Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose with other INA commanders in exile government. (Photo courtesy: Subhas Chandra Bose Facebook Page)

Netaji Snoopgate: What’s so Strange? Where’s the Missing Link?

Post-independence, the government of India changed the hands to Indian leaders but not its intelligence traditions, going by the fact that for two decades until 1968, the family of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was under watch.

Essentially it was a case of not sharing the spoils of a success that led the Nehru and his daughter Indira Gandhi to keep off Netaji family from sharing the glory of bringing independence to India that speaks volumes as to why
intelligence sleuths were after the family.

According to two intelligence files that were recently declassified, no great revelation came to light as claimed but it did throw light on something amiss in the entire saga of Netaji’s disappearance. netaji2

Here are some valid reasons to reconnect the missing link:

Netaji died in a mysterious air crash in Taiwan on August 18, 1945 at the age of 48, declared Japan and said it had collected his ashes which were kept at a shrine for him where every year special ceremony is held amid Japanese Buddhist monks chanting mantras. Often, the embassy staff attend to authenticate the Japanese government version. Even Pranab Mukherjee visited the shrine long ago.

Disputing the governmental version, Netaji family, however consistently demanded that an intrinsic probe should made to trace the disappearance of Netaji. Several commissions probed into the matter to come out with a version similar to the governmental version.

But the most bizarre version that remained evergreen is that Netaji was a captive in the hands of the then Soviet Union and was interned until his death in the mid-1970s. Is this the precise reason why successive governments denied to make the 100-odd documents public? Who are those friendly nations which will get annoyed with the revelations? Japan or Russia or even the UK?

Researcher Anuj Dhar in his book “India’s Biggest Cover-Up” revealed that the two intelligence files at the National Archives a few months ago, which he claimed “were declassified by mistake.”

Based on these mistakenly declassified documents, Dhar was able to establish beyond doubt that the relatives of Netaji were under surveillance in Kolkata at 1 Woodburn Park and 38/2 Elgin Road. It is strange for a government to snoop on the family of a “dead leader” unless they feared something amiss may reach them.

What was it that they were trying to stop from reaching the family? Why did they intercept letters from Netaji’s German wife Emilie Schenkl to Sisir Kumar Bose and others in Japan, Europe and America, such as historian Leonard Gordon?

Dhar claims that even ten years after Netaji’s “death”, intelligence reports referred to Emilie Schenkl as his ‘wife’ and not “widow”. Was it oversight? No, all their reports were meticulously written, asserts Dhar. Does it mean even the intelligence officers were aware of some truth in it?

Even the BJP that came to power promising many reversals of the Congress regime including declassifying all the Netaji files turned silent now. Why?

The repercussions of making all the documents either give some hints that Netaji was not killed in a plance crash. If that is so, then Japan will come under scrutiny and suspicion for its version and the shrine it erected in Tokyo suburbs for the Indian leader.

Secondly, it also brings to forth the Russian connection, where Netaji was believed to have been kept as a prisoner until his death. No Indian would forgive that.



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