Saturday 28 July 2007

Secrets of "Netaji's ashes" to remain secret



Official version has it that Subhas Chandra Bose was killed following an air crash and cremated in Taipei. The Mukherjee Commission found out that the crash was a cover for his escape to the USSR and body of a Japanese soldier was passed off as Bose's. Be that as it may, what really became of the ashes? The official version is that they were taken to Tokyo's Renkoji temple, where they remain till date.

And there is yet another "official" version tucked away in a classified Prime Minister's Office (PMO) file: They were secretly received in India by Prime Minister/External Affairs Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Going by the tone of this 1954 note (see above), those "ashes and other remains" might have ended up either in South Block or the office of All India Congress Committee (AICC).

Now it seems that we will never know how true or false the PMO version is. After a year-long RTI attempt, Mission Netaji has failed to resolve the riddle of "Netaji's remains" the PMO record says were received by Pt Nehru. The Central Information Commission (CIC), after hearing the views of Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Mission Netaji's Anuj Dhar, has stated that it "can only hope that some serious researcher will look into one of the greatest mysteries of modern India and arrive at a definite conclusion". What drove Information Commission Dr OP Kejariwal to make this gloomy observation was the MEA's insistence that "they had no records with them on the matter and hence could not proceed any further with the RTI-application."

Dr Kejariwal, however, underlined in his decision dated 26 July 2007 that "one look at the note emanating from the Prime Minister's Secretariat ... would seem to open up an altogether new line of inquiry with the implication that Netaji's ashes and other remains were brought back to the country by the late Prime Minister, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru."

A top notch historian that he is, Dr Kejariwal was compelled to concede in his order that "this is one of the most interesting cases which has come before the Commission" and that "the mystery deepens". Full story

Click for the CIC decision

Media coverage: Hindustantimes.com, Jagran, Outlook

7 comments:

Arani said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arani said...

I dont think the CIC could have given a better verdict than this even if they wanted to.

Anonymous said...

I fail to why this story isnt there in newspapers.

Manas Khan said...

Why does Mr. Arani feel so ?? If two documents from PMO/MEA contradict each others then there should be a more direct and strong judgement and or probe as I feel. It just can't be left for the historians or researchs to find out...

Arani said...

Dear Manas, I am not sure about this, but the CIC does not have the power to order a probe. That power is with the High Courts and the Supreme Court. The CIC can only direct an organization to give the concerned information and/or punish the recalcitrant officers.

Manas Khan said...

Dear Mr. Arani,
You might be right that the CIC does not have power to order a probe.... but they can press or punish if some dept. (or depts governed by the same body) produces self-contradicting documents... isn't it ??

Arani said...

Dear Manas, in the present circumstances, it is very difficult to trace who created this problem. It might have been made 30 years earlier too, and that has been the problem. The MEA has said that it has absolutely no idea on this matter. Then the blame seems to lie on both Nehru and Mr. Mathai, both of whom have passed away long back.