Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is in news. In fact, he is making headlines in a manner of working with a VENGEANCE towards the history writers and especially the establishment of Congress – which for long is smitten by the aura of Jawaharlal Nehru-Indira Gandhi dynastic phenomenon. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sensed it pretty well. An expert is reading “people’s pulse”, at least he proved that more than once, Modi dedicated his 12th monthly radio broadcast programme Mann-ki-baat to Netaji Subhas Bose.
|Admiring look in Hitler's eyes as he meets iconic Bose|
"Over 50 members of Subhash babu's family, from various countries, will be coming...I am happy to welcome them" Modi said alluding to next month’s meeting at his official residence.
For records, Modi has skirted any direct reference to the demand of declassification of the secret files pertaining to Netaji Subhas Bose. But for her part, in West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee has played her card well and almost displaying a master stroke released 64 files pertaining to the great leader of her state.
Patriotism in West Bengal has been in the air. I am not stating this as a Bengali. But history is witness to this claim.
At the same time, Bengal has shown a peculiar tendency to treat its heroes as ‘sacred cows’. So to a Bengali, and here I am stating in full responsibility, three Bengalis cannot do any wrong. They are Subhas Bose, Rabindranath Tagore and Satyajit Ray.
Now let me not derail the topic of this blog, that is the illustrious Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and his magical spell over countrymen. He was not only a Man with a Mission, according to many, “he was a Man of Destiny to India”. Thus, the alleged callousness or deliberate attempts to conceal the fact about the great freedom fighter is seen as an act of betrayal.
Samar Guha, who wrote ‘Netaji – Dead or Alive?’ in 1978, and had also contested strongly the reports of the Khosla Commission, called Subhas Bose an ‘epic hero’ and described the failure to solve the mystery of Bose’s death as a “sacred national duty which we lamently failed”.
In now popular book ‘India’s biggest Cover-up’, writer Anuj Dhar claims, “The Government of India has a proper approach towards storing, moving and destroying classified files…..With that being the true state of affairs, it can be easily inferred that the disappearance and destruction of Bose-related records could only be the result of a conspiracy hatched by those within the government”.
|Bose and Jinnah|
If this is so, and though opinions are divided, many believe the conspiracy angle. Therefore, the Congress is certainly under pressure.
And aftermath Mamata’s decision to declassify 64 of her quota of files, pressure is certainly on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP leadership.
Dhar’s book also has a time-bomb type oneliner that would add to the ‘pressure’ on Modi further. “A little bird told me that the most sensitive among the Indian records are those which are under the personal custody of the Prime Minister”.
However, as so called ‘pressure’ persists on the BJP central leadership, Congress has smartly demanded that all Netaji related files be released. It is trying to build up a case – that look we Congressmen and women and more so the power dynasty have nothing to fear about. We have nothing to hide.
But the refrain one gets from ground zero in West Bengal is different. The Congress foot soldiers are fearing the ‘punch’ and gradually there could be mass exodus of Congress workers either to Trinamool Congress or to even the BJP as “sticking to a party” seen as the one that plotted against Netaji and his family would be difficult. Thus the unofficial feedback is: Bengal could be another state – which would give Congress party a serious electoral debacle!
The extra interest shown by Sarmishta Mukherjee, Pranab Mukherjee’s daughter, to defend Congress party vis-à-vis its role on Netaji and his family on TV is only a weather indicator.
|Netaji papers: Half Glass Full or Half Glass Empty|
It goes without saying that in 2005 and later in 2006 when Justice Mukherjee Commission’s report on Netaji’s disappearance was submitted to the government, Pranab was accused of trying to scuttle the commission's inquiry and that probably led to his facing "mob fury in Kolkata" while his car was entering a hotel on June 18, 2006.
The Mukherjee Commission, appointed by Vajpayee government, had rejected the official view that Netaji had died in an air crash, suggesting that he flew towards the Soviet Russia as a part of escape plan.
For their part, the Congress-led UPA regime later 'dutifully' rejected the Commission findings. There have been media reports that Justice Mukherjee was also ill-treated by the Congress-led regime and even by the then Home Minister Shivraj Patil, a hardcore dynasty-loyal man!
|Nehru scribbled rejecting Bengal Govt demand for a probe in 1952|
There have been talk about Nehru and Indira Gandhi regimes snooping on Netaji's relatives. Some Kolkata documents testify those.
Thus questions remain. And these questions ought to be answered.
Earlier in a blog, I had maintained that both Subhas Bose and Muhammed Ali Jinnah were two “vanquished” rivals of Pt. Nehru.
A section of Bose family has somehow reconciled or are more than keen to buy the Government of India’s official line that, yes their icon died in the air crash of 1945. But others do not.
Hundreds of other Indians also love to believe that Subhas Bose did not die in that air crash at all.
Often these questions lead to silence even in a crowded hall. There would be no sounds except for the tick tock of wrist watches or occasional buzzing of mobile cell phones – often with peculiar ring tone – based on mystical Hindi songs - Gumnaam hae Koi!!
“What were the use of my creation, if I were entirely contained here” – rightly goes the oneliner in Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.
Journos often have to think so !
Lakhs of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's admirers also think so.