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Saturday, April 3, 1999
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Spare Netaji, please!

  WITH reference to the editorial ‘Spare Netaji, please’, while appreciating the importance given to the issue by your esteemed newspaper, I beg to clarify some points.

The editorial gives the impression that the demand for an Enquiry Commission has been raised by Bengalis only. The fact is that the demand has been made by the people from all over India, a large number of whom had assembled in Netaji Subhash Park at Delhi on March 23 and adopted the resolution demanding the appointment of another Enquiry Commission. Five Netaji Chetna Yatras, starting from Moirang in Manipur, Cuttack and Calcutta, Kanya Kumari, Bombay and Jammu started on different dates and after traversing through all the states of India and collecting the signatures of the people, reached Delhi on the night of March 22 and took out an impressive procession at Delhi which culminated in Netaji Subhash Park where a rally was held in which a 13 point resolution was adopted. On March 24, a deputation of seven members (including myself) comprising members of Netaji’s family, the members of Parliament and research scholars, had called on the Prime Minister and presented the 13-point resolution adopted by the Netaji Chetna Rally.

Besides the copy of the resolution, more than one crore signatures collected from all over India, the copies of the resolutions adopted by the West Bengal Legislative Assembly and the J&K Legislative Assembly, the copy of the resolution signed by more than 30 members of Parliament, including Mr Sharad Pawar, and a large number of supporting evidence was presented to the Prime Minister. Hence it should not be taken as a demand from Bengal, rather it should be taken as a national demand. Since our meeting with the Prime Minister, the Legislative Assembly of Manipur has also passed an identical resolution.

The Supreme Court, in its historical judgement delivered on August 4, 1997, had observed about the use of word “posthumously,” “This is a wider issue on which undoubtedly in future as in the past, there will be divergent views.”

The statement of Mr Morarji Desai, the former Prime Minister of India, made in the Lok Sabha on August 28,1978, also included, “Shah Nawaz Committee and Khosla Commission hold the report of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s death following the plane crash as true. Since then reasonable doubts have been cast on the correctness in the two reports and various important contradictions in the testimony of witnesses have been noticed. Some further contemporary official documentary records have also become available. In the light of those doubts and contradictions and those records, the government find it difficult to accept that the earlier conclusions are decisive.”

Here I would like to add that since the statement made by Mr Desai many more documents have been made public or secured from the archives of the foreign countries, which prove it beyond doubt that Netaji didn’t die in the alleged air crash at Taihoku on August 18, 1945. We have evidence to prove that the alleged air crash never took place and Netaji was in Russia in 1946, much long after the date of alleged air crash.

I beg to submit that “sufficient and satisfactory” efforts have not been made to know about the ultimate fate of Netaji. We believe that there was a conspiracy behind the whole episode in which some highly placed and respected political leaders are involved. In order to do justice to the tallest leader of our freedom struggle, we say: “Another enquiry commission for Netaji please”. The countless Indians should not be deprived of their right to know, “What happened to Netaji?”

Netaji Research Foundation


Your views about ordering yet another enquiry into the disappearance of Netaji Subhash Chander Bose is appreciated but I respectfully disagree with your view that an enquiry should be made only when the Supreme Court of the country makes an observation in this regard and Parliament of the country passes a resolution for ordering a fresh enquiry into the disappearance of Netaji so as to set at rest the controversy in this regard. It is a fact that Netaji and Mahatma Gandhi belong to the whole nation and not to the province in which they were born.

The Calcutta High Court and the Bengal Assembly have very rightly demanded a fresh probe into the disappearance of the tallest leader of the country as the Supreme Court and Parliament were silent in this regard and by performing their duty the Calcutta High Court and the Bengal Assembly have done a remarkable duty and as such we should not think that by doing so the stature and status of Netaji has been minimised. The Union Cabinet is duty bound to order a fresh probe in this regard so as to satisfy everyone as a large number of admirers of Netaji do feel that he is alive.


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50 years on indian independence 50 years on indian independence 50 years on indian independence
50 years on indian independence

Woes of veterans

An inscription on the massive monument made at Kohima in the memory of those soldiers who died while fighting for the British in some of the toughest battles in Burma reads, “When you go home, tell them we have given our today for their tomorrow”. The words written on the supreme sacrifices made by the Indian soldiers make even the steel-hearted passersby to weep in tears on the woes of the living veterans of this greatest world war. Out of 2.5 million Indian soldiers who fought for the British during World War II, almost 1,08,000 soldiers were killed, on whose supreme sacrifices, this monument was made for the living to read. Of the 27 Victoria Crosses awarded during the Burmese campaign, 20 went to the Indian soldiers.

While during the war these soldiers were worshipped, immediately after the war was over, they were wrapped in a bag like wasteful papers and sent home due to the reduction in the Army strength. They got neither the pension nor proper package to spend the rest of their life with dignity and pride. Almost all of them have now crossed 80 sitting on the verge of their life waiting to vanish any moment. In a recently held seminar at Nadaun which was presided by Colonel R C Prashar (Retd) from Una, everyone felt the need of national debate on the plight of these veterans. Many of them are not even getting the basic needs of life such as the medicines and proper clothes, leave alone a dignified diet. Bedridden with broken backs, many are being looked after by the people who never predicted their plight like this. Successive governments have treated these war veterans like rotten rogues instead of the freedom fighters. Some states have sanctioned Rs 100 per month, an amount even beggars would bemoan, making the most mournful mockery of the ageing soldiers. A soldier has no choice before him except to accept the challenge of the enemy and finish him to the last fight, said a Retd Commander of the Indian Navy, R.S. Patial.

It is a national tragedy that while the corrupt politicians live in airconditioned houses, no one has thought of providing a reasonable re-settlement to those who gave their best part of the youth to the cause of the nation. In any case, not more than few thousand of such war veterans are left to watch the evening of their woes. I strongly appeal to our Poet Prime Minister to give some gift to the genuine needs so that they can also feel a pride in their last days of life for the country they fought for. I also appeal to our soldier Chief Minister of HP, Prof. P.K. Dhumal to spare a moment for these great masters of military management.

Jalari-Hamirpur (HP)


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