PMO Classified File: Bose was alive in 1968 – Prithvijit Mitra

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

Prithvijit MitraFiled before the Mukherjee Commission in 2000, Sindkar’s affidavit quotes Chattopadhyay as saying that Bose was in hiding in Russia for he feared being prosecuted as a war criminal in India. – Prithvijit Mitra

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was in Russia till at least 1968 when he had met Nikhil Chattopadhyay—son of revolutionary Virendranath Chattopadhyay—at Omsk, according to a classified PMO file released in Delhi on Thursday, [6 July 2016] .

It contains an affidavit filed by Narendranath Sindkdar, a writer and journalist who was based in Moscow between 1966 and 1991, that claims Chattopadhyay and his wife had met Bose in the Siberian town 23 years after he was apparently killed in a plane crash.

Filed before the Mukherjee Commission in 2000, Sindkar’s affidavit quotes Chattopadhyay as saying that Bose was in hiding in Russia for he feared being prosecuted as a war criminal in India.

The affidavit mentions that Sindkar had met Chattopdhyay in Moscow soon after the death of Vir Savarkar in 1966. Chattopadhyay was born in Russia, where his father was executed by the Stalin government in 1937. “During the course of our conversation he accused Nehru of forcing Netaji Subhas Chandra to exile in the Soviet Russia. It was an exile because Netaji feared that he would be declared a war criminal with the connivance of Nehru. On his arrival in the then USSR via Manchuria, Stalin, Molotov Beria and Voroshilov consulted with the Indologists who advised Stalin to consult Krishna Menon in London through the Soviet embassy. Krishna Menon categorically asserted in favour of Nehru and urged Stalin not to divulge the information,” … Sindkar’s affidavit, enclosed in file number WI/411/1/2000 – EE, claimed.

He went on to mention that he was left shocked by Chattopadhyay’s disclosure. Calling himself an ardent admirer of Netaji, Sindkar said Chattopadhyay had promised to reveal more about Netaji through one comrade Chandran. The affidavit, however, does not talk about further interactions on the revolutionary. – The Times of India, 7 July 2016

» » Prithvijit Mitra is a Times of India reporter in Kolkata. Tweet him @toi_PrithvijitM

Nehru & Menon

2 Responses

  1. The news on Subhas Chandrababu Bose.There is no signature by Jawarhlal Nehru.
    The typewriting is very fresh and the paper looks burnt as though it is old.I wonder whether it is a fake document.

    • Letter to Attlee from Nehru (26/12/1945)

      Apparently the letter is fake. See this article Bose files: Jwaharlal Nehru’s message to Attlee shows how media falls for lies, half-truths

      Moreover, there are dozens of these letters in Google images. See this link https://www.google.co.in/search?q=nehru+bose+letter&biw=1242&bih=585&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi92oz8nMTKAhUHBI4KHafbBz8Q_AUIBigB#imgrc=_

      The Bose files – News Laundry – Nikhil Cariappa – Jan 28, 2016

      Did Jawaharlal Nehru call Subhas Chandra Bose a war criminal? On January 23, 2016, in his piece for India Today, Rahul Kanwal announced that well-placed sources had informed India Today that Nehru had said so and that the proof lay within the declassified Netaji files. However, when the files were released in the national archives, it emerged that Nehru’s stenographer, Shyam Lal Jain, attributed these words to Nehru while deposing before the Khosla commission, set up in 1970.

      It would have been more accurate for Kanwal to state that these claims were made by the steno. Since this wasn’t mentioned in the article, it leads one to believe that Nehru had indeed uttered these words and that the files would expose his “true” opinion of Bose.

      To add further confusion, a letter purportedly written by Nehru to Clement Atlee started doing the rounds on the internet. The “letter” was full of glaring spelling and grammar errors. The India Today Flash Twitter handle tweeted out the contents of the letter stating that it was written by “then PM Jawahar Lal Nehru”, even though the letter was dated December 27, 1945.

      When we contacted Kanwal, he refused to say anything beyond the statement he made on his Facebook page. This is the statement:

      “The story that was run on Saturday on India Today and Aajtak about Pandit Nehru’s letter to Clement Attlee was based on the sworn testimony of Pandit Nehru’s biographer, a gentleman by the name of Shyam Lal Jain. Deposing before the Khosla Commission, Shyam Lal Jain had said, “Dear Mr Attlee, I understand from reliable sources that Suhas Chandra Bose, your war criminal, has been allowed to enter Russian territory by Stalin. This is a clear treachery and betrayal of faith by the Russians as Russia has been an ally of the British-Americans, which she should not have done. Please take note of it and do what you consider proper and fit.” The letter is signed, “Yours Sincerely, Jawaharlal Nehru.”

      The testimony of Shyam Lal Jain can be found on Page 112 on http://www.netajipapers.gov.in The India Today report was based on an official government document that has now been declassified and is available on the National Archives website.

      Whether the stenographer is telling the truth or was he lying, what were his motives while making such a deposition, these are questions that are in the realm of speculation and no one can provide a definite answer. India Today carried both comments of historians like Ramchandra Guha who felt that the letter was fake and also military historians like General G. D. Bakshi who feel that being a Congressman, the stenographer had no reason to lie against his former boss at a time when Indira Gandhi was Prime Minister. These are theories that are best left to historians. [sic]”

      Kanwal’s story makes no mention of Shyam Lal Jain. His story was published before the files were placed in the national archives. The original article was based entirely on sources and Kanwal was not in a position to verify the details.

      The story was published anyway. Readers take what they see at face value and do not necessarily wait to see how the story evolves. Without clearly stating that these claims came from Nehru’s biographer, it becomes a case of misreporting. India Today’s social media team can claim that the “Prime Minister remark” was an oversight. However, in times of high public scrutiny, each error can stain hard-earned credibility.

      [End]

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