Strip Nehru of Bharat Ratna, demands Netaji's kin

Published on April 21, 2015 07:45:45 AM
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AGENCIES/ Kolkata: A descendant of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on Monday said former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru should be stripped of the Bharat Ratna in the light of recent revelations alleging snooping on family members of the revolutionary leader by successive Congress governments. Family spokesperson Chandra Kumar Bose said Nehru's character is now open before the public eye since the revelations. "Bharat Ratna is a civilian award and the character that Nehru has displayed... he doesn't deserve the award. The people of this country demand that Nehru's Bharat Ratna should be stripped. His Bharat Ratna should be taken away," 

Chandra Kumar, Netaji's grand nephew, said. According to documents accessed by author and researcher Anuj Dhar, Bose's close relatives, including his two nephews Sisir Kumar Bose and Amiya Nath Bose, were purportedly spied upon for 20 years between 1948 and 1968. Nehru was the Prime Minister for 16 of those 20 years. The clamour for publicising over 150 secret documents too has been gaining ground with the Narendra Modi-led Central government setting up an inter-ministerial committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary to review the Official Secrets Act in the context of such files.

Chandra Kumar Bose said family members of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 17 and press for the declassification of secret files on Netaji lying with the Central and State governments. "We had written to the Prime Minister requesting for time to discuss the issue. A couple of days back we received a letter from the PMO inviting us on May 17," the grandnephew of Netaji said.Besides demanding declassification of the secret files, they would also request the Prime Minister to form a Special Investigative Team to look into the content of the secret files once they are declassified, Bose stated.

"We will request the PM to constitute an SIT with officials from the PMO, External Affairs Ministry, Intelligence Bureau (IB), senior journalist and a Netaji-researcher as members of the committee to look into the files," Bose said. "So far all the committees formed by the government to probe Netaji's disappearance were bureaucratic panels and none of them could deliver a fruitful conclusion. We believe that there should be presence of non-bureaucratic persons in the panel," he said.

Surya Kumar Bose, Netaji's grandnephew and elder brother of Chandra Bose had met Modi in Berlin earlier this month and sought declassification of all secret files amid a row over reported snooping on the leader's close relatives. Sugato Bose, another grandnephew of Netaji said, "This is an important national and historical issue and any attempt to politicise it will do a disservice to Netaji". "I speak as a historian, a parliamentarian and as a member of his family," Bose, also an MP, said. He said, "It is unfortunate that the PM on his visit to Germany did not meet Netaji's closest surviving relative, his daughter".

Meanwhile, DNA reported on Monday that the Nehru administration had snooped on many a communication between the kin of Subhas Chandra Bose. Intelligence Bureau memos and letters in dna's possession show that the snooping was not just limited to mails between the Bose family. Letters written by women who had kept Subhas Bose company in Europe were intercepted. In addition, letters written to Bose's nephew Amiya Bose by his political associates and friends were detained, copied and sent to the Home Ministry. At times, the writers of these letters engendered so much suspicion in the Nehru establishment that prompt background checks were carried out on these individuals. Handwritten notes were then dispatched to the Home Ministry as sleuths waited for further instructions on how to proceed.