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'Vanishing' of Subhash Chandra Bose: Year After Declassification of Netaji Files, Book 'Reveals' What Nehru Knew

Pt Jawaharlal Nehru and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose | Image credit: FilePhotos

Pt Jawaharlal Nehru and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose | Image credit: FilePhotos

Read the new excerpt from 'The Vanishing of Subhash Bose' written by lawyer and author Rajesh Talwar.

A year after Subash Chandra Bose's files were declassified on 3rd December 2019, the mystery still remains behind his disappearance and death. In his new book 'The Vanishing of Subhash Bose', lawyer and author Rajesh Talwar, well known for his non-fiction work that ranges from books on legal literacy and human rights to those on sacred feminine and world culture, carefully analyses all three inquiries into Bose’s alleged disappearance, which has never been attempted before in this manner.

Talwar has approached the Bose mysteries not directly but through an analysis of Nehru’s character and behaviour combined with the available evidence in the second last chapter 11 titled ‘What Nehru Knew.’ It is a different, unusual but appropriate way of addressing the Bose mysteries and in the author’s opinion, the answers provided are far more convincing than any that have previously been presented.

The author, with historical proofs, have brought out the nature of the motives and the hidden agendas of the INA. Talwar has very arduously investigated all theories and controversial conversations and has dissected each one of them with clear and convincing explanations.

His most notable books in this category are ‘The Judiciary on Trial,’ (Cosmos Publications, Delhi), ‘The Third Sex and Human Rights’ and more recently, the best-selling ‘Courting Injustice: The Nirbhaya Case and Its Aftermath’ (Hay House).

Here is an excerpt from the book:

Very many papers related to Bose were destroyed, but there were some communications from the Soviets that were kept well preserved and safe.

There were excellent reasons why these papers were NOT destroyed. What were these communications and why were they not destroyed? Why could even Nehru and his daughter Indira never contemplate destroying them?

These were letters from the Soviet leadership addressed to Nehru explaining to him that Bose had already died prior to India’s

independence while it was still a British colony. These letters clearly exonerated Nehru from any wrong doing. Why were

they not destroyed by Nehru and Indira Gandhi? These documents, together with Nehru’s response, constituted proof of the prime minister’s innocence in respect of charges of criminality that could be potentially levelled against him at a further date. What were these charges?

The first charge that has been levelled against Nehru is that he learnt from the Soviets that Bose was alive and well, and they asked him to let them know what he wished to be done with him. Nehru asked the Soviets to keep Bose incarcerated. This is a serious, criminal charge, which is indefensible, and would permanently cloud Nehru’s position in history.

This charge has been levelled against him by his enemies and detractors. Nehru may have had his weaknesses, but he would have never done this to his old comrade, regardless of their differences. The second charge that can potentially be levelled against Nehru is even more serious. It has in fact been levelled against him by Nehru haters such as the BJP Member of Parliament, Subramanian Swamy. Upon learning from the Soviets that Bose was alive and well, instead of asking them to a) release him or b) keep him in custody, the prime minister suggested that he be exterminated. This is potentially a murder charge against one of India’s great heroes and freedom fighters.

Nehru knew, as his daughter Indira did, that sometime in the future the truth may surface. It was necessary to preserve documents in top secret government records that worked as an alibi for Nehru and were proof of his innocence. Nehru may have been wrong in what he did, and his personal interest may have also played some role, but he was not such a villain. He has his own claim to greatness, of a sort.

When Morarji Desai as the Prime Minister of a non-Congress government came across these papers he was astounded. It was only at the level of the prime minister that he had the clearance to see these top secret papers.

The shock of this momentous discovery led him to make his famous statement in Parliament that he had come across new documents that challenged the veracity of the theory of an air crash in Taipei. After making the statement, he reconsidered. He had to weigh the damage to Nehru’s reputation, and the consequential damage to the Indian National Congress, Nehru’s party, with potential damage to relations with the Soviets and the British. Nehru had a reasonable alibi. Bose was dead in any case. Why endanger India’s relations with powerful countries?! On balance, Prime Minister Desai considered that nothing would be gained

from disclosing the truth at this late stage.

Do those papers still exist? Undoubtedly, they do! It’s a moot question though whether they exist in the government archives or whether they have been shifted to a safe in Sonia Gandhi’s house. Certainly, the Gandhi family would have copies of all-important correspondence, if not the original documents.

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