THE NETAJI MYSTERY

Debashis Basu’s review of Anuj Dhar’s book (Moneylife, 7 March 2013), is one of the best book reviews I have ever read. I must access this ‘absolutely must read’ book.

Netaji still remains one of our nation’s genuine patriots. He has been accorded an extremely raw deal by each and every Indian prime minister, beginning with his contemporary Jawaharlal Nehru. Understandably, Nehru perceived him to be a thorn in his side. This antipathy continued with Indira Gandhi. It beats me why successive prime ministers, of various opposing hues, like Narasimha Rao, Morarji Desai, Atal Behari Vajpayee and even Manmohan Singh, resist the uncovering of this vital part of the history of our freedom struggle?

Some dedicated investigative journalist ought to take up this exercise. In this exciting exercise, there will be roadblocks galore and it is bound to be an expensive proposition.
Unfortunately, there is very little material on Netaji; whatever little remains here or abroad stands shrouded in secrecy. The now released full text of India Wins Freedom by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, who was a contemporary of Netaji, has a few touching paras:

“The Government retaliated against the Congress Non-co-operation Movement by arresting leaders. In Bengal, CR Das and I were among the first to be arrested. Subhas Chandra Bose and Birendra Nath Sasmal also joined us in prison. We were all placed in the European ward of the Alipore Central Jail which became a centre for political discussion (page 11).”

“(1940) There was one other important change in the Indian political situation. Subhas Chandra Bose had, with the outbreak of the War, started a campaign for active opposition to the War effort. His activities led to his imprisonment but he was released when he undertook a fast. On 26 January 1941, it became known that he had left India. For over a year, nothing was heard about him and people were not sure whether he was alive or dead. In March 1942, all doubts were set at rest when he made a speech, which was broadcast by the Berlin Radio. It was now clear that he had reached Germany and was attempting to organize an anti-British front from there (page 39).” “I also saw that Subhas Bose’s escape to Germany had made a great impression on Gandhiji. He had not formerly approved of many of his actions, but now I found a change in his outlook. Many of his remarks convinced me that he admired the courage and resourcefulness Subhas had displayed in making his escape from India. His admiration for Subhas unconsciously coloured his view about the whole war situation... I would like to mention a report which was circulated just before Cripps’ arrival. There was a news flash that Subhas Bose had died in an air crash. This created a sensation in India and among others Gandhiji was deeply moved... Later, it turned out that the report was false. Cripps however complained to me that he had not expected a man like Gandhiji to speak in such glowing terms of Subhas (page 40).”

That the ‘death’ was not accepted then by the Congress president should have convinced the subsequent powers to be. They still hold on to the false British propaganda canard. It is a sad commentary on the mindset of those, who style themselves as pseudo netas. Fortunately, they don’t add the ‘ji’ that is undeniably reserved only for the one and only genuine Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose!

I reverentially hold the Netaji’s autograph given to my father on 19 March 1940. I will not part with it for the love or money!

Nagesh Kini, by email

IMPLEMENT TRAI’s RECOMMENDATIONS
This has reference to TRAI’s proposal to regulate duration of advertisements in TV channels to the maximum of 12 minutes per hour. As expected, broadcasters are up in arms against this move. I would like to highlight the following points: a) Almost all channels are guilty of airing more advertisements than allowed. Regional channels, like Surya, Asianet, etc, air 25 to 30 minutes of advertisements per hour during prime viewing time. Even news channels, national and regional, are no exception to this.

b) The argument of broadcasters—that they are going through ‘difficult times’—is hard to swallow. The number of channels mushrooming everyday to fight for the eyeballs of viewers does not support the argument. If they are facing hard times, why don’t they just shut shop and cut their losses? Further, it is unfair to expect the viewers to suffer more minutes of advertisements per viewing hour just so that the broadcasters can make profits.

c) The broadcasters are, in fact, having a fabulous time, thanks to lax laws and even more lax implementation. In addition to the revenue from ads, channels are also charging customers for viewing. In fact, they are compelled to pay even for channels they never see, thanks to clever bundling.

d) It is high time the viewers’ interests are heard by the authorities. One common complaint of viewers is the high decibel level of advertisements. This is in marked contrast to the poor sound quality of the content, which broadcasters seldom bother to improve, despite complaints from viewers. In every way, it is the viewer who suffers; broadcasters are only keen to maximise their revenue, by fair means or foul.

e) Last, but not the least, the unfair practice in the industry is the unchecked amount of fake claims in the advertisements aired by consumer goods manufacturers. Unfortunately, in India, the authorities seldom act to haul up these erring corporates.
I fervently hope that Moneylife will fight for the implementation of TRAI’s recommendations.

BV Krishnan, by email

MY MISSION
Spreading awareness about Moneylife Foundation, and its good work, is now my mission. I have already sent a letter to the ophthalmic associations, I am associated with. In fact, I got the e-mail-IDs, which are only for members and I have written to 300 eye specialists.
I am also contacting the executive members of Consultants’ association to participate in Moneylife Foundation’s programmes. This month-end, I am going to Sangli, where I will tell our Maharashtra State Consumer Redressal Forum about the Foundation’s activities. I have already talked to some doctors at local medical associations, such as the Mahim-Dharavi Medical Association. I am keeping copies of Moneylife magazine in my clinic. In fact, I am already subscribing to two copies, one of which I keep at home and the other is always kept at the clinic. I am also planning some programmes with the pharma companies.  

Dr Neela Patwardhan, by email

I am a regular reader of Moneylife. The magazine has been very successful in raising apt issues that bother common citizens like us. I must congratulate the entire team for the effort.

CORRECT PROCEDURE
I had applied for Aadhaar card in the first round in 2011 with my three family members. But I have not received the card as yet. However, my other family members have already received their cards. I had sent a number of e-mails to UID helpline, as their telephone helpline never responded. I also received the reply from the concerned department that my card had been dispatched in January 2012 after my request. But it is yet to reach me. Kindly, let me know the correct procedure to retrieve it.

Anita Prakash Shetty, by email

Sucheta Dalal replies:
Many thanks for reading Moneylife. If you notice, we have strongly advocated against Aadhaar cards and do not recommend that people obtain them. In fact, we want people to join in the protest against mandatory Aadhaar with biometrics. In the circumstances,  we are unable to spare resources to help with this issue. The fact that you have not received your card only exposes all the problems that we perceive with it.


SHOULD NOT BE REPEATED!

This is with regard to “Air India asked to pay Rs50,000 to woman passenger”. While awarding compensation, the defendant must be ordered to deposit an equal amount into a government fund. The compensation amount must be claimed from the erring officials, to deter occurrence of such incidents in future.
Prabhat

GULLIBLE PEOPLE

This is with regard to “‘Great Money Lab’, another survey and email fraud, spreading wings”. Is there no authority to check these frauds? Until a few thousand gullible and unsuspecting people lose millions, there would be no action, like the chit funds in West Bengal.  
MK Gupta

LEAD FROM THE FRONT

This is with regard to “Passport applicant files complaint with Anti-Corruption Bureau” by Vinita Deshmukh. In every government department where corruption takes place, an FIR should invariably be lodged with the anti corruption bureau. There is no point in tolerating this. Moneylife Foundation should lead from the front against corruption at high places.  
Pradeep Agarwal

WHAT ELSE IS NEEDED?

This is with regard to “Will the Post Office Bank be a boon or a bane?” by Gurpur. If I remember right, the post office already has savings accounts, recurring deposit schemes and fixed deposit schemes like banks. The only facilities missing are cheques and loans. If this can be done under the post office itself and marketed well, where is the need to set up a new organisation?
Satish

This is with regard to “IRDA health insurance guidelines help cumulative bonus and claim in overlapping policy periods” by Raj Pradhan. In spite of guidelines by IRDA, insurance companies do not follow them. They just ignore the guidelines and find loopholes to avoid it.  
Arun Adalja

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Numerous Aadhaar cases pending

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