Thursday, December 10, 2009
Fake Bose from Russia had US worried
Rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa speaks to Author Anuj Dhar about his latest book on Subhash Chandra Bose and uncovers some of the CIA's long-lost records, along the way.
For the first time, the Central Intelligence Agency has declassified and released to an India n citizen, two very important records -- pertaining to the death of freedom fighter and nationalist icon Subhash Chandra Bose and also the situation in India at the time of Partition.
The documents were made available to Dhar, author of the book, Back from Dead: Inside the Subhas Bose Mystery, in New Delhi."If the CIA could declassifiy this information, what stopped our government from doing the same?" Dhar told rediff.com.
Moreover the government has admitted to possessing reams of classified information of Bose. The Prime Minister's Office lists 33 classified files on Bose, a Right to Information query filed by Dhar revealed.
Dhar then filed an application under the US Freedom of Information Act and the Agency Release Panel considered his appeal and determined that the document that was initially denied in its entirety can now be released in part, with some information to remain protected from release on the basis of FOIA exemptions.
The documents made available to rediff.com by Dhar tells interesting stories, the main one being that even after reports of Bose's death, the spectre of his return from the United Soviet Socialist Republics remained strong enough to make many well-off Indians feel jittery
Dhar says that the number of documents released is small, but it is a turning point to end the excessive official secrecy thats exists in India. "The government is sitting on a stockpile of classified information on such great personality and the manner in which the Indian government handled the Russian angle as was mentioned by the Justice Mukherjee Commision left a lot to be desired," Dhar said.
Comments on the political situation during Partition:
The document released by the CIA gives some interesting insights into the political situation in India just after independence. The source of the information has however been protected in the document. The document goes on to state:
'I think it is quite possible that Liaquat Ali and (Jawaharlal) Nehru will finally submit to the partition of Kashmir in order that they may both save face. However I do not think that the people of either Pakistan or India are ready at the present to accept Partition but a wedge has been entered into their minds concerning partition which will eventually lead to that solution.'
'Although I studied the problem for one year, I never actually did find out how strong the religious feeling was. In the Partition of India and Pakistan or what really was underneath the religious cover. However it is my impression that the differences between India and Pakistan at the present time are not basically religious but largely nationalistic and economic.'
'I am also concerned about the strength of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, when last spring (1950) Golwalkar (fomer RSS chief M S Golwalkar) came to Delhi after his release from jail. This militant Hindu organisation and the Mahasabha party (Hindu Mahasabha) have become a great focus for Hindu refugees. Both parties are backed by old conservative Hindu elements such as the Brahmins. Both the RSS and the Mahasabha stand for the same principles, the two most important being anti-Muslim and anti-West