Sondhi urges expansion of Netaji commission
Hindustan Times correspondent
October 15, New Delhi
Jan Sangh Member of Parliament, Prof. M.L. Sondhi, has urged
President V.V. Giri and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
immediately to review the composition of the one-man Khosla
Commission set up by the Government to inquire into the
circumstances of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s death.
He urged that Inquiry Committee should include in it some
well-known international jurists, military historians, war
correspondents, aviation and forensic experts to enable it
to come to some satisfactory conclusions regarding Netaji’s
Addressing a Press conference this morning, Prof. Sondhi
said that in August 1945 when Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was
determined to carry on the armed struggle for Indian
freedom, the Japanese were no longer willing to resist the
all-out war effort of the United States. American forces
were the most active and quantitatively and qualitatively
the superior element in the region.
He said the fact that U.S. forces were concerned with the
fate of Netaji was amply proved by documents and that the
U.S. Army Intelligence organisation compiled reports on him.
War operations in the Far East had been thoroughly examined
by U.S. military historians and it could be presumed that
the Americans knew the truth about Subhas Chandra Bose if
they would choose to disclose it.
The revelation by a responsible American journalist like
Louis P. Lochner was startling and shocking for us Indians,
Prof. Sondhi released a photostat copy of a reference in a
book entitled “The First American Edition of the Goebbels
Diaries” translated and edited by Mr. Louis P. Lochner which
“Subhas Chandra Bose was head of the Zentrale Freies
Indian (Central Bureau for a Free India) which had its
Berlin office at No. 2 Lichtenstein Allee. With Pandit K.A.
Bhatta as editor, he brought out a monthly magazine, Azad
Hind, with Nazi money. It was published with the English
text on the right side, the German on the left. Later he
left for Japan and, according to reports, was seized there
by the Americans, tried and executed for treason.”
Dr. Louis P. Lochner, Prof. Sondhi said, was for 20 years
Chief of the Bureau of the Associated Press and he was
president of the Foreign Press Association in Berlin.
The book, according to Prof. Sondhi, was later published
with these portions deleted.
He said that the Shah Nawaz Commission which submitted the
Netaji Inquiry Committee Report in 1956 betrayed Netaji,
wasted public money and misled the public of India. By
ignoring the role of the Americans, it presumably tried to
shield them and prevented clarification of the matter. By
refusing to visit the scene of the so-called plane crash at
“Taihoku” the Shah Nawaz Commission committed a glaring
offence against commonsense, fairplay and justice.
Prof. Sondhi said the new one-man Netaji Inquiry Commission
(1970) headed by Justice G.D. Khosla, has not given any
positive signs that its investigation would not be any
different from the legal and judicial anarchy which
characterised the Shah Nawaz Commission.
The Khosla Commission was a carbon copy of the Shah Nawaz
Commission which had already perpetrated a fraud on the
Indian people. The Khosla Commission lacked operational
capacity and its announcement was only a cover to the
chronic inaction of the Government of India in fulfilling
its obligation to Subhas Chandra Bose and his devoted
countrymen, he said.
The Jan Sangh MP further said that a national inquiry which
had earlier turned out to be a parochial inquiry would not
suffice. There were international dimensions of the problem
and these could not be ignored. The most important point
was that as long as the verdict of the Tokyo trial stood an
injustice was being done to Netaji, to India and to Japan.
Prof. Sondhi demanded reconstitution and broadening of the
one-man Khosla Commission to include internationally
renowned jurists in order to fully comprehend the
international dimensions of the problem, a nullification of
the Shah Nawaz Commission Report of 1956 and institution of
a CBI inquiry against its members.
In his letter to the Prime Minister, Prof. Sondhi drew her
attention to a reference to Netaji’s death which was
published in the American version of Goebbel’s Diary in its