29 July, 2015

Anuj Dhar on Netaji Subhash Bose – Seminar in Bengaluru

A helicopter with a tri-colour flies past the statue of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose on the occasion of his birth anniversary celebrations in Kolkata. (PTI Photo)

 A seminar on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was organised on the 26th of July by several citizen interest groups (Bengalee Forum, IT Forum, Assam Association, and People for Cleaner India) at The Oxford College of Engineering, Bengaluru. The seminar consisted of a discussion with Chandra Kumar Bose, grandnephew of Netaji, and Anuj Dhar, prominent journalist and author of the book, ‘India’s Biggest Coverup.’ Apart from conveying the untold stories of Netaji’s sudden disappearance and cover up following it, the program emphasised on the relevance of Netaji’s ideologies in today’s India and why it matters to the current and next generation.
The seminar started with a speech by Chandra Kumar Bose where he recalled all the stories of Netaji as he had heard from his father and Netaji’s nephew Amiya Nath Bose. Starting from the initial days of Netaji as a student, he gave a very vivid and illuminated description of Netaji’s life and the series of events that happened afterwards. A number of facts mentioned by Chandra Kumar Bose were indeed unheard of before or were not given much priority by mainstream media.
Talking about the relevance of Netaji and his ideology regarding united India in today’s modern world, Chandra Kumar Bose said that Netaji always emphasised on unity among all castes and communities. He had a strong belief that India can become independent and a developed nation only when the people will defend together against the British government as it will shake the very principle of British regime on the basis of which they were ruling India.

He further added that most of the history taught in schools and colleges is government’s propaganda-oriented and has little to do with the truth. The current generation and the next generation has to be made aware of the reality so that they can understand the significance of Netaji and the values for which he always stood by. He said:
“The new generation has to know about Netaji and his importance in achieving freedom so that they can realise that independence was not an outcome of nonviolence or peace but was a result of aggressive strategies of Netaji-led Indian National Army (INA) and its principles. The Congress party has always suppressed the stature of Netaji and have tried desperately since 1947 to keep his role in the dark. It is high time the youth of today learn of what really happened and what part Netaji played.”
Chandra Kumar Bose then told about the stories of Netaji that he had heard from his father. Recalling one such incident, he said that while Netaji was in Congress, he was suffering from insomnia. Every night he came to home past midnight after the party meetings and used to wake up his (Chandra Kumar Bose’s) father. Afterwards, he used to tell him about the discussions held during the meeting. On one night, Netaji told his nephew that India will never achieve independence by following the ways of Gandhi and Nehru: “Aggressiveness is must, otherwise, it all will be in vain.”
In another instance, he told about Netaji’s knack of always going for a difficult option. According to Chandra Kumar, when Netaji was travelling to Japan from Germany in a submarine, at a point, he needed to get into another submarine – which seemed nearly impossible as a violent storm had engulfed the sea. The captain of the submarine advised Netaji not to do so but Netaji got into a small boat and crossed over to the other submarine. Chandra Kumar said that this incident is a strong proof that Netaji could have survived under any circumstance if he wanted to and hence, the plane crash theory was nothing more than a blatant attempt by the government to conceal the truth.
He recalled a recent meeting with PM Modi where he requested him to declassify the files related to Netaji’s disappearance and said it is the demand of whole nation. In reply, PM Modi told him:
“It is not the demand of the nation, but the ‘duty’ of the nation to make sure that all the truth regarding Netaji’s mystery be revealed.”
The discussion with Chandra Kumar Bose was followed by an interaction with Anuj Dhar who has played a key role in supporting the campaign to declassify Netaji’s files and is the founder-trustee of NGO Mission Netaji. He talked about the difficulties and hurdles he had gone through to pressurise government to make available the confidential files related to Netaji’s disappearance. He presented to the audience a number of confidential files and documents that he and his fellow journalists had acquired by going to extreme lengths. A lot of these documents belonged to Intelligence Bureau and Central Intelligence Agency. There were ample evidences against the plane crash theory that is supposed to have claimed Netaji’s life.
Dhar presented the evidences regarding the fact that all along, the government of the day was fully aware that Netaji was alive. In fear of Netaji regaining immense popularity among Indians if they got to know about the truth, the Nehru-led Congress party did their best to suppress the facts.
Dhar also displayed a number of Russian documents that supported the fact that Netaji was staying in Russia. He produced files acquired from KGB and the Communist Party of Soviet Union that solidified the facts presented by him.
Further on, he talked about the rumours of a certain Baba with the name of Bhagwanji who was staying in Faizabad till 1985 and was claimed by many as Netaji in disguise. Dhar said that there is some proof that Bhagwanji was indeed Subhas Chandra Bose in disguise. He added that since the government knew about it, the revelation was never made public and whoever attempted to go against this  decision faced the wrath of the government. In one such example, he said that the then SP of Faizabad, against all protests, went inside the room where Bhagwanji was staying. He returned in tears and very next day, he was transferred from Faizabad.
“It was a plain conspiracy by Gandhi and Nehru and the Congress party to omit the name of Netaji from the freedom movement. They talked about non-violence and peace, but what they did with Netaji was one of the biggest deceptions the history of mankind has ever seen,” he said.
Dhar also said that Ajit Doval, India’s National Security Adviser recalled an incident when Phani Bhusan Chakravartti, Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court asked British Prime Minister Clement Atlee in 1956 about the reason for the Britishers to leave India. The British PM replied that “It was the threat of Subhas Bose and the rise of Indian nationalism from which we understood that it was a matter of time.”
Recently, India has shown vigorous enthusiasm when it comes to justice. Whether it be the Arushi Talwar and Bhanwari Devi murder cases or the Nirbhaya rape case, people have been more than active to support the demand for the justice. Is Netaji’s mystery any less important than any of these incidents? Does a leader, who gave Indians the first taste of independence in centuries and guided them to demand for their rights, deserve to be lost into the shadows of, as Dhar mentioned, “jiggery-pokery” of the Indian politics?

The answer indeed lies with us Indians and depends on the choice we make: Will we support the just cause raised by Chandra Kumar Bose and Anuj Dhar, or let it go down the valley of nothingness?

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