New Delhi: Raising serious doubts about the veracity of the Mukherjee Commission findings on the 'disappearance' of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, members in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday demanded that the real truth in the matter be unearthed and the revolutionary leader accorded his rightful due.
Participating in a Short Duration Discussion on the Mukherjee Report --- tabled in the House on May 17 last --- the members pointed to the Congress regime itself appointing as many as two enquiry commissions, the Shah Nawaz Khan Commission in 1956 and Justice GD Khosla Commission in 1970, to probe the matter.
Raising the discussion, Forward Bloc member Barun Mukherjee regretted that the UPA government, in its Action Taken Report on the Mukherjee Commission Report, merely stated that "they have not agreed with the findings that Netaji did not die in the plane crash and the ashes in the Renkoji shrine in Japan were not his."
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Dr Mukherjee said it amounted to a 'casual and disrespectful approach' on the part of the government to Netaji, whom Mahatma Gandhi had described as a 'patriot of patriots'.
Referring to the Commission Report, he said there was no material evidence in it to suggest that there was any plane crash on August 18, 1945 in Formosa.
He also said that the commission had been denied many important records and files it had asked for. In this connection, he referred to a film Bose: The Forgotten Hero, made by Shyam Benegal, now a member of the House.
"Even Benegal did not include the so-called plane crash in the film," he said. The Forwarb Bloc member regretted that such a brusque attitude of the government reflected the Congress' traditional opposition to Netaji, who defeated the official presidential candidate at the Tripuri session in 1939.
He demanded that the government accept the findings of the commission, and inform the Japanese government that India had nothing to do with the ashes at the Rankoji temple. Further, it should stop financial assistance to that temple.
BJP's Murli Manohar Joshi said the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai, in 1978, had indicated that certain documents after the Shahnawaz Committee and the Justice Khosla Commission had raised doubts on the veracity of the plane crash.
He wanted to know from the Home Minister whether those documents were available or had been destroyed, and if destroyed, which authority had sanctioned such an action. "It needs a thorough probe," Dr Joshi noted.
He also questioned the rationale of then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru coming out with a statement that 'the death of Netaji is a settled fact' when the Shahnawaz Committee was still conducting its deliberations.