"Indian Politics... Ugh! It stinks."
— 'Gumnami Baba'
I recently wrote on these pages comparing UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's travails to those of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's, against Gandhi and the Congress old guard in 1939. Faced with a Bose-like choice, Akhilesh has now done what Bose ought to have done—namely, staked his rightful claim to his party presidency and leadership, instead of showing honorable but excessive respect to the party patriarch and his unseemly cohorts, to the great detriment of himself and the nation he loved so deeply. Khair, what might have been had Bose made the Akhilesh-like choice is a matter of alternate history. What is important, however, and hitherto entirely ignored by almost all concerned, is that the young and courageous Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh has yet another Bose-related choice to make very soon, and that this choice, which is also Congress-related, will be the determinant of not just an alternate history, but also of an alternate future of the whole of modern Indian politics.
It is not for a lark that Justice Mukherji is "100% sure" that "Bhagvanji" was Netaji, and that forensic fraud was perpetrated in the sarkaari (read: Congress) DNA analysis of his teeth.
It has been claimed for decades now, and with considerable reason, that "Gumnami Baba" of Faizabad was none other than Netaji Bose living an ascetic, incognito, non-state-actor life. The 1986 petition pertaining to the former, filed in the Allahabad High Court by the latter's niece Lalita Bose, finally culminated in the landmark judgment of 31 January, 2013, directing the government of UP to protect, preserve and display the unnamed saint's uniquely suggestive belongings in a museum fit for such "national assets," and to set up an inquiry to establish his true identity, once and for all, in the national interest. It was destined, perhaps, that Akhilesh Yadav would be the one to implement this judgment, ordering compliance earlier this year after a delegation of researchers and activists led by (the very few open-minded) members of Netaji Bose's family met him in February. As things stand, the Gumnami Baba galleries at the International Ram Katha Museum are almost ready for inauguration, and the Gumnami Baba Commission of Inquiry is just a DNA-test away from establishing the identity of the strange, secretive sadhu who Sandeep Unnithan of India Today memorably called "India's most famous unknown man."
It is not for nothing that Suresh Bose, Netaji's eldest brother, was in covert touch with the dashnaami (ten-named) yet nameless mystic, claiming publicly and under oath till his own demise in the 70s that "Subhas is alive." It is not just like that, that the likes of Prof. Samar Guha (MP), Leela Roy (whose portrait hangs in Parliament) and Pabitra Mohan Ray (of the INA's Secret Service) dedicated their lives to "Mr. So-&-So." It is not for no reason that Morarji Desai as PM rejected the Shahnawaz and Khosla reports on the floor of Parliament and later publicly asserted at the release of Guha's book that 'Netaji has taken sanyaas.' It is not for a lark that Justice Mukherji is "100% sure" that "Bhagvanji" was Netaji, and that forensic fraud was perpetrated in the sarkaari (read: Congress) DNA analysis of his teeth. It is not for the heck of it that Socialist icons such as "Lokbandhu" Raj Narain— who even Shivpal Yadav recently commemorated in the midst of his own travails— and Chaudhary Charan Singh—with whose son's RLD Akhilesh Yadav apparently seeks an alliance—were both in close contact with "Pardewala Baba." And last but not least, it is not for the fun of it that Anuj Dhar has sacrificed a journalistic career and devoted his life to the mystery of "Mendicus," "Mrit-bhoot," 'Mahakaal..."
It was Mulayam who... declassified over 900 files pertaining to Netaji's Azad Hind Fauj without hype, fanfare or credit-seeking. The same Netaji whose family the Congress regime disgracefully snooped upon...
More recently, just a few days back in fact, I was fortunate enough to be the recipient of the latest in a long, long line of evidences against Netaji's alleged death in an alleged plane crash in Taihoku. Prof. Christopher E. Goscha, who is widely considered an authority on modern Vietnam and both Vietnam Wars, shared with me a French intelligence file of 1946 vintage, from the Indochine theatre of war. This file bluntly asserts that "Chandra Bose" attended a secret, six-nation conference in Hanoi in November 1945, that is to say, three months after his "death." The file also notes that thereafter Netaji left via Yunnan (China) for Russia, and that the Russians would have taken his charge at the frontier. However, what makes this information exponentially more interesting is that there exists a small, handwritten note of Gumnami Baba's (see below) in which he asserts, among other things, that he was in the South China region as a General's guest in October 1945, and made contact with Ho Chi Minh's "Annamite" Government. This note is duly listed with contents as item no. 1741 in the official 1986 court-ordered inventory of the Baba's belongings, along with two elaborate hand-drawn travel maps (item no.s 1922, 1923) in which both South China and Hanoi are prominently marked.
The connection is too obvious and striking to require elaboration. The French file as well as Gumnami Baba's note and maps have been duly submitted via sworn affidavit to the Commission of Inquiry by social activist and politician Mr. Arvind Sharma, who was also a member of the Bose family-led delegation to Akhilesh Yadav, as was I.
As history would have it, it was "Netaji" Mulayam Singh Yadav who gave Lucknow the Subhash Chauraha, with its grand elevated statue of Netaji Bose, in the literal heart of the city. Moreover, it was again Mulayam Singh Yadav who as Defense Minister declassified over 900 files pertaining to Netaji's Azad Hind Fauj without hype, fanfare or credit-seeking. The same Netaji whose extended family the Congress regime disgracefully snooped upon for decades. The same Azad Hind Fauj whose glorious history the Congress regime suppressed with a vengeance for decades.
The 23rd of January will mark Netaji Bose's 120th Birth Anniversary. Akhilesh Yadav was hailed as a "sher" (tiger) by thousands of his devoted supporters and well-wishers at the dramatic SP emergency convention on the 1st of January. On this cusp of history, will this son and scion of "Netaji" Mulayam, this admirer of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, this young and courageous "Springing Tiger", stoop to seek the hand of the Congress in alliance?
I think that would stink.