The need to know what is not being told has become a right for us. The need to know the truth is evident in the fact that we’re asking for declassification of files.
No doubt, each government has its secrets. Hollywood runs on making movies about CIA and its secrets but there have been a few political deaths that had government involvement and if not involvement at least knowledge of it and it is about time the government cleared the air about it.
- The Death of Lal Bahadur Shahtri
A dynamic leader who was successful in rallying different regions of the country into one nation, he was strict in his foreign policy and unlike his predecessor did not believe in mock friendship with the neighbors.
In 1966, Mr. Shastri leaves India to attend a peace declaration meeting in Tashkand. He signs the treaty along with the Pakistani President Ayub Khan and the Indo-Pak War officially ends then next morning Shastri is found dead due to a heart failure.
In 2009, when files relating to Shastri’s death were requested to be made public the government refused. Lalita Shastri, his wife has for long claimed that he was poisoned and many others believe that it was a Pakistani plot.
2. Subhash Chandra Bose
The name itself has become synonymous to millions of conspiracies that have surrounded him since his plane crash. Some say he was ‘The Gumnami Baba’ of Faizabad and died in 2009 while some believe that he lived his life peacefully in Tokyo.
The files declassified on 23rd January 2016 reveal that the Nehru government suspected Subhash Chandra Bose to still be alive and in contact with his family in West Bengal.
In 1956 Japanese army surgeons testified that they had conducted blood transfusions on injured Bose. However, this lead could not be taken as surgeons remained anonymous.
3. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee
Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was a political titan in his own right. A cabinet minister in Nehru’s government, he quit to form the political wing of RSS.
Dr. Mukherjee was arrested in Kashmir and soon hospitalized due to his ailing health. He was treated with penicillin even when doctors were informed of his allergy to the drug.
It was peculiar that the body was directly flown to Kolkata and no post-mortem was conducted. Nehru refused to establish an enquiry commission to look into Mukherjee’s death. The question however remains – What was the government hiding?
Pandya was the Chief Minister of Gujarat during the 2002 riots.
A year later he was found dead in his car when he had gone for a morning walk. Suspicions arose when Pandya was found dead without any security personnel. He was all alone.
The Gujarat Riot case was being fought in the court and Pandya was a prime witness to the ‘alleged’ phone call Chief Minister Modi had made to aggravate the riots that night.
A few days before his death, Pandya had informed his trusted police friend Sanjiv Bhat that he feared for his life and he was right!
Such unsolved mysteries make mockery out of our independence. We are not independent enough to make a decision because we do not know the facts. It’s time we asked the questions that need to be answered and find the true meaning of independence else the RTI or declassification will be nothing more than a show.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.