Netaji files: Documents suggest US, UK believed Subhas Chandra Bose was alive in 1949

The documents purportedly suggest that in 1948-49, British and American intelligence agencies believed that Bose was alive and instrumental in a number of communist uprisings in Southeast Asia.

Written by Aniruddha Ghosal | Kolkata | Updated: September 17, 2015 6:57 am
netaji subhas files, Netaji files in public, Netaji death, Netaji death mystery, subhas chandra bose secret files,mamata banerjee subhas chandra bose, west Bengal Netaji file, mamta banerjee, subhash chandra bose, netaji files mamta banerjee, bengal news, kolkata news, india news, latest news The Netaji files stacked at Writers’ Buildings. (Express Photo by: Subham Dutta)

On Tuesday morning, files on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose arrived in a small corner room in the east wing of Kolkata’s Writers’ Buildings for digitisation, before being made public Friday. But with some of these documents purportedly raising questions over his death in a plane crash in 1945 in Taipei, a familiar controversy has been reignited.

The documents purportedly suggest that in 1948-49, British and American intelligence agencies believed that Bose was alive and instrumental in a number of communist uprisings in Southeast Asia.

Another letter, written by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to Netaji’s nephew Amiya Nath Bose in 1948, also suggests the same thing, said sources.

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A letter written by Ohou Hrian Kuan, from the Publication Division of the I&B Ministry at the Old Secretariat in New Delhi, was intercepted by the Intelligence Bureau at the Elgin Road post office before it reached Amiya. It reads: “I regret I could not find out that news about Netaji which have been published in Chinese newspaper in Nanking some time ago. I am still believing that he is alive.”

These files are among the 64 that date back to the period between 1937 and 1947, and are being declassified by the West Bengal government. They are scheduled to be put up in public domain Friday. Many of these files have as many as 300 pages, with handwritten notes on the margins. Among these files are personal correspondences between Netaji and his elder brother Sarat Chandra Bose, the British intelligence’s analysis of Netaji’s speeches at various public meetings and invitations given to him to attend various functions.

“The documents suggest that British and American intelligence agencies believed Bose was undergoing training in Russia to emerge as another Tito or Mao. The British government was also very concerned that Netaji was alive and waiting for the right opportunity, while security services had failed to find any evidence confirming his death. The UK government believed that Netaji had escaped to Communist China or Russia,” claimed a senior government official.

Sugata Bose, TMC MP from Jadavpur and the great-nephew of Netaji, however differed from the conclusions being drawn from these documents. “It is unfortunate that such distortion is taking place. There is enough evidence, documented in the existing historical body of work, which says Netaji had died in the plane crash. At the time, there were obviously those who hoped Netaji was alive and detractors who feared that he could be alive. But we shouldn’t lose sight of Netaji and his life,” he said.

He also criticised the Union government’s stand that disclosing some files could hamper relations with other countries. “I don’t buy the central government’s argument that disclosing these files might adversely affect foreign relations. Nobody is going to blame today’s government for what a predecessor government may have done 50 or 60 years ago,” he said.

While making the announcement to declassify these files last week, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said that the files will be transferred to the Kolkata Police Archives and put on display at the Kolkata Police Museum. She had stressed on the need for disclosure and transparency regarding “the truth about Netaji”, and added that “it is for the Centre to decide” whether they want to declassify the files they have in their possession.

Netaji’s grand-nephew Chandra Kumar Bose said he had received communication from the Union government regarding a meeting and hoped they would soon declassify files in their possession. “I have received communication from the Prime Minister’s Office and we are hoping that there will be a meeting in October. We want the declassification of another 135 files lying with the central government, the erstwhile KGB and those with the British intelligence. We have filed an RTI with the British government and they have responded saying that they are scrutinising the files. Already some of the files have revealed that my family was being spied on by the Indian government; other revelations will only make things clearer,” he claimed.

Krishna Bose, a former Trinamool Congress MP and Netaji’s family member, said there was no reason to hold back the files for 70 years after his disappearance. “I think it’s a very good decision and I hope that the NDA government will follow the example set by the West Bengal government and declassify these files. Not doing so is only leading to distortion of facts and wild conjectures.”

Meanwhile on Tuesday, as a team from the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing — appointed by the state government to provide technical support — conducted the digitisation process, the room in which the files were being scanned remained under heavy security.

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  1. H
    Hirendra
    Jan 25, 2016 at 10:17 am
    why not somebody makes a re-investigation like HAUNTING HITLER........
    Reply
    1. S
      satpreet
      Dec 9, 2016 at 11:09 am
      that's why this country was a slave of britishers and after independence slave of politicians
      Reply
      1. S
        sunny
        Sep 18, 2015 at 9:27 pm
        why was netaji hiding himself was he scared or he was insane
        Reply
        1. A
          ANAND
          Sep 18, 2015 at 1:03 pm
          Central govt must follow the decision to declify the files concerning Netaji immediately. The common people is waiting for the same eagerly.The centeral govt should prove how it is dedicated for Netaji " The greatest freedom fighter of country ever".
          Reply
          1. B
            Barbara
            Sep 18, 2015 at 11:30 pm
            Nehru/hi made sure he is eliminated by any means. Netaji had to fight those sobs for right moment to free Hindustan from the clutches of British and their followers( Nehru/hi). Hopefully,it is time we know the great leader of Hindustan Mr.Bose.
            Reply
            1. B
              bimalwilliam
              Sep 16, 2015 at 12:06 pm
              It is a shame that a person who fought for our freedom treated like villain. All the political parties have used the name of Netaji but no party has the guts know the truth behind his mysterious disappearance.I hope declification of files will throw some light. As an Indian I want that this present generation must know the truth and mystery surrounding his disappearance without any further delay. Also I must say a big thank you to Mamta didi for taking such a bold decision.
              Reply
              1. Y
                Yashwant
                Sep 18, 2015 at 6:01 pm
                Good part of surveillance is morons can not say he was killed by Nehru or hi at first place as Nehru himself didn't knew whether Bose was alive.
                Reply
                1. Y
                  Yashwant
                  Sep 18, 2015 at 5:58 pm
                  I guess you could be the father
                  Reply
                  1. D
                    Daniel Alvin
                    Sep 18, 2015 at 10:37 am
                    Nehru and Abdullah are biological brothers
                    Reply
                    1. H
                      Hindu
                      Sep 18, 2015 at 7:48 pm
                      Congress was in GOOD hands until MK hi took over in 1920 or so...MKG supported Khilafat movement...result : Entire Malappuram dist Kerala Hindus were forcibly converted to islam. MKG bed Bhagat Singh as TERRORIST.....Jinnah was the first ti quit. Next Netaji...MKG and Nehru srrounded themselves with CHAMCHAS. MKG did not have B A L L S to antagonise Patel. MGK knew that Nehru was sleeping with Edwina....yet he CHOSE him as the 1st PM....ANYWAY thats history and we cant change...What we can CHANGE is....KI CK OUT CONGRESS FROM INDIA...and send mamma and pappu to Italy.
                      Reply
                      1. A
                        anandap
                        Sep 18, 2015 at 6:25 pm
                        “I don’t buy the central government’s argument that disclosing these files might adversely affect foreign relations. Nobody is going to blame today’s government for what a predecessor government may have done 50 or 60 years ago,” One of the best political argument heard from a politician and I think supreme court must interfere to declify any record on him with immediate effect, if central government unwilling to do so. Enough is enough to stop once all speculations.
                        Reply
                        1. B
                          BM
                          Sep 16, 2015 at 3:44 pm
                          Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was also murdered on the order of Nehru. His funeral was hurried, even, though Mukherjee's wife had objected to it. Sheikh Abdullah was the executioner.
                          Reply
                          1. R
                            Ramesh
                            Sep 16, 2015 at 9:17 am
                            Only gossip and rumor mongers are spreading false story is alive or dead or hang by Russia.Those who have thinking capacities can say how more then 100 year man can alive,Another reason is those who know Subhash Bose can confidently tell that how so generous brave leader hide himself so many years .Who left India tactically on s tricked watched of British government can hided so many years.Really speaking he was dead or murdered
                            Reply
                            1. R
                              Ramu
                              Sep 18, 2015 at 7:08 am
                              In my openion bose is a supreme....he can anything what he want to...but only misterious thing is why he has hidden.....there may be a strong reason...nehru was pla a key role....but fact comes out nearest future..we love subhas bose....and we hate nehru always
                              Reply
                              1. P
                                P N
                                Sep 29, 2015 at 9:56 pm
                                it is also surfaced that there is secret agreement with British to hand over Bose On this condition only,the Swaraj granted. There is great mystery to be found out.The present mechanism of media,records,secret file may help to some extent.Only Nehru was in a position to know this as PM with good relations with British US,USSR.May be the truth is buried with him.
                                Reply
                                1. S
                                  Sanjeev Singal
                                  Sep 16, 2015 at 1:24 pm
                                  Modi Government's handling of the Netaji issue is no different than of the previous governments.....
                                  Reply
                                  1. V
                                    Vaibhav
                                    Sep 16, 2015 at 12:28 pm
                                    I dont think he hid himself, it might be some other power which stopped him from coming out. He might have been imprisoned or bounded. Might be Jawaharlal Nehru was behind this, as he wanted to gain power in the nation while Shri Subhash could have risen above him.
                                    Reply
                                    1. V
                                      Vijeth hebbur
                                      Sep 18, 2015 at 2:06 pm
                                      Jus think of the situation netaji has faced, if, he was livin in india in name of gumnami baba.. Its Irony
                                      Reply
                                      1. V
                                        Victor
                                        Sep 18, 2015 at 8:54 pm
                                        Absolutely there was cover up by Cong Party back than. Since Nehru wanted to be the first PM of independent India. And anything on his path was wiped out. Time speaks for what Cong has done for the country and many deplore the idea of dividing India into two nations. Definitely Patel, S.Bose and many more leaders were against the creation of PAK but Nehru/hi alliance along with Jinnah succeded in dividing India into two regions. It's a sad saga of Indian history. I would be more interested in finding out what was Netaji's real ambitions about the country.
                                        Reply
                                        1. V
                                          vasoo kamulkar
                                          Sep 16, 2015 at 1:28 pm
                                          Not foreseeing the Chinese invasion in 1962, approaching the UNO on Kashmir for no valid reason are two of Nehru's Himalayan mistakes. He cared for his own image rather than look after India's interests. He could well have engineered Netaji's disappearance. Netaji was taller than Pandit Nehru
                                          Reply
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