Sunday, January 24, 2016

British Raj thought Netaji alive & discussed pros and cons of trying him

British Raj thought Netaji alive
& discussed pros and cons of trying him
NEW DELHI: Five days after Subhas Chandra Bose was reported killed in a 1945 air crash, a top official of the British Raj had weighed the pros and cons of "trying" Netaji as a "war criminal" and suggested that the "easiest way" would be to leave him where he was and not seek his release.

"In many ways the easiest course would be to leave him where he is and not ask for his release. He might, of course, in certain circumstances be welcomed by the Russians.

"This course would raise fewest immediate political difficulties, but the security authorities consider that in certain circumstances his presence in Russia would be so dangerous as to rule it out altogether."

This was one of conclusions arrived at by Sir RF Mudie, home member, of the Clement Attlee government's India Office, which he sent to Sir Evan Jenkins, home secretary and the last governor of Punjab, five days after Bose was reported to have been killed in the aircrash near the Taihoku aerodrome in Taipei on August 18, 1945.

This information is in one of the 'Secret Files' out of 100 secret files relating to Netaji Subhash Bose declassified by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, 23rd January 2016 in presence of family members of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. The digitalises files were exhibited in the National Archives of India at Delhi.

Mudie's letter and the note are among the 17,000 pages of secret documents in 100 files relating to Bose declassified and made public by Prime Minister.

The letter was in response to Jenkins' communication to Mudie, saying His Excellency the King would want him to analyze and advise on how to deal with Bose, the men of the Indian National Army and his civilian supporters across the length and breadth of the country.

Mudie's letter and a note, dated August 23, 1945, dealt with Bose's influence over almost 30,000 Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauj) and said "it affects all races, castes and communities almost equally strongly."

"They regard him with deep admiration, respect and confidence as a sincere patriot, as an able leader without peer, as the organiser of India's first 'National Army'," the note said about the "most difficult questions" which would confront the British home department.
Mudie said various options — ranging from Bose's trial for waging war in India, or in Burma (now Myanmar) or Malaya (Malaysia) or intern him in "some other British possession e.g. Seychelles Islands" were considered.

However, he analyzed the extreme impact it would have on the Indians in India and abroad and warned of a volatile situation in case of his trial and finally suggested that keeping Bose "out of sight would be to some extent out of mind and agitation for his release might be less".
But, the union cabinet  led by tehn Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar after 50 years said in a cabinet note  Subhash Chandra Bose died in an air crash in Taipei on August 18, 1945, amidst the raging controversy over the INA chief's mysterious disappearance.

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