These files do not contain anything of real substance about Netaji and could only reveal a few dishonourable things done by some senior officials in post-Independence governments, writes his grand nephew.
I received a touching email from a young academic friend offering me profuse apologies. He had discovered to his horror from recently declassified files that his grandfather-in-law, a high-ranking police officer in the years after Independence, had been conducting surveillance on my father Sisir Kumar Bose from the Kolkata Intelligence Branch and relaying that information to New Delhi. Sisir had driven his uncle Subhas Chandra Bose during the great escape of 1941 from Calcutta to Gomoh and suffered imprisonment in Presidency Jail, the Red Fort, the Lahore Fort and Lyallpur Jail between 1942 and 1945. I wrote back appreciating my friend’s sentiment and assuring him that neither he nor his wife was responsible for his grandfather-in-law’s deeds. It was the tragedy of colonial rule that the British were able to use Indian agents against Indian freedom-fighters. The post-Independence government unfortunately continued that awful practice. My father became a renowned paediatrician after Independence and also set up the Netaji Research Bureau in 1957. The surveillance on him continued until 1972.