Monday, 15 August 2011

“My coming out not in India’s interest”:Anuj Dhar

Bhagwanji had entered India in the 1950′s from Nepal with the help of Mahadeo Prasad Misra, a Sanskrit teacher working in Nepal.
Misra is no more, but many details on Bhagwanji’s early days in India are known to his grandson Rajkumar, 50, who grew up seeing Bhagwanji. These details are now part of the documentation that Mukherjee Commission has on the Netaji case.
The key figure, however, was Rajkumar’s mother Saraswati Devi who died in November 2000, little before she could depose before the Commission. Saraswati Devi served Bhagwanji from 1955, but it was only after his death in 1985, that she conceded Bhagwanji was indeed Netaji.
In 1955-56, Rajkumar and his widowed mother came to live with Misra, who was staying in a rented house at Sringar Nagar in Lucknow with Bhagwanji.
Soon, they moved to Neemsar, a place close to the Indo-Nepal border, where they took shelter in a run-down Shiva temple. It was here in April 1962 that Atul Sen, an associate of Netaji, met and recognised the leader in his disguise.
Sen returned to Kolkata soon after, and reported the matter to Indian National Army (INA) Secret Service agent Dr Pabitra Mohan Roy and historian Dr R C Majumdar.
Dr Pabitra Mohan Roy had on Netaji’s order undertaken a submarine journey from Burma to India to prepare the ground for INA’s assault on Kohima. However, he was caught and sentenced to death. The sentence was later commuted on Gandhiji’s request to the British.
During those days Dr Pabitra had worked closely with Netaji; whatever the circumstances, he could not have mistaken the leader for anyone else. So indeed, when the doctor met Bhagwanji in Neemsar, the former was convinced of the man who stood before him.
Later, in a letter written to Bhagwanji, the doctor acknowledged the leader: “…I wish to say something – your own words – ‘You are my intelligence officer – without fear or favour must… act.’ …I will have to tell you about myself – what exactly do I think of myself – Keeping in mind Ma Kaali, Bharatmata (Mother India) and your feet, with a firm mind… I can tell you that just like in the past, I have the same unflinching faith and unwavering obedience, total dedication and loyalty towards you and…I am determined to always remain so. Give me your blessings.”
In December 1962, Dr Pabitra took into confidence Leela Roy, one of Netaji close friends and ‘didi’ to all revolutionary freedom fighters. Leela Roy acted quickly and by January 1963 had established contact with Bhagwanji.
In March, she along with Dr Pabitra, Shaila Sen (identity unknown) and Samar Guha (Netaji’s follower who is 82) called on Bhagwanji, a meeting where Srikant Sharma , 93, was also present. Sharma was one of Bhawanji trusted men and he recalls Bhagwanji’s reluctance to meet Leela Roy. Bhagwanji sent word through Sharma: “My coming out is neither in the country’s interest nor in my interest.”
Later, Bhagwanji did meet Leela Roy, which a man close to her confirms on the conditions of anonymity.
Leela Roy remained a great source of help to him until her death in 1970. However, before she died, Leela Roy wrote to Netaji’s dearest friend Dilip Roy on September 7, 1963 (on Bhagwanji’s order): “I wanted to tell you something about your friend… he is alive – in India.”

Expert says Handwritings match:Anuj Dhar

B Lal, the expert appointed by to match Bhagwanji’s and Netaji’s handwritings, has concluded that they are of “common authorship”.
Among other things, Lal says:
There is “no evidence to show that the questioned (Bhagwanji’s) writing has been made by a writer other than SCB (Subhas Chandra Bose) by imitating/copying the writings of SCB”.
Bhagwanji tried to hide his identity but failed.
There are “…similarities in general and individual writing habits, …suggesting common authorship of questioned writings and admitted writings of SCB”.
While pointing to the lack of muscular control, sign of old age and slight tremor in some of the writings, Lal also observes “a reproduction of some peculiarities that even decades could not hide”. As examples, he points to the habit, both of Bhagwanji and Netaji, of using insertion marks to introduce words between sentences, over writing on letters and underlining and bracketing passages for emphasis, making strokes more prominent and writing letters in a certain combination.
Indeed, matching the samples was no easy task. Most of Bhagwanji’s handwriting samples were notes left on the margins of pages. Also, most of the writing samples belonged to the ’70s and ’80s, whereas the samples of Netaji’s writing were of pre-1943 years. To complicate matters, Bhagwanji had also written in upper case to disguise his hand.
Lal has 44 years of experience studying and analysing documents, both for the government and for private groups. Before retiring as Additional Director of National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences, he was the Chief Government Examiner in Questioned Documents. (Lal will defend his report, if the Mukherjee Commission so demands.)
Handwriting analysis is admissible evidence in courts nowadays, and is as significant as fingerprint analysis. In fact, Mukherjee Commission visited Faizabad treasury on November 26, 2001, to collect samples for DNA and handwriting tests from Bhagwanji’s belongings preserved there. (The samples may reach the Commission’s Kolkata office in early May.)