HYDERABAD: Did he didn’t he? The Netaji mystery deepens.
Files declassified by the Modi government on Tuesday indicate that Netaji Subhas Bose made three ‘broadcasts’ on dates after he’s thought to have died in a plane crash in Taiwan on August 18, 1945.
One file in particular, File No 870/11/p/16/92/Pol, contains the content of these broadcasts, supposedly from Netaji.
The content likely came from Governor House in Bengal. It’s mentioned in the file that one PC Kar, an official thete, claimed that a monitoring service had picked up the broadcasts on the 31-metre band. Kar apparently told then governor R G Casey about them.
The first broadcast, supposedly by Bose, was on December 26, 1945.
“I am at present under the shelter of great World powers. My heart is burning for India. I will go to India on the crest of a Third World War. It may come in ten years or even earlier. Then I will sit on judgment upon those trying my men at the Red Fort,” the broadcast said.
The second broadcast was on January 1, 1946.
“We must get freedom within two years. The British imperialism has broken down and it must concede independence to India. India will not be free by means of ‘non-violence’. But I am quite respectful to Mahatma Gandhi.”
The third broadcast was in February 1946.
“This is Subhas Chandra Bose speaking, Jai Hind. This is the third time I am addressing my Indian brothers and sisters after Japan’s surrender… The PM of England is going to send Mr Pethick Lawrence and two other members with no object in view other than let the British imperialism a permanent settlement by all means to suck the blood of India.”
The declassified file also refers to a letter of July 22, 1946, from Khurshed Naoroji, one of Gandhi’s secretaries, to Louis Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of the British Indian Empire.
“At heart, the Indian Army is sympathetic to the INA (Bose’s Indian National Army). If Bose comes with the help of Russia, neither Gandhiji nor Nehru nor the Congress will be able to reason with the country,” Naoroji writes to Mountbatten.
In addition, the file refers to the British government, on October 25, 1945, taking up the issue of Netaji having died in the air crash. It says the British Prime Minister was chairing a meet to consider, among other things, what to do with Bose in the post-war situation. The British cabinet discussed a confidential note sent by the Viceroy of India, Lord Wavell, regarding the “finalisation of a policy towards Bose”.
The file says that the diary of Mountbatten – who was then the supreme commander of the Allied forces in Southeast Asia – indicates that he received a dispatch from the British directorate of military intelligence after the news of Bose’s death in the crash.
The message said: “When Bose was preparing to leave Burma by plane, the Chinese intercepted a message from the Japanese asking him to remain in Burma. Bose subsequently escaped to Thailand.”