Today is August 18, the day on which Bose “was killed” 70 years ago in a plane crash that never took place. The Taiwan government is so sure that no plane crash occurred on that day in 1945 in their country. But Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, and their governments wanted us to believe that Bose was killed in that crash. My government has been living a lie all this while; a lie that forced it to keep Bose a combination puzzle in the outward appearance. But, a lie is a lie no matter how many times one reiterates it. If I were to use Benjamin Disraeli’s contribution to the English language, even the strongest “lies, damned lies, and statistics” cannot lend credence to the government’s weak stand about the fate of Bose. Perhaps it is an irony that our Constitution assures us of justice, equality, and liberty, the exact three things India’s liberator is denied even today.
Through the Transfer of Power, India and Pakistan were given the status of dominions and not free countries. India still had a British Governor General, British King, and the Queen above the first prime minister in the constitutional monarchy. World War veterans Sirs Rob Lockhart, Roy Bucher, Ronald Ivelaw-Chapman, Gerald Gibbs, Edward Parry, Charles Pizey, and Stephen Carlill were commanding “free” India’s Army, Navy, and Air Force until 1958. Chacha Nehru had to shamelessly declare his allegiance to the king, his heirs, and successors before swearing in as prime minister, and he had to seek permissions from the king for all “humble duties of submission” by addressing himself in third person, even for the appointment of his council of ministers. For an enslaved nation, if independence means to see off even the last British administrator from their land then India definitely wasn’t independent at least until 1958. No matter how passionate you are about August 15, the dark truth is that India was still a civilised slave under her colonial masters for the bulk of Nehru’s rule. While someone like Subhas Chandra Bose was involved in military plans to oust the British from Delhi, the other leaders of his time were busy chewing ahimsa with water and waiting for someone to dole out independence to them.