BENGALURU: Former journalist Anuj Dhar, who was at the Bangalore Literature Festival, defined the disappearance of freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose as “India’s biggest kept secret”.
He threw light on the various aspects of his book titled “What happened to Netaji” released this year. Since 2005, Anuj has written five books on Subhash Chandra Bose.
He is best known for his theory about Bose’s death. Anuj believes that he lived under the cover of “Gumnami Baba Bhagwanji” in Faizabad, till he passed away in the 1980’s.
He said that Bose was in Russia, but he was definitely not killed there or in Taiwan as several reports suggest.
Anuj said, “Only if we are transparent and lay our cards on the table, will the Russian government cooperate with us.” His theories were met with great curiosity in the UK and America. He is headed to Kerala next.
According to Anuj, this is the best time for declassification of Netaji’s files, which had been long overdue. The President has expressed an interest, he said. “In December, my team and I will be raising the issue with the central government. This is a big leap for us,” he said. This will be followed by the release of 33 out of 41 classified files in possession with the government on January 23.
The audience threw an array of questions at Anuj. One member made a reference to the controversy stirred up in the US, regarding confidential documents related to John F Kennedy’s death, and asked if it would add to the confusion. What was the purpose, he asked?
Anuj replied, “In spite of the controversy, all files related to Kennedy have been made public, except for those related to personal conversations with his wife. In India, when the files come out, (many) from bureaucrats to the top officials will be implicated.”
So what will the files, to be released on January 23, contain? Anuj said, “They will not have much more than what has been released through my book. They will have snippets about his life and some interesting facts, but nothing major.” He said that it may stir the curiosity of people.
His aims is to get the remaining eight files declassified and to throw light on the 3,000 classified documents held in the South Block of Prime Minister’s office.
An audience member pointed out that Netaji had worked briefly for the British and Hitler. Anuj said, “The IB and RAW would also not call this a breach of trust as these are matters of diplomacy and national security.
Hitler did not kill any Indian and was interested in supporting India during the freedom struggle. In fact, Musharraf who killed several more Indians was felicitated in India on the pretext of diplomacy.”
Snoopgate brought into light how the Bose family was spied on till the 1980’s.