Friday, September 18, 2015

The Netaji Papers.

Kudos to Mamata Banerjee and her government for declassifying 64 confidential files on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose - the criticism that she did it to take advantage while she fights the West Bengal Assembly elections next year, notwithstanding! The initial observation after a peep into the declassified files punches holes in the existing official version of 70 years that Netaji was killed in an air crash in Taihoku - then under Japanese control - on 18 Aug '45!

The files have a number of correspondences and references that point to Netaji's presence beyond '45. The Howrah CID report of that time quotes British and US intelligence reports that Netaji was alive post '45. There's evidence of an elaborate snooping on Netaji's entire family by state intelligence officers decades after India's independence.

It has raised more questions than answering the existing ones. My personal queries are:-

   (a) What was the need for this massive cover up?
   (b) Who scripted this 70 year old mystery that will continue to play on till the 130 odd classified
         files, held by the central government, are declassified?
   (c) Why should it affect our relationship with certain foreign countries - as the government has
         been reiterating - because the actions had been taken by the then governments taking into
         account the prevailing circumstances and perceived fall outs?
   (d) What was the need to snoop on the family? Was it to prevent possible revelations regarding
         Netaji's existence? Or was it that the then Indian government trying to bolster the 'air crash
         theory' failing which its credibility would have been lost or did it perceive a threat in the                      political landscape by the return of the charismatic leader?

It's my fond hope that the union government also declassifies the files in its custody as a logical conclusion to the flow of events.

My take.

It's my personal opinion that all classified documents, held by the government, must be declassified after 25 years. This will prevent foul play or selective leakage to help the powers that be.


Close on the heels of the declassification of the Netaji papers must come the declassification of the Henderson-Brooks' Report on the Sino-Indian Conflict of '62. It will help the political and military establishments to learn from the mistakes of the past so that they are never repeated again!     

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