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Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose vs Mahatma Gandhi, who do we owe our freedom to?

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By Gaurav  Sharma

While popular opinion says that the freedom that we enjoy today is the result of the efforts of the Father of the Nation, would it be a delirious thought if Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had more to do with ousting the British than Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi?

Let’s have a look at what Netaji did for us.

Even ahead of Gandhiji’s Quit India Movement, Bose had pressed that the Congress serve a six month ultimatum to the British during the Second World War. It was an apt opportunity that Bose thought could be taken advantage of in 1939. But the party spearheaded by Gandhiji refused to act.

Notably, the gearing of the Indian National Army to combat with the British Indian Army coincided with the start of Gandhiji’s Quit India Movement in 1942. The movement fizzled out a few months after it was crushed in three weeks time.

While the argument still remains whether either were effective in affecting the retreat of the British, what needs primacy here, is Babasaheb Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar’s interview with BBC’s Francis Watson in February 1955.

Ambedkar pondered as he recalled the then British Prime Minister’s move to retreat from India in 1947 , “I don’t know how Mr Attlee suddenly agreed to give India independence,” and he went on to say, “That is a secret that he will disclose in his autobiography. None expected that he would do that,” he added.

In the BBC interview he also affirmed that from his “own analysis” he had come to understand that “two things led the Labour party to take this decision” [to free India].

Ambedkar  explained: “The national army that was raised by Subhas Chandra Bose. The British had been ruling the country in the firm belief that whatever may happen in the country or whatever the politicians do, they will never be able to change the loyalty of soldiers. That was one prop on which they were carrying on the administration. And that was completely dashed to pieces. They found that soldiers could be seduced to form a party — a battalion to blow off the British.”

A year after his interview in October 1956, two months before Ambedkar passed away, the very secret was disclosed by Clement Attlee  in a confidential talk. This talk came out in the open only after two decades.

What Ambedkar had foreseen only became more consolidated from records and data from credible authorities such as Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor and Major General GD Bakshi.

Excerpts of an observation in a secret report (Nov 1945) by Sir Norman Smith, Director, Intelligence Bureau, only reinforces the impact of the INA on British move to transfer power: “The situation in respect of the Indian National Army is one which warrants disquiet. There has seldom been a matter which has attracted so much Indian public interest and, it is safe to say, sympathy… the threat to the security of the Indian Army is one which it would be unwise to ignore.”

In 1976, an interesting observation made by Lt General SK Sinha, former Governor of Jammu & Kashmir and Assam, one of the only three Indian officers posted in the Directorate of Military Operations in New Delhi in 1946, is worth a mention: “There was considerable sympathy for the INA within the Army… It is true that fears of another 1857 had begun to haunt the British in 1946.”

To add to it all British MPs met Atlee in 1946 and warned him that, “There are two alternative ways of meeting this common desire (a) that we should arrange to get out, (b) that we should wait to be driven out. In regard to (b), the loyalty of the Indian Army is open to question; the INA have become national heroes…”

So while it is true that Netaji was sidelined and eventually ousted from the Congress, it cannot be denied that he did erect an army that made the colonialists question their power over India.

Much buzz circulates in the country of his disappearance but little is acknowledged of his crucial role in delivering a powerful blow to the British Raj.

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British Visa Process May Have Been Compromised Due To Russian Infiltration

Bellingcat and The Insider quickly exposed the agents' real names.

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Police officers stand outside the City Stay Hotel used by two suspected Russian military intelligence agents — who have been accused of attempting to murder former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia — in London, Britain. VOA

Investigative group Bellingcat and Russian website The Insider are suggesting that Russian intelligence has infiltrated the computer infrastructure of a company that processes British visa applications.

The investigation, published Friday, aims to show how two suspected Russian military intelligence agents, who have been charged with poisoning a former Russian spy in the English city of Salisbury, may have obtained British visas.

The Insider and Bellingcat said they interviewed the former chief technical officer of a company that processes visa applications for several consulates in Moscow, including that of Britain.

Russia, Twitter, British
The Internet Research Agency building, dubbed the Russian troll factory, is seen at Savushkina Street in St. Petersburg, Russia. VOA

The man, who fled Russia last year and applied for asylum in the United States, said he had been coerced to work with agents of the main Russian intelligence agency FSB, who revealed to him that they had access to the British visa center’s CCTV cameras and had a diagram of the center’s computer network. The two outlets say they have obtained the man’s deposition to the U.S. authorities but have decided against publishing the man’s name, for his own safety.

The Insider and Bellingcat, however, did not demonstrate a clear link between the alleged efforts of Russian intelligence to penetrate the visa processing system and Alexander Mishkin and Anatoly Chepiga, who have been charged with poisoning Sergei Skripal in Salisbury in March this year.

The man also said that FSB officers told him in spring 2016 that they were going to send two people to Britain and asked for his assistance with the visa applications. The timing points to the first reported trip to Britain of the two men, who traveled under the names of Alexander Petrov and Anatoly Boshirov. The man, however, said he told the FSB that there was no way he could influence the decision-making on visa applications.

British
British Columbia is willing to hire numerous skilled personnel for their technical industry. Pexels

The man said he was coerced to sign an agreement to collaborate with the FSB after one of its officers threatened to jail his mother, and was asked to create a “backdoor” to the computer network. He said he sabotaged those efforts before he fled Russia in early 2017.

Also Read: Heavy Cyber Attacks From Russia, US, China In India

In September, British intelligence released surveillance images of the agents of Russian military intelligence GRU accused of the March nerve agent attack on double agent Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury. Bellingcat and The Insider quickly exposed the agents’ real names and the media, including The Associated Press, were able to corroborate their real identities.

The visa application processing company, TLSContact, and the British Home Office were not immediately available for comment. (VOA)