Members of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s family reacted sharply to reports that the Nehru government kept tabs on them for 20 years. Family members said the snooping showed utter disrespect to the leader and his family.
Bose’s grandnephews and one of Mamata Banerjee’s brothers led the chorus to declassify all files related to the national hero, and condemnation of the Centre’s policy of shadowing the Bose family after Independence.
Netaji’s grand nephew and Trinamool Congress MP Sugata Bose, who has already gone through the files now at the National Archives, told HT on Friday that all files related to Netaji should be declassified by the respective governments in New Delhi and West Bengal.
While the Mamata Banerjee government was reluctant to do so, Bose asserted that they should also come out in the open.
“All files more than 30 years old and most of the files more than 50 years old should be thrown open. The excuse that it would sour our relationship with foreign countries is lame,” Sugata Bose added.
“The files reflect poorly on the state of Indian democracy in the first two decades. Though there is no direct evidence to prove Nehru ordered it personally, it’s unlikely that he was unaware of it. It is personally hard for me to reconcile to the fact because Nehru was very hospitable to my father (Sisir Bose) whenever he visited New Delhi,” Bose said.
The files revealed that IB officers, between 1948 and 1968, meticulously snooped on the members of the Bose family, especially Netaji’s two nephews — Sisir Kumar and Amiya Nath — and intercepted and copied all their correspondences with Netaji’s wife, Emilie Schenkl, and other close associates like ACN Nambiar.
Chandra Kumar Bose, Amiya Nath’s son, alleged that the files revealed that former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru was aware that Netaji was alive but was unsure of his whereabouts and did not want Netaji to return to India.
Kartik Banerjee, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s brother, has been demanding declassification of the files for quite some time and has threatened to hit the streets in New Delhi and submit deputations with the President and the PM.