I see Baba after 6 long years.. admits he is Netaji

Posted By Author on October 3, 2011


Up early.  Had ablution and bath and was waiting for a call from Baba. I was surprised to see the badminton court. Baba would teach children how to play badminton. At Ashram too there was a badminton court and Baba used to play. Badminton was Netaji’s most favourite game whether in jail or in Singapore. At about 10 A.M. I was called alone in the western wing in front of his room.  I lay prostrate for Pronams.  Baba was sitting in a folding chair.  I was worried about his health. I was seeing him after 1969.  He had pulled down much.  However, there was no facial change, wrinkles or any further sign of old age.  His pink radiant countenance was as before. As I stared at him I started weeping uncontrollably. Tears trickled down uncontrollably. He consoled me and told me to control emotions. There was mute silence between us for sometime.  Then he initiated the talk.  He informed me that Gita had gone as per her wish.  Nobody could have stopped her. I said she must have had been anemic. He said yes. Then he narrated her cremation at Banaras. I asked as to why I was not informed about Gitamasi’s sad demise? He said he told Ramen to drop you a letter regarding that. I said I never received it.

Both of us came out. He sat on his concrete Bedi adjacent the north wall.

He then enquired about my parent’s health, wife, children, elder brother and domestic state.  He expressed sorrow on my brother and his wife’s accidental death.  He was calm and composed.

We then began normal discussion.  I said to him that my offence was negligible as compared to Hiralalaji Dikshit and Uttamchand Malhotra.  When they were allowed to come, what of me?  I told him that I never mentioned his name or destination before Khosla.  He just smiled.  I expressed that there was no point in hiding his identity from me at least as my deductions already communicated were scientific. He became grave.  With great agony he said, (I purposely omitted this sentence for safety’s sake in the diary but left a coded mark. To this date his confession is ringing in my ears fresh like a daisy.  It was a full stop to my research work.) Yes Suresh but mind it. I am no more that boyish ambitious Subhash.”  Baba then specifically questioned, “Have you maintained all dictation, notes, questions and answerers and your diaries and my letters?” I assured him that they were safe in a bank vault. He then resurrected the past.

I was on cloud nine and my ecstasy crossed the bounds of seventh heaven.

After this most important talk, Chandrashekhar and Vidyaratanji were summoned.  They joined us.  Baba as usual enticed that we should start the work soon.  I said yes.  Then he asked about welfare to Chandrashekhar.  Had casual talk and then we came out.

There was one Mrs. Saroj Das.  She was granddaughter of Chief Justice Iyyangar. Her mother had an intercaste marriage.  Saroj was living in Dehradun and attending on children on salary basis.  She was there since Baba started living in the old house in Dehradun. She told me that monetary condition was worse and that children had not enough woolen clothes.  Then one day Baba came out and with her went for ‘Bhiksha’ to the town.  They went to Sohanlalaji’s shop of readymade garments. Sohanlalaji Kapoor was brother in law of Uttamchandji Malhotra of Kabul.  His younger brother Om then just opened the shop and was garlanding Netaji’s photo. It was his routine. He performed pooja of Netaji’s photo. Put burning incense sticks. Then met Baba. From here the wheel moved.

Immediately he sent telegrams to Uttamchandji and Hiralalji.  They rushed and called upon the lady teacher and requested her to put their case and plead for Darshan before Baba.  She agreed.  Meeting was arranged and after sufficient rebuking they were allowed inside.  Then came Vidyaratanji and others and the group swelled in Dehradun, Delhi. Hariyana, and Punjab.  Money flowed in.  Then one couple, Somnath Kaul and wife, returned from U.S.A. The professor was engaged for teaching English and Hindi to children.  The old teacher Saroj was told that her English was weak but still attend daily etc.  There was one Mrs. Protima Bose, a dark complexioned lady. She was engaged to teach Bengali to children.  She was very strict and stern. She was a perfect and commanding Governess.  She too attended daily.  The expenses were heavy.  Fruits and milk flowed.  There were two servants named Sanjeevan and Algu and one gardener Ramharan.  He did marketing and cooking.

I told Bhaiyya (Chandrashekhar) that unless Baba began work these type of expenses would not last long.  The people who were bringing money would press Baba hard to start work.

Lunch. Wrote diary. Chat. Heard that Baba gave last week of December as a tentative date to begin work.

Col.Pritam Singh came.  Got acquainted.  In the evening we were not called in.  So went out for a walk.  Saw Vijayalaxmi Pandit’s bungalow. It was hardly five blocks away. Back. Dined. Chat with Baba on political situation of our country. Slept.


I performed morning ablutions. Then took a cold-water bath.  It was terrific.  Took breakfast.  Vidyaratanji chatted. He is a versatile old man with thick glasses as operated for cataract.  He did meditation, then ‘pooja’ of photographs of Swami Vivekananda, Ma Sarada and Ramkrishna Deo.

I had discussion with Ramanidada.  He very much appreciated Gita’s enlarged photograph given by me.  Mrs. Bose commended it. She told that it was most essential to perform monthly ‘Shradh’.

Shri Baba called us in the North Wing.  Professor Kaul was there.  I asked Baba as to when to start work and how to begin, whether through franchise or through people in power?  He said he would talk to me later alone.  I suggested to start earn and learn process for students.  On this Baba gave the following dictation.

“You cannot solve the problems of mankind.  What you yourself can is to solve the inner problems of your own life.  The service to humanity can never be a primary thing.  It is secondary.  By any amount of feeling and shouting you cannot change the world.  What you can is to change yourself.  Do this effectively and the rest will follow.  First you have to deal with your own slavish slavery condition to mind and the vital.  Unless in full sincerity you do this effectively, you will remain unfit for any work.  In the ultimate analysis it is the individual that matters.  Totality is the total individuals and do note putting the cart before the horse will not do.  When you aspire for service to humanity, first look into yourself to find out whether you have acquired necessary attributes for service to humanity. Do note, as long as you remain a slave, you cannot carry out a function of a master and arrogating to yourself what you have not achieved as simple folly.  Pulling up strength and knowledge from within the deepest of your nature is the primary need.  At this juncture utilize your available energies for that purpose.  The rest will follow and never precede. Neglect the individual and totality will stand nowhere.  The first individual that you have to deal is your own self.”

This dictation was given by Baba in the morning at 194, Rajpura Road, Dehradun. This was the last dictation. I wonder about his smooth flow of language and vocabulary. He never faltered or paused for a word or thought. (Dilip Kumar Roy wrote the book “Netaji I knew’. It reveals many facets of Netaji’s life. Bose had a neat and fluent hand, and he had never to pause or grope for words. He was master of his thoughts, as also his material. Ayer has given graphic description as to how throughout night Netaji wrote pages after pages of historic proclamation in Singapore and there was no need even to give coma while typing the script written in pencil.)

I was made to read the dictation.  I faltered at the word totality, which I could not hear properly.  Baba got it corrected.  Baba then remarked, “Emergency (declared by Mr. Indira Gandhi) was not bad provided the motives were to achieve good. If it is used to bring social change, then it is all right.  But if it was to meet political motives then it was too bad.”

Talking about the present, he said that changes were coming fast. He again enquired whether all record was maintained well. I assured him that it was intact. We gossiped for some more time and then we were relieved.

Algu, the servant told me that all neighbours were robbing our place.  Once utensils from Baba’s hut were stolen.  All night watchmen in the surrounding shout to safeguard crops and during day they beat tins to ward off birds.  That troubled Baba’s peace and hence they were paid Rs.600/- for not shouting.

I had lunch. In the noon Sohanlalaji came. He is a very talkative person. Col. Pritam Singhji too joined.  At 5 P.M. we were called in the west wing.  Sohanlalji was pressing Baba hard to start work.  Col. Pritam Singhji did not speak much. He is a very quiet type fellow. Then general discussion ensued about Sanjay Gandhi.  Baba said, “ A small man in a big post is always a dangerous thing. Indira should keep him in control.  Actually she was doing well but might invite danger due to this chap.”

Suddenly Baba remembered Prem Bhatia’s name and Singapore. He was Commissioner there and later reputed journalist.  I did not know why and how he suddenly remembered him? Baba remarked that Prem was a good man.  Chandrashekhar narrated his case in the Supreme Court under the land ceiling act.  Baba opined that half-hearted measures would not do well.  We then retired.

We took an evening stroll, dined and slept.


I was up early. I finished ablutions and bath with cold water. Had breakfast and chat.  Baba summoned me in.  Professor was not there.  Vidyaratanji was also absent.  Baba then admonished me for yesterday’s error in English writing.  Before that message was sent to me to find out what mistake I did yesterday.  Long back he taught me the method of retrospection and introspection.  I could gather the mistake and confessed that I could not listen properly. He remarked as to what impression Professor would carry about me.  Later others joined.

Then Baba told others in Hindi, “Ye shaitan mera handwriting Nagpur Times mey chhapwaya tha.”

“Suresh behaved like a Satan and published my handwriting in the Nagpur Times.” He smiled. Then remarked that even in His printed thoughts I had committed four errors in English. Baba was always meticulous about perfect grammar and perfect English. It was obvious that he had gone thoroughly through the Nagpur Times. He enquired about the editor.  Baba disclosed, “When they were so brave to print his two letters under pseudonym ‘Meera’ why did they backed out on one regarding Bangladesh?  Why?  Ask the editor why?” Baba then remarked, In a way printing of my handwriting is good for future. It is the only piece of good evidence before the world.”

Baba then cautioned me to keep ready addresses of Ashan Sindhi of Paratwada, Namamal of Amarkantak, Prof. Bhatnagar, Magistrate Desai and Nana Bonde.  When he would give a final call in the last week of December, they will have to be invited. I was aghast at his fantastic memory of recalling each name. He assured to start work in January 1977. I knew that it would again turn out to be a damp squib.

Vidyaratanji put a blunt question to Baba, “What would be the future of these girls?” i.e. his daughters Chinu, Anu and Tanu.  In a mellowed tone Baba replied, “ At proper time Suresh will disclose.”

When Vidyaratanji pressed Baba as to when the work would start, Baba simply growled in Hindi and it is translated in English as below

What? Should I start work tomorrow?  Have you purchased by giving me money?  Should I start work taking you idiots with me?  What you think that if I start work today then by tomorrow night you would be ministers. Is it not?

He further explained that he would have to train at least five hundred workers for one year and then work would begin. (Netaji in his presidential address stressed on training the cadre.) Baba i. e. Netaji was touchy, sensitive, and susceptible to comments and criticism. And out of this aversion he filed libel suits and criminal cases against assailants. Shaulmari Ashram spent lot of money on such myriad cases. The Statesman’s mud-slinging Ratan Maheshwari’s treachery and derogative hostile publicity in Falakata hurt the core of his heart. Consequently he preferred to remain in quiescence and recluse. Later he expressed from heart: in Hindi translated as below.

What Indira is doing is proper. Even if she continues to rule I shall have no objection. I shall remain in the jungle but she should act as I say.

On the whole it seemed that Baba was impressed by Indiraji’s stern actions and determination by imposing emergency. Basically he always stressed that India needed ten years’ dictatorship for fast progress. (So also was the opinion of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose who said, “ India wanted and needed s strong party, strict discipline, and dictatorial rule.”  G-288.)

Baba’s assurance of starting work allured and attracted men, material, and money. He was in two minds. All through life he adhered and preached Vivekananda’s precept of ‘character and high morals’. Destiny mercilessly gave a big jolt to this maxim by late breeding. He went on hesitating and postponing the date of coming out and hooked new groups to pull on with liability of three daughters. With age he was exhausted, frustrated, and dejected as all his plans went awry. His suffering and worries were immeasurable. His greatest greatness did not allow him to shirk his responsibility as father. How could he come out? He entrusted the job of revealing his life after 1945 to me. He was not a fool to leave full evidence of his identity with me to be disclosed at proper time. After his departure for infinity he wanted legitimacy and recognition for his all daughters. See his dictation about cross-examination of Shah Nawaz Khan under date 9/1/67. Note mentions, “ See that this girl Anita of Bose be free from stigma.”

We came out.  Had lunch.  Went to Bengali Ashram and Rajpura.  Walked a lot and got exhausted.

In the evening Baba was very much upset for not paying compensation of Rs.500/- to the adjoining Tibetan school.  Baba used to take Sunrays in eyes in the evening. A tree was obstructing the rays.  So it was cut but it fell in the garden of Tibetans and damaged their garden of ‘Litchi’ plantation.  They complained hence Baba ordered to pay compensation.

Prof. Kaul and I went to the Tibetan school. A young European was speaking fluent Tibetan and was teacher.  We settled the matter by paying compensation.  Baba told all that he could not start work unless compensation was paid. It was his usual way to get work done.  The weather was quite cold. I dined and slept.


Got up.  Wash. Bath. Lunch. Walked to Rajpura and came back.  Had snacks.  Rest.

At 5 P.M. Col. Pritam Singhji, Vidyaratanji and all of us sat before Baba in the west wing under the slanting sunlight.  General talk began. Baba told me that Gobind Shah was coming.  So Baba deferred our departure to tomorrow instead of tonight.  It was a brief meeting. Sohanlalaji was talking much.  Baba left for taking ‘Surja rashmi’.  Monkeys were making lot of noise.  So I went to garden to stop it.  Baba was sitting on Tin roof gazing the Sun.  I took an evening stroll.  Dined and slept. A big branch of the Jackfruit tree adjacent the roof was cut as it was obstructing the setting Sun. (Mark of the cut off branch still exists today. 2002)


Up early. Wash. Bath.  Breakfast.  Baba called me after Gobind’s arrival from Calcutta at 9.30 A.M. Baba was churning hot milk in the side room.  He asked me whether I needed some money.  I told that I had enough for return journey including tickets and brief halt at Delhi.

Then again seeing Gobind in privacy, he called me back.  He enquired whether I could manage Rs.5000.  I apprised him that I was separated from parents and brother and living independently on the upper story with wife and children.  Hence there was no saving. I expressed that I did not feel like asking brother for money.  He said I was right. He stressed that in any case I should not ask for money at home.  The thing was that the Income Tax Department of Bengal issued a notice in the name of Baba for recovery of tax on Rs. twenty-five lakhs.  He said that Ramen had informed that a stay was to be secured from the High Court.  In melancholy mood he expressed in Hindi, “ Doi saal ka dhakka to mil jayega. Phir dekhenge.” which is translated as, “It would push the matter for about two years.  We would see later.” From this expression I was of the firm opinion that he would not come out for another two years. He did not want to do active work.

I argued with him that in Rs.5000/- stay could not be had and that the High Court might not be proper authority.  There was appellate court of the Income Tax Department.  On this he lost temper and was very angry.  He blurted whether I knew or the lawyer knew the case.  He charged that I meant that I had no confidence in him that Rs.5000/- was required.  I apologized and told him that I did not mean it. He put a word in my mouth, which I did not utter and I refused to accept it on oath. I repeated that I never said so.  He was enraged but then became quiet.  He admonished me as to why I called Professor as Masterji before servants when professor was to be called from his home. I said servants asked me so and hence confirmed.  It was his old nature to point out petty mistakes. (Subhash practiced self-analysis and psycho-analysis.P.76 and 77 of Autobiography)

Anyway later on Baba queried whether Chandrashekhar would pay the amount.  I apprised him that Chandrashekhar lost his agricultural land in the ceiling act and hence I could not promise.  Chandrashekhar was called in and I went out.  (We were accustomed to his method of squeezing money right from day one).  Chandrashekhar remained firm and expressed his inability to pay.  We were then sent for food.

At 3 P.M. I was called in.  Col. Pritam Singhji was already there.  Baba gave us last ‘Darshan’ before we bade goodbye. He was sitting on a small stool and frying peanuts. He warned me that I should be prepared to resign the job and come in the last week of December. He assured that notice would be sent in advance.  I agreed.  We did not discuss other topics but personal matter.  He was inquisitive about my mother and father’s health, about brother’s practice, children, wife etc.

Baba then told me to send Chinu’s photo with our dog Bholu taken in the Himalayas.  I promised.  Then Baba sadly said that Radhakantji took away Rs. five thousand for the marriage of his son.  He was angry for Radhakant’s bluffing.  Baba confessed that he pardoned everybody and that was his mistake and weakness.  He lamented that how could he work with such humanity.  That he would find out means in the upper plane, etc. (See Subhash Bose discussing mental plane, plane of ordinary consciousness, supra-mental and super consciousness page 105 and 106 of his autobiography.) Then lastly we bowed prostrate and after last Pronams took his leave.

What a destiny! I came to see Baba after a gap of six years and knew not that it was our last meeting.

Shri Pritam Singhji and Gobind accompanied us to see off.  Pritam Singhji lifted Chandrashekhar’s bag and I snatched it out of respect.  The great man had done immense sacrifice.  He attacked Palem airport with 250 I.N.A. soldiers and he was one of the five to see off Netaji at Saigon.  Chandrashekhar candidly admitted later that he was ignorant about the old man and let him lift his bags.  All of us reached the Kath Bangla bus stop.  The bus arrived from Rajpura. Chandrashekhar and I entered the bus and bade goodbye to both.

We arrived at the taxi stand but cancelled going by taxi for want of money.  We caught Delhi passenger at 8 P.M. and managed berths.

I told Chandrashekhar that I did not see that Baba would ever come out.  Money matter would press him hard.  He could not move to jungle as before because children’s education would suffer. I expressed that Baba should take a decision or one day he might leave the world in the present state (prophetic?).  Chandrashekhar opined that we should wait and see what would happen in December.


We reached Delhi in the morning.  By autorickshaw reached Krishak Bhavan at Nizamuddin, Mathura road. We narrowly escaped an accident with truck at right angles.  We reached the Supreme Court and called upon my cousin Dr.N.M.Ghatate for Chandrashekhar’s case.  Called it a day in the train.


Reached Nagpur at 5 P.M. and caught a bus and arrived at home at 10 P.M.

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