Sunday, 28 December 2014

Dear GoI, Please Declassify The Netaji Files ASAP

I wonder what would happen if the ‪‎Netaji Files‬ were ever declassified‬ by the ‎GoI‬. It is one of the biggest 'Pandora's Box' secrets in the history of Modern India. I suspect a HUGE number of our political holy cows—mostly those belonging to one or two specific dynasties/families—would be left without any hiding holes if the files were made public.

The BJP-led NDA government is still dithering on whether to declassify the files pertaining to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's mysterious disappearance and death, saying the disclosure will have "prejudicial effect on relations with foreign countries".

The PMO has recently shared the list of files documenting the 1953-2000 period. This includes two Top Secret files on correspondences with and about Netaji's widow and daughter (last amended in 1971) and the transfer of his ashes to India (created in 1998) and two other Top Secret files about inquiry reports by the Justice Mukherjee Commission. The other files include two on the Indian National Army's treasure, created in 1956-1957 and 1988, and a file marked Secret containing a 1991 document titled "Bharat Ratna Award – Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Subhas Chandra Bose, JRD Tata, Morarji Desai".

The files that the NDA government is refusing to share also contain papers on acquisition of Netaji's birth place Jankinath Bhavan at Cuttack by the Orissa government and two references from Professor Samar Guha, MP, in 1990-1991 on his disappearance. The government has also refused to share files marked as Unclassified.

The government had not named the nation with which diplomatic relations will be affected and added that "in case it is the United Kingdom, then a much larger public interest is involved in making the revelations". The Central Public Information Officer did not specify the name of the country with which relations would be prejudicially affected. In this case, public interest most certainly outweighs the harm protected, especially when several committees and commissions have been formed by the Union government to probe the mystery.

As my dear friend Sampurna Lahiri correctly said: "Our freedom fighters and national heroes will lose much of their sheen if it is conclusively proven that they were all involved in this massive cover-up about ‪‎Netaji‬. When will we ever get to know the truth?"

In this regard, do read this article; it makes for compelling reading (thanks for directing me to the link, Sampurna). 

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Irritated At Bollywood's Tomfoolery Over Foreign Celebrities

A few days ago, I saw—on Facebook, via some web portal—some pics of Deepika Padukone and Amitabh Bachchan dancing to the tunes of (presumably) some Bollywood tracks. That's Okay. But why drag the likes of Roger Federer into this? The guy is a Tennis player, for gosh sakes, not a filmstar! Also, he still probably hasn't gone over the shock of tendulkar selling the Ferrari he had gifted him and making a neat profit out of it.

Nor, unfortunately, is this the first time. Distinctly remember the horrors of watching srk forcing---there's no other word for it---Hugh Jackman to sway to some Hindi song/s at FICCI-2011 even as that thing called karan johar egged them on, and John Travolta and Kevin Spacey being made to do the 'Lungi Dance' at some random award show a while back.

What is it with our filmy folks? To begin with, there is this shameless lobbying to 'meet and greet' every foreign (read: white/American/Hollywood) dignitary who graces us with a visit, fawning over them and grinning like buffoons, and then this beyond-moronic act of forcing these polite visitors to "dance" to mindless Hindi film songs in the name of "introducing them to our culture". Grow up, fools!!! Bollywood is NOT our culture, nor this imbecile behaviour that you put on display.

Few people showcase the hangovers of colonial slavery as blatantly as Indians, especially Bollywood. But why must someone like Bachchan Sr. willingly be a party to this? Why can't he put his foot down and object?

P.S.: Salman Khan has recently gifted a diamond necklace to Paris Hilton. Hmmm...interesting possibilities there...