An aide of Netaji was about to disclose the truth but his voice was suppressed. Even after release of hundreds of documents, mystery remains. It will remain a mystery for ever.
In the absence of official documents so far kept under lock and key by the successive governments, we have no authentic information about what happened to Netaji Subhash Chandre Bose on August 18, 1945 or thereafter. Researchers and enquiry commissions have been relying on secondary sources and circumstantial evidence and coming to contradictory conclusions. Contrary to the views of the Shanawaz Committee and the Khosla Commission that Netaji was killed in the plane crash, the Mukhrejee Commission was of the view that the news of his death August 18 was fake because he had planned to escape to the Soviet Union. The members of theBoseclan, barring perhaps only Netaji’s great grandnephew and Trinamul Congress MP Sugata Bose, agree with the Mukhrejee Commission. Sugata Bose recently told a newspaper correspondent that he was “convinced Netaji died in the plane crash.” On the other hand, there was a man called Abbas Ali (Jan 3, 1920 – October 11, 2014) who was Captain in the Indian National Army and had known Netaji closely, used to claim that he met Netaji at least 10 days after the alleged plane crash.
Perhaps, we will never know the truth but I am not writing this piece just to present contradictory opinions and claims. I am going to tell the readers about a write-up I had read in 1970s. I am writing this on the basis of my memory but what I had read was so sensational that I can never forget it.
There used to be a popular weekly Hindi magazine Dharmyug. Its publication stopped in 1994. Sometime in 1970s I had read an article about Netaji in that magazine. At the end of the article there was a note by the editor that a man (perhaps Netaji’s cook) who had been interviewed had claimed that he was taken to the airport on that fateful day, August 18, 1945, where Netaji was present. The man further claimed that at the airport he was blindfolded and after some time he heard a loud noise as if something had exploded. The note further stated that the man made sensational disclosures which would be published next week. That never happened. There was no reference to that interview in any subsequent issue of the magazine. The only explanation one can think of is that the publication of that interview was banned by the authorities.
If any researcher wants to read that article, he will have to go through the old issues of the magazine in the 1970s. According to information available on Google search engine, the old issues are available with a few persons. I cannot say whether the manuscript of the unpublished second instalment would be available in the archives of the magazine.
This evening (May 5, 2019), on a TV channel, 4 former army officers rubbished Congress’ claim of ‘surgical strikes’ during the UPA rule. They said that the earlier actions were small-scale ‘cross-border actions’ taken by local commanders without permission of their seniors and information to them after the actions. Such actions had no political implications while ‘surgical strikes’ are major military operations taken only after government permission.
The retired Armed Forces officers explained that what the Modi government did in 2016 and 2019 were major actions by the Indian Armed Forces with the permission of the central government and resulted in heavy casualties inside POK in 2016 and inside Pakistan in 2019. They said such actions have been taken only thrice after the Second World War. Israel did it in Uganda during Idi Amin’s dictatorship and the US did in Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden. They said, had surgical strikes of 2016 or 2019 failed, the Modi government would have fallen.
They said, never before Modi had any government given free hand to the Armed Forces. The Armed Forces were feeling helpless and frustrated when terrorists attacked the Parliament or when terrorists attacked Mumbai in 2008 because they were not allowed to retaliate. The Armed Forces’ morale had never been so high as today, the added. Another important thing with a said that had the Modi government publicly paraded the jawans and officers of the Armed Forces who carried out operations in 2016 or 2019 to take credit, that would have been politicisation of the Armed Forces; referring to the bravery of the forces in 2016 or 2018 does not amount to politicisation.
अंत में मोदी सरकार ने वायुसेना द्वारा एकत्र किये गए सारे सबूत विरोधी दाल के नेताओं के सामने रख दिया। सबूतों को देखकर सभी ने आगे की रणनीति के लिए एक बैठक बुलाई । बैठक के बाद सब मीडिया के सामने आकर चिल्लाने लगे,
"हम इन सबूतों को कैसे मान लें ? सबूत सच्चे हैं इसका सबूत दो।"
PUBLIC INTEREST PETITION AGAINST PRIME MINISTER NARENDRA MODI
(1)AAM AADMI PARTY PETITIONERS (2)BAHUJAN SAMAJ PARTY THROUGH EMINENT LAWYERS
(3) COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA
(4) COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (M)
(5) INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS
(6) Nationalist Congress Party
(7) SAMAJWADI PARTY
(8) TRINAMUL CONGRESS
(9) SHIV SENA
NARENDRA MODI, PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA RESPONDENT
IN THE MATTER OF PREAMBLE TO THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION, ARTICLES 14, 19, 21 AND 29 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA
THE HON’BLE CHIEF JUSTICE OF INDIA AND HIS COMPANION JUSTICES OF THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
MOST RESPECTFULLY SHOWETH:-
The Petitioners, legally constituted and recognised mainstream political parties of Indiarepresenting majority of the citizens of India, beg to draw the attention of the highest court of justice in the country to certain important provisions of the Constitution of India:
(a) The Preamble, which is an integral part of the Constitution of India, says that the people of this country constituted “India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC.
(b) The Constitution secures to all its citizens, inter alia, “JUSTICE, social, economic and political; LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; EQUALITY of status and of opportunity.”
(c) Article 14 of the Constitution prohibits the States from denying “to any person equality before the law or the equal opportunity of the laws within the territory of India.”
(d) Article 19 protects certain rights regarding freedom of speech, etc. and grants all citizens the right, inter alia, to form associations or unions.
(e) Article 29 protects the right of the minorities to conserve their language, script or culture.
The Petitioners are in opposition at the Centre but are either in power or in opposition in the States/Union Territories of India.
In this era of coalition with large number of mainstream political parties, no single party, not even the party that has formed a government and provided the present Prime Minister, can claim to represent the majority of the country’s citizens.
It is the responsibility of every political party (whether in power or in opposition), every political leader and every citizen of the country to ensure that the government of the day functions in accordance with the spirit and letter of the Constitution.
Notwithstanding their political and ideological differences and competition among themselves for political space, the Petitioners firmly believe that the single most important factor that can keep India a socialist, secular and democratic republic and maintain the country’s sovereignty and integrity is level playing, availability of equal opportunity to all the stakeholders. No single party should to try to take credit for doing everything for the country. Rather, in a spirit of mutual cooperation, should give opportunity to all the parties to serve the poor of the country.
The Petitioners do not just preach what they believe. In fact they have been practising their faith in the interest of the socialist, secular and democratic character of the Republic, in the interest of the poor and downtrodden people of this country.
The claim of the Petitioners is proven by their track record. To give a few examples:
(a) The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Petitioner No. 1, was founded by a person who is a symbol of simple living and high pitched oratory (even after a surgical strike on his tongue, literally) to eradicate corruption from the public life and to make politics clean. Having set the goal and shown the means to achieve the goal, the party has graciously left it to other political parties to complete the task.
(b) The ultimate objective of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Petitioner No. 2, is to empower the Dalits of the society. However, in order to give opportunity to other parties to achieve that goal, the party supremo has restricted empowerment to herself and to her kins and friends. Her public appearance in designer dress wearing heavy gold and diamond jewellery, holding a designer purse in hand and surrounded by heavily-armed commandoes, is the sample of what empowerment means. Her statues are inspiring millions of people.
(c) Petitioner Nos. 3 and 4 believe in eradication of poverty and creation of classless society. However, even after remaining in power in West Bengal for more than three decades, they deliberately did not achieve their objective because they did not want to deprive others of the opportunity and credit.
(d) Petitioner No. 5, the oldest political party of the country that fought for freedom under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, had declared even before independence that removal of poverty was the next goal. Despite reiterating its commitment to remove of poverty at the time of each and every election, the party has scrupulously avoided achieving the goal and has been liberal enough to give opportunity to all other political parties to follow it.
(e) Nationalist Congress Party, Petitioner No. 6, was formed by parting company with the parent political party to give opportunity to more leaders to reach top level in a party, a natural ambition of every leader.
(f) Samajwadi Party, Petitioner No. 7, was founded by Netaji Mulayam Singh, the great follower of Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, to transform our poor traditional society into a society of rich socialists. He too has transformed only his extended family and friends. He too presents himself and his beneficiaries as samples of what socialism can achieve. He has shown the path which other have to follow.
(g) The firebrand leader and founder of the Trinamul Congress, Petitioner No. 8, is another symbol of simple living and high pitched oratory. She has made her party rich and powerful with the help of her loyal friends so that she can serve the people of West Bengal for a long time. She is concentrating on the minorities so that her successors have opportunity to do something for the majority.
(h) Petitioner No. 9, led by the second generation of protectors of the interest of local people, inspires others to take care of local interest in their respective states.
All the Petitioners believe in transparency and clean politics and have been promising to achieve the objectives and will continue to promise in future. Any action beyond promises may prove to be disastrous to the entire constitutional system. This underwritten sacred code of conduct is product of mutual understanding and has been faithfully practised by the Petitioners and others.
The Petitioners’ motto is ‘charity begins at home” and they have been asking people to have patience because “Rome was not built in a day’.
The Petitioners believe in “participative democracy”. Whenever any big programme is taken up by any party in power, all the stakeholders should be given opportunity to participate.
Unfortunately, since mid-2014 the Central Government is headed by the Respondent who is a person who does not care for the healthy democratic traditions of this great country. In flagrant violation of the unwritten code of conduct, he seems to be in tearing hurry to initiate and complete several programmes during his tenure. The Petitioners’ fear is that he does not want to give other stakeholders any opportunity to serve the country the way they have been doing.
The Petitioners’ fear is neither imaginary nor baseless. Just consider how many programmes the Respondent has taken up within a short time and is hurriedly implementing: “Make in India”, “Swachh Bharat”, “Jan Dhan Yojna”, “Smart Cities”, “Digital India”, “Bullet Trains”, “Give up Subsidised LPG”, “Save Girl Child”, etc. etc.
The Petitioners patiently tolerated the Respondent’s overreach but are deeply aggrieved that he does not believe in “participative democracy” as is evident from two major actions taken by him unilaterally, without even giving any prior hint to them.
The first action is described as “Surgical Strike” in the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK ). Ours being a participative democracy, the Respondent should have discussed the need for such an action in the Parliament and should have sent the Petitioners’ representatives along with the armed forces to convince them that it was actually a surgical strike and to give the Petitioners an opportunity to boost the morale of the army. If it was absolutely necessary to carry out the strike in secrecy, the Respondent should have held consultation in secrecy.
Even more objectionable is what is being wrongly described as “Surgical Strike on Black Money”. Without caring for the stockholders like Petitioners, the Respondent made the existing currency notes of ₹500 and ₹1000 useless pieces of paper unless exchanged with newly printed currency notes or deposited in bank accounts.
The Petitioners are deeply hurt and aggrieved that such an important decision was taken without any discussion in the Parliament. If the Parliament was not in session, a special session should have been convened. If that was also not possible, the Respondent should have taken the Petitioners into confidence and given them time to put their house in order. Had the Respondent done so, today the Petitioners would have been standing with the Respondent and the government he heads and would have been appealing to the people to cooperate.
By not doing anything like that, the Respondent has in fact carried out “Surgical Strike the Very Foundation of Democracy”. He has done so just when the Petitioners are preparing for elections in various states.
The latest example of the respondent’s strategy to take full credit is how he is leading the war against a powerful invisible enemy called Corona virus. In a war-like situation, there should be a national government comprising leaders of prominent parties. Every prominent leader should have been given chance to hold the post of Prime Minister by rotation. Leaders of the Petitioners are well-known for their vision. It is in the interest of the Respondent as well as the nation also. The respondent should have got much needed rest and the country would have got new ideas to fight the common enemy.
It is well known that the Petitioners had worked very hard to collect materials, black as well as white, from several sources to build a strong foundation. Within a few months the common people will start leading normal life but it will take decades to repair the damaged foundation of our parliamentary democracy. Our democratic system will suffer for a long time because when the foundation is damaged, the superstructure is bound to collapse. The Respondent has not only crippled the Petitioners, he has ensured that they, the Petitioners, should not be able to serve the people
The Petitioners apprehend that unless restrained by the highest court of justice of the land, the Respondent will continue to violate the code of conduct. His next move may be may be to grab all the real estate acquired by the Petitioners and their supporters.
Briefly, democracy as being practised in this country since independence is facing serious threat from ‘Modicracy’
(Note: I have managed to obtain a copy of the Draft which is under discussion of the Petitioners. They will sign the petition and the affidavit once they have sorted out their differences. Devendra Narain)
I had written this satire more than two and half years back and posted on social media and Google Blog. Republishing it because the issue is still valid.)
(This draft has been under consideration for a long time. It was updated recently)