Death or Samadhi Dilemma..

Posted By Author on October 7, 2011

11/2/1977 (in diary 10/2/77) I went to college in the morning.  Extended leave and back.  Sent message to correspondent of Blitz Mr. Suresh Shukla.  He came.  Told him to fix my appointment with Mr. Karanjia at the earliest on trunk call.  Prabhakar and Prof. Changole came.  Chat. Dined and slept.

(The error of one date is probably during journey to Calcutta.  However here onward the actual date written in diary is followed)

11/2/1977. Along with Chandrashekhar went to see Adv. Nanasaheb Bonde in the morning.  Apprised him of the situation without disclosing destination.  He was one of them who were impressed by Baba during his sojourn to Amravati in 1957. Moreover he visited Ashram and had met Baba.  He did not seem to be anxious.  On the contrary he said that he was contesting for Parliament because Baba told him to do something in the history of India.  That was white lie.  Shankarrao Chavan was his daughter in law Pushpa’s closest relative and due to his influence he got Congress ticket for election. Shankarrao Chavan was Chief Minister of Maharashtra. We left Nanasaheb Bonde.

News: President Fakruddin Ahmad died.

Went to college and back.

Prof. B.K.Bidwai, my head of the Department and presently devoted to Ashram at Pondicherry since more than fifteen years came to see me. (His son Prafulla Bidwai is a well-known columnist of the Times of India). He talked of Samadhi and was inquisitive about Baba.

Evening spent at home.  Mr.Shukla’s phone came. He tried for five hours but could not contact Mr. Karanjia at Bombay. Called it a day.

12/2/1977.  Got up. Wash.  Talked with Suryakant Jog, I.P.S. (Later Retired as Chief of Police, Maharashtra.) Saw Chandrashekhar at his home.  I left for college. On way I dropped Rani (Vaishali) my daughter at her friend Miss. Khare.  At 2.30 P.M. Prof. Nanekar, Head of the Department of political science, spoke on ‘Freedom at Midnight’ by La Pierre.  Prof. Bidwai told me that he was sure that Baba was in Samadhi.  On way back picked up Rani.  We narrowly escaped accident.  Mama and Mami came.  I am very much disturbed due to lot of thinking.  Even Resident Medical Officer of Irwin Hospital Mr. Joshi told me that body could not remain for more than eight days.

In the evening Jambuwant Dhote (later M.L.A. and M.P. of Forward Block) came to see me.  He was inquisitive but despondent.

In the evening called upon Dr.D.R. Shekhawat, my friend.  His wife Pratibha Patil (Now President of India) was in the Ministry of Maharashtra.  Told him to tell his wife about the precarious situation and to find out a way out.  Both of them could not help.

13/2/1977.  Prabhakar Wankhade, my student, and Sudhir Daterao came and proposed that Prabhakar Wankhade would drive us to Dehradun by his new Matador pickup mini truck.  Went to Chandrashekhar.  He agreed to start on Wednesday. We thought of ringing a Yogi from Bombay.  Dropped the idea.  Back home.  Lunch and then took study of my younger daughter Vaidehi.  Heard commentary of funeral of President Fakruddin Ahmad on radio. Mr. Shanawaz Khan was there.

­­­­­­­­Went to Prabhakar Wadodkar. His house was locked. I went to Wankhade. Discussed about our journey by his vehicle.  I was in two minds whether to give ring to Blitz or to keep mum.  Tentatively Wednesday fixed for start by Matador.

Back at home.  Went for a walk with wife.  Dined and slept.

14/2/1977.  Gave ring to Wadodkar.  He arrived at 4 A.M. in the morning.  Went to college and back.  Prabhakar Wadodkar came and together we called upon Chandrashekhar. ­­­­­­­­­We tentatively fixed 16th noon to start for Dehradun by vehicle. The delay was due to Prabhakar Wadodkar’s meeting at Agriculture University at Akola.  Dined and slept.

15/2/1977. Ekadashi.  Waited for Wadodkar.  Went to college.  Put an application for half-pay leave from 17th onward.  Went to Collectorate and convinced Election Officer to relieve me from Election duty.  Gave ring to college from Chandrashekhar about relief from Election duty.  All O.K.  The registrar of my college Mr. Padole told me to proceed on my journey.  Evening at home. Dined and slept.

16/2/1977 I went to college. I performed invigilation duty at 8 A.M.  Back at 1 P.M.  Today is ‘Mahashivaratri’.

I had lunch and nap.  Prof. Changole came and narrated the situation.  Got uneasy.  Both went to Chandrashekhar Dandge.  He was not at home.  Back home via Irwin hospital.  Prabhakar Wadodkar came.  We went to Chandrashekhar.  He was there with Wankhade.  Wadodkar was shirking off to start with lot of excuses. Wankhade was ready.  Vishwas Vidhale was there.  We decided to start by truck to Dehradun tomorrow at 2 P.M.

17/2/1977. I left children to school.  Wankhade came. Together we went to R.T.O. We were told to pay Rs.450/- as permit tax for two weeks. It was beyond my budget. Came back.  Said no to Wankhade. (Later Prabhakar Wankhade and his wife committed suicide.)  Lunch.  Went to college.  Cancelled my half-pay leave and instead requested for casual leave from Monday.  Evening called on Chandrashekhar. Vidhale was there.  Finally decided to start by train.  Back. Dined and slept.

18/2/1977. Up. Wash.  Searched necessary material for Press Conference.  Went late to college. I did invigilation duty in the morning. My colleagues in the Department were tense and curious about my hectic activity.  Only Prof. Changole knew about the situation.  Back home.  Lunch.  Packed and went to Dandge.  Both went to Bus Stand.  Jog, Ananta, and Raghunath, my salaried workers were there to see me off.  I forgot the camera. Jog brought it.  At 4.30 P.M. left for Nagpur.

Reached Railway Station, Nagpur. The Jayanti-Janata express was cancelled. Hence dropped Janata-express. Karnatak Express was late by two hours. Therefore wanted to catch Tamilnadu Express. It was fastest train halting at one place in each state.  It was a risk to enter without reservation.  Therefore caught Chattisgarh Express.  Got berths.  Bloody tired of waiting on platform. Dined and slept.

19/2/1977. Got up early morning in the train.  Ablutions. I shifted my berth near Chandrashekhar’s berth, as train was partly empty.  Took homemade  breakfast. Skipped lunch.  Chat. Nap. Reached Nizamuddin Railway Station of Delhi.  Got down and engaged a tempo for Old Delhi Railway Station.  Reached.  Got tickets.  Engaged a coolie.  Gave him ten rupees to acquire berths in general compartment. The train arrived.  It was in motion and yet the coolie dumped me through window.  Inside was dark.  I dashed against partition wall and was severely hit on the head. My ankle was sprained. Thank God we had our dinner and fruits on platform already. The rush was terrible.  Lights were off. One person on berth above me took out a gun and shouted that no one should disturb him else he would shoot. Chandrashekhar came with luggage. We were successful to snatch two berths.  The handle of my suitcase and his holdall were severed off.  Reluctantly paid coolie.  I had to take out blanket due to cold weather.  Instead of going straight to Dehradun we were going via. Najiibabad, Hapoor, Haridwar. Slept.

20/2/1977. We reached Dehradun at 9 A.M. A coolie recognized us.  We engaged an autorickshaw but the driver was demanding ten rupees.  So we walked down to old bus stand.  A bus was coming out of the gate.  Fortunately driver stopped it for us.  We hurriedly entered that local Rajpura bus.  Reached our cottage at 194.  Saw Ramenbabu coming out from Baba’s quarter.  Vidyaratanji was there. Exhausted, I sat on steps of the Bungalow.  Everything was standstill.  Sanjeevan, the servant, left the service.  Ramharav, another servant was to leave today.  Faithful Algu was there.

Col. Pritam Singhji and Sohanlalji came.  Chandrashekhar went for bath. I sat outside with them.  I tapped them.

Pritam Singhji told me that the Government felt that he was opposed to the Government and hence he received no help. His dues of Rupees Twelve thousand were not granted since last fifteen years.  He was still pursuing the matter.  He said he was not attached to any political party although many approached him.  He got ten acres of land at Doiwalla from the Government.  It was irrigated.

We were sitting on a carpet outside.  Mr. Khosla of Life Insurance Corporation arrived in his car.  There was one more gentleman, took nap while others were engaged in talk.

When I awoke I saw Krishnakantji Pandey.  Had a chat with him.  All were well at his home.  His one son was in service in the Central Intelligence. (Rajnarayan was his friend and was Minister at the center.  He helped in getting service for his son.)  Krishnakantji narrated that his brother Radhakantji appreciated my bold stand before Justice Khosla.  He talked of me as the only intelligent person amongst Baba’s followers. Radhakantji had lost eyesight of one eye due to old age.

Note that Col. Pritam Singhji’s grudging was just and right considering his valour and sacrifice on the Imphal front.

Children, Chandrashekhar, Ramen Roy and me went to nearby Ramkrishna Ashram.  It was birthday of Ramkrishna Paramhansa Deo.  We took ‘Prasad’.  Ramen wanted to stay with children for ‘ Aarti ’. So Chandrashekhar and I went ahead to inform so to Ramanidada.  We walked down along the Mussoorie road and made a short cross-country walk on return journey.  Accidentally we met Ramen and children on the Rajpura road.  They did not stay long. It was dark then.

I took Krishnakantdada out and had full discussion with him about the deteriorating state of affairs.  He was of the opinion that full honour should be secured for Baba’s funeral but he did not want to go against Ramanidada as he honoured him.  I explained to him my plan.  He expressed his fear that the Government would finish us through power and hush up everything.  He cautioned me to plan carefully considering previous enquiry commissions’ reports and Baba’s past opposition to Gandhiji. I assured him that I would manage it skillfully.  He warned me not to get involved directly.  Then I narrated to him the last minutes of Baba’s life and my fear that Baba breathed his last suddenly due to cardiac arrest on 2nd January 1977 itself.  He was much convinced. Krishnakantji disclosed to me that he had hundreds of letters personally written by Baba to him. He assured that the letters were intact and in safe custody.

Gobind prepared hot chapatis and served.  We had good dinner. After dinner Vidyaratanji, Gobind, Krishnakantdada and myself were chatting.  Krishnakantdada believed in ‘Maran Tantra’, known as ‘Tantra Vidya’.  He told that he saw it in Bengal.  A male live owl was indispensable for the process.  The owl was given liquor, thrashed with iron rod and shouts then it could destroy anyone. (When Netaji had strange illness, some said it was due to ‘Maran, spell of Tantra Vidya. Some Tantrics performed rituals on him to ward off the dangerous evil spell.) He then narrated Sanskrit Shlokas and stories of Vivekananda.

Uttamchand and Hiralalji Dixit declared about the appearance of Netaji in Kanpur. Headlines appeared in newspapers, especially Blitz. About five lakhs people assembled on 23 rd January 1975 at Fulbaug, Kanpur.  Vidyaratanji told that on that day Baba had gone in white Ambassador car to Punjab to see Thakur Singh of I.N.A.  (A-113) who was on deathbed? Thakursingh was chief of suicide squad of I.N.A.  Baba wanted to obtain money from him. Other I.N.A. members requested Baba to fulfill Thakur’s last wish to see him.  Uttamchand and Hiralal Dixit were fully aware that Jaigurudeo Baba of Mathura was not Netaji but they put him as a decoy of Netaji. Sohanlalji warned Uttamchand not to indulge in farce.  They said that it was a mock trial to show people’s urge for Netaji to impress Baba. However Baba was outright against it.  Vidyaratanji further tipped that Sohanlalji knew the details of the nefarious game. Emergency was on. Willy Uttamchandji sneaked out from the site.  Jaigurudeo and Hiralal Dixit were manacled and taken to police custody. The Blitz gave wide publicity for appearance of Netaji at Fulbaug and burnt its fingers. These Subhashwadi Janata people conspired similar hoax that Netaji was to appear on July 12th 1963 at Calcutta Maidan, and in 1965 in Kalyani.

Earlier in the afternoon, Sohanlalji told me that Ramani Ranjan Das had given in writing to him that Baba was Netaji and then alone he offered lot of money for expenses there. Baba himself confessed to Sohanlalji that he did not want to go to jungle anymore and hence his last days must be looked after well. About Baba’s political ideology these people were telling different views and versions for and against. Vidyaratanji read out a Hindi note dictated by Baba. It was last one to him before Baba’s death/Samadhi.

(Space is left in the diary but the note was not copied down.  It must be with his son Shashiratan.  This day is 9/1/2003 and a couple of days before there was news on T.V. that fire destroyed wholesale shops of electronic goods in Lala Lajpat Rai market, Delhi.  Shashiratan’s shop is there.)

21/2/77.  Up on sofa couch.  Ablutions.  Wash. Bath. Told Krishnakantji to wait for me.  Went to market in the town and purchased four photo rolls and was back to destination.

Took photographs of children, Gobind, Mr. Gaur of Banaras.etc. Mr. Gaur came in contact with Baba during Gita’s funeral at Banaras. Ramanidada refused for his photo to be taken.  Then took snaps of Mrs. Das, Mrs. Bose, servants, building, environ, etc.

We went to see off Krishnakantji who was leaving.  He gave a pose and after great persuasion snapped Col. Pritam Singhji too.  In fact Pritam Singhji was last to see off Netaji at Saigon and Krishnakantji was first to be with Baba in India after 1945 knowing fully well that he was Netaji.  So I wanted photographs of both together.  I succeeded with the help of Gobind.

Returned after seeing off Krishnakantji.  Sohanlalji came. Gobind was to leave for Calcutta next day.

Pritam Singhji lamented that other I.N.A. people received high amount of pension but he did not.  Mr. Gananathan opened an Ashram.  A society was formed with Amiyo Bose as President.  Pritam Singhji resigned, as he detested selfish attitude.  Congress party leaders approached him.  He told them point blank that as long as they were associating with Reds (Communists) he would not accept the offer.  He believed that the Nation was going to dogs.  He categorically told Baba that if Netaji was not there, they would have to manufacture one to save the country etc. He also told that Rama Murti became rich in Japan.  He then grumbled that daily he had to spend Rs.5/- to come over here and attend.  His personal life was disturbed etc.

After lunch I was busy writing diary.  Outside Ramanidada was enquiring about group photographs taken by me.  Pritam Singhji left bit early than usual.  It was 2.10 P.M.

We again took photographs.  Ramen Roy refused to pose.  Mr. Kaul posed.  After that I had long discussion with him.  He told that he was a               non-believer in hotchpotch things.  He had been to Agra.  Before he went, Baba came out and sat near main building.  Mr. Kaul was highly impressed by Baba’s intellect.  However, he confessed that he was rational and realist.  He opined that Baba died on 2nd Jan.1977 itself.  He expressed that every day’s delay for funeral was bad.  He gave his address as Shri Kaul, 159, E, Rajpura Road, Dehradun.

Woefully he disclosed that girls needed care from ladies.  Kids were embarrassing him with odd questions regarding sex.  How to differentiate a bull and a cow? About mating of birds.  He felt that the Divine immunity business regarding children be stopped immediately and they be put in a school where they would learn things as other kids did.  I found him almost practical man down to earth and he was in an absolute agreement with my views.

Chandrashekhar alias Bhaiyya and I went for a walk to Rajpur and were back in the evening.  Shri Gauri Shankar (Gaur), sweetmeat master of Banaras, discussed all cock and bull stories of past Yogis.

Monkeys came and disturbed Samadhi area.

An acute stringency of money was as usual. The last misplaced note to Vidyaratanji was traced. Baba gave the following note in Hindi to Vidyaratanji, Sohanlalji and others in his last days. It is translated as below:

“In life a new chapter has begun because today’s work is destroyed. In this chapter how much time will be required, it cannot be said. Here such situation may come that we will have nothing to eat. Under such circumstances do not give a single paisa and you are not required to come here till this chapter continues.

By ignoring man if any way outcome comes up for upliftment of mankind then I shall extend my helping hand for outer work. When this chapter will be completed I shall call all of you.”

Baba was upset because of lack of vigilance.  As a result monkeys came over roof and yard and disturbed his work.  After that the above note was dictated.

This type of thought I had been listening in the past many years whenever Baba was in acute monetary stringency.  His modus operandi of extracting money remained unchanged.

Gobind took children for a walk.  Vidyaratanji was cutting vegetables.  Ramen and Ramanidada were neither mixing with us freely nor willing to discuss the problem.  I put my views before all but there was no response.

Track A:  If Baba was in Samadhi, we should publish the news and consult all possible Yogis to get their counsel and opinion as to what was to be done further.

Track B:  If Baba was dead, whether

(i)                               To give unknown funeral

(ii)                             To give known funeral by informing all members of Shaulmari Ashram, I.N.A. people, Bose family, contemporaries, the Government and the Press.

(iii)                            Tallying Palm impression was an acid test and hence with all safety; it should have been performed with verification of other physical marks.

(iv)                            I decided to keep safety valve of the Press, contact high-ups.  Tell the truth that he was not averse to Mrs. Gandhi.  Rather he favoured her.

(v)                             Declare a nonpolitical organization in which young and old, males and females, Government and non-Government people would put their hours of social service for de facto Nation Building. (Baba’s ideas).  That would be man-making body preparing leaders for different ideologies.  There would be no politics.  Planners, executives, volunteers all would work united.  Name to the organization might be given as Nation Builders.

Unfortunately, except Mr. Kaul, Krishnakantji and particularly Pritam Singhji, none were agreeing with me. I decided to move tomorrow.  In very stern words I told Ramen to allow me to see Baba but in vain.  He first agreed and promised to plead my case before Ramanidada.  Even through girls and Prof. Kaul I had confirmed the inner situation.  He told that Baba’s shoes were laying         helter- skelter, which meant that Baba had a severe attack.  Even Mrs. Protima Bose said so.

One thing was definitely intriguing as to why there was no decaying of the body. Again I left a cup with wet sugar at night outside just to confirm whether there were ants or not.  In the morning the cup was full of ants.  I surmised that it was low temperature and open body on cold cement floor, which might have had preserved the cadaver.  Any way I thought things must be hurried.

Mr. Gupta and Purushottam, the night guards came.  They cooked chapatis and we took hot food.  Purushottam was diehard orthodox.  He said that Baba would come out of Samadhi on 27th Feb. or 7th March.1977.  He was very much prejudiced against Mrs. Gandhi’s functioning.  He predicted that two-third Janata party and one-third Congress M.P.S would get elected.  He was a man of absolutely biased mind.

After dinner I offered to give night duty upto 1 A.M.

Chandrashekhar and I sat in the verandah.  Gobind and Mr. Gaur joined us.  Coal was burning in a furnace to warm us.  We had lot of discussion.  Gobind was for doing something and not to sit idle. Step by step we must do something he proposed.  Mr. Gaur again proved to be an emotional dunce.  He married twice and had only four sons.  He said he felt this place as his house and expressed that he lost interest in business then.  He told that he had a sudden change in his life due to Baba.  He spoke like a phonogram having lost speed at the end.  He narrated lot of cock and bull stories of yogis, walking on water etc.  At 1 A.M. all of us dispersed after calling in Guptaji on duty.  I lastly told Gobind that I disliked the attitude of all these people including Ramen and Ramanidada and that I would do what I thought right.  Slept.

22/2/77.    Up late.  Wash.  Decided to leave to take remaining photos.  Even portrait of individual child was taken. I inserted fast type of roll.

Mrs. Protima Bose and Mrs. Das came.  We had a talk.  They were very curious to know details about Baba.  They requested me to hurry up to take decision on the then standstill stalemate.  Address: Mrs. Das, 74, Nesh Villa Road, Dehradun and Phone No.4798.  Mrs. Bose prepared our breakfast.  Col. Pritam Singhji came early and wanted to leave early as his son was going to Punjab.  He told that leaders of Janata Party approached him yesterday but he refused to convene the public meeting.  He remarked that he abhorred politics.  He lamented that his personal life was disturbed because he had to come daily from Doiwalla about 12 miles away. He was impatient and thought that something must be done but he could not override Ramani Ranjan Das.

After breakfast said good-bye to everybody.  Vidyaratanji, Gaur, and children came to see us off.  Gave Rs. 5 tip to servant Algu.  Off we went.

At Autorickshaw stand of Dehradun immediately got bus for Delhi. We reached Delhi at 7 P.M.

There was a good article on memories of Netaji in the Illustrated Weekly of the current week written by M.A.H. Ispahani, presently V.I.P. of Pakistan.

By autorickshaw arrived at Punjabrao Krishi Bhavan, Mathura road, Nizmuddin, Delhi.  Took complete rest.  Discussed next day’s plan.

23/2/77. I got up. Wash.  Shaved. Bath. Discussed course of action with Chandrashekhar.  Put on tie and suit.  Out. Walked to Oberoi International Hotel.  From a public telephone booth at the Taxi stand gave ring to the Blitz office.  The phone number was found at the bottom of the Blitz weekly as 36429 and 36401. The former number contacted.  The desk clerk told that Delhi bureau head Mr. Raghavan would come to office after an hour.  He gave address as IENS building, Rafi Marg. Caught an autorickshaw and went there.  Took breakfast on a stall nearby.

Walked in the Indian and Eastern Newspapers Society’s (IENS) building.  From the board learnt that all the prominent Newspapers of India were having their offices there.  Mr. Raghavan on the third floor was yet to arrive. I was back on the ground floor. Chandrashekhar was panicky. He was scared and sweated with worry that if we were arrested under DIR nobody would know it and no bail could be secured. He was in two minds. His face became grim and serious. I loitered alone and walked down to the office of Janata Party situated just opposite the IENS Research and Publication Division. I left the bag of evidence of Netaji’s survival after 1945 with Chandrashekhar. He slept on the sofa. My heart was also throbbing with tension. I entered the Janata Party’s office alone. No response and hence back to I.E.N.S. Read a board of Research and Publication Division and entered alone.

Head in-charge was Dr.Trilok N Sindwani. B.Sc., M.B.A. (Oregon), M.A. (Toronto), Ph.D. (Econ) A.F.A.I.A. (Sydney), Phone No. 38-5401 (7thline). 38-4052. Gram: INDNEWS. I introduced myself and requested him to be alone for discussion.  He agreed and took me out.  On way I picked up Chandrashekhar. He was fast asleep. He swathed in sweat . His starched Khadi shirt became damp and hundreds of flies stuck on his shirt. I waked him and picked him up. We went to conference room.

In brief, I narrated the project and the short history of Netaji and his survival in India after 1945.  Dr. Trilok N Sindwani heard everything patiently.  Then he told us that he was working on post-published work and in personal capacity he advised us to contact Mr. Karanjia of Blitz directly.  He opined that Mr. Karanjia was the only person having lot of money and boldness to do anything.  He even cautioned us that there in Delhi we might be arrested under D.I.R. and hence we should contact Mr. Karanjia directly there in Bombay.  He opined that even Raghavan was not needed or at the most he be requested to give telex to Mr. Karanjia.  I found him a very nice fellow. Thanking him we parted. Chandrashekhar was relieved and said to me ‘well done’.

So we went to Mr. Raghavan.  We climbed three stairs and were exhausted.  There was already intense mental pressure of our first outburst of news to Mr. Sindwani.  My heart was pounding.  Both of us were speechless, tense and serious.  We purposely smoked cigarettes to relieve tension.  I realized as to how mental pressure caused heart attack to people.

We entered Raghavan’s office.  He was very curt in behaviour. There was red coloured Telex.  We were standing.  He gave ring to his wife and told her that guests would be with him for lunch at home.  Then he turned on his revolving chair and asked us very rudely as to what was our business. He lacked curtsey to offer chair. He was devoid of manners and etiquettes. I uttered only one word regarding Netaji and he rudely exploded, “I do not want to do anything.  I have no time.  This is election time.  I do not trust all these shams, bogusness and humbug etc. You may go.”

(It might have been Raghavan’s reaction to Uttamchand’s Kanpur episode when Raghavan gave wide publicity and burnt his fingers. Raghawan gave wide publicity to news that Netaji was going to reveal him-self in Kanpur.)

Crestfallen we came out shocked at his behaviour.  At least a patient hearing was expected from journalists and judges. However Chandrashekhar was jubilant to see that we would not be arrested.

We decided to go to Shashiratan in the old Lala Lajpatrai Market in front of Red Fort.  By autorickshaw we went there.  Found out his shop in Kesari Chauk named as Ratan Electronics.  Met Shashiratan. His shop was hardly 10 by 12 feet and there was a demand of Rs. two lakh for that tiny room.  We were welcomed and received well.  He offered snacks but we politely refused as we already had taken refreshment in a kiosk in that market itself.  Shashiratan queried about health of his father.  He then told that Uttamchandji Malhotra was sitting in his shop since two hours and had left just then.  He rang to his associates and told Sharmaji, the fat cat, to come immediately. It is Sharmaji’s son who is spending on maintenance  of  Netaji’s Samadhi at 194, Rajpura road. Dehradun.

We went to teahouse and discussed.  I told them about my fear that Baba’s body would be finished unknown to world.  They were still euphoric and augured that Baba would come back but after my narration they were panicky.  They believed in forecast of ‘Bhrugu Sanhita’ of Mr. Dwiwedi.  Shashiratan’s diary was full of predictions and he informed his father about that at Dehradun.  He said every prediction came true.  He told that Dwivedi even told our going to Kali Mandir on the hill with children was read out. It was a puzzle to me.  However I enlightened them with realities too.

We came back to shop.  Decided to meet at the Marwadi Library at Chandni Chauk at 6 P.M. We loitered and reached Marwadi Library at 6 P.M. This was a very historic place.  The building is old fashioned.  It was from the gallery of this library that Rasbehari Basu hurled bomb on Lord Harding, the viceroy of India, in 1912 when he was riding on an elephant in procession.  Rasbehari escaped and went to Japan in 1916 and became citizen by marrying a Japanese girl. Later he became President of Indian Independence League (IIL) and took charge of I.N.A. from Mohansingh and gladly handed it over to Subhash Chandra Bose.  Jawaharlal Nehru used to have secret meetings at this library before independence.  I was thrilled to be in this historic place.

Mr. Hiralalji Dixit, President of the Subhashwadi Janata, and one Mr. Chaudhari of Chaudhari Bhawan, Etawah, U. P. arrived. Mr. Chaudhari started his talk non-stop like a charlatan street salesman.  He talked of the Sun’s corona.  He authoritatively stressed that Bermuda Triangle was ‘adhishthana’ of Kali’s ‘Shakti’ where planes and ships were reported to be missing miraculously and inexplicably.  He had learnt by heart certain Yogic terms and English words too.  He opened his notebook.  At the top were drawn waves in green and red and in between were Urdu like insertions.  He told us that a Divine machine at his home drew waves. Mr. Hiralaji Dixit told me that one could not sit in that room which was terrific and full of machines. Mr.Chaudhari showed me part of his machine, which was entanglement of thin and thick chords made of old rags entwined by coloured twine and ‘Rudraksh’ studded in between. I realised the colorful chord were made from strips of discarded sari.  He narrated all sort of nonsense.  He went on talking for two hours.  I got bored but Mr. Shashiratan believed in him patiently.  From his shop at 6 P.M. all of us moved to the Marwadi library, which was secret meeting place of top freedom fighters.

We assembled in a small room of ‘Prabandha Karyakarini Samiti. ‘The postal address was Marwari Public Library, 1457, Chandni Chauk, Delhi-6.  Phone: 265900.

The incumbent of the room were Chandrashekhar, Shashiratan, Sharmaji, Hiralal Dixit, Mr. Chaudhari, and Suresh Kumar Sihaniya of the Library, Trilokji, and myself. Except Shashiratan, Chandrashekhar and me rest were old guards. Uttamchand Malhotra was lucky to miss the caucus.

Mr.Chaudhari of Etawah talked incessantly as if tape recorder was switched on.  He asked for tea, snacks and ‘Paan’ often.  As per his wish it arrived.  Then he started again all fantastic nonsense that no sane man could ever imagine.

He repeated the Sun’s corona, etc.  He then disclosed that the satellites did disturb the waves opposite Bermuda Triangle.  That place was in Punjab in India.  He located that place by searching through his machines.  He got one point at Gwalior, the second in ‘Nimisharanya’ near ‘Kali’, and third he felt near ‘Kurukshetra’.  (Hariyana).  Then he took out a complete set of his machine from his bag.  It was as I told a tangle of colored ropes made out of rags.  The very look of it made me  laugh so much so that I went out.  Others were very patient and curious.  I came back when he was telling the position of Baba, his beard and hands in lying position to Hiralalji Dixit.  He put rags-tangle around his neck (sketch shown in diary) and claimed that he paid Rs. two lakhs to Baba.  He met Baba on command from soul of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee who told him to tell Netaji that Sheikh Abdulla poisoned him. Shyama Prasadji’s soul gave him address of Baba and accordingly he reached Nemich near Lucknow and then to Mainpuri. Baba was staying in the Dy.S.P.’s yard under the name of ‘Amalanand’ alias Amal Roy.  He said he knew Ramkrishnaji (Engineer and Ashramites) of Lucknow. It was hell of rubbish and bunkum.

Further Mr. Chaudhari added that Netaji had two personalities and at a time he could present himself at two different places.  In Netaji’s childhood sister Nivedita used to take him in her lap.  One day he became motionless.  Swami Vivekananda died and entered into Netaji’s body. I felt as if I was an inmate of a lunatic asylum. There is a saying by poet Ghalib that in this world there is no dearth of fools. If you try to search one you get thousands.

After listening an hour and half’s utter nonsense, I lost my patience and bluntly asked him whether he could tell the number of note in my pocket.  He totally refused.  Then I apprised him that Subhash Bose was not living in Calcutta but Cuttack in his childhood and that what he told us through his machine that sister Nivedita used to take him in lap and Vivekananda’s soul entered his body was wrong as all the while Subhash was in Cuttack.  Secondly I told him that in 1954 Baba was not in U.P. and hence there was no question of Mr. Chaudhari paying Rs. two lakhs to Baba.  When I questioned him whether he had ever seen Saradanandaji of Shaulmari Ashram, he admitted he never saw him. I wondered why God incarnated such rots to influence and mislead innocent people.  We ended the farce at 10 P.M. Dined outside.  Then walked down to the Red Fort. Got taxi at cheap rate.  The driver was an old Sikh.  He was showering invectives on the Government and Mrs. Indira Gandhi.  Other two joined his tirade.  We kept quiet.  Got down at Nizamuddin.  Walked to the Krishak Bhavan.  Chat and slept late at 1 A.M.

23/2/77. Got up at 5 A.M. Discussion with Chandrashekhar.  Slept again.  Up at 10 A.M. and took wash.  Shashiratan’s phone came.  So hurriedly dressed up.  By autorickshaw we reached Old Lala Lajpat Rai market.  Took lunch and went to Shashiratan’s shop.  He was eagerly waiting for me.  Uttamchand Malhotra’s phone came to him that he was keen to see me.  We walked down to the Marwari Library.

As we entered the library, I could judge as to who was Uttamchandji Malhotra.  The rest were known faces.  He shook hands with me.  He is old but active and sharp Pathan.  His postal address was: Shri Uttamchand Malhotra, 97 E, Kalkaji, New Delhi. Phone: 631885. Hiralaji Dixit, Mr.Chaudhari, Sharmaji, Sihaniya, Shashiratan were present there.

Uttamchandji Malhotra gave us the account of his first meeting with Baba at Shaulmari Ashram.  When he publicly declared that Founder of Shaulmari Ashram Shrimat Saradanandaji was none else but Netaji, a libel case was instituted against him by the Ashram.  Therefore in self-defence he submitted Baba’s letter written to him from Ashram. The experts gave opinion that the handwriting of Baba tallied with that of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and that Baba should be summoned in the witness box. Uttamchandji further narrated that Jawaharlal Nehru sent Surendra Mohan Ghosh to Ashram for verification.  That Rajendra Prasad wrote a letter to Ashram for Baba’s ‘Darshan’.  He was informed by the Ashram that Baba was not Netaji.  He again wrote a letter asking for ‘Darshan’ of ‘Mahatmaji’, not Netaji. Ashram sent permission to Rajendrababu but unfortunately Rajendrababu breathed his last just two days before the engagement.

Uttamchandji further apprised us that he met President, Radhakrishnan and told him to go to Shaulmari Ashram.  Uttamchandji never believed that Anita was Netaji’s daughter.  When Radhakrishnan questioned him as to whose daughter Anita was then he told him that she might be of Nehru and that was why Nehru sent Rs. one lakh per year to Anita as pension. I clarified the truth about Anita and her acceptance by Sarat Chandra Bose. He then expressed that he was sorry for being upset at Radhakrishnan.  He then narrated as to how he got re-entry at Baba’s residence at Dehradun.  Sohanlal Kapoor, his brother-in-law was having his cloth store at Dehradun.  Sohanlal’s younger brother Omprakash was in the shop.  He came in contact with Baba.  He then referred Uttamchandji’s books and was convinced that Baba was Netaji.

It was Uttamchand Malhotra who sent all people of Delhi and men of I.N.A. including Col. Pritam Singh for Baba’s ‘Darshan’ at Dehradun.

Col. Pritam Singh did not believe in the beginning that Baba was Netaji. After a couple of meetings, as per Pritam Singh’s wish Baba gave indication of his identity as Subhash Bose. When Uttamchandji met Pritam Singhji at Dehradun, he was laughing and hilarious. When Uttamchand first referred Pritam Singh’s name to Baba, he exclaimed, “ Who is Pritam Singh? Is he Colonel Pritam Singh?” Baba was very excited when he queried.

Uttamchandji further narrated as to how Netaji could change his face and read mind of others.  He said that in Kabul Netaji would go with his small daughter ‘Nimo’ to movie and market. He further told a story of an old man named Mukherjee, a post-master.  Mr. Mukherjee met Uttamchand at Calcutta and told him one incident of face change and mind reading of Subhash Chandra Bose.  Mr. Mukherjee said, “When Subhash came out of jail due to illness, I, an old friend, went to see Subhash at Cuttack. Netaji had been to a seashore resort.  Subhash’s mother told me that as she was getting old she wanted Subhash to get married.  She told me to tell him so.”

When Mr. Mukherjee went to the resort, Subhash was gazing at the sea and yet he recognized old friend by name without looking at him and questioned him as to what mother said to him.  Mr. Mukherjee related the message of mother to him.  Subhash said that he agreed to marry with the most beautiful woman.  Mukherjee too agreed and told him that he would give advertisement and get photographs of girls.  Subhash told him that if he selected one, the rest would be hurt.  He did not want to hurt.  Then he became angry and changed face, etc.

Even Uttamchandji believed in Baba’s quality of changing of face and confessed that Baba deceived him at the first meeting at Dehradun.

Uttamchandji denounced Baba’s profuse use of lemon and curtain business.  He did not believe in ‘Pakhandi’, i.e., religious showmanship. When Baba asked Uttamchand as to how he claimed that Baba was Netaji. In reply Uttamchand told Baba to remove his beard. Baba gave a hearty laughter. Then Baba questioned him that if he did something against people what Uttamchand would do.  Uttamchand bluntly told that he would stand by the people and fight. Baba appreciated his stand. It may be remembered that as soon as Netaji reached Berlin he sent a transmitted message of thanks to Uttamchand at Kabul.

In his last meeting with Baba, he agreed with Uttamchand to see R.S.S leader.  Initially Baba refused to see R.S.S. men because according to him they were one-sided.  Uttamchandji remarked that they should be moulded properly to which Baba agreed.  Baba never doubted discipline, sacrifice and honesty of purpose of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (R.S.S.) but according to him as per changing time they must change the tenets.  Uttamchandji wanted to bring Mr. Deoras, Sarasangha Chalak, Head of R.S.S., to meet Baba but emergency was declared and Mr. Deoras was arrested.  Things did not materialize.

Uttamchandji was a man of clear convictions and no hypocrisy.  He lamented that he lost all his property due to Netaji and that his ‘munshis’ (clerks) were millionaires in Kabul now.  He did not feel sorry for the sacrifice and even at the ripe age he worked as an insurance agent like a commoner.  He told that his one son was a salesman in T.T. Krishnamachari’s firm and other in Calcutta.

When alone I told him reality of Baba’s life. He said he was already surmising it and discussed with his wife.  She was displeased.  He was shocked to know the reality from me and opined that it would be better to maintain old image.  However he said he be given time to think over.  He very much wanted that I should go with him to see his wife Ramadevi.  I promised it in the next trip.

(Addenda: The missing passage of 24th Feb. 1977 from the Marwadi Library.)

Later at the meeting in the Marwari Library, it was unanimously decided that the Delhi people would go to Dehradun on Saturday the 26/2/77.  Ask Ramen Roy to accompany them to Haridwar to meet experts in Yoga.  If he refused they would insist on taking ‘darshan’ of ‘samadhi’ to relate eyewitness account of the condition to Yogis.

Uttamchandji was time and again expressed his feeling and sorry for as to why I did not see him before going to Khosla Commission. He ruefully said that he was singled out by all and sundry.  He spoke the truth that everybody went to Ashram for Netaji alone.

(This passage is bracketed on the back page of 24/7/77 in the Diary)

Uttamchandji expressed that he and me together could move heaven on earth.  He did not like Ramanidada’s attitude all throughout.  We then saw him off at the local bus stand. We purchased ‘Basmati’ rice, packed it and went to the railway station.  Fortunately got reservations.  Took food.  In the train got acquainted with utensils shop owner Mr. Pannalalji of Raipur (M.P.) One young Sikh sardarji, a Guru or saint clad in saffron dress along with his Sardar orderly occupied the lowest berths.  The Guru was going to Raipur in M.P. There was third Saradarji also going to Raipur.  Our originally reserved middle berths were exchanged with a couple and we took uppermost berths.  The Guru was fortified with a dazzling spear and a dagger and his orderlies had swords.  When we were arranging our baggage, we were mortally afraid of their swinging weapons.  We purposely occupied uppermost berths to avoid accidental fall of Sardarjis’ lethal weapons on us.  Fear of Guru’s fatal weapons accidentally embracing haunted me. I was scared. The Guru ordered that nobody would smoke and that none should keep shoes above his berth.  We had to reluctantly submit to the order of the Guru because of those glittering lethal weapons and dangerous bunch of three potentially volatile Sardars.  Up to 2 A.M. I was reading and chatting with Chandrashekhar about the future course and all the while keeping eye of moments of weapons.  Slept.

24/2/77. Up in the train at 10 A.M. Took lunch at midday at Hoshangabad (of H.V. Kamath). Chandrashekhar stayed at Nagpur for attending a marriage.  I went to S.T. stand.  As usual the crowd was heavy.  Luckily I got reservation of one Inspector Shirke.  Mr. Jadhav, a sales tax inspector and contemporary in college was with me. Mr. Zia Siddique, Mrs. Gulhane and some students were also in my bus. I reached home at Amravati.  All were awake and anxious.  Apprised them all that the imbroglio at Dehradun continued.  Bath, dined and slept.

25/2/77. I met Chandrashkhar who came at night by Dadar express.  With him, Prabhakar and Prof.Changole discussed the situation at Dehradun.  Went to Sabnis photo studio and developed rolls of recent visit.  Two were overdeveloped

26/2/77.  Up. Wash. Writing. Searched Baba’s two handwritten letters to me.  Got a Photostat copy of part of one letter.  Went to Prabhakar Discussed.  I was in wavering mind whether to shootout with a real political tinge or with scholarly approach or remain calm and quiet.

27/2/77. Attended mother and was thinking and thinking as to what to do?

1/3/77. At 4 P.M. went to Meena Sabnis. Took keys from him and opened his studio.  Exposed Baba’s letters written in Pencil on a slow film.  By 8 P.M. I came back home exhausted.

2/3/77. Called on my neighbour Ulhas Marathey and exposed Baba’s letters on photo litho plates. Tried bromide prints. Due to over exertion got temperature. Sabnis sent good triplicate Photostat copies of Baba’s handwriting.

In the evening went for Lion’s meeting.  Discussed about state of affairs of Baba’s condition with Dr. Shendarkar.  He was Lion and Civil Surgeon of the Govt. District Hospital.  He was perplexed and was thinking and thinking.  Ultimately he opined that I should hurry otherwise decay of the body would be immense.  He advised that I should not remain silent and in abeyance.

3/3/77. I went to college and came back.  Called on Chandrashekhar.  Discussed.  In the evening I typed a letter to Mrs. Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister and enclosed three different Photostat copies of Shri Baba’s handwriting as well as Netaji’s handwriting.  Showed the letter to wife and brother.  Both Okayed it.  Registered letter would have consumed time and hence sent it under certificate of posting from R.M.S.  Exhausted and again had temperature.

A week passed in my bad health, attending my second daughter’s arthritis attack and mother’s care.

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