One of the biggest news for India in the last century was the death of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Words may fail to describe this towering giant of a freedom fighter. His patriotism and his desire to see a free India was beyond doubt.
He died on August 18, 1945, purportedly from burn injuries suffered in a plane crash, and his death was announced by Jawaharlal Nehru in a great hurry.
Today, 70 years later, an India Today report tells us that soon after he became the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru ordered the Intelligence Bureau to spy on Netaji’s family. They did that for 20 straight years from 1948.
Following Nehru’s orders, the IB spied on Bose’s nephews Sisir Kumar Bose and Amiya Nath Bose – the sons of his brother Sarat Chandra Bose, a staunch opponent of Congress.
The information that Bose’s family was under surveillance on Nehru’s orders was first revealed by Anuj Dhar, the authoritative researcher on Bose’s death and author of ‘India’s Biggest Cover-up’, in an article published in ‘daily O’ on March 17.
He and his sources sifted through declassified records available at the National Archives in New Delhi and at the Kew in United Kingdom and discovered to their shock this unethical and deplorable act of snooping on Bose’s family members.
He also found that the intelligence reports were shared with United Kingdom. Every movement of Amiya and Sisir Bose were tracked, including their foreign tours.
Dhar is of the view that the snooping was being conducted because of Amiya Bose’s political views – that were nationalistic but against the ruling Congress government of the time. They wanted to know everything the family wanted to know about Netaji.
BJP national spokesperson M.J. Akbar, however, has a different explantion.
…why would the Congress be apprehensive?…Bose was the only charismatic leader who could have mobilised Opposition unity against Congress, and offered it a serious challenge in the 1957 elections. It is safe to say that if Bose were alive, the coalition that defeated the Congress in 1977 would have trounced it in the 1962 general elections, i.e. 15 years sooner.
Meanwhile, Netaji’s daughter Anita Bose-Pfaff expressed shock at the disclosure that her cousins were being spied on. Questioning the patriotism of Indian factions who were against her father, she shares an interesting anecdote with Sandeep Unnithan of India Today:
As expected liberal media, secular intelligentsia, and staunch Congress loyalists such as NDTV were the only ones who did not cover this story. But an unforgiving Twitter responded with the hashtag #NehruSnooped, which trended all day long:
— Sandeep (@SandeepUnnithan) April 10, 2015
All these while ppl were shouting abt snoopgate & snooping happened way back & was done by thr beloved Ldr as per IB reports.#NehruSnoopedAdvertisement
— Kamal (@Kamaalsharma) April 10, 2015
— Anjana Om Kashyap (@anjanaomkashyap) April 10, 2015
Ok so he was ‘Jasoos Jawahar’ and not ‘Chacha Nehru’ #NehruSnooped
— IshratKePappa (@Nitishva_) April 10, 2015
— Keh Ke Peheno (@coolfunnytshirt) April 10, 2015
Pin Drop Silence by Nehru Bhakt Journalists.. Be prepared for some fake outrage against BJP or RSS to divert the issue #NehruSnooped”
— Dr.Sweta Patel (@DrSweta148) April 10, 2015
Sure Patel knew #NehruSnooped. But he died in ’50, spying went on till ’68. IB shut case just 4 years after Nehru, man who ordered it, died
— Abhijit Majumder (@abhijitmajumder) April 10, 2015
That #NehruSnooped on Netaji’s kins for 20 years makes one thing clear that Nehru KNEW Netaji was alive for all those years !
— IndiaFirst (@_Innovision) April 10, 2015
Nehru opposed any allowance for Bose’s daughter & wife from INA funds leftover, while Patel wantd it to be given & arranged #nehrusnooped
— Dr. Anirban Ganguly (@anirbanganguly) April 10, 2015
— Krishna (@Rao_Krishna) April 10, 2015