SHRI PRASANTA CHATTERJEE (CONTD.): This is a very important thing. Netaji's corner can be set up in the Library Hall and the Government should take up steps that I have mentioned, so that his teachings can be spread among the people of this country, particularly, among the younger generation of this country.
With these two demands, namely, examination of all the reports submitted so far and setting up of a library in the memory of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, I conclude my speech. Thank you, Sir. (Ends)
SHRI SHYAM BENEGAL (NOMINATED): Sir, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity.
Sir, I made a film called, 'Netaji Subhas -- the forgotten hero'. The reason for calling him the forgotten hero was this. It wasn't my choice because I had called him the Last Hero; I don't believe we have created a greater hero than him since that time; but, unfortunately, in many parts of India, it was found -- the market researchers found -- that the memory of Netaji was very dim among the younger generations. That was the reason why we changed the title and called him the forgotten hero. Now, while making that film, we researched the subject for several years and the only reason I could not myself give any kind of definitive answer at the end at what happened to Netaji was mainly because Justice Mukherjee Commission was in progress. And, also for every document, there would always be something else that would bring in some kind of ambiguity. But one thing is certain that if you look at some areas, for instance, particularly, related to his disappearance, then, nobody can doubt the fact that he left Saigon. Nobody can doubt the fact that he was travelling with General Shidei. Nobody can doubt the fact that Col. Habibur Rehman was travelling with him on that plane. And, we also know that the aircraft was an old Japanese aircraft, called Sally. This was two days after Japan had surrendered. On 15th of August, 1945 Japan had surrendered. There was no Government in place in Taiwan, which was called Formosa at that time, and there were really no records. When Mrs. Krishna Bose -- it was discovered at that time -- went to Taiwan recently, and when she asked about the crash, they said that they did not know. Nobody categorically said that there was no crash. Because they did not know as there were no documents, and the same answer was given even to the Justice Mukherjee Commission. It is a question of how you deduce this whole business. To say there was no crash is a deduction. Nobody knows whether there was a crash or there was no crash because there is no information about it. But many scholars, -- I mean, Professor Leonard Gordon who, probably, has written one of the most scholarly books on both, Sarat Bose and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, worked on it for twenty years before he brought out his book called 'Brothers against the Raj'. -- interviewed several survivors of the air crash. And, among them, was also Dr. Yoshimi, whom he interviewed in 1979. The interview that Justice Mukherjee had with him was very recently, just three or four years ago. Now, see the difference. Dr. Yoshimi was a very old man when Justice Mukherjee interviewed him. I remember when I went to Japan in the year 1998, I met several officers, several people who were associated with Netaji at that time. One of them was his interpreter Kunizuka. He told me that there was a crash. Now, I do not know. He said that there was a crash and there was no question of his being alive. Now, I had -- who is now unfortunately deceased -- an uncle of mine who happened to be a fifteen year old boy who was sent by Netaji to the Japanese Imperial Military Academy in Tokyo in 1943-44 to be trained as a fighter pilot. He was in Tokyo and was among those who received the casket containing the ashes and travelled to Renkoji Temple with it. (Contd. by 6o/SKC)
SHRI SHYAM BENEGAL (CONTD.): Now, he was there in 1945, towards the end of August. This was before the American Army actually took charge of the Palace. As you may be knowing, when General MacArthur singed the Surrender Document, he did not send the American Army either to Japan or to any of the territories that Japan held at the time, which also had Taiwan. So, the question does not arise about any Government having been in place; there was no government in place.
Sir, to me, it appears to be a fruitless exercise. Let scholars do their work. According to me, scholars must continue to do their work, as they will. When I was making my film, I remember, I was in Germany, several wonderful new facts about Netaji's life in Germany came up; there was a book written by a young German scholar, Hans Kuhlman. He had just published that book; he came to see me on the location where I was shooting, in Berlin, and gave me certain details. Then, there was another book; when there was a certain amount of television coverage about the film that I was shooting, there was an Austrian, Oscar Pelinka, who had written a book; this was in 2003.
Now, work gets carried on like this. I personally don't believe that too much is going to be served by speculating, because sooner or later, these facts will come out. We are not quite sure how it will happen, but it will happen. I do not think anything is going to be served by thinking in terms of conspiracy theories. But, frankly speaking, I personally believe that we should celebrate Netaji's life, and if we don't do that and continue to start thinking about whether there was a conspiracy against him, I think we will never be able to appreciate this great man's work for this country. Look at the things that he did. He started the first Indian National Army, consisting of Indians, in different parts of the world, who were not in India. He got them mobilised; he created an army. He created a Provisional Government of Azad Hind. And let us also not forget that Azad Hind Government actually had land from which they ruled, which was the Andaman & Nicobar Islands; he called it the 'Shaheed and Swaraj Islands'. I would earnestly appeal to the Government of India to call the Andaman & Nicobar Islands Shaheed and Swaraj Islands, because I think, that will do more for the memory of Netaji than anything else.
Another thing, for instance, is, the term Jai Hind, as a greeting, came from the Azad Hind Provisional Government. Jana Gana Mana was his National Anthem for this Provisional Government, not only in South-East Asia but also in Germany. Unfortunately, he did not have a good person to translate it. He translated it into Hindustani; that was done by Abid Hasan, who was not particularly a literary person. Still, it is something quite extraordinary that that is what we, as independent India, chose for ourselves.
If you look at the other things that happened, the Planning Committee, which eventually found its position as the Planning Commission in free India, was his doing, in 1938, when he was the President of the Congress. There are so many things that we have taken from this incredible person. That is one aspect.
Then, Sir, there are other aspects. At the end of the Second World War, India was his constituency; nobody can argue on that, because it is a fact. It was a constituency; at the beginning of 1946, Wavell received a communication from Clement Attlee, when Attlee became the Prime Minister of Britain -- the Simla talks were collapsing at the time -- where he had said, 'what would happen if Gandhiji decided to start another Quit India movement at this time?'
(Contd. by 6p/hk)
SHRI SHYAM BENEGAL (CONTD.): Would the Indian Army under the British actually fight against these people who would be carrying on the Civil Disobedience Movement, as the same Army had done so in 1942, particularly in places like Balia? The answer given by the C-in-C Auchinleck was, 'perhaps not'. Why did he say that? When the Indian Army experienced the INA fighting against them on the Burma front, it was an extraordinary phenomenon. Because one side was saying that we are fighting for our motherland, who are you fighting for? And this led to disaffection among the de-mobbed soldiers of the British Indian Army. When they went back to villages from where they came, they talked about this extraordinary Army that was fighting for the independence of the country. Why is this not known? Why are we not celebrating this extraordinary thing? These are the things we have not done, and it is high time we did it. And, to start with, I would suggest that we call Andaman and Nicobar islands as "Shaheed and Swaraj". To start with, I think that this is the first thing that should be done. Then, of course, I would be very happy, as I have spoken earlier, if the film that I have made could be shown to the younger generation, whenever it is possible. I have also done it. I am sorry, I should not be selling this idea, but I have done it as six-hour television series which includes childhood and youth of Netaji. Anyway, thank you, very much, Sir. I have no more to say. I think, as far as the question of disappearance of Netaji is concerned, it would be much better if we celebrate his life than worried about his death because, whether anybody likes it or not, a man has to die and he died. But the important thing is, scholars will continue to do their work and they will find, sooner or later, how he passed away. Thank you. (Ends)
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (SHRI DINESH TRIVEDI): Maybe we should have this movie screened here for parliamentarians too.
SHRI SHYAM BENEGAL: Definitely, Sir.
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: In the winter session, we should propose this. Shri Abani Roy. Not present. Hon. Home Minister.
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL): Sir, I seek your permission to read out my statement. At the same time, I would be ..(Interruptions)..
DR. E.M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN (TAMIL NADU): Sir, I would like to say something. As a Congressman, I respect fully Netaji. I heard Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi. Now, I would like to seek clarifications from the hon. Minister when he will be making his statement. This Commission was notified on 14th May, 1999 and the report was filed on 8th November, 2005. It means, between this period, that is, about five years, the BJP's Government was there. Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi was the Cabinet Minister then. But when we read the Report, we find everywhere that the affidavit was given by the then Government officials saying that they don't have any records to show. Even I can read one portion on page No.17. I quote, "The Ministry of External Affairs, in reply, wrote a letter on December 18, 2001 wherein they stated that they did check the records available in their Ministry but could not locate any document referred to in the former Prime Minister's statement. This was followed by an affidavit filed by Shri Jayant Prasad, a Joint Secretary of that office wherein a sweeping statement was made indicating that no such document was available with them. The other Department with which the Commission corresponded in this regard was the Cabinet Secretariat and an affidavit was filed by a Joint Secretary in the Research and Analysis Wing at their Secretariat stating, inter alia, that there were no records relating to the statement of the late Prime Minister made on the floor of the Parliament on August 28, 1978."
(Contd. by 6q/KSK)
DR. E.M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN (CONTD): In the same way, every report will show, in 2000, 2001, 2003, everywhere, the status report reveals, "The reports, particular documents as called for from the Ministry of Home Affairs are still awaited." This was the cooperation given by the BJP Government for five years. They had not at all given even a single document. They had not taken any step. Even there is a letter for the External Affairs Ministry to the British Government. There also, they did not take up any issue. They did not take any pain to find out what had happened in between. Therefore, this is only a thing where the Commission cannot go further. The Commission starts the report saying that already there are sufficient reports, commission reports, enquiry reports were there. Nothing more than that. Even though we are not sitting as an Appellate Court, we want to go through the earlier Report and give our Report. This is only resurrection of the same thing just for satisfaction of the political consumption, and nothing more than that. Therefore, I feel, Sir, that this Report need not be taken as it is and the Government has taken a correct step of ignoring this report and coming forward with the earlier report as the first one. Therefore, I submit that a national hero should be worshipped as it is. As our earlier speakers have said, history should be imbibed by all youth. Coming generation should remember him. Only to that extent, the hero should be worshipped. (Ends)
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SHRI SHYAM BENEGAL The Indian Political Intelligence (IPI), that is, British Foreign Office, has certain files. Of those files, there is a file L/P&J/12/217. These are the three sets of files that exist. Some documents from them are missing. The rest of them were opened up in 1997. In that, there was one particular document by certain Colonel Figgish, who happened to be working for the British Military Intelligence. He had done a report in 1946 about the crash in Taihoku. Now, there is a zerox copy of that, but the original does not exist. And, there are several papers there which may be fruitful for the Government of India to find out these particular files which are with the British Government and these are the only files that they have not opened up regarding Netaji, which exist with the British Government.
SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL: Sir, I would, at the beginning itself, thank the hon. Members for having made good suggestions with respect to what can be done to respect the memory of Subhash Chandra Bose, for participating in this debate and for remaining in the House to hear the reply. Sir, I seek your permission to read out the speech, the statement which I have made. Then, I will deal with some of the points which have been made by the hon. Members here separately.
Shri Jawaharlal Nehru, Shri Subhash Chandra Bose, Shri Abul Kalam Azad, Shri Babasaheb Ambedkar, Shri Jaiprakash Narayan, were few young leaders of the people who were most respected by one and all in the country and who led the freedom movement with great courage and confidence. And, most of them contributed towards the development of the country later on. (continued by 6r)
SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL (CONTD.): Modern history of India cannot be written without mentioning the contribution of men like them towards the cause of freedom struggle and our country's development. They were the men of vision and indomitable courage who knew the country and the world and the potential the people of India had.
Their memories inspire the people of India and would keep doing so for many, many years to come. If we forget them, or if we cease to remember as to how they worked, struggled and built the freedom movement, we would become weaker and poorer, and lose our capacity to face the challenges of the present and the future.
On the eve of attainment of freedom, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was not in Delhi on the scene and we were deprived of his support for the construction and building of our future. Mahatma Gandhi was also not in Delhi. He was at Naokali on the day on which the tricolour was hoisted at the rampart of Red Fort. We should know in clear terms as to how their memories can be respected and as to how their spirit and vision can be used to build our future. We may be able to do it better by avoiding controversies and emphasizing on the positive aspects of their and our lives. Unfortunately, there arose a controversy about the existence or otherwise of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and his whereabouts, and, that controversy has not been fully settled and allowed to disappear. He gave a clarion call to his fellow patriots to march towards Delhi to hoist the national flag on the rampart of the Red Fort. Had he come on the eve of independence, he would have been welcomed with open arms by millions and millions of the people in India. When he did not come after the Second World War was concluded, and when the country was emancipated, the people were disappointed. Against their wishes, they began to think that he would not have been alive. Otherwise, he could not have resisted his desire to come to his dear motherland on the fulfilment of his dream of freedom for his country.
Sir, I have been asking a question. I ask that question today also. If he were alive, what made him stay away from the country? Why did he not come, if he were alive? That is a question, which is nagging us. They wish that he were alive, the people wish that he were alive and fear that he might have breathed his last. That was why there was hesitation in the minds of his kith and kin at that time. Even today, there is no one opinion expressed by the members of his own family. Some members hold that he died in the crash and some members hold that he did not die in the crash, and, the countrymen made the Government of the time to constitute a three-men committee to find out the truth about his existence and inform the country. The committee consisted of a person who was in the INA, his own brother and a senior administrator. The committee was constituted in 1956. The committee gave the report after examining the witnesses and the evidence available in the country and outside the country. (Contd. by SK-6S)
SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL (CONTD.): The majority in the Committee came to the conclusion that he was no more and he died in the plane crash and his ashes were kept in the Renkoji Temple in Tokyo. In fact, initially, all the members, one of whom was his brother, had come to the conclusion which was in line with the majority report, without any dissenting view on the same. However, later on -- and, may be because his brother's affection did not allow him to hold that the disappeared relation of his was no more, or, may be the people in the country were unwilling to think that he had died -- under pressure of his own emotional inclination, or, of the people around him, he changed his view and gave a dissenting view. However, the facts relating to the incident and inquiry and the initial view and later the dissenting view did convey the conclusion which was acceptable. However, which became, later on, not readily acceptable, convincing though it was. The most important thing with respect to the first Committee was, Sir, his own brother had come to the conclusion that he had died; his own brother had come to the conclusion that he had died. If he had struck to that view, the report given by the Shah Nawaj Committee would have been a unanimous report. But, later on, he changed and gave the dissenting opinion. Now, this fact should be, in clear terms, understood by us. This inquiry held was closer to the date of incident. Let us understand why this report of the first inquiry committee should be accepted. And, these are the reasons. This inquiry held was closer to the date of incident than the inquiries held later on. The evidence given by the witnesses could have been more reliable and independent, because they were closer in time to the incident. There was not valid reason for the witnesses to depose falsely and incorrectly. Shyam Benegalji has said that Habibur Rahman was with him. What was the reason for him to depose falsely and say that he died in the plane crash; I was with him; I sustained burn injuries? Why? What was the reason for him to say that? In matters of such enquiries, there was no valid reason for the witnesses to depose falsely and incorrectly. In matters of such inquiries, oral evidence, given by the witnesses, and more so the eyewitnesses, is equally, or, on occasions, more reliable than the documentary evidence. When murder takes place, when accidents take place, there are no documents written. Documents are valid in civil matters, when you have time to sit together and write the documents, agreements, or, write the khakas, or, write the office files. Those kinds of things are relevant in civil matters, not in criminal matters or in matters of this nature. You shall have to depend on the oral evidence, and, moreover, there are other facts also which have to be taken into consideration. The accident had taken place in the war time, immediately after the war was over, on 18th of August, 1945. The accident had taken place in the war time. After the war was over, the governments in the country of accident and the neighbouring countries were changed. They were not the same governments which were ruling those territories when the war was going on, or, before the war was concluded. The documents relevant to the incidents and the things related to it could not have been safely preserved or stored, or, could have been destroyed, or, burnt in the accident. Now, the third Commission's Report says that there were no documents relating to the plane, the pilot's documents. How could those kinds of documents be available? (Contd. by ysr/6t)
SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL (CONTD.): If the accident had taken place and the plane was burnt to ashes, how could those kinds of documents be available? Some people are insisting that those documents were not available, but not paying attention to the fact that the Governments had changed, that was a war time, and are depending on document and not depending on a person who was actually with him. He was the eyewitness. He himself was burnt. He did not live in India. He lived in a foreign country. He came here and gave the evidence. Why his oral evidence, eyewitness's evidence, should not be accepted? Why are they insisting on the documentary evidence? It could not have been found or it could not have been preserved because the war was going on and the Government had changed. These facts have to be borne in mind as to why the Report given by the Shah Commission is more acceptable. The Report given by the Khosla Commission is more acceptable than the Report given by the Mukherjee Commission. This has to be borne in mind. Good lawyers are sitting here. They would understand and appreciate this fact that in all murder cases or in all accident cases, it is the oral evidence, which is more important, because oral documents are not written there. They are not available there. This fact should not be lost sight of. Absence of those documents could not weigh heavily against the availability of the oral evidence, given by the unbiased eyewitnesses and others. However, Rahman falsely deposed before the Committee or the Commission, because he deposed before the Committee as well as the Commission. Therefore, it would not be judicially prudent to attach less importance to the findings given by the Shah Nawaz Committee. The findings given were not inconclusive. The findings given by the Committee were not inconclusive. They were unambiguous, clear, and convincing. It is not easy to disbelieve the findings and brush them aside, and in their place, to accept the findings given in an Inquiry Report which took place nearly 50 years later and which was not conclusive -- Mukherjee Commission's Report was not conclusive -- and according to which, no definite finding could be pronounced in the matter of inquiry. We have a Committee Report which is conclusive and unambiguous. You have another Commission's Report, which is not conclusive. It says, and I am going to quote what he has said in the Report while giving the finding. He himself says that it is not possible to say where he lived and how he died. Now if he says that, what is it that you are asking us to accept and not reject? He himself is saying that he is not in a position to say how he died, and where he lived, and you are asking me to accept that. (Interruptions)
DR. MURLI MANOHAR JOSHI: But he says categorically that he did not die on 18th August 1945. (Interruptions) That was very clear. (Interruptions)
SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL: I am going to sit here to reply. I am asking if the Mukherjee Commission's Report says that he is not in a position to pronounce as to how he died and where he lived, what do you expect me to accept? (Interruptions) I am coming to all the issues he has raised, and I am coming to the findings, which he has given on these issues. Let us go one by one.
The finding of the Shah Nawaz Committee convinced many, and it seems, for reasons known to them, failed to convince a few. Even at that time, they had expressed their doubts. The fact that inquiries made by an Indian journalist, an American, and a British, which were of the same kind, also did not find favour with the few persons, who had doubts, about the finding. (Contd. by VKK/6U)
SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL (CONTD.): It seems that majority of the population in the country did not share those doubts. Majority of the people in the country did not share those doubts and were inclined to think that the great leader was no more in his physical form in the world. The Khosla Commission was constituted to look into the matter again. It was done to remove the doubts entertained by a few citizens. The Commission was headed by a Judge. It was said that Shahnawaz Khan was a member of the Congress Party, close to some of the leaders of the Congress Party, but, Khosla was a Judge and he was appointed, he was an independent person. It was to remove the doubts entertained by a few citizens. The commission was headed by a Judge and had to function under the Inquiry Commission Act. Shahnawaz was a Committee, but this was a commission which had to work and function under the Inquiry Commission Act. It went to the country where the accident took place. Now, one of the points raised is that Shahnawaz Committee could not go to the place where the accident had taken place, but, Khosla Commission could go, they could go to that place and they could find out. It went to the country where the accident took place, to the country where the ashes were kept and examined the witnesses who were available at that time. Legal acumen to assess the validity and reliability of the evidence given by the witnesses and the evidence produced certainly was used by the Commission. The Report given was unambiguous. It was more unambiguous and conclusive. A few lines of it can be quoted to point out the nature of the report and this is what Justice Khosla says in the report, "I, therefore, find it proved beyond all reasonable doubt." This is what a Commission appointed under the Inquiry Commission Act said. A person who has the acumen to evaluate the evidence produced before him, oral as well as documentary, a person who is trained to judge, is saying this, "I, therefore, find it proved beyond all reasonable doubt that Bose travelled in a Japanese bomber from Touraine to Taihoku on the morning of 18th August, 1945..... The plane crashed to the ground, broke into two parts and caught fire. In this fire, the pilot and General Shidei died instantaneously; and of the other men on board, co-pilot died later and Bose also succumbed to his burn injuries during the course of the following night. His body was cremated and ashes were taken to Tokyo." I am quoting this from page number 49, para 4.129. Now, this is the kind of report. He is giving his judgement in an unambiguous term. Now, should we accept such a judgement or should we accept a judgement which says that I am not in a position to tell you what actually happened? What is it that you are expecting us to accept? The question before us is: Why a report of this nature should be discarded in favour of a report which is of inconclusive nature? There was no reason for the Khosla Commission to arrive at a wrong conclusion. There was no reason for the witnesses to depose falsely. If all facts are borne in mind, it would be easier to rely upon this report than any other report of inconclusive nature. It is argued that in 1978, the then Prime Minister of India expressed his doubts about the reliability of the findings given in the two inquiries held. I respect Shri Morarji Desai very much. He is not with us today. (Contd. by MKS/6w)
SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL (CONTD.): But, then, political facts also had to be borne in mind when he made the statement. It is said that he had doubted the reliability in view of the documents available in the office of the Government. No dates, no names, no numbers to identify the said files were given, which could help to find out the documents mentioned by the then Prime Minister. They could not have been found out in the offices if particulars about them were not provided. The fact, that the then Prime Minister had formed the Government by defeating the Government which was in power when the two inquiries were conducted, cannot be brushed aside, to come to the conclusion that his statement could have been motivated, not by reasons of law, but by reasons political. The two previous Prime Ministers had got two inquiries conducted to find out the facts and in a way, accepted the reports of the inquiries. The third Prime Minister had expressed doubt about the facts held proved, but had not constituted another inquiry which he could have done without any difficulty, as it was done about 20 years later.
If he had really doubted, he could have constituted an inquiry. But he did not do that.
The third inquiry was ordered in the period of the previous Government, and a judge of the Supreme Court was given the responsibility to discover facts. This inquiry was expected to do its job in six months' time. Initially, only six months were given. Six months were given, but this inquiry continued for six years! And the Government did not say that you would not get any time. In fact, the rumours were spread that the Government was asking them to see that the report was given. We did say to them, "Look, if you have been there for six years, please expedite the matter." But nothing more than that. And I had personally told many of my friends, who wanted that the Inquiry Commission should be given more time so that the justice was done, that time would be given to them, as much time as they wanted to be given to them. And we were willing to give the time. There was no question of asking them to conclude the inquiry without completing the inquiry. There was no question. And we did that. It completed its task in six years' time. The Commission could have asked for the documents from the Government, which had brought it into existence. This point was made by Mr. Natchiappan very, very clearly, for how many years the previous Government was there. It were they who had appointed the Commission, and if they were depending on the statement given by Mr. Morarji Desai, that there were documents with the Government on the basis of which a conclusion could be drawn that he had not died in the plane crash, what was the difficulty in asking for those documents from that Government? And they were there for a pretty long time; for nearly six years or five years, they were there. This could have been done, but they had not done. But to say 'that you have not given these documents, to which a reference was made by Mr. Morarji Desai is not correct. I am not finding fault with them because it would not have been possible for them because no numbers were given, no names were given, and if it had been possible, they could have definitely given those documents to the Commission. But if there are no documents, if there are no specifications about the documents that were given, to expect the Government to find out the documents which were not in existence and to give them to the Commission is very, very difficult. It could not have been done. And it was, naturally, not done by Mr. Morarji Desai himself, by the previous Government. And now to say that this Government failed to give the documents is not being just to this Government. And I would simply say these things with respect to this. The Commission could have asked for the documents from the Government, which had brought it into existence. Enough time was available for it to get the necessary documents. Nearly more than four years were at its disposal. Why the documents were not got from the previous Government? Could it be explained in a convincing manner? I think, it cannot be done.
On the following points, the Commission had to give its findings. And what are those points? Whether Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is dead or alive; if he is dead, where he died; whether he died in a plan crash, as alleged. (Contd. by TMV/6X)
SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL (CONTD.): The third point is whether the ashes in the Japanese temple are the ashes of Netaji. The fourth point is whether he has died in any other manner at any other place and if so, when and how. On this point he has said, "I can't say anything". This is the most crucial point. The fifth point is, if he is alive, in respect of his whereabouts. The findings given are as follows: One, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is dead; two, he did not die in the plane crash as alleged; third, the ashes in the Japanese temple are not of Netaji; fourth, in the absence of any clinching evidence, a positive answer can't be given. In the absence of clinching evidence, you want me to accept this kind of findings given by this Commission! ... (Interruptions)...
DR. BARUN MUKHERJEE: That is in respect of the fourth point. (Interruptions)...
SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL: Sir, this is the fourth point. This is the most important point. (Interruptions)...
DR. BARUN MUKHERJEE: What are the findings on the first three points? We are only saying that you accept the findings of the Commission on the first three points. (Interruptions)...
SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL: You may ask for anything. It is a different issue, whether to accept what you are asking. I am commenting on what the Judge has said. The comment is that the Judge is not sure as to what has happened to him. And you want me to accept that! (Interruptions) ...
DR. MURLI MANOHAR JOSHI: No, not that. He has also stated that he did not die in the plane crash. (Interruptions)...
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (SHRI DINESH TRIVEDI): Mr. Minister, may I suggest one thing? You finish your reply, and then they can seek clarifications. Otherwise, it will never end.
SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL: What I am saying is that in the absence of clinching evidence, a positive answer cannot be given. To what? To the question whether he has died in any other manner. Now, the Judge says that he has not died in the plane crash. What is the Judge saying? He says, "I can't say in what manner he has died". Six years' time was given. More time could have been given to him. He was allowed to travel to any country. He did travel to many countries. All assistance, which could have been given, was given to him. After that he comes to a conclusion. What is the conclusion? On an issue, which is of great importance, whether he has died in any manner at any other place and if so, when and how, "in the absence of clinching evidence, a positive answer can't be given". You expect us to accept this finding! And you find fault with us! If it is not for political reasons, for what it is?
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (SHRI DINESH TRIVEDI): I think, most of the points are very well covered by the Minister.
DR. MURLI MANOHAR JOSHI: The reason is that from the findings of the Inquiry Commission you are trying to confuse the issue.
SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL: I will answer all your questions. You please jot down and ask me after I complete my reply.
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: I think the hon. Minister has already covered all the points at length.
SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL: The answer to the fifth point is that the answer is already given in (1) above, that is about his death. The findings on point No.4 are conclusive. Therefore, it is not possible to rely upon other findings also. The findings given in the previous reports are conclusive and hence more reliable. Therefore, the question is: Why should not the previous findings be preferred and why should the third finding be preferred? I am asking the question. There were one Committee and one Commission; reports were given; two Prime Ministers had accepted them. They were conclusive and you suggest that they should not be accepted, and you are asking us to accept the report of the third Commission.
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (SHRI DINESH TRIVEDI): Mr. Minister, you have already mentioned that.
SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL: Sir, I am trying to convey that these are the two reasons. When we have given these reasons, they may not be reported in the newspapers tomorrow. Then, you would say that these points were raised and they were not replied to. You are making an allegation that we have simply said that we reject this report. It is not like that. We could not have written a report like the Commission report again saying why this is accepted. Necessary comments have been made on that and they are part of the file. But all those things have been raised in the arguments. The findings in the previous reports are not conclusive and hence more reliable. The Government has preferred the findings of the two previous inquiries and not the third finding because it is inconclusive and not definite. I think the Government has not done any mistake or wrong in doing so. The Government was criticised for having delayed the submission of the Action Taken Report. I am leaving that point. (Contd. by RG/6Y)
SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL (contd.): It was also said that no cogent reasons were given for having not accepted the report, and for having rejected it. The reasons were given. The only thing is that they were not reported fully. The reasons are given fully on this occasion, when all aspects relating to the report, and its comparison with other two reports, are done. I do not know if all the points given in the discussion today would be reported or not. If they are not reported, allegations can be made that no valid reasons were advanced even in the debate on the subject. Two or three columns in a newspaper, or a few seconds visual on the T.V., cannot cover all the valid points and all the cogent arguments made by the hon. Members and those made in reply to the points made by the Members. Lacunae in reporting could generate mistaken perception and misunderstanding. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was the darling of the masses and more revered by the Congressmen and patriots of all shades and opinions. Whenever doubts were raised about his whereabouts and existence, steps were taken to find out the facts; not once, but three times. And all the help and assistance was provided to unravel the factual position. In view of these facts, should we hold that no steps were taken to know if he were alive or dead? The Government had decided to confer the Bharat Ratna on him, posthumously to revere his memory. If a person is not found to be alive for seven years, generally, he is supposed to be dead by law. This fact should have been borne in mind while objecting to the conferment of the highest award in the country. The reports given could also have been borne in mind. But that was not done. Why? This should not be explained. Comments can be given. But I do not want to enter into a dispute of this nature, and we leave this issue to the people to decide. Sir, the Government wanted to confer Bharat Ratna on Netaji, but it was refused. These statues and portraits put up in Parliament and other official buildings are indications of the desire to respect and perpetuate his memory. He is always mentioned in a very respectful manner. All the leaders pay obeisance to his memory and try to put his view and opinion in practice to strengthen the country and develop our people. The concept of planning was very near and dear to him. That was adopted to build our country's infrastructure and industry, trade and agriculture, science and technology. Now, they ask me: Why was it not mentioned in the 'Discovery of India'? There were many people who had struggled, and all names were not mentioned in the books written by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. But the fact is that he was the President of the Congress Party. He was responsible for floating this concept and getting this concept ultimately accepted. It didn't remain there. It became a part of the Constitution. Not only that; when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru found that this concept was not clearly accepted, by an administrative order, he appointed the Planning Commission, and the concept of planning was accepted. What more can be done to respect the memory of Subhas Chandra Bose than accepting the concept of planning and then adopting it, and not only adopting it, but acting upon it for these days? Anything more than this required to be done will be done, and that is why, I have been asking, "Tell us what more can be done?" Sir, certain good suggestions have come, and I assure you that all these good suggestions which have been given will be acted upon, and anything more suggested to us later on, will also be acted upon. But don't allege that we are not doing it. Don't do that. He was for democracy, social, economic and cultural justice for one and all. These principles have been incorporated in the basic law of the country and in the policy of the Government. If these are not the ways to pay homage...(Interruptions) Your smiling disturbs me, Sir.
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (SHRI DINESH TRIVEDI): I am smiling because Shri Ahluwaliaji is satisfied with the reply...
SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL: I think you are not satisfied with the reply. That is why you are smiling. ...(Interruptions)...
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: I think he is satisfied with the reply...(Interruptions). I think the hon. Minister has covered each and every point. ...(Interruptions)...
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THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (SHRI DINESH TRIVEDI): But, he has not finished it. ...(Interruptions)... After he is through. (Continued by 6Z)
SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL: This is a Commission which has worked for six years. This is an issue which has been kept alive for 60 years. This is an issue which has been taken up at the fag end of the Session, and all hon. Members have been very kind to sit here. ...(Interruptions)...
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: And they are all listening to you carefully.
SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL: Yes. But, if some friend of mine smiles in a particular manner, it disturbs the speaker.
SHRI S.S. AHLUWALIA: That is not fair.
SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL: Yes, that is not fair. You can laugh at other friends; or with them, if not at them.
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: To see a smile on Mr. Ahluwalia's face itself is satisfactory. ...(Interruptions)...
SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL: ...so, what can be done? There are some suggestions which have been made, which can be accepted. I have seen Shyam Benegalji's film. It has come out very well. It was suggested that it should be shown to the children. I would say that it should be shown to the politicians because of how the role he has played of Subhas Chandra Bose in the film. Now, it is said that when Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj died, Ramdas Swami had adopted the lines from the Gita, and told his son, 'you please remember how Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj used to speak, used to make friendship, used to walk, used to sit, used to decide, used to work. Now, these are the shidpradnyas qualities mentioned in the Gita. They were adopted in different ...(Interruptions)... Yes. Now, here also, Subhas Chandra Bose talks with confidence. One of the things which struck me the most was, when his subordinates had taken action against some of the soldiers and officers for having not followed his discipline, he does not order that you take them back. He said, "Can they not be taken back?" And, when later on, when the officer comes and tells him, "Yes, I would like to take them back", he will say, "I am very happy about that." This is how the governance has to be done; this is how the administration has to be done. Now, this aspect is not relevant to the children. This aspect is relevant to some of us, and we would learn a little more by watching that film. I am sorry to say this thing. When you are praising Subhas Chandra Bose, please look into your own heart. Are you trying to criticise some other leader while doing it? Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas Chandra Bose were close friends. They were the darling of the people; they were the people who had seen the world; they were the people with new ideas; they were the people who were revolutionary in their own fashion. They were the people -- one gave the concept of planning and the other gave the concept of full swaraj. Let us ask ourselves. Are we saying something in the course of this debate in order to see that one is a greater hero than the other? Now, if we are doing it, we are not doing justice to Subhas Chandra Bose because Subhas Chandra Bose equally respected Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru also. And that is shown in the film. I did not know that he had named some of his military...
SHRI SHYAM BENEGAL: Military regiments.
SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL: Yes, military regiments. Let us understand this thing. And, having said all this, I would like to say that we would definitely do anything which is necessary, possible for us to do. Certain other suggestions have been given here. I may not be in a position to say much. Yes, one or two suggestions which have been given, on that, I shall have to consult the Cabinet and the Prime Minister and others. But, as far as other suggestions are concerned, we would certainly like this movie to be seen by the people. Mahatama Gandhi movie, Attenborough did it. But, Shyam Benegalji did a movie on Subhas Chandra Bose, and it should be shown not only to the children but also to all the people in the country. And whatever can be done in that respect should be done. That is not the only thing. Somebody suggested some other things also. We would definitely include them. I would not refuse to receive the suggestions given by any of the Members in the House or outside the House to perpetuate and respect the memory of Subhas Chandra Bose in the manner in which we have been perpetuating and respecting the memory of other leaders.
(Contd. by kgg/7a)