The ghost of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose has come to haunt the Congress once again. The newly declassified papers from the Intelligence Bureau and now with the National Archives suggest that Jawaharlal Nehru government had kept surveillance on the relatives of India’s one of towering leaders.
The ghost of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose has come to haunt the Congress once again. The newly declassified papers from the Intelligence Bureau and now with the National Archives suggest that Jawaharlal Nehru government had kept surveillance on the relatives of India’s one of towering leaders. More appalling, the files disclose, is the refusal of successive governments – be that Congress or non-Congress – to release documents related to Bose. The reasons cited were the issues of national security and relations with friendly countries. As many as 87 files pertaining to Netaji are locked up in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Home Ministry dating pre-independence. While the PMO has 58 such files, the Home Ministry is guarding 29 files kept as classified since World War II.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The ‘mystery’ surrounding Bose’s death still haunts the nation. Author Anuj Dhar, a few years back, had alleged that Congress-led government never wanted the ‘truth’ about Bose to come out. Citing 200 documents, 90 of them are classified in his book ‘India’s Biggest Cover-up’, he claimed Congress was out to protect the official line that Bose died in an air crash in Taiwan in 1945. Three inquiry commissions have been set up to probe into the Bose mystery so far. The first two committees, Shah Nawaz Khan Committee of 1956 and Justice G D Khosla Commission of 1970, concluded that Bose died in an air crash. Later, the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee appointed Justice MK Mukherjee Commission, which worked between 1999 and 2005. This commission concluded Netaji didn’t die in air crash, but could not adjudicate upon date and place of his death. The conclusions were rejected by the UPA government, which placed its report on the floor of Parliament. Even though in the run-up to the general elections in January, the then BJP president and present Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh asked the UPA government to reveal the mystery behind Netaji’s death, but in response to an RTI application by activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal, the PMO has declined to share copies of the files last December. PM Modi also, in a written reply to Parliament on December 17, also refused to declassify 87 files pertaining to Netaji, citing national security and ties with foreign countries as reasons. Meanwhile, the revelation has set off a political controversy, with the Congress charging the government for indulging into selective leaks to show Congress icons in poor light. Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said half-truths were flying in media. He dared both the Prime Minister as well as Home Minister to place full facts in public domain and declassify all documents. Cashing in on the issue, the BJP took potshots on the Congress saying “snooping” was in its DNA. “This is surprising, shocking. Already on the dimension of snooping, research that has come out… I certainly feel that till 2010-11 snooping has become a part of Congress’ DNA,” union minister Nirmala Sitharaman told news persons at the party headquarters here. Sitharaman, who was fielded to express the party’s line on the issue, said the Congress snooped on Bose’s family till 1968 and continued to do so during Indira Gandhi’s regime when her daughter-in-law was snooped on and more recently Pranab Mukherjee, when he was finance minister. Asked about similar kind of snooping in Gujarat on a person, she said the “alleged victim had refuted that there was any snooping… It was very clear. There was a Commission established which was headed by a retired judge,” she pointed out.