The controversy over de-classification of the documents relating to Netaji is about 7 decades old. Starting from day-one of India’s Independence, we have watched ‘hush hush’ policy of our clever politicians regarding Netaji and that legacy has snowballed rather than waned while with several changes in our Government, different ruling parties have stepped in as guardian of our nation. (Recent assurance by Modi to de-classify these w.e.f 23rd January 2016 shows ray of hope).
Our crooked leaders possibly envisage that they can put history on Netaji under wraps eternally. But history is porous and one such loophole regarding Netaji is ‘Netaji Research Bureau’ who have in course of time surfaced numerous events/facts relating Netaji and his Army ‘Azad Hind Fouz’ or ‘Indian National Army’ (INA) which reveal the simple truth that had Netaji’s ‘Delhi Chalo’ expedition been successfully completed, India would not be partitioned and there would not be Hindu-Muslim divide which is plaguing our nation exponentially. Before and even after Independence, Netaji was condemned by our spineless leaders as ‘Tojo’s Dog’ while they themselves were ‘Dogs of the British’ and none of them were able to think in Netaji’s dimension to launch a full-scale war against the British.
Based on the said findings of ‘Netaji Research Bureau’, Late Narayan Sanyal wrote his book in Bengali in 1970 – ‘Ami Netaji-ke dekhechchi’ (I have seen Netaji) which is based on the narratives of those who came in contact with Netaji and were part of INA. I earnestly wish, this 512 page book be translated into English and other Indian languages and be circulated through Websites for sake of our posterity who should not be brain-washed by the malicious propaganda our crooked leaders are trying to circulate even to-day. I am trying to brief a part of the last chapter as follows.
Anwar and Hargobind, as a part of INA fought against the British. After Independence, Anwar joined Pakistan Army while Hargobind joined Indian Army. They met face to face at the close of Indo-Pak war in 1965, after long 19 years. I brief their encounter below.
Hargobind was assigned the duty of handing over Pakistani Prisoners-of-War (POW) to the Pakistan Army. So, one morning 7.30 a.m. he marched the POWs to Atteri village (4.37 KM North East) to reach a Darga (Muslims’ worship place) there. They halted about 100 yards East of the Darga. About the same time, Pakistani Army personnel assembled 100 yards West of the Darga. Hargobind approached the Darga only with one Adjutant. The Commander of the Pakistan Army (Anwar) similarly came forward only with one attendant. They stood face to face after long 19 years! They were trying to assess each other how fogeyish they looked after this long time lapse. They shook hands and after initial pleasantries exchanged the POWs.
Now it was time for departure. Hargobind watched Anwar was growing restive. His own mind also was gathering storm. But how to break the ice of the Army code? At last, Hargobind told Anwar, ‘Worry not Brigadier, we’ll meet again’. In fact, he returned their dialogue at the departing time while they were in INA, hoping to melt the ice. But Anwar did not budge from his Army code and replied, ‘Pray to Allah, let not that misfortune befall us again!’
Hargobind felt insulted, as his Fouzi dignity was hurt before his Adjutant. ‘What do you mean?’ he asked. The Brigadier replied., ‘Nothing much! If we meet again, it’ll be at the Border, you facing West and I face East. I’ll be pleased to avoid such meet’. Hargobibd missed his words to reply back. He said, ‘Well, let’s depart’.
Now, Anwar looked more uneasy. Bit hesitant, he asked, ‘Could I meet you in private, if that’s not inconvenient to you’? ‘Not at all, Hargobind replied. ‘ Then let’s go aloof’.
They stood aloof about 25 yards North. Both of them smiled. Anwar asked, ‘How are you’?’ ‘Quite all right’, Hargobind replied. Thereafter they exchanged family details. Yet, the ice was not melting. At last Hargobind requested Anwar to keep one of his request which was, before their departure, to join hands and give slogan together ~ ‘Jai Hind’, with which Mantra they were baptized to Azad Hind Fouz.
Anwar was silent for a moment and his face blighted. ‘What the hell he is thinking?’ Hargobind pondered. He stretched his hand. But, with two hands in his pocket, Anwar stood stiff and said, ‘Pardon me friend’.
Hargobind – ‘You won’t utter Jai Hind!’
Anwar – ‘No more possible to-day, brother.’
Hargobind – ‘Why?’
Anwar was non-respondent. Hargobind felt dizzy. Can’t Anwar wish me ‘Jai Hind’! After long 19 years he won’t keep his request?
Hargobind implored, ‘But one day you were even prepared to die with this Mantra!’
Anwar – ‘I was; so what!’
Hargobind – ‘Why can’t you voice ‘Jai Hind’ to-day? This ‘Hind’ is not present day ‘Hindustan’; it comprises ‘West Punjab’, ‘NW Frontier Province’, and ‘East Bengal’.
Anwar – ‘Yet, it is not possible’. Excuse me!’
Suddenly blood shot up to Hargobind’s head. With clenching teeth he said, ‘Well, I do pardon you, though you don’t deserve it.’ Anwar’s eyes blazed up and asked, ‘What do you mean?’
Hargobind – ‘I mean you were unworthy of the rank ‘Sardar-E-Jung; unfit to become a soldier of INA’.
Anwar retorted, ‘Agreed, I was unfit; but you were not so! Can you voice all the slogans of INA? Well, then I’ll invite you to the other side of the border. Standing there, facing East, do join with me for the slogan, ‘Delhi Chalo’.
In excitement Anwar was thrilling! He continued, ‘With that Mantra, prepared to die, we fought shoulder to shoulder. Say if you can! Not me alone, my whole rank will join you in that slogan – ‘Chalo Delhi Puker-ke, Koume Nishan Samhal-ke, Lal Killa pey Gar-ke, Larahe Ja, Larahe Ja.’ [=March on to Delhi voicing it (Chalo Delhi), holding thy flag, aiming Lal Killa, go on fighting, go on!’
Hargobind became mum. The ice started melting, but both of them realized they had borne it in their heart mountain size! Hargobind then attempted to raise political points, particularly on Kashmir but Anwar desisted him as it was not venue for such discussion, which may be arranged later on suitable opportunity. And they were prepared to depart.
Their heart was heavy. Possibly they had better not met! Hargobind pondered that Anwar was not wrong in his argument. They departed, but Anwar after sometime couriered a letter raising a host of questions relating to cold shouldering Netaji at Govt. level. However, this is not end of the story. The climax followed next day. Suddenly it was noticed that a jeep from Pakistan side was crossing border hoisting a Pakistani flag along with a white flag, with a sole passenger, no other than Anwar. He met Hargobind and said he had a sleepless night and that he thought of an escape route from the impasse which trapped them the previous day. Hargobind wondered what that might be! Anwar explained, besides the two Fauzi slogans which sparked controversy among them the previous day, they had in the past voiced another slogan which did not imply any State, religious bigotry, but which speaks of humanity, to utter which there would be no bar for any of them. So, for the last time, with deep emotional embrace both of them voiced, ‘Netaji Jindabad!!’
Narayan Sanyal gave high literary touch to this episode, but he had taken the core facts gathered by ‘Netaji Research Bureau’; so, it cannot be dismissed as Sanyal’s brainchild!