The declassification of files about mysterious disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is a welcome step not only in getting information about the untold history but also about bringing transparency in declassification process of government documents
On the occasion of 119th birthday of Netaji Subhas Chandra on January 23, PM Narendra Modi declassified the 100 files related to Netaji and also proposed to release other 25 files per month which can throw a light on the mystery surrounding Netaji’s disappearance.
These files have provided an unique opportunity of analysing the mindset of Congress leaders regarding Netaji and attempts to curb information regarding his disappearance.
|Nizamuddin, driver of Netaji a resident of Dhakwa village in Azamgarh district, had been claiming for years that he was with Netaji after the reported plane crash. He complained that his claim was never taken into account by the Commission and committees constituted to solve the mystery of Netaji. The revelations through declassified documents have vindicated his claim.|
In our books three Gods i.e. Shiva, Vishnu & Brahma are considered as responsible to run this universe. While studying in depth some difference of opinion can be observed among them, still they all praise and give respect to each other because their main aim is to run the universe. The Congress leadership perhaps did not understand this key aspect of our culture while running the administration of the country.
The file of December 27, 1945 which got declassified has a letter written by first Prime Minister Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru to the then Prime Minister Clement Attlee regarding Netaji. In this letter Nehru refereed Netaji as a “War Criminal”. Netaji was his colleague and fought against the British under Congress umbrellas. Despite ideological differences, terming him as ‘war criminal’ is the most insulting for any freedom fighter. It also reflects on Nehru’s personality and way of thinking.
Expectedly, the Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma has immediately declared this letter as fake because it did not have Nehru signature, forgetting the fact, that it was also possible that this message was sent through telegram, telefax or teleprinter where actually signatures are not required. As Nehru’s stenographer Shyam Lal Jain claimed he was asked to write the same while deposing his version to the Khosla Commission in 1974, this letter needs further probing.
In Moscow archives also there is a file in which a meeting of CPI delegation with Stalin was mentioned. It was written that Stalin had asked CPI delegation that how do you perceive Nehru on which the delegation replied him as “a bourgeoisie”, that is supporter of the capitalist class. It is also said Stalin had never met Vijaya Laxmi Pandit who was the first ambassador to Russia & also sister of Pt. Nehru. Many believed that Netaji’s disappearance has some connection with unpleasant relationship between Nehru and Stalin. Unfortunately, the documents released do not throw any light on the same.
Another important aspect that is revealed in a declassified document is about a suggestion note written by the Ex Director of Intelligence Bureau TV Rajeshwar in 1976. In this note he requested the then Prime Minister Smt Indira Gandhi to bring back ashes of Netaji from Japan. According to him this would put curtain on the mystery surrounding Netaji’s disappearance and also weaken the parties like Forward Block who were raising this issue time and again. Smt Gandhi did not take the suggestion seriously, following her father’s footsteps.
Another revelation is about a proposal in 1967 from the Japan Army Lt. General Iwaichi Fujiwara for a joint investigation in Netaji disappearance case, which was denied by Smt Gandhi.
Declassified files say in February 1995, a note with a signature of Home Ministry officer Padmanabhaiah was put up to the then Prime Minister Narsimha Rao which states that Netaji is dead or the another disclosed file says former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh rejected the Mukherjee Commission Report of 2006. It is nothing but continuation of Congress policy to hide facts allegedly involving Nehru-Gandhi family.
The Russian Angle
In Bharat there are two popular theory linked to Netaji :
- GUMNAMI BABA @ BHAGWAN JI FAIZABAD
- SADHU SARADANANDA OF SHAULMARI ASHRAM
Our state government intelligence in past was keeping only a close watch on both but no action was ever taken as per the disclosed available records. Because of continuous effort of Anuj Dhar the theory of GUMNAMI BABA is very popular as compare to SADHU SARADANANDA of Shoulmari Ashram.
This declassification put third angle into picture. After the fall of Germany and Japan in the World War II, Netaji may have tried to go to Russia. As the documents suggest he was in regular touch with Russia through Russian Ambassador – Malik Yakov Alexandrovich in Tokyo. Maybe Russia did not want to openly give a political asylum to Netaji. That is the plane crash theory was invented. To shift focus from Russia, rumours of underground presence of Netaji were also flouted. It was fine for Russia and their communist prodigies in Bharat. Nehru perhaps was aware of the same that is why he shadowed Netaji family and also provided with monetary assistance to his daughter Anita Bose so that no one can ask for serious investigation for this mystery. Like many revolutionaries who were arrested and persecuted in Russian jails, Netaji possibly faced the same fate.
Shah Nawaz Commitee 1956
Report of the Netaji Inquiry Committee (1956)
GD Khosla Commission 1974
Report of the One-man Commission of Inquiry into the Disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose (1970-74)
Mukherjee Commission 2006
Justice Mukherjee Commission of Inquiry (JMCI), made public on May 17, 2006
As far as earlier Commissions which ratified the plane crash theory like Shah Nawaz Committee is concerned, it is very well known fact that he was the one who heard the INA trials and was close to Nehru. He also became Member of Parliament in 1951 on a Congress ticket and was a minister till 1977. He actually refused to go to get a version of Government of Taiwan under the pretext of Bharat not having any diplomatic relations with the country. Suresh Bose, brother of Netaji and a member of this Committee had refused to accept the findings of the Committee. Similarly, Khosla Commission did not take into account the version of Taiwan government that no air crash happened. Mukherjee Commission was the only one which had investigated the version of Taiwan government and tried to investigate the Russian angle which the UPA government rejected completely.
Need to formulate declassification policy
The declassification of files related to Netaji Bose has brought a new dawn in a transparent administration system under through the right to know is bestowed to the voters, citizens & tax payers. Generally, this is very difficult with bureaucratic tendency of concealing decisions related to public policy matters in Bharat. As we have started with Netaji’s files, there is a scope to formulate a declassification policy in a systematic manner.
Some more Mysteries are still to be resolved :
a. It is said that Pandit Nehru was aware of the possibilities regarding the attack on Mahatma Gandhi but he didn’t shared it with then Home Minster Sardar Patel. After 68 years, we do not know the truth.
b. Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee’s death is still under considered to be suspicious. This is also 63 years old issue and till date nothing is available in this regard.
c. The shocking death of our late PM Lal Bahadur Shastri in Tashkent. It is also 50 year old issue in which we should know what kind of treatment he received and what led to his PM Shastri’s death.
There is another dimension which needs further probe. Netaji had collected huge amount to raise the Indian National Army. He was running a government in exile from Singapore. In Singapore archives there are newpaper clippings which suggest that Nehru went to Singapore on Lord Mountbatten’s advice and met many bank officials there. What was the purpose? Was it to do with the INA funds? This issue is a subject of investigation in future and hope future declassification bring out the truth.
As documents are open in public domain, all the version of inquiry commissions and supporting documents can be compared. Hope the subsequent documents will bring out the truth pertaining to Netaji’s life and death in a clearer form.
Deepak Kumar (The writer is a researcher working on Netaji’s disappearance Mystery for more than a decade)
(With inputs from Organiser Bureau)