junior to the biggest phenomenon of Indian politics, Bose had the gumption to .. represented a botched attempt to cover up the Bose mystery. Editorial Reviews. Review. It is a disturbing story how the government at all costs went out of the way to cover up Netaji's mysterious disappearance and more. India's biggest cover-up is an investigative insight into the Netaji mystery and its stranger than fiction subplots. Relying heavily on official records bulk of them still .
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For over a half century, copies of this letter and several others like them sat in an unusual location: in the locked cupboards of the state IB office in Kolkata. Recently declassified by the Union Home Ministry and placed in the National Archives, these files now reveal independent India's dirty state secret.
For two decades, between and , the government placed the Bose family members under intensive surveillance. Sleuths intercepted, read and recorded letters of the family of a freedom fighter who was Nehru's political co-worker for 25 years.
IB sleuths discreetly tailed family members as they travelled around India and abroad, recording in minute detail who they met and what they discussed. The surveillance was exactly as it would be today on a wanted terrorist's family-rigorous, methodical yet unobtrusive.
The revelations have shocked the Bose family. Netaji and his family fought for the freedom of the country, why should they be placed under surveillance?
Subhas Bose's only child Anita Bose-Pfaff, a Germany-based economist, says she is startled by the revelations.
But what surprises me is that my cousins could have been under surveillance, they had no security implications at all," she says. The INA clawed at the borders of the British-ruled subcontinent in and its troops were the first to raise the tricolour on Indian soil.
Shortly thereafter, in , the collapse of the Japanese army led to the retreat and eventual capitulation of the INA. Bose, 48, was thought to have died in an air crash in Taiwan on August 18, , three days after Japan's surrender to the Allied forces. The incensed Bose family now wants speedy declassification of a clutch of top secret 'Netaji Files' which the government has held for nearly 60 years.
These documentary revelations, they believe, could well be the tip of the iceberg. For close to a decade, RTI activists and researchers have believed the trove of still-classified files could shed light on the disappearance of the charismatic revolutionary.
They have been stonewalled by the government. Speaking on the eve of his birth anniversary last year, Singh promised to declassify the Netaji files if his government came to power. His government's response however has been same as UPA's. The PMO gave an identical response to 'Mission Netaji', a pressure group of activists who have fought for declassification of the files since This was when the two Bose brothers, Sarat Chandra and his younger brother, Subhas Chandra, emerged at the forefront of the freedom movement in Bengal.
The family had learned to live with the police glare. A CID officer once intercepted and duplicated a letter meant for Sarat Chandra but accidentally re-posted a copy. When he arrived at the Bose family doorstep to confess his mistake, the senior Bose told him to come back in a few days and recover it. Placed under house arrest in , Netaji hoodwinked policemen and escaped the Elgin Road residence to land up in Nazi Germany.
He was dubbed a fascist collaborator by the British who stepped up surveillance on his family members. As the declassified intercepts show, independent India's government was just as keen to spy on the family.
Click here to Enlarge The IB has been routinely used by ruling parties to snoop on political opponents and even on their own family members.
Former IB chief M. But Netaji's two nephews, Sisir Kumar Bose and his brother Amiya Nath Bose, were political lightweights in the years they were snooped upon.
They contested elections long after the papers show the IB had wound down its surveillance. From the archives: Mukherjee panel goes globe-trotting in a bid to end Subhas Chandra Bose death mystery The IB seemed obsessed in knowing what the family was doing and who they were meeting.
A series of handwritten messages show IB agents phoned in 'Security Control', as IB headquarters was called, to report on the family's movements. But it was in the intercepted family mail that the IB relied on to know what the family was thinking. Netaji figured heavily in their correspondence. What else would the family discuss?
The letters were mostly about mundane family matters. Netaji's wife discusses their economic hardships, bringing up her daughter Anita and repairs at their flat in Vienna. The Boses in Kolkata sent them money to meet their expenses.
The IB annotated and underlined parts of the letters that had names of people meeting Emilie Schenkl to show what they were interested in. She laughs at how particularly effective the surveillance was because the family never had a clue. The letter intercepts almost exclusively focused on the Elgin Road post office from where the unsuspecting Bose family posted their missives to the out- side world. Family members recorded their scepticism over the Shah Nawaz inquiry committee appointed by the Nehru government in and their disappointment over the lack of recognition for their uncle.
The rest were just extras. The man behind them all was Bhola Nath Mullick, Nehru's internal security czar who headed the IB for an unprecedented 16 years between and Must Read: Netaji's birth centenary celebrations witness revival of debate over authenticity of ashes That this surveillance was politically sensitive was a no-brainer.
The 'Top Secret' and 'Very Secret' stamps on the files would restrict access to a very limited circle of officials. The files were stored in the steel cupboards of the IB's state headquarters in Kolkata's Pretoria Street, just a stone's throw away from the Bose residences.
The IB's surveillance was not restricted to Kolkata. The prying was not without irony. Madhavan Nambiar. The two claimants to Mahatma Gandhi's political legacy split when he chose Nehru over Subhas Bose as his political successor because he was uncomfortable with the latter's push for complete independence.
Finally, Netaji resigned as Congress president in Back from death. What happened to Netaji A big thanks to Dhar. I am eagerly waiting to start the third book of the series. Sadly India's distorted written history and what is taught in schools does not give adequate credit to the real heroes of freedom movement. Netaji and INA led by him have an important role in India attaining her freedom. It is really the greatest tragedy that we do not know the true fate of Netaji.
As someone who admires Bose and have always tried to learn more about him through Internet and bo Netaji Subas Chandra Bose is probably the tallest and the greatest among the freedom fighters of India. As someone who admires Bose and have always tried to learn more about him through Internet and books,there is not much to go with.
If we read something also it is hard to ascertain any credibility to the material. In this regard eternally thankful to Anuj Dhar for giving us such a factual,comprehensive and honest account about Netaji.
Every claim is backed by supporting proof and documents.