.
Alexander Kolesnikov, a former major-general of the Warsaw Pact, who accessed these files in October 1996, says Josef Stalin, the general-secretary of the CPSU, and his cabinet were considering various options to deal with Bose in 1946. The discussion centred on the question:”Should he (Bose) be kept in Russia?”
As a member of the Institute of Oriental Studies, Moscow, Alexander Kolesnikov was permitted to visit the archive under a Indo-Russian cultural agreement. However, owing to security reasons, he was not allowed to copy the page, file number and volume of the document he had studied.
During a meeting with an Indian Parliamentary Delegation to the Russian Federation in 1996, he gave a written account of all his findings. The delegation, which included the late Chitta Basu and Sri Jayanta Roy of the Forward Bloc, brought the writing back to India.
This account is the basis of the affidavit before the Mukherjee Commission submitted by Dr Purabi Roy, a research scholar who was sent as part of Asiatic Society’s three-member team to Russia to study Indian documents from 1917-1947. Since Paddolsk was out of bounds for her being a foreigner, Kolesnikov was assigned the job.
Apart from other things, the Russian account confirms the belief in various quarters that Bose had planned to shift base to Russia. Some of the related Russian documents discovered by the Asiatic team include Bose’s contact with Soviet leaders seeking recognition for the Azad Hind Government and Soviet agents activities in India during and after World War II.
The Soviet Spymaster’s Report
The document which throws fiercer light on the events of the time, is Soviet agent Sayadyants’ India papers.
Sayadyants, who lived in Bombay, was gathering India related information on “Soviet high command orders” while operating as a seller of Soviet books, periodicals and films.
His papers (MID. Fond. 0179. OPIS la. Papka ia. Delo 8, 1946) [Eng. Translation ] talk extensively about Bose, his ideology and political leanings, and his influence over the Indian masses. He implies in the papers that if the Soviets were to work with an Indian leader it almost surely would have to be Subhas Bose. Whether or not Stalin was influenced by the Sayadyants’ views remains to be understood.
There is also a reference to Sayadyants’ August 1946 visit to Moscow through Tehran during which he meets Soviet Ambassador to Iran I V Sadchikov. Dr Purabi Roy says, Sayadyants had mentioned to the ambassador that “he was carrying Nehru’s letter to Stalin seeking the latter’s support”. (It is of course, historically known that Stalin neither met Nehru nor his ambassadoress Vijaylakshmi Pandit, despite the best efforts of lobbyists such as Krishna Menon).
Whereas Kolesnikov-Purabi Roy findings, which include various sensitive files, establish Bose’s presence in Moscow, a lot of supporting evidence has come Hindustan Times’ way since it began the public probe 15 days ago.
For instance, there is the testimony of Ashok Rai, a former resident of Quetta, Baluchistan, who read the Hindustan Times appeal and came forward to submit what looks to be a vital piece of information. If the testimony stands up to scrutiny, this could be the start of another research to establish how Subhas Bose reached Russia after Japan pronounced him dead on August 18, 1945.
How dare you compare Veer Savarkar with Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose?” said Basudeb Acharia of the CPI(M) in the Lok Sabha. “This is an insult to Netaji.” This angry remark may have come as a shock to the uninitiated. But there is nothing new about Communists running down our national heroes or causes. No wonder, too often Left protestations end up as a farce unto themselves.
On May 4 the airport at Port Blair was renamed as Veer Savarkar Airport. It fulfils not only a long standing wish of the people of the island, but also pays tribute to the most famous revolutionary who was incarcerated in the Cellular Jail, the Indian Bastille (between 1911 and 1921). But it will be important to reflect on the Communist record before we examine the merit of what they have to say on Savarkar.
Till 1943, the Communist Party of India (established 1925), like all Communist parties in the world, was actually a chapter of Communist International, headquartered in and controlled by Moscow. With Moscow as its Mecca and Kremlin as its Kaba, it gloated that from Budapest to Beijing “sab kuch lal ho jayega (everything will turn red)”. Half-Swede and half-Indian Rajani Palme Dutt, the London-based intellectual hack of Soviet regime, would send down instructions to the Indian chapter without ever visiting India. Those who remained prisoners to the cobweb of clichés Communism built around itself are least expected to appreciate those who fought for the freedom of the country.
But against expectation, this time the charge of the light brigade was not directed against a “communal” Savarkar. It was against the alleged comparison of Savarkar with Netaji Subhas Bose. Secondly, it has charged Savarkar of seeking “clemency” from the British after having spent a decade in the Andaman. It is another thing that they were selective in quoting two lines from a long letter by Savarkar (vide p. 212-222, Penal Settlement in Andamans, by R.C. Mazumdar, Publication Division, Ministry of I&B, 1975). The prison life of no other Indian leader can qualify even as a pale shadow to Veer Savarkar’s confinement. Only the incarcerations of his mentor Tilak earlier, and Subhas Chandra Bose later — both in Mandalay jail (Burma) — call for some parallels. To die for the motherland like a Madan Lal Dhingra, Khudiram Bose, Bhagat Singh or Udham Singh is no doubt heroic. But it is more gallant to defy death and emerge, as if out of one’s own graveyard, like Savarkar to pursue a cherished national mission throughout one’s life.
There had been a sea change in the Indian and the world political scenarios between the times Savarkar went to the Andamans and he came out. Hence, Savarkar’s petitions of April 6 and July 6, 1920 should not be seen in isolation. They were indirectly and obviously a pressure on the government and a support on behest of the revolutionary party to the national forces that were demanding a responsible government in India. In May 1920 Gandhiji wrote in Young India that no act of violence had been proved against the Savarkar brothers, both of whom were lodged in the Andamans. In fact, the Savarkar case had created a ripple in the Central Legislative Assembly. In March 1921, K.V. Rangaswamy Ayyangar, member of the Council of State, had moved a resolution to extend amnesty to Savarkar.
A study of relations between two towering contemporaries Veer Savarkar (1883-1966) and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose (1897-1945?) will prove interesting. On the “longest day,” June 21, 1940, Subhas Chandra Bose called on to Savarkar at Savarkar Sadan, Bombay. Savarkar advised Subhas not to waste time in agitating for the removal of British statues like Holwell Monument in Calcutta — only to end up in a British prison during the invaluable war-time. Savarkar, was surreptitiously in touch with Rash Behari Bose in Japan. He advocated that Subhas should smuggle himself out of the country and try to reach Germany and Japan (like Indian revolutionaries during World War I) to raise an Indian Army of liberation out of PoWs. In his avatar as Netaji, Subhas Bose’s future course of action developed on the prophetic lines of Veer Savarkar.
Netaji in his speech on Azad Hind Radio (June 25, 1944) acknowledged Savarkar’s perspicacity in these words: “When due to misguided political whims and lack of vision, almost all the leaders of Congress party have been decrying all the soldiers in Indian Army as mercenaries, it is heartening to know that Veer Savarkar is fearlessly exhorting the youths of India to enlist in armed forces. These enlisted youths themselves provide us with trained men and soldiers for our Indian National Army.” On September 30, 1943 when Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose toured Andaman as the supreme commander of Azad Hind Fauz, he paid his tributes to the memories of freedom fighters imprisoned in the Cellular Jail. He got printed thousands of copies of the Tamil version of Savarkar’s Indian War of Independence of 1857 and distributed them in public. Andaman and Nicobar islands were re-named as Saheed and Swaraj islands. Savarkar reciprocated these noble sentiments, but alas, Subhas was not there to see it. On May 10, 11, and 12 1952 during the dissolution celebration of Abhinav Bharat, the secret revolutionary party Savarkar had founded in 1904 at Pune, the bust of Netaji graced the stage for three days. Hailing Subhas as “deathless” Savarkar said, “Long live deathless Subhas, victory to the goddess of freedom.”
Our Communist friends have their facts wrong when the say that the home minister had compared Subhas with Savarkar. Mr L.K. Advani only said that Savarkar and Subhas Bose had shared a similar fate of deliberate disregard in post-Independence India. It is needless to emphasise that the Nehru-Gandhi family, which dominated a major part of independent India was antagonistic not only to Savarkar and Subhas but also to an entire legacy of revolutionaries like Rash Behari Bose, Bhagat Singh, Udham Singh, Keshav Baliram Hedgewar etc. The home minister had merely pointed out this discriminatory approach. He did not at all equate the two greats, but the ungratefulness they received from those who inherited India from the British and continued to administer the country with a colonial mindset.
Communists are known to do wrong things, and occasionally for the right reasons. But accidentally they can do right things, but then for the wrong reasons. Defending Netaji in Parliament was one such — it was aimed at maligning Savarkar. But why suddenly are they so obsessive about defending Netaji? Using the choicest abuses, once they called him “quisling”, “Tojo’s dog”, “agent of imperialists” and what not. People’s War, the weekly of the Communist Party, published unpalatable cartoons showing Netaji as a cur held up by Goebbels (September 13, 1942), a mere mask for the Japanese imperial ogre (August 8, 1942), descending as the Japanese bomb to destroy India (November 21, 1942), a midget being led by Japanese imperialists (September 26, 1943) etc. To malign the national greats is an inveterate habit of the Communists. To them the Congress (with nationwide following) did not qualify more than a bourgeoisie institution and Gandhiji anything apart from an “astute leader of the bourgeoisie”. During the critical phase of 1959-40, the party described Gandhiji and Subhas as “blind messiahs”. About Jai Prakash Narayan and other members of the Congress Socialist Party who were leading an underground movement at that time People’s War (March 21, 1943) wrote, “…these vultures have been feeding on the Congress, doing dirty work of their masters… clear out the vampires… Its politics is the politics of dirty vampires…” Their vitriol had so gladdened the “imperialist enemy” the British heart that Sir Richard Tottenham, additional home secretary, had remarked “better and better” upon examining the weekly’s July 25, 1943 issue.
While Netaji was uniting not only Indians but non-resident Indians with the mantra of Jai Hind, the Communists were floating “many nation theories.” Jinnah had at least stopped short at two. It is all too well known that how they tried to sabotage the 1942 Quit India Movement, provided intellectual justification to the partition of the country, tried an arms insurrection in 1949, supported the Chinese position during 1962 Sino aggression.
Yet, having said all that, in the end, I can’t help remembering an illustrious exception. Veteran communist parliamentarian and prolific scholar Prof. Hiren Mukerjee (who years later penned a study on Netaji Subhas called Bow to the Burning Gold) on February 28, 1966, that is two days after Savarkar passed away, proposed that the Lok Sabha should pay homage to Savarkar, in recognition of his services to the nation. He was supported by U.M. Trivedi of the Jan Sangh. Prof. Hiren Mukerjee said that although Savarkar was not a member of the House, there should still be some way in which the House should register its feelings on the passing away of a great leader. The House had done so in the case of Mahatma Gandhi and Stalin who were not members of the House. Though, ultimately the House did not formally pay any homage, by observing silence, Speaker Hukum Singh conveyed the sentiments of the House to the bereaved family through the secretary of Lok Sabha. On March 4, 1966 when Union ministers, Opposition leaders, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha paid homage to Savarkar in a condolence meet organised by Delhi’s citizen’s council, Prof. Hiren Mukerjee, though differing from some of Savarkar’s views, had praised the potent brand of nationalism that he championed. Earlier Mukerjee was the one who had denounced All India Radio for not taking note of Savarkar’s Mritunjaya Diwas celebration on December 24, 1960. Yet given their shady history it is not unnatural that the example of Hiren Mukerjee would be lost upon the communists.
Published in Asianage. Balbir K. Punj is a BJP MP and can be contacted at ethtv2@.id.eth.net
The real violence is committed in the writing of history, the records of the legal system, the reporting of news, through the manipulation of social contracts, and the control of information
– Bryant H. McGill
This empire, unlike any other in the history of the world, has been built primarily through economic manipulation; through cheating, through fraud, through seducing people into our way of life, through the economic hit men. I was very much a part of that
– John Perkins
India was granted a dominion status on August 15, 1947. According to Balfour Declaration of 1926 ‘dominions’ is defined as autonomous communities within the British Empire but united by a common allegiance to the Crown. So, by the definition, India was an autonomous community “within the British Empire”. So, why do we celebrate August 15th as our Independence Day?
Many people in India still believe that a Dominion status is equivalent to an absolute independent status. All those who so believe should go back to elementary school to re-learn their English. According to the Oxford dictionary, a ‘dominion’ is a country of the British Commonwealth having its own government. This same mistaken belief was also held by all Congress leaders in those days who openly proclaimed that there was no difference between dominion status and independence and accepted the dominion status in their all party conference of November 1929. This same confusion was furthered by the approval of dominion status in the Lahore Conference of 1929. But later Subhash Chandra Bose proposed that independence meant complete dissolution of any relationship with the British; for this he was labeled a terrorist and foreign agent. Only on January 26th 1950 when India became a republic was the word Dominion replaced by Republic.
When Britain gave independence to America 170 years before India, the resolution relating to declaring independence read “the united colonies of America are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved”. Now look at the wording in the Indian Independence Act which was accepted by the British Parliament on July 18th 1947; “to make provision for the setting up in India oftwo independent dominions, to substitute other provisions of the government of India Act 1945 which apply outside those dominions and to provide for other matters consequential on or connected with the setting up of those dominions.”
There are two things very clear from the above statement:
- The British did not want our allegiance to be completely dissolved from Great Britain and;
- The British wanted to replace some provisions of the dominion status of India and Pakistan which were applicable to other dominion of British Crown, namely Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa.
India was called “Dominion of India” from 1947 to 1950. We never taught in our history books that India had an official King in George VI post independence and this type of government system that could be called ‘constitutional monarchy’.
The monarchy of India was a system in which a hereditary monarch was the sovereign of India from 1947 to 1950. India shared the same person as it’s sovereign as the United Kingdom and the other Dominions in the British Commonwealth of Nations. The monarch’s constitutional roles were mostly carried out by the governor-general. The royal succession was governed by the ‘Act of Settlement 1701’.
In 1948 Mountbatten left his position by appointing C. Rajagopalachari. Even till 1950, then Prime Minister of India was only the fourth in command. By January 26th, 1950 we wrote our own Constitution, and abolished the monarchy. So, effectively India’s Independence Day was January 26, 1950, and not August 15, 1947.
In the memoirs Reminiscences of the Nehru Age, Nehru’s aide M. O. Mathai wrote that even after India became independent, Prime Minister Nehru had to seek permissions from King George for all “humble duties of submission” by addressing himself in third person. One such letter, as Mathai recollected, had the following content:
“Jawaharlal Nehru presents his humble duty to Your Majesty and has the honour to submit, for Your Majesty’s approval the proposal of Your Majesty’s, Ministers in the Dominion of India that Sri Rajagopalachari, Governor of West Bengal, be appointed to be the Governor General of India on the demission of that Office by His Excellency Rear Admiral the Earl Mountbatten of Burma…”.
He had to affirm allegiance to King George VI, Emperor of India and also to affirm that he would well and truly serve “Our Sovereign”. Nehru was suddenly confronted with these. He had no choice. He suppressed his embarrassment and extreme annoyance and went through the affirmation of allegiance and affirmation of office which read as follows:
Form of Affirmation of Allegiance
I, Jawaharlal Nehru, do solemnly affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty, KING GEORGE THE SIXTH, Emperor of India, His Heirs, and Successors, according to law.
Form of Affirmation of Office
I, Jawaharlal Nehru, do solemnly affirm that I will well and truly serve our Sovereign, KING GEORGE THE SIXTH, Emperor of India, in the Office of Member of the Governor General’s Executive Council, and that I will do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of India without fear or favor of affection or ill-will.
What about our Army, Navy and Air Force leadership?
For any colonial nation, if independence means “not dependent” or not having to depend on anyone or anything else, it also means being strong and being able to survive alone. So, for India it means to see-off even the last British administrator from its land. We than would have to wait further until the late 1958 to celebrate ‘Independence’ because even after August 15th 1947, British officers Sirs Rob Lockhart and Roy Bucher were still heading the Indian Army and they left their positions in 1947 and 1949 respectively and World War veterans Sirs Edward Parry, Charles Pizey and Stephen Carlill were heading the Indian Navy until 1951, 1955, and 1958 respectively.
At the same time World War veterans Sirs Ronald Ivelaw-Chapman and Gerald Gibbs were heading our Air Force until 1951 and 1954 respectively. It was only in 1954 that we could see one of our own citizens, Subroto Mukherjee, at the helm of the air force affairs. Mukherjee himself was a war veteran and a graduate from the prestigious Royal Air Force College, Cranwell. But history has it that he told Mountbatten that he would need five to seven years time to take up the charge of the Air Force and also the navy took a very long time of eleven years for the transition of control to an Indian.
But then, how come the Army transition was over in just two years after our independence and that in the Navy took seven long years? Even Mukherjee, a winner of several decorations and awards from the mighty Queen, needed those seven years to rise to that level? He also had to undergo a course at the Imperial Defence College, London to shape himself up for the top post? After India saw ruthless rule of British for 250 years it would be foolish to think that they were under any sort of obligation to train us to the required level and ensure a smooth handshake.
What about Republic?
India became “Republic within Commonwealth on 1950”; now what is republic? Republic simply means ‘rule of law’ but note the word ‘within’; one cannot be free if they are ‘within’ other’s jurisdiction no matter how many constitutions we write.
On 2nd September 1953, Dr. Ambedkar clarified in his speech in the Rajya Sabha (Parliament) that
“People always keep saying to me: ‘Oh, you are the maker of the Constitution.’ My answer is I was a hack. What I was asked to do, I did much against my will.
My friends tell me that I have made the Constitution. But I am quite prepared to say that I shall be the first person to burn it out. I do not want it. It does not suit anybody….”
During the Second World War the Allies accepted a San Francisco Peace Treaty on September 8, 1951 which came into existence on April 28, 1952. That same day on April 28th, Independent India also issued a statement stating that the war between India and Japan has ended and we signed the separate ‘peace treaty’ called Treaty of Peace Between Japan and India on June 9, 1952 restoring relations between the two nations. What this signifies is that from September 1945 when Japan surrendered or from 15th August 1947 when we became Independent until June 9, 1952 India was officially in a state of war with Japan. What was the need for India to go to war with Japan after independence? Was the decision to declare war with Japan undertaken by independent India or was India fighting a proxy war? In that case who was in control of India’s foreign policy even after independence? What is the implication of such a thing? It should be kept in mind that Subhash Bose during the same period had made an alliance with Japan to eject the British from India and achieve complete freedom. Is this the reason why Bose was labeled a terrorist?
For more details read Bose’s Plot To Bring Down The British Empire
India’s response to these events suggests that the leadership, and the populace at large, is as ignorant about the international equations as they were during the colonization of India. We have completely failed to understand the players in this game, their motives, their powers and their means. Further few Indians even today care to ask themselves questions that would lead them in the direction of these answers. While India has produced scientists and engineers of very high caliber, its failure to produce social scientists of even mediocre capability in understanding the political equations is surprising. Although our society has focused its efforts in producing a vast talent base of students trained to think with the precision of modern mathematics, it has abysmally failed to apply this precise thought to the social sciences. This has resulted in an utter failure to answer even the most elementary of questions in international politics. One cannot help but surmise that these engineers and scientists were perhaps encouraged to serve unseen masters who deliberately kept the society in dark about the social sciences themselves.
It is natural for masters to keep their slave subjects from knowing too much about them. Even in the start of this new millennium few in Asia, and fewer in India in particular, have heard about the subject of Geopolitics. With most of the major players centered around Europe and the Middle East, it is no surprise that the Indians were kept ignorant about the deeper forces that drove the world for the past twenty centuries. In the best of cases, we have viewed these awful events with ignorance and what is worse, with a self-destructive arrogance. More often than not, we have chosen to bury our heads in the sand and refuse to view them at all.
At the end of the day the brutal truth is ‘August 15th’ is not a day of celebration or a day of distributing chocolates or not even a day to feel that ‘We are free’. The fact is it is a day to feel sorrow and shame on ourselves to celebrate as Independence Day a major event that triggered the riots which preceded the partition in the Punjab region that killed between 200,000 and 500,000 people in retributive genocide between the religions due to the evil policy of divide and rule by British. UNHCR estimates 14 million Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims were displaced during the partition; it was the largest mass migration in human history.
“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet,
as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?
Forbid it, Almighty God!
I know not what course others may take;
but as for me, give me liberty (Swaraj) or give me death!”
– Patrick Henry, 1775, fire brand Patriot urging his fellow Virginians to fight against East India Company’s British oppression in todays USA.
Join the GreatGameIndia Forum for debates and discussions related to geopolitics and international affairs from an Indian perspective.
1. With the permission from Sreejith Panickar author of ‘Why August 15 should not be Independence Day’
2. The London Gazette: no. 38330. p. 3647. 22 June 1948. Retrieved 25 August 2014. Royal Proclamation of 22 June 1948, made in accordance with the Indian Independence Act 1947, 10 & 11 GEO. 6. CH. 30.(‘Section 7: …(2)The assent of the Parliament of the United Kingdom is hereby given to the omission from the Royal Style and Titles of the words ” Indiae Imperator ” and the words ” Emperor of India ” and to the issue by His Majesty for that purpose of His Royal Proclamation under the Great Seal of the Realm.’). According to this Royal Proclamation, the King retained the Style and Titles ‘George VI by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas King, Defender of the Faith’, and he thus remained King of the various Dominions, including India and Pakistan, though these two (and others) eventually chose to abandon their monarchies and became republics.
3. Reminiscences of the Nehru Age by M. O. Mathai
6. UNDER TWO ENSIGNS THE INDIAN NAVY 1945-1950 by Rear Admiral SATYINDRA SINGH AVSM (Retd.)
7. ‘Introduction to the Constitution of India’ by Brij Kishore Sharma
8. Dr. Ambedkar: Life and Mission by Dhananjay Kee
9. “The London Declaration of the Commonwealth Prime Ministers, April 28, 1949”. de Smith, S.A. (July 1949). The Modern Law Review 12 (3): pp. 351–4.
The West Bengal Chief Minister also said that she had gone through some pages of the reports and it indicates that Netaji was alive even after 1945. There has been a mystery around Netaji and as a child I was curious to know the truth she said. Snooping on the family: The files that were de-classified today clearly suggest that the family of Netaji Bose was snooped upon. The files give an in-depth understanding of how nearly 14 Intelligence Bureau officials were deputed only to snoop on the family of Netaji Bose. The files suggest that even after independence there the family members were snooped upon. This point led to some angry reactions by the family who questioned the need for such extensive snooping. The state of West Bengal was under the rule of the Congress till 1967. Pressure on centre to de-classify files: Mamata put the ball in the Union Government’s court after she ordered the de-classification of the files. She said that if the centre has nothing to hide then why it is not de-classify the files. I have done my duty and now it is up to the centre to de-classify the 130 files. The Home Ministry at Delhi however maintained that it is under no pressure to de-classify the files. OneIndia News VIDEO : Natwar Singh says govt should declassify Netaji’s files cites Freedom of Information Act of UK
Netaji’s grand-nephew says his father was not Dawood, demands probe into alleged snooping
Kolkata: On a day when the West Bengal government declassified 64 files relating to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, his grand-nephew Chandra Kumar Bose demanded a probe into the alleged spying by the then Indian government on great freedom fighter and his family.
Speaking to ‘NDTV’, Chandra Bose asserted that the declassified files indicate that the family was spied on by the then government after Netaji reportedly died in 1945 in a plane crash in Taiwan.
While asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to initiate a probe into the spying incident, the grand-nephew of Netaji said his father Amiya Nath Bose was not Dawood Ibrahim, then why snooping on his family members continued even after Independence.
Dubbing as “historic” the release of 64 files on Subhas Chandra Bose by the West Bengal government, his family also pushed for the declassification of files by the central government.
“Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has done a great thing and now the Centre has no other option but to declassify the files it has,” Chandra Kumar Bose told the media.
The digitised version of the declassified 64 files were made available in a set of seven DVDs. The original files are housed at the Calcutta Police Museum. The files will be accessible to the public from Monday on a first-come-first-serve basis.
“The more important files that can unravel the mystery behind his disappearance are with the central government departments and the mystery can be solved only if those files are declassified,” Chandra Kumar Bose said.
Banerjee on September 11 announced her government’s decision to declassify 64 files on Bose, saying the mystery surrounding his disappearance needs to be put to rest.
This comes a month after reports had suggested that the ED may close the case due to lack of evidence against the two leaders.
Last month, ED director Rajan S Katoch was removed from service, reportedly after he chose to close the National Herald case.
Katoch was working as the head of the ED in an additional capacity since August 2014 after he was promoted and appointed as the Heavy Industries Secretary.
According to the agency, a private non-profit company ‘Young Indian’ was formed in March 2011, with Sonia and Rahul holding 38 percent shares each, allegedly with the specific aim of taking over the liabilities of Associated Journals Ltd. (AJL). AJL is the parent company which owned National Herald and its Urdu version, Qaumi Awaz, all with money spent from the Congress coffers.
The two newspapers folded up on 1 April, 2008. AJL’s liabilities of Rs 90.21 crore have been taken over by Young Indian for Rs.50 lakh, the entire amount paid by the Congress.
Another Rs 1 crore was allegedly spent by Young Indian in renovating the newspaper’s headquarters, Herald House, at 5A, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg. This amount too has been allegedly funnelled by the Congress as loan.
Associated Journals is said to own real estate valued at over Rs 1,600 crore, including Delhi’s Herald House on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg.
In June last year, a metropolitan magistrate, while issuing summons to Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, had said that the petitioner, Subramaniam Swamy, had established a prima facie case against them under sections related to misappropriation of property and criminal breach of trust.