Thursday March 21, 2019

Declassified documents reveal Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s widow wanted an early solution to the issue of her husband’s ashes

Files pertaining to the time and life of Netaji are being released, in batches, and the records are being analysed thoroughly

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Bose arriving at the 1939 annual session of the Congress. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

August 31, 2016: Declassified files relating to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose has been made accessible to the public on August 30, 2016 by Government of India. Last year on October 14, the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi had made the announcement regarding declassifying the documents; when he met the delegation of Netaji’s family members at his residence in New Delhi. Since then, files pertaining to the time and life of Netaji are being released, in batches, and the records are being analysed thoroughly.

One of the disclosed records claimed that Netaji’s wife Emilie Schenkl wanted the issue of Netaji’s ashes, being brought to India from Japan, to be resolved as quickly as possible.

Pranab Mukherjee, the then external minister had met with Schenkl and Netaji’s daughter Anita Pfaff in Germany on October 21, 1995. Following which he wrote a signed memorandum on October 28, 1995 to late Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao: “I feel that Netaji’s widow and daughter are keen that an early solution be found to the issue of return of Netaji’s ashes to India.”

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Subhas_Bose_with_his_wife
Subhas Chandra Bose with his wife Emilie Schenkl. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Mukherjee further recorded in his Memo that “Anita Pfaff made it clear that while she would like to consult other members of the (Bose) family in India, the final decision will rest with her alone.” He further added:” she would prefer that the family is not divided on this issue.”

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Mukherjee also made a prediction in his memo stating: “There appear to be some sections of Netaji’s family, if articulated publicly, as sure it will be, may be used for partisan political ends.”

The declassification of Netaji’s files held by the Indian Government had resulted in baseless defamation of Jawaharlal Nehru, and the Indian National Congress, of which Netaji twice held the position of the President.

Mr. Satish Lambah, then Indian ambassador to Germany had accompanied Mr. Pranab Mukherjee to the meeting with Netaji’s wife and daughter, mentioned theindiandiaspora.com report.

Ashis Ray, a residence of London and a veteran Media person, stated: “I cross checked with Ambassador Lambah. Not only did he corroborate President Mukherjee’s description of the meeting, but said Mukherjee was welcomed with great cordiality, courtesy, respect and warmth by Schenkl, Pfaff, and her family.”

Renkoji-temple
Renkoji Temple Tokyo japan. Image source: Wikimedia

Netaji’s ashes are preserved in Tokyo’s Renkoji Temple since September 1945. Schenkl, Netaji’s wife had passed away in March 1996 and Anita Bose Pfaff is now an economist in Germany.

The comments are revealed in a declassified document and can be read at – www.bosefiles.info.

– prepared by Usman Zafar from NewsGram. Twitter: @HalkiSiChuban

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Are There Enough Jobs In Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Led India?

“More young people are entering the labor force, millions want to leave agriculture but can’t find construction work because construction activity has slowed down because the investment rate in the economy has slowed down.”

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Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party dismisses concerns about the job data saying it does not capture the real picture because it focuses only on the 15 percent of Indians who work in the formal economy. Pixabay

For people streaming in from rural areas around New Delhi, the first stop is a collection of busy city intersections where contractors select daily wage labor from the crowds of young and old waiting every morning to get work.

Many standing at these intersections say they get work for barely half the month. “I have the ability to work hard. I never turn down any work. But I would prefer to get a cleaner, permanent job,” says 29-year-old Tek Chand. “The problem is one day I have money to buy rations, the next day I don’t.” Like millions of others, he migrated from his village three years ago to seek work and a better life in the city.

FILE - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center, arrives with his cabinet colleagues on the opening day of the budget session of the Indian Parliament, in New Delhi, Jan. 31, 2019.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center, arrives with his cabinet colleagues on the opening day of the budget session of the Indian Parliament, in New Delhi, Jan. 31, 2019. VOA
As India prepares for general elections on April 11, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being attacked by opposition parties for failing to make good on a promise he made in 2014 to create millions of jobs for India’s huge young population. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party rebuts that criticism and says India is generating new opportunities as it becomes one of the world’s fastest growing major economies.

Job creation is a massive challenge for a nation with one of the world’s youngest populations — half the country’s 1.3 billion people are under the age of 25.

Recent data shows that joblessness has soared to record high levels. Opposition parties have made joblessness one of their principal election planks and have accused the prime minister of failing the estimated 8 to 10 million young people who enter the workforce every year.

The independent Mumbai-based Center for Monitoring Indian Economy estimates that unemployment reached 7.2 percent last month and that 11 million jobs were lost in 2018. With a working population of 500 million, that translates into more than 30 million people waiting for jobs. An unpublished official survey that showed unemployment at a 45-year-high has also been widely quoted by Indian media.

India's main opposition Congress party President Rahul Gandhi speaks during a public meeting at Adalaj in Gandhinagar, India, March 12, 2019.
India’s main opposition Congress party President Rahul Gandhi speaks during a public meeting at Adalaj in Gandhinagar, India, March 12, 2019. VOA

On the campaign trail, the head of the main opposition Congress Party, Rahul Gandhi, who is seen as Modi’s principal challenger, talks repeatedly about a “jobs crisis.”

“Our government is refusing to accept that we have a massive crisis and potential disaster in front of us,” Gandhi told a group of university students in New Delhi recently, many who will be first time voters.

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party dismisses concerns about the job data saying it does not capture the real picture because it focuses only on the 15 percent of Indians who work in the formal economy. It points to a recent industry report that jobs have been created in the medium and small sectors.

The BJP says millions of people have found work in the transport and infrastructure sectors or as delivery boys in booming online businesses as India becomes one of the world’s fastest growing major economies. They point out that the issue is not jobs but livelihoods, and point to millions of people who are not counted in job data.

They are self-employed people like cab owner Chain Pal Singh. As the app based taxi business boomed, Singh’s friend, who operated a cab, persuaded him to quit his job and take out a loan to buy a car. His decision has paid off — in four years he has earned enough money to invest in two more cabs.

Singh says he is much better off than when he held a job. “I used to earn about $225 dollars a month. Now in some months I can earn almost double that amount. Its beneficial for me.”

Following defeats in key state elections in December, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told parliament last month, “This truth has to be acknowledged. The unorganized sector has 80 to 85 percent of the employment.” He pointed to millions of commercial vehicles sold in recent years and questioned if they had not generated jobs for drivers.

Economists admit India’s large informal sector has made it difficult to calculate employment, but they say joblessness or underemployment remains the country’s biggest challenge. While scarcity of jobs is not a new problem, two disruptive economic steps in the last two years exacerbated the problem.

In 2016 a sweeping currency ban meant to tackle the problem of illegal cash, dried up jobs as it created huge currency shortages, particularly in small businesses and in the countryside. A poorly-implemented tax reform known as the Goods and Services Tax a few months later was another blow to businesses.

Meanwhile, Modi’s “Made in India” campaign, which aimed at making India a manufacturing hub like China, has made a slow start and sluggish labor-intensive sectors cannot cater to growing numbers of job seekers.

“We can’t keep patting ourselves on the back that we are the fastest growing economy specially if all these other indicators are not growing at a rate that will absorb the growing labor force,” says Santosh Mehrotra, a human development economist at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

“More young people are entering the labor force, millions want to leave agriculture but can’t find construction work because construction activity has slowed down because the investment rate in the economy has slowed down.”

Also Read: The Mental Health ‘Epidemic’: About Six in Ten Teen Say, They Feel A Lot Of Pressure To Get Good Grades

He points out that exports, another sector that created a number of jobs has also not been performing well.

As the campaign heats up, the opposition will try to keep the spotlight on jobs, or lack of them, even as the BJP tries to focus on national security following a recent confrontation with Pakistan. The final verdict on whether to give Prime Minister Modi a second term in office will be delivered by millions of voters when they cast their ballots. (VOA)