I go before Khosla Commission..

Posted By Author on September 29, 2011

27/8/1970:

I received the following letter from Mr.Madan Mohan of Meerut.

Madan Mohan                                                                         Date 27.8.70

Subhash Bazaar

Meerut City, U.P.

Phone- 4476

My dear Dr. Padhye

Hope this will find you in best of your health. Further you might remember that we met at Okhimath Ashram of His Holiness Saradanandaji Maharaj in January 1967 along with Shri Garg, Assistant Engineer of Meerut.

Further, you might have learnt by now that the Government appointed a Judicial Commission under the chairmanship of Justice Khosla to enquire about the circumstances of disappearance of Netaji in 1945 and relevant circumstances and developments afterwards. Now the Commission has issued a Press Note by way of a notification published in Indian Express, Daily Edition dated 27.8.70, in which persons holding information or evidence in connection of the proposed enquiry have been asked to file their affidavit by 30.9.70

In this connection it has now become essential to chalk out the line of action to be adopted by the persons affiliated with His Holiness Shri Saradanandaji Maharaj, So please if you are aware of the present address of His Holiness inform me the same so that I may seek an interview with him and discuss the matter personally. Further, please also enlighten me with your views on the matter at your earliest.

With best regards

Yours faithfully

Madan Mohan

2/9/1970:

As a reaction to Baba’s letter in the name of Shibnath Bose, I directly addressed the following letter to Baba.

‘Om’

Khaparde Garden

Amravati

Dt/- 2/9/70

Param Pujya Shri Baba,

Kindly accept Pronams of your idiot child Suresh. After receiving Shibdada’s letter I was terribly nervous and dejected and hence kept silent while brooding over past. Owing to some superstitious omen I am venturing to write this letter with due apology for disturbing your peace.

Last night I dreamt that His Holiness had come to my house and to my surprise this morning I received a letter from Shri Madan Mohan of Meerut. I felt that I should forward it to let you know about the nefarious activities carried by     so-called ‘our people’. I have not replied to the letter and might not even reply unless advised.

I may kindly be allowed to beg to write a few words about the previous letter and last letter that I received from Shibdada.

At the outset let me admit and apologise for unknowingly using an alien language in which I ought to have used ‘rebuke’ for ‘abuse’. Secondly, about sending Dada and others, I swear in the name of God I should have adhered to my words that you need worry till I am alive. I made their living arrangement near Paratwada but Dada expressed his desire to go to Puri. Even then I was waiting for word from His Holiness. Then circumstances over which I had no command compelled me to make their arrangement. Gitamasi sent me a letter and I had to yield to it. If and when Gitamasi and myself may happen to present before your Holiness all things will be crystal clear. Reservations were made with Dada’s consent.

About Chinudi what Shibdada wrote is nothing but painful. I have to say nothing as, my conscience is clear.

During the long quiescence of mine I submit that I never indulged in wrongful activity in spite of tempting offers from the C.I.D. department both of State and Centre. I happened to meet Netaji’s younger brother Shri Sailesh Bose in Bombay. Also I met Shri S.A.Ayer near Churchgate and had I carried some such misconceived notions I would have talked a word or two about Ashram or His Holiness.

Revered Shri Baba after all I am an idiot but innocent kid. I am aware of my madness and that is why I rushed to Ashram for cure but now if the physician refuses the patient, the patient must reconcile with the fact that either he is incurable or that he is destined to die along with the disease.

I presume and yearn for your blessings.

Yours obediently

Suresh

P.S. Sefali gave birth to second daughter on 15th August and begs for your blessings for the child Vaidehi.

18/12/1970:

I wrote my first statement to the Press from 2 to 5 A.M.  Could not sleep whole night.

Next day gave copy of the statement to Prabhakar for correction.

25/12/1970:

Took first Press Conference at City Library hall at 8.30 P.M. Correspondent Shyam Deshpande, Suresh Bhat, Vazir Patel, Raghupatrao Deshmukh etc were present.  Gave signed statement.  Each page was signed.  The purpose was to compel Justice Khosla to call me. Formerly I addressed a letter to Justice Khosla of Khosla Commission of inquiry about Netaji’s disappearance. I implored Justice Khosla to record my deposition in camera. There was no response and hence arranged Press Conference. However, I did not disclose Baba or Shaulmari Ashram’s name.

26/12/1970:

Nagpur Times flashed my statement. It appeared on the front page in headline in the Nagpur Times and other newspapers up to Bombay.

27/12/1970:

Four columns statement of mine I read in the Nagpur Times.

28/12/1970:

Loksatta and Maratha of Bombay, Yugdharma covered news about me.  Daily Uday of Amravati derisively criticized.

29/12/1970:

Went to college.  Heard all sorts of comments regarding my Press note.  Kept calm.  Director of Education Mr. Chaudhari visited the college.  He called me.  He was curious and asked all sort of questions regarding Netaji and me but I remained reticent and told him that I was prepared to face any official consequences.  However, he proved to be polite.  Dr. M.G. Marathey, my Principal invited me for dinner. Attended.  He too was very inquisitive about news regarding Netaji and me. I remained reserved.

31/12/1970:

Typed thoughts of Netaji as dictated to me and released it to Press.  No good response.

1/1/1971:

New Year.  Letters are pouring from all over India regarding my released statement to the Press.

2/1/1971:

In the evening discussed the issue with Prabhakar Wadodkar.  Stopped typing dictations of Baba. I feel I am putting horse before the cart and hence decided to defer release of Baba’s handwriting.  Letters still coming.

3/1/1971:

Screened diaries and kept material ready for further release to the Press.

4/1/1971:

Both Prabhakar and me went to college and stayed up to 9 P.M. Tried myself printing of photocopies of manuscript in the darkroom.

5/1/1971:

Both of us again went to college up to 11 P.M. Lights went off. Developer exhausted. Film got folded. Difficulties after difficulties arose.  Returned home.

Wrote my further Press Statement.

I received a letter from Salil Mittra dictated by Baba as below.

5.1.71

52,B.B.ChaterjeeRoad                                                                                                            Calcutta- 42

Dear Dr. Padhye

Hope you have received my letter a few days back and sorry that I have not received any reply from your end. In another issue of STATESMAN, Calcutta it is noted that you had issued a Press Statement as a lecturer of King Edward College on the believance of Netaji is alive and the next paragraph states, “Mr. Padhye said Netaji was not in the country but wherever he might be, he was a free man and led a detached life. The lecturer announced that on Netaji’s birthday on January 23rd 1971 he would release a facsimile of his manuscript.” I await your declarance in the local papers for the next issues after 23rd January ’71. Meanwhile may I request your goodness to send me copies of your declarance in both the press conference and press note and also the copies wherein your above references are going to be published by 23rd January ’71 and onwards? I think there is an English daily namely HITAVADA. Can you send me the address of the local agent in Calcutta of that paper so that I may secure the same if not sent by you?

Hope you are well? Well with your parents and friends. Hope your wife with children (if more! with apology) is well with best of spirit. Shibnath is O.K. so with others in Calcutta. My best love

Sincerely yours

Salil

This was tricky sugar coated pill to secure my statement. I am sure about its direct dictation by Baba. However the words ‘believance’ and ‘declarance’ are not in dictionary. They are, as per Baba’s habit, construed by Baba definitely or it is mistake of Salil.

/1/1971:

Went to college. Printed copies of Baba’s letter photographically. Dr. Wadodkar helped.  Both came back and finalized Statement.  In the evening gave priority to Nagpur Times and handed over copies of Baba’s handwriting of 1968 for release without disclosing the source to Shyam Deshpande correspondent of the Nagpur Times. For comparison also gave Photostat copies of original handwriting of Subhash Chnadra Bose.

7/1/1971:

Through Aba Telang released second statement and photographs of handwriting to Vazir Patel and Deshpande, journalists.  Justice Khosla’s letter was to come.  Sharma came and told so.

8/1/1971:

Actual letter of Khosla Commission arrived.  My statement in press compelled the commission to take my cognizance in spite of my statement in the Nagpur Times though covered timidly in part. However Photostat of handwriting of Baba and Netaji served the purpose.

9/1/1971:

Inspector Kasture of Intelligence Department came and asked for Photostat copy of Baba’s handwriting. He got some urgent message from Delhi. I sent him to his nephew, my friend Dr. Wadodkar to obtain a copy. Sent letter to Salil Mittra.

10/1/1971:

I already had shifted all my diaries to Prof. Changole, my colleague, for fear of raid and seizure by the Government.  I went to him and collected all diaries.  Got my typewriter from Dr. Doifode and screened the diaries till 7.30 P.M.

A note, torned, found dictated by Shri Baba for Haribandhu and a copy of Baba’s telegram, a TMO, copied by my father is there.  Further pages in the notebook of diary are blank? Searching.

Due to fear of seizure by the Government, the diaries were shifted many times and in the melee it seems that the daily diaries from 1971 onward to 1975 are either misplaced or lost.  On domestic front I went through very difficult patches. During this period I took respite and did not call upon Shri Baba.  Most of the Ashramites shunned correspondence with me because I was persona non grata and their bete noire. Nothing important is lost as there are certain letters and news cutting to give dates.  Through memory I am relating the major events during this period.

(1) Because of my Press Statements Mr. Justice Khosla had to summon me for deposition. I requested him to record my statement in camera with the sole purpose to shun publicity and not to offend Shri Baba.

I was writing down notes for deposition, the bunch would be traced.  My eldest brother was keenly watching my activities.  Except him all were against me, and my activity.  People asked him whether his younger brother (me) was becoming Sadhu.  He retorted that instead of becoming a gambler, drunkard or debaucher if he became Sadhu what was wrong?  He was doing what an average man could not do.  After a lot of discussion I asked him his candid opinion about my deposition before Mr. Khosla.  He had a judicious mind.  He frankly warned that whatever evidence I had was given by Shri Baba which might prove that he is Netaji but it would amount to stabbing him in the back.  I remained silent and pondered over his sincere advice.

I left for Bombay.  My colleague Prof. H.B. Nirmal of Zoology was transferred to the Govt. Science Institute, Bombay.  He was staying in a room at the M.L.A. hostel.  I put up with him and for a couple of days was busy in preparation of notes for deposition.  Then it was a bolt from the blue. Niharendu Dutt Mazumdar appeared in my room.  How he found me out is a mystery still.  He then took me upstairs and on way categorically warned me not to depose before Justice Khosla. That was the directive he received from Shri Baba. In addition to this Baba sent Haribandhu to Amravati bringing his stern order to desist from deposition.  Moreover a letter was sent to my Principal Dr. M. G. Marathey warning him to stop me from deposing before Mr. Khosla.  I read that letter and told Dr. Marathey to preserve the envelope and letter as it was of historic value.  He died and I do not know the whereabouts of that letter.

Anyway, Niharendudada took me to a room and introduced Sailesh Bose and his wife. They were eagerly waiting for me. I was thrilled to meet them. Mr. Sailesh Bose, born in 1904, was the second youngest brother of Subhash Chandra Bose. When he was twenty-two he journeyed to Mandalay jail to acquire Netaji’s signature on nomination form of election. Once police arrested him Pune wrongly identifying to be Subash. Both husband and wife were inquisitive and put a lot of questions about the personality of Shri Saradanandaji of Shaulmari Ashram. I related physical marks and identities, food habits, spheres of deep knowledge, etc.  Mrs. Sailesh Bose was excited and she insisted that I should take her to the Ashram.  Mr. Sailesh Bose owned some Plastic factory in Bombay. Formerly he was in a textile factory at Ahamadabad.  With heavy heart Niharedudada and I left for canteen.  Dada again stressed that I need not worry and should not depose.  He was going to submit a letter written by Subhash Bose from Dairen after 18th Aug. 1945 sent to Mr. Deb Nath Das. Mr. Das was one of the five to see off Netaji at Saigon airport.  Later I came to know the said letter did not materialize.  However, it was Netaji’s habit to leave post-dated letter for dodging.

The venue of Khosla Commissions working was Durbar Hall of Governor’s house at Malabar Hill, Bombay.  The hall was crowded to the capacity by people and journalists. Officers requested me to stand out of the hall when other depositions were going on.  I remember before me one Dr.Joshi of I.N.A from Nagpur deposed. Then one Mr. Usman Patel of Dhulia deposed.  He came out and met me.  He told me that he was bodyguard of Netaji and that he dug a pit outside the Taihoku aerodrome and buried Netaji’s army uniform.  I was speechless and confused.

My name was announced and I entered the Hall.  I was made to stand in the witness box. Niharendudada was standing opposite me.  He was representing Bose family as an official lawyer.  I was made to swear.  Mr. Justice Khosla seemed to be offended by my Press Statement and compulsion to call me.  There was no politeness in his voice. He roared ‘Where did you see Netaji?’  I calmly said somewhere in the Himalayas. For Baba’s safety I could not reveal the destination.  When he asked when and where, I refused to depose.  He was very much offended and shot back, “I can arrest you.” I calmly retorted that I welcomed it.  Then seeing the worsening situation Niharendudada rushed on the dais and whispered something in Justice Khosla’s ear.  Nothing was audible.  Mr. Khosla suddenly made a volte-face and allowed me to step down.  While coming out of the hall lot of journalists surrounded me and promised Mr. Khosla or no Khosla they would print whatever I wanted to say.  I refused the offer.  I was crestfallen.  I knew the world would scoff at me as one of the stunt maker and publicity monger.  And why the world should be blamed when a man born in 1935, a petty lecturer at a small mofussil place claimed that he met Netaji. The idea was absurd and preposterous to average person. It was my mistake. I should have learnt a lesson from Major Satya Gupta, Haripad Bose, Dr. Gope Gurbux, Hiralal Dixit and Uttamchand Malhotra.  They shouted from house tops that Babaji was Netaji with the same foolish idea that he could be compelled to come out.  Nothing could be done against his wishes.  He was a Titan and strong enough to come out by himself without anybody’s help.  In the heart of heart I also knew he would not come out.  We had lot of discussion on this matter, which is already mentioned.

I knew well that in one sentence I could have silenced Mr. Khosla and stunned the world.  ‘Honorable Mr. Justice Khosla, if you or the Government has strength and courage enough, go and get the hand prints of His Holiness Saradanandaji and compare them with those of Netaji available in the Netaji Bose Research Institute at Elgin Road, Calcutta and also in records of the Government.  That will end the ranging controversy that Babaji is Netaji’.  Would he have dared?  How would have Khosla faced the challenge? He was a stooge of Nehru family.

My friend Jambuwant Dhote, then member of the Parliament on behalf of Forward Block, gave his copy of Khosla Commission Report approved by the brute majority of Congress party in the Parliament. It was Hindi version.  I took down notes in the margin but the copy was taken back.  I tried to get the copies of Shanawaz and Khosla Commissions reports through Mrs. Pratibha Patil, Vice Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha, Delhi (Now President of India).  Even I was prepared to pay for the Xerox copies.  However the librarian of the Parliament pointed out some legal difficulties to her and I never got it.  It may be noted that in the list of witnesses of the Khosla Report my name is there.  Only true witness I found in it was the timber merchant Mr. Brajendra Swarup from Etawah, U.P. When Baba left my region he collected money from this merchant with the help of fellow Ashramite, former secretary of Subhashwadi Janata.  Late Mr. Ramesh Saxena of Etawah and sent it me by TMO.

In his Report Justice Khosla is singing like a bard of the Nehru family. He had no business to cast aspersion on Subhash Bose. Mr. Khosla headed four Government Enquiry Commissions prior to this Commission. All judgments were in favour of the Government. This time also he gave quid pro quo. His inquiry was nothing but farce and humbug. He was almost a purchased commodity. When student, Netaji chastised him when they met in a street near Parkers Piece in London. (Q-43. After work of the Commission was over, he wrote a book on Netaji to spin money out of it. On 11/6/96 Mr. Khosla died at the age of ninety-four at Delhi.

Justice Khosla in his report has purposely given Nelson’s eye to my published handwriting of 1968 of Baba per pro Netaji. It was the only solid evidence, in the world, of Netaji being alive. Why Justice Khosla purposely dropped it in his report?

2) State and Central Intelligence Departments:

I was always under surveillance of both the departments.  I was shadowed wherever I went.  One day my mother was panicky as she too was shadowed in the market. These people opened my every incoming or outgoing letter and some important letters were done away with including Baba’s letters in his own handwriting from Amarkantak.

I began my service and ended as Principal of the Government Arts and Science College, Viz., Vidarbha Mahavidyalaya, Amravati.  In my Geography department there was a senior lecturer. He taught me.  His name was Mr. M.K. Upadhye.  For his service and salary matter he wrote a letter to the Secretary of Education, Sachivalaya, now Mantralaya, Bombay, for appointment and interview.  The letter was intercepted and then forwarded.  On the appointed day he entered the chamber of the secretary.  He explained his difficulties.  Some four or five persons were sitting next to him.  From appearance he felt that they were military or police officers. The secretary requested Prof. Upadhye to satisfy some queries of those officers.  They asked him whether he was a lecturer at Vidarbha Mahavidyalaya, Amravati.  He gave affirmative answer.  Then they asked him whether he belonged to the department of geography.  He said yes. They were surprised and talked amongst themselves.  Then lastly they asked him whether he was married recently. He told that his son was in matriculation.  The men were baffled.  The secretary already told Mr. Upadhye that they were some inquisitive officers from Delhi.  Ultimately they said to him that he should have been a young man and jokingly asked him whether they frightened him.  Mr. Upadhye rushed to me from the railway station as he alighted.  He warned me that some officers mistook him for me and that there was some serious matter and I should be on guard and be cautious.  I just laughed and told him that they were my caretakers.

I was a member of the City Club of Amravati and used to play Tennis regularly since 1956.  One day a new member came.  Sometimes I would play rummy with old members just for fun with a stake of one paisa.  This new member used to sit near me and just watch me.  I asked him who he was.  He said that he served in a bank. His name was Shirkhedkar. Later I came to know that incidentally he happened to be brother in law of my mother’s cousin.  He shadowed me for a long time.  Then one day Mr.Shyam Deshpande, the District Correspondent of the Nagpur Times, met me.  He told that Mr. Shirkhedkar belonged to the State Intelligence Department and that he was shadowing wrongly Mr.M.K. Upadhye.  Shyam told him that it was not Upadhye but Padhye who was involved in Netaji episode.  That is how he joined my club.  Then I got information from some Patwardhan of the Central Intelligence through Advocate M.P. Deshmukh, Nagpur, my close relation, that the file of the Central Intelligence was titled as Upadhyay. In north India or Bengal surname Padhye is absent.  At the most suffix padhyay is put amongst Bengali Brahmins.  As Mr. Upadhye was in my department, he was wrongly and foolishly shadowed. Later on, a big file in my name was changed to Padhye by Central Intelligence Department of Delhi.

(3) On 6th March 1971 my elder brother Umeshchandra and his wife Padmavati died in an accident. He was a scientist of all India repute. They were riding on motorcycle at Raipur and a sand-truck overtook them by wrong side.  They died on the spot. Prof. Chandrakar was eyewitness. I was on the election duty and in the morning servant rushed.  We could not hide the shock from parents as the news came on All India Radio at 7 A.M.  When I came home hundreds of people thronged the house to console and condole. I performed the last rites at Raipur.  Baba had been to his house and took fruits.  It was first and big blow to our family. Shri Baba came to know about it and through Ashramite indirectly he condoled and sympathized.

Then in 1973 eldest brother Ramesh while coming from Nagpur by our Ambassador car met an accident and lost three fingers of his right hand.  He was serious but came out of it.  Mr. Marathey, my Principal, was along with him. It was second blow.  The day he was relieved from the hospital my wife was admitted in the same bed.  The road was dug and while coming back home from College the scooter bumped.  She fell unconscious with compound fracture of the arm. It was third blow.

My responsibilities increased manifold at home.  My late brother had three daughters and my two daughters and a son were to be looked after.  In the formative age we had to pay extra attention to our children. That is why I took respite and did not contact Shri Baba.  I was very confident that if I went to see him, he would forgive my mistake of trying to depose before Khosla Commission.  Anyway I heeded to his order and wish and withdrew from deposition before Khosla.

(4) One day, after unceremonious return from Khosla Commission, in a fit of resentment I wrote a personal letter addressed to His Holiness Shrimat Saradanandaji of Shaulmari Ashram.  The envelope was boldly underlined as personal and confidential.  I sent this letter care of Ramen Roy, Calcutta, as I knew not Baba’s destination. In this letter I clearly mentioned that I did not have Netaji ‘psychosis’ (His term) but by deductive method I am convinced that Shri Baba was none else but former Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.  Later I came to know he received this letter. I mentioned sixty-six points of resemblance between Shri Baba and Netaji. I doubt whether I kept copy of it but the points of resemblance informed to him are there in file.  Ramani Ranjan Das was made to open it.  Only two of them alone were there at Dehradun residence.  Rest, were told to leave.  Then the letter was taken out and warmed over fire.  That was usual practice to avoid contamination.  No foreign material would be put before him unless slightly warmed probably to immunize infection.  Shri Baba bent and Ramanidada held the letter.  Baba read the letter. Smiled.  Ramanidada asked as to what was written by Suresh.  Baba exclaimed that Suresh is a true scholar and ordered Ramanidada to burn the letter in his presence.

(5) Another important event during this period was my sudden decision to see Shri Baba.  I came from my club after playing tennis and just threw racket, pocketed money and left house with no extra clothing or any luggage.  Mother was displeased.  Guests were arriving from far off places.  My father’s 75th birthday celebration was due in two days. He was born on the Sarwapitru Moksha Amavasya of 1900.  I caught the morning Calcutta mail and next day reached Howrah. I got permission to visit Baba two years ago but did not go. I purchased ticket for Dehradun. Straight I went to Ramen Roy.  He was not at home.  His wife came in the door.  She gave a cold shoulder and did not welcome.  So I left immediately and went to Gobind Shah, at ‘C’ Canal Road, Maniktola.  He met and was considerate.  The rest of the Ashramites tabooed me as their bete noire.  They never understood Baba. Gobind told me about the sad demise of Gitamasi, the eldest daughter of Ramani Ranjan Das. I was appalled beyond imagination. I told him that I would not go to see Baba. I would return.  By bus we reached Howrah station. Gobind informed me that Baba told Ramen Roy to write a letter to me intimating about the sad demise of Gitamasi. I never received this letter. However Baba sent a letter of condolence through Ramen about the sad demise of my brother and his wife. That I received. Gobind bade goodbye to me. Co-incidentally Gobind was to leave for Dehradun the same evening. Within two days he called upon Shri Baba at Dehradun and narrated as to how I was heading to see him and that on learning about sad demise of Gita I was in a terrible shock.  Shri Baba knew I loved Gita like elder brother and she would listen to me alone. Baba became grave and serious and told all to leave him alone.

(6) An important event was that Captain Gawande was P.T.I. in my college.   He was in I.N.A. and was released in the Red Fort trial.  He was aware of my interest in Subhash Bose.  He told that enemy could never harm Subhashbabu, as he used to put a Divine Bedha (wall) around him. I did not get this reference in any book but I was stunned. See his dictation addressed to Sandip Mukherjee for Bedha. Another feather was in my cap. Shri Baba taught us all how to put Divine Bedha around one’s self at bed time.  There are many witnesses to this.  Capt. Gawande had paralytic attack and I could not procure a written note from him about the Bedha by Netaji. Later I found reference to this in Marathi book on Netaji.

(7) Late Shri Shivajirao Patwardhan was a Forward Block leader of Berar.  He had a majestic personality with saffron safa (turban). Disgusted of pollution in politics after independence he devoted himself to serve lepers.  My mother would call him uncle and he was closely associated with my grandfather and our family.  I asked him whether Subhashbabu had a fancy of cooking.  He told, “Not fancy but fantastic skill.” When Mr. Patwardhan was in Seoni jail of M.P. with Subhashbabu, he told that in spite of running a fever he would cook for all. ”I came across many references in books about his cooking skills. I have filled the gap of missing diaries.  Some correspondence of this period is in the file.

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