#NehruSnooped: How a British lackey betrayed Netaji and India

The fears of our first prime minister were not unfounded. The people of this country knew which was gold and which was trash.

 |  7-minute read |   07-05-2015
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There are two compelling literary metaphors which almost define to a T, the Netaji-Nehru business. The first is the Ancient Mariner, with Netaji being the murdered albatross round the Congress family's neck; the second is Banquo in Macbeth, also murdered, but whose ghost returns to haunt Macbeth's banquet table.

The murder motif is important: in both literary masterpieces. The victims are innocent, noble and stainless, both murdered because they were perceived as threats to their murderers. The parallel with Nehru and Netaji is uncanny and inescapable. The former may not have "murdered" the latter in the literal sense, but Netaji's flight into unknown exile, as a war criminal and enemy-in-perpetuity to the colonial power which contrived to place, Nehru its trusted lackey, on the throne, was as good as the metaphorical murder of a political adversary.

Nehru's use of all the state machinery at his prime ministerial disposal to keep tabs on his political rival - and like Banquo to Macbeth, his better in every way - is again uncannily medieval and reminiscent of the history of royal successions, where an inferior usurping king posts spies to inform him on the movements and doings of the dispossessed legitimate sibling or half-brother. In both instances - the contemporary and the historical - the underlying motivation was fear: fear that the one in exile would return one day to claim his inheritance, knowing deep down that one's own position was illegitimate and stained with blood. And knowing that one was grossly undeserving; that, in Banquo's words at Macbeth's crowning, one had "playd'st most foully for it".

Nehru's fears were not unfounded. The people, the common folk of this country knew which was gold and which was trash. The sustained frauds foisted on them by Gandhi and the Congress, with the implicit connivance of the departing British did nothing to diminish Netaji's lustre as a hero, a shining patriot. He may have disappeared from public view through a contrived air crash, but their faith that he would return one day as a messianic saviour would not be shaken. The country and its people needed a saviour because the shambles of partition was all too painfully evident, not least because the country was dismembered, and rivers of blood - the blood of innocents, "multitudinous seas incarnadine", to use another Bardic metaphor - watered the way to Nehru's coronation, a pass the people knew for a certainty the country wouldn't have come to, if Netaji had had anything to do with it. The historical record showed that Netaji had tried his utmost to prevent a dismemberment, had tried to bring around the intractable Jinnah (an "ogre" created as a convenient fiction by the Gandhi-Congress-Nehru combine to cover its own crimes of cynical power ambition, far removed from anything remotely to do with patriotism or love of the country, and far removed from anti-colonial struggle).

That partition, and blood, was the price of Nehru's kingly ambitions is not open to doubt. At one brief stage, it almost seemed like tragedy would be averted when Gandhi offered the throne to Jinnah; but Nehru quickly scotched that, seeing the crown dangerously close to slipping away. On the other hand, Netaji never, not once ever, thought of a divided India. The men who swore by him and were prepared to lay down their lives for him came from both sides of the vexed religious divide. There was no partition in his Indian National Army (INA), and there wouldn't have been a national vivisection. Netaji loved the country far too much for that, unlike Nehru whose self love overrode every other attachment.

The evidence of that self love was abundant all through Nehru's life, just as Netaji's single-minded patriotic purpose was in his. The former made a habit of sacrificing the country on the altar of his narcissism: "Si monumentum requiris circumspice" - partition in '47, Kashmir in '48, Tibet/Aksai Chin in '62, with the incalculable collateral damage to the Indian Army's morale and prestige. The Nehruvian legacy was not just a creaking socialist economic nightmare, it was the gratuitous ring of hostility from the Indus delta to the borders of Burma - and the further bloodletting that that entailed. Netaji in contrast, went into exile and hiding, and raised an army to beat the one foe in his mind: the British.

Notwithstanding all the lies and facile fictions of the Congress, its allies and familial train-bearers, notwithstanding the pious sanctimonious obeisances to the "Father of the Nation" in the school books, let it be understood once and for all that it was not "charkhas" and "salt marches" and "satyagrahas" that sent the British home. The latter, with a thousand years of successful belligerence behind them, were hardly likely to be brought low by a "half-naked fakir" and his silly shenanigans. It could at best serve as a joke in a Pall Mall or Mayfair club. It's another matter that the jest served them conveniently, because both Gandhi and Nehru were their lackeys, and therefore amenable. The easiest way out for the British was partition, the seeds for which were already sown with Ramsay Macdonald's infamous Communal Award. Protests in any case availed nothing. With Jinnah and Gandhi irreconcilably opposed, it had the inevitability of a Greek tragedy. That they had Nehru as an ally in this sordid drama was a bonus. He may not have been a credit to Harrow and Trinity - he was a disgrace, in point of fact - but he was still entitled to the tie, and so "one of us" (he remained "one of us" till the end, reporting faithfully to his masters in MI5). It made that wrecking artist Mountbatten's job that much simpler, with Lady Edwina doing her bit for king and country. Everyone profited from the carving up - this was "jhatka", not even "halal" - and everyone went home happy.

Everyone, except the sundered, orphaned, widowed and dispossessed people. And the prodigal, outlawed, betrayed son in exile, whose uncompromising, unyielding methods were the principal causes for the British to catch the first wind out, making virtue out of expediency. For while Netaji's INA failed to be the Garibaldian venture intended, it certainly shook the British enough to look closely at their most prized creation, the Indian Army. The naval mutinies told their own story. There was no guarantee anymore that the "Jewel in the Crown" could be effectively protected, or policed.

But it is now evident - from the files released so far - that the British didn't quite leave cleanly. They left their trusted agent behind, in the highest seat of government, no less. Whatever was the ultimate fate of the enemy of the realm who had waged war against the King Emperor, Nehru could be trusted to keep the British informed: it was actually rather easy, because Nehru's own fears dictated his actions. Netaji's return was a nightmare too dreadful to contemplate: better that the wartime allies dealt with their war criminal in their own way, and Nehru was only too willing to help in their endeavours (his appearance at the INA trials was excellent cover; and even otherwise, the main counsel was Bhulabhai Desai).

All of which means only one thing: that the entire received narrative of the "freedom movement" or "freedom struggle" is a consummate fraud, a lie of such proportions that Goebbels could gladly take lessons from its perpetrators. It is a lie repeated over nearly seven decades, ad nauseam, in every "approved" history text: Gandhi-Nehru-Congress. The one true patriot, the one true fighter for freedom, the only man with spine and integrity made of stainless steel has been reduced to a hurried, embarrassed footnote. Whereas in truth, this supposed "freedom struggle" should be called the G-N-C betrayal of the country, by the unholy "Father", the unholier "Son", and the unholiest "Ghost" which still walks, still butchering and fragmenting the country through its media bone and crumb pickers. No country in the world, no country, not one, has had the misfortune of having had its true history so insidiously, so shamelessly subverted for personal ambition by men and women to whom lies were not second, but first nature.

Seven decades is long enough for a lie, any lie. It translates into three generations of brainwashed. If there's any truth in the adage that truth will out, the time has come for that outing. Those secret classified files, about which every government has been coy - the previous ones for understandable Nehruvian reasons, the present possibly for reasons of blackmail, since its stand is otherwise inexplicable - must be opened. It's time the traitors, the usurpers were unmasked. It's time that the "prodigal son", the "REAL son", was brought home, not to the fatted calf since that has been feasted on for seven decades by carrion predators, his betrayers, but to a warrior-hero's homage. One hopes the present prime minister is listening, and understands this.

Writer

KVK Murthy KVK Murthy

The writer is a retired banker living in Bangalore. He reads extensively, writes sporadically, and travels when he can afford it.

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