Lok Sabha

April 21, 2015

Sugata Bose speaks on the issue of surveillance on Netaji’s family | Full Transcript

Full Transcript

Madam, I speak on a matter of historical importance. The whole country has been shocked by revelation of several files. The government of India, through its intelligence agencies, conducted intrusive surveillance for two decades after independence on freedom fighters, who made huge sacrifices for the nation during the freedom struggle, under the leadership of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

The surveillance included opening, reading and copying the correspondence between Netaji’s nephew and freedom fighter Sisir Kumar Bose in Kolkata and Netaji’s wife Emily in Vienna. There is also evidence that veterans of the Azad Hind Movement, including SA Aiyer, Netaji’s Minister for Publicity, were put under surveillance in Mumbai.

The Home Minister is present here. The government must immediately clarify the reasons and under whose orders the surveillance was carried out, the date on which the surveillance began and the date on which it ended and the reasons for the gross invasion of privacy of the law-abiding citizens and freedom fighters.

This is not a family matter. It is an important national and historical matter that must not be allowed to degenerate into party-political controversies. A decision should be taken at the highest level to immediately release all files more than 50 years old to put an end to unnecessary speculation.

Madam Speaker, you may remember the historic midnight session on 15 August, 1997 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of India’s independence. Voices of three iconic leaders of India’s freedom struggle – Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose – had been played at the Central Hall of the Parliament. Let us be respectful towards all of these leaders while we address this issue.

Let us not forget the primary lesson from Netaji’s life and work. United, all of the religions of India – Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians – and all the linguistic groups of India fought under the leadership of Netaji. To honour Netaji’s memory, let us ensure minorities in India feel safe and secure & that they continue to enjoy equal rights.