When India failed to forestall a British documentary belittling Netaji

Kolkata, March 29 (IANS) Despite efforts by then prime minister Indira Gandhi, the Indian government couldn’t forestall the screening of a 1984 British documentary that projected Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose as a “traitor”, reveals a declassified file.

According to the PMO file, the then West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu had written to Indira Gandhi urging her take up the matter with the British government for stalling the screening of “The War of the Springing Tiger” by Granada Television.

“It is reported by those who have seen the preview of the film in London, that Netaji has been labelled in it as clown in jackboots and he has been projected as a traitor to the country,” Basu said in his letter dated January 21, 1984.

Basu also revealed that “a section of Indians including (Netaji’s nephew) Sisir Bose had extended their help in producing the film”.

“I would request you to take up the matter with the UK government immediately and urge upon them to take suitable action to prevent the screening in any part of the world as was done in the case of the film ‘Death of a Princess’,” wrote Basu.

In her reply, Indira Gandhi informed Basu that despite efforts, the screening of the documentary couldn’t be forestalled.

“We did all we could to forestall the showing of this film on the British TV but could succeed. In view of the feelings within the country, this matter is being taken up with the British government.

“But even if the government is willing, I am told that the BBC does not always oblige,” Indira Gandhi said in her February 15 reply.

Produced by Granada Television, “The War of the Springing Tiger” documented the “40,000 men who deserted the Indian Army” to fight alongside the Japanese against the British during World War II for an independent India, led by Subhas Chandra Bose.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of www.mangalorean.com or any employee thereof. www.mangalorean.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of www.mangalorean.com to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at  info@mangalorean.com. Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here