Grade Crossing

70 years ago Netaji was 'killed': How Congress lied to India

It is an irony that our Constitution assures us of justice, equality, and liberty - the three things India's liberator is denied even today.

 |  Grade Crossing  |  3-minute read |   18-08-2015
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There is an interesting quote attributed to the 19th century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche: "The visionary lies to himself, the liar only to others." Complementary to this is another quote of his: "I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on, I can't believe you." Nothing makes this conjunction of quotes more cogent and powerful than its application in the Indian context, with respect to the truth about the fate of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

Today is August 18, the day on which Bose "was killed" 70 years ago in a plane crash that never took place. The Taiwan government is so sure that no plane crash occurred on that day in 1945 in their country, a fact that was later verified by the Justice Mukherjee commission of inquiry. But the first Manmohan Singh ministry had in its possession some other records that proved the death of Bose, which it would not declassify. If your government says your leader died in an accident and don't show you anything to corroborate it, that government is a liar. As Nietzsche said, you cannot believe it anymore.

Are those Netaji's remains in Renkoji? Tell us, Modi

The Singh government spurned the findings of Mukherjee, probably because of its firm trust in a report prepared by the Shah Nawaz committee that probed the matter in 1956. The Jawaharlal Nehru government, which had originally constituted that committee, wanted us to believe a report prepared by someone who sat in Delhi and was not allowed to visit the crash site in Taiwan. By Nietzsche's idea, Nehru can be considered a visionary who lied to himself, but he also fits the definition of a liar by lying to others - in this case, the parliament and the country.

Indira Gandhi too lied to us later, when she accepted the findings of the GD Khosla commission that supported Bose's death in its 1974 report. The gentleman Gopal Das Khosla had clearly disliked Bose, had written a book "Last Days of Netaji" during his official term as the commission, and had later apologised for his wrongdoings. To gauge the incongruity of his act, imagine the fictitious situation of Justice GT Nanavati writing books upbraiding Jagdish Tytler and Narendra Modi, while he still probed the anti-Sikh riots and the Godhra riots respectively.

The Mukherjee commission hinted at the strong possibility of Bose going to Soviet Russia, after faking his death. In all likelihood, Russia holds the key to unlock the Netaji enigma. Did India ever correspond with the Russians on the matter? Likely, but we don't know for sure. Do we need to disbelieve the statement of India's first Chief Information Commission (CIC) Wajahat Habibullah that the erstwhile Congress governments have had the fear of Russia for not disclosing the truth about Bose's fate? No. Will the current Russian Federation suffer for the war time actions committed by Soviet Russia? Less likely. But our government gave us an excuse that the truth about Bose's death will - harm India's relations with foreign countries, pose threat to our own security and law and order control, and create riots in the country. What do we make of that giant excuse then? That it is nothing but an elaborate tissue of lies to confuse us!

Also read: Wajahat's views hint at a bigger conspiracy behind Netaji's death

My government has been living a lie all this while; a lie that forced it to keep Bose a combination puzzle in the outward appearance. But, a lie is a lie no matter how many times one reiterates it. If I were to use Benjamin Disraeli's contribution to the English language, even the strongest "lies, damned lies, and statistics" cannot lend credence to the government's weak stand about the fate of Bose. Perhaps it is an irony that our Constitution assures us of justice, equality, and liberty, the exact three things India's liberator is denied even today.

Writer

Sreejith Panickar Sreejith Panickar @panickars

The writer is a columnist, researcher and social activist. He is the founder-member of Mission Netaji.

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