Delhi: Files related to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was declassified recently by the Narendra Modi government.
Though the files led to revelation of certain facts related to Bose, it has also sparked off certain controversies, one of them being the need to rewrite modern Indian history.
As per a report in Mail Today, in a yet-to be-published book - Bose: An Indian Samurai - by military historian General GD Bakshi, it has been claimed that former British PM Clement Atlee had said that the role played by Netaji's Indian National Army was significant in India becoming independent.
The book also says that the non-violent movement led by Mahatama Gandhi was dismissed as having had minimal effect by then British PM.
Bakshi has reportedly cited a conversation between Atlee and then Governor of West Bengal Justice PB Chakraborty in 1956.
Attlee, who had signed the decision to grant independence to India, was in the country and had stayed in Kolkata as Chakraborty's guest.
Chakraborty was the then Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court and was serving as the acting Governor of West Bengal.
As per the report, he had written a letter to the publisher of RC Majumdar's book - A History of Bengal.
The website quotes him as follows - "When I was acting governor, Lord Attlee, who had given us independence by withdrawing British rule from India, spent two days in the governor's palace at Calcutta during his tour of India. At that time I had a prolonged discussion with him regarding the real factors that had led the British to quit India. My direct question to Attlee was that since Gandhi's Quit India Movement had tapered off quite some time ago and in 1947 no such new compelling situation had arisen that would necessitate a hasty British departure, why did they had to leave? In his reply Attlee cited several reasons, the main among them being the erosion of loyalty to the British crown among the Indian Army and Navy personnel as a result of the military activities of Netaji."
He is further quoted as thus - "Toward the end of our discussion I asked Attlee what was the extent of Gandhi's influence upon the British decision to leave India. Hearing this question, Attlee's lips became twisted in a sarcastic smile as he slowly chewed out the word, 'm-i-n-i-m-a-l'."
The above conversation was first published by the Institute of Historical Review by author Ranjan Borra in 1982.