The Congress smells conspiracy in the declassification of the files related to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. It has raised doubts on government’s intention behind the declassification.
“The way the PM has carried this out raises doubts about the intention of the Government of India. The nation needs to understand this. The BJP or any of its affiliates can’t claim of any leader who were on the forefront of the freedom struggle,” former Union minister and senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said after the files were declassified at National Archives of India by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
According to the India Today TV, in one of the classified files, the nation’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru referred to Subhas Chandra Boase as a “war criminal”.
Nehru’s purported letter written to the Prime Minister of England, Clement Attlee on 27 December, 1945 – four months after the plane crash in Taipei, had mentioned Bose as a war criminal.
A portion of the purported letter:
Dear Mr Attlee,
I understand from reliable sources that Subhas Chandra Bose, your war criminal, has been allowed to enter Russian territory by Stalin. This is a clear treachery and betrayal of faith by the Russians as Russia has been an ally of the British-Americans, which she should not have done. Please take note of it and do what you consider proper and fit.
“We have said from the very beginning that this is a deliberate controversy. The Congress will expose and take action against this mischievous fake letter (allegedly written by Nehru to Atlee). We will take all measures to punish people once identified. Whoever is taking ownership must come forward,” he said.
While cautioning the media to be careful of the “fabricated letter”, Sharma said, “We would appeal to the media to be careful before a fabricated and forged document is used to sensationalise and to defame one of India’s greatest sons. Jawaharlal Nehru was a great leader (Maha Nayak), India’s first PM and a world-class statesman. There is a need to first ascertain the authenticity of the letter before conveying something which is not only questionable but part of a criminal conspiracy. Forgery is a criminal offence under the Indian Penal Code.”
Echoing Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s tweet, Sharma, the Deputy Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha said, “Netaji was a great national leader, president of Indian National Congress and participated in the freedom struggle. Which truth the Congress has suppressed? Netaji had only one daughter and what she has said is in public domain and the country must respect her sentiments because she has been anguished by this deliberately created mischief and controversy.
Netaji’s other close relatives like grand-nephew Sugata Bose, who is a respected Historian and Ashish Ray (journalist) - they have commented in great detail. We do not wish to join issues with others and enter into any kind of debate.”
Remembering Bose on his 119th birth anniversary on 23 January, Rahul Gandhi described him a man of extraordinary courage, a patriot and a charismatic leader. “Netaji's contribution to India`s freedom struggle will continue to inspire us,” tweeted Gandhi today.
Paying homage to Netaji in the morning, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said, “Congress Party can never forget his contribution to the national struggle for freedom for founding of an independent democratic republic of India. He will always live in the hearts of all Indians for his patriotic fervour and dedication to the Indian Republic.”
Chittopriyo Bose, one of the Netaji’s relatives said, “No previous government did what the Modi government has done today. We’re satisfied. We’ve requested the PM for the declassification of files in foreign land, so that more can be known about Netaji. Congress was in power for almost 60 years and there may be some files during their tenure in West Bengal, which hasn’t yet been declassified.”
However, the Congress maintained silence on why it refrained from declassifying Netaji files, despite remaining in power for almost six decades.
“Probably there was an apprehension that it would convert into a major law & order problem, besides relations between India and other nations (mentioned in the files) might get tarnished. No one was aware about the content of the files. Those days India also had friendly ties with the erstwhile USSR,” a senior Congress leader said on condition of anonymity.