Monday, February 28, 2011

Sonia Gandhi and Congress Secret Billions Exposed

What was Rajiv Gandhi’s fatal error in politics? It does not need a seer to say that it was his claim to honesty — branding himself as ‘Mr Clean’ — that proved fatal to him. Indira Gandhi was his contrast. Asked about corruption in her government, she said nonchalantly, ‘it was a global phenomenon’. This was in 1983. An honest Delhi High Court judge even lamented how could corruption be controlled when someone holding such a high position had almost rationalised it. The result, no one could ever charge Indira Gandhi with corruption, because she never claimed to be clean. But, ambitious to look ideal, Rajiv proclaimed honesty and so provoked scrutiny; in contrast, Indira, opting to be practical, immunised herself against scrutiny. Eventually, Rajiv’s claim to honesty became the very cross on which he was crucified in the 1989 elections when the Bofors gun shot the Congress out of power. The lesson to the political class was: don’t claim to be honest, if you really are not so. The hard lesson seems forgotten now by the Gandhi family itself. Sonia Gandhi, instead of following Indira’s safe path, is wrongly caught on Rajiv’s risky steps. The consequences seem to be ominous. Will the politics of 1987 to 1989 repeat?

Following Rajiv and forgetting Indira, Sonia Gandhi proclaimed ‘zero tolerance’ to corruption at a party rally in Allahabad in November 2010. She repeated it at the Congress plenary in Delhi weeks later. Asking the cadre to take the corrupt head on, she said that her party was ‘prompt’ in acting against the corrupt; ‘never spared the corrupt’ because corruption impedes development’. This was almost how Rajiv Gandhi spoke in the Congress centenary in Mumbai 25 years ago. Two crucial differences marked Rajiv away from Sonia. First, when Rajiv claimed to be ‘Mr Clean’, he had no scams to defend against. But, Sonia claims to be honest amidst huge and continuing scams — CWG, Adarsh, 2G Spectrum allocation scam…. Next, Rajiv had a clean slate to begin with, with no known skeletons in his cupboard till the Bofors scam smashed his ‘Mr Clean’ image. In contrast, Sonia’s slate is full of credible exposures of bribes and pay-offs in billions of dollars secreted in Swiss bank accounts, not counting Quattrocchi’s millions from Bofors. To make it worse, for almost two decades now, she has not dared to deny the exposures or sue the famous Swiss magazine or the Russian investigative journalist who had put out evidence of bribe against the Sonia family. Seen against this background, Sonia’s vow to act against the corrupt seems like a suspect hooting ‘catch the thief’ and scooting away. This is the main story that unfolds here.

$2.2 billions to 11 billions!

A stunning exposure on Sonia Gandhi’s secret billions in Swiss banks came, surprisingly, from Switzerland itself, where the world’s corrupt stash away their booty. In its issue of November 19, 1991, Schweizer Illustrierte, the most popular magazine of Switzerland, did an exposé of over a dozen politicians of the third world, including Rajiv Gandhi, who had stashed away their bribe monies in Swiss banks. Schweizer Illustrierte, not a rag, sells some 2,15,000 copies and has a readership of 9,17,000 — almost a sixth of Swiss adult population. Citing the newly opened KGB records, the magazine reported ‘that Sonia Gandhi the widow of the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was controlling secret account with 2.5 billion Swiss Francs (equal to $2.2 billion) in her minor son’s name’. The $2.2 billion account must have existed from before June 1988 when Rahul Gandhi attained majority. The loot in today’s rupee value equals almost Rs 10,000 crore. Swiss banks invest and multiply the clients’ monies, not keep them buried. Had it been invested in safe long-term securities, the $.2.2 billion bribe would have multiplied to $9.41 billion (Rs 42,345 crore) by 2009. If it had been put in US stocks, it would have swelled to $12.97 billion (Rs 58,365 crore). If, as most likely, it were invested in long-term bonds and stocks as 50:50, it would have grown to $11.19 billion (Rs 50,355 crore). Before the global financial meltdown in 2008, the $2.2 billion bribes in stocks would have peaked at $18.66 billion (Rs 83,900 crore). By any calculation the present size of the $2.2 billion secret funds of the family in Swiss banks seems huge — anywhere between Rs 43,000 plus to some Rs 84,000 crore!

KGB papers

The second exposé, emanating from the archives of the Russian spy outfit KGB, is far more serious. It says that the Gandhi family has accepted political pay-offs from the KGB — a clear case of treason besides bribe. In her book The State Within a State: The KGB and its Hold on Russia-Past, Present, and Future, Yevgenia Albats, an acclaimed investigative journalist, says: “A letter signed by Victor Chebrikov, who replaced Andropov as the KGB head in 1982 noted: ‘the USSR KGB maintains contact with the son of the Premier Minister Rajiv Gandhi (of India). R Gandhi expresses deep gratitude for the benefits accruing to the Prime Minister’s family from the commercial dealings of the firm he controls in co-operation with the Soviet foreign trade organisations. R Gandhi reports confidentially that a substantial portion of the funds obtained through this channel are used to support the party of R Gandhi’.” (p.223). Albats has also disclosed that, in December 2005, KGB chief Victor Chebrikov had asked for authorisation from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, “to make payments in US dollars to the family members of Rajiv Gandhi, namely Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Ms Paola Maino, mother of Sonia Gandhi.” And even before Albats’ book came out the Russian media had leaked out the details of the pay-offs. Based on the leaks, on July 4, 1992, The Hindu had reported: “the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service admits the possibility that the KGB could have been involved in arranging profitable Soviet contract for the company controlled by Rajiv Gandhi family”.

Indian media

Rajiv Gandhi’s sad demise delayed the Swiss and Russian exposé on Sonia being picked up here. But Indian media’s interest in it actually coincided with Sonia Gandhi assuming leadership of the Congress. A G Noorani, a well-known columnist, had reported on both Schweizer Illustrierte and Albats’ exposés in Statesman (December 31, 1988). Subramanian Swamy had put out the photocopies of the pages of Schweizer Illustrierte and Albats’ book in his website along with the mail of the Swiss magazine dated February 23, 2002 confirming that in its article of November 1991 it had named Rajiv Gandhi with a total of Swiss Franc 2.5 billion ($2.2 billion) in secret account; it had also offered to supply a original copy of the magazine to Swamy. (See: These facts were again recalled in my article in The New Indian Express (April 29, 2009) written in response to Sonia Gandhi speech at Mangalore (April 27, 2009) declaring that, “the Congress was taking steps to address the issue of untaxed Indian money in Swiss banks”. The article had questioned her about her family’s corrupt wealth in Swiss banks in the context of her vow to bring back the monies stashed away abroad. Rajinder Puri, a reputed journalist, has also earlier written on the KGB disclosures in his column on August 15, 2006. Recently, in India Today (December 27, 2010) the redoubtable Ram Jethmalani has referred to the Swiss exposé, asking where is that money now? So the Indian media too has repeatedly published the details of the secret billions of the Gandhi family investigated by the Swiss and Russian journalists. Amal Datta (CPI(M)) had raised the $2.2 billion issue in Parliament on December 7, 1991, but Speaker Shivraj Patil expunged the Gandhi name from the proceedings!


But, what has been the response of Sonia or Rahul, major after June 1988, to the investigation by Schweizer Illustrierte and Albats and to the Indian media’s repeated references to their investigation? It can be summed up in one word: Silence. Thus, apart from the exposés, the deafening silence of the Gandhis itself constitutes the most damaging and self-incriminating evidence of the family’s guilt. When Schweizer Illustrierte alleged that Sonia had held Rajiv Gandhi’s bribes in Rahul’s name in Swiss banks, neither she nor the son, protested, or sued the magazine, then or later; nor did they sue A G Noorani or Statesman when they repeated it in 1998, or later; nor would they sue Subramanian Swamy when he put it on his website in 2002; neither did they sue me, or the Express when the article was carried in April 2009. When major papers, The Hindu and The Times of India included, had carried the expose on KGB payments in the year 1992 itself adding that the Russian government was embarrassed by the disclosures, neither of the Gandhis challenged or sued them; nor did they sue Yevgenia Albats when she wrote about KGB payments to Rajiv Gandhi in 1994. Neither did they act against Swamy when he put Albats’ book pages on his website or when Rajinder Puri, a well-known journalist, wrote about it in his column on August 15, 2006. However, a feeble but proxy suit was filed by Sonia loyalists to defend her reputation when Albats’ exposé was made part of the full-page advertisement in The New York Times in 2007 issued by some NRIs to ‘unmask’ Sonia to the US audience, as they claimed. The suit was promptly dismissed by a US court because Sonia herself did not dare file the suit. Shockingly even that suit did not challenge the $2.2 billion Swiss account at all!

Imagine that the report in Schweizer Illustrierte or in Albats book was false and Sonia Gandhi did not have those billions in secret accounts in Rahul Gandhi’s name or the family was not paid for its service to the KGB as alleged. How would they, as honest and outraged people, have reacted? Like how Morarji Desai, then retired and old at 87, responded in anger when, Seymour Hersh, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, had mentioned in his book that Morarji Desai was a ‘paid’ CIA mole in the Indian Cabinet. Morarji Desai forthwith filed a libel suit. Commenting in The American Spectator, Rael Jean Isaac wrote in 2004, five years after Morarji Desai had passed away, that Hersh habitually indulged in character assassination; and in his attempt to do down Henry Kissinger, Morarji Desai became the victim. Isaac added that Desai, 87, calling it a “sheer mad story”, reacted in outrage with a libel suit seeking $50 million in damages. When the suit came up, as Desai, 93, was too ill to travel to US, Kissinger testified on Desai’s behalf, flatly contradicted Hersh’s charge and stated that Desai had no connection to the CIA. That is how even retired and old persons, honest and so offended and outraged, would act. But see the self-incriminating contrast, the complete absence of such outrage, in Sonia, who is reigning as the chairperson of the UPA now, neither retired or tired like the nonagenarian Morarji Desai, being just 41 when the story broke out in Schweizer Illustrierte. Imagine, not Sonia or Rahul, but Advani or Modi had figured in the exposés of Schweizer Illustrierte or Albats. What would the media not have done to nail them? What would the government of Sonia not have done to fix them?

Rs 20.80 lakh-crore loot

The billions of the Gandhi family being both bribes and monies stashed away in Swiss banks, they are inextricably linked to the larger issue of bringing back the huge national wealth stashed abroad. All world nations, except India, are mad after their black wealth secreted in Swiss and like banks. But India has shown little enthusiasm to track the illicit funds of Indians in Swiss and other banks. Why such reticence?

When during the run-up to the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP leader L K Advani promised to bringing back, if voted to power, Indian monies estimated between $500 billion and $1.4 trillion stashed abroad, the Congress first denied that there was such Indian money outside. But when the issue began gathering momentum, Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi had to do damage control and promise that the Congress too would bring back the national wealth secreted abroad. Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a non-profit institution working against global black funds, has recently estimated that the Indian wealth secreted away is about $462 billion, approximately equal to Rs 20.80 lakh-crore. The GFI says that more than two-thirds of it was looted away under the liberalisation regime. This is what the GFI says about the character of the loot: “From 1948 through 2008, India lost a total of $213 billion in illicit financial flows (or illegal capital flight)” through “tax evasion, corruption, bribery and kickbacks, and criminal activities”. Does one need a seer to say under what head would the $2.2 billion in Sonia family’s secret account (which would have grown to $9 to $13 billion by now) fall? But accretions, if any, from the loot in 2G and CWG where the numbers are even bigger are not still accounted. Now comes the more critical, yet practical issue. When the Sonia Gandhi family is among the suspects who have secreted away monies abroad, how will it affect the efforts to bring back the wealth stashed away by others?

Looters safe

Just a couple of examples will demonstrate how the government is unwilling to go after Indian money secreted abroad. As early as February 2008 the German authorities had collected information about illegal money kept by citizens of different countries in Lichtenstein bank. The German finance minister offered to provide the names of the account holders to any government interested in the names of its citizens. There were media reports that some 250 Indian names were found in the Lichtenstein Bank list. Yet, despite the open offer from Germany to provide the details, the UPA-II government has never showed interest in the Indian accounts in Lichtenstein Bank. The Times of India reported that “the ministry of finance and PMO have, however, not shown much interest in finding out about those who have their lockers on the secret banks of Liechtenstein which prides itself in its banking system”. But under mounting pressure the Indian government asked for details not under the open offer but strategically under India’s tax treaty with Germany. What is the difference? Under the tax treaty the information received would have to be kept confidential; but, if it were received openly, it can be disclosed to the public. Is any further evidence needed to prove that the government is keen to see that the names of Indians who had secreted monies abroad are not disclosed?

The second is the sensational case of Hasan Ali, the alleged horse-breeder of Pune, who was found to have operated Swiss accounts involving over Rs 1.5 lakh-crore. The income tax department has levied a tax of Rs 71,848 crore on him for concealing Indian income secreted in Swiss accounts. This case is being buried now. The request sent to the Swiss government was deliberately made faulty to ensure that the Swiss would not provide details. Some big names in the ruling circles are reportedly linked to Hasan Ali. That explains why the government would not deepen the probe. It is Hasan Alis and the like who transport through hawala the bribes of the corrupt from India. If Hasan Ali is exposed, the corrupt will stand naked. This is how the hawala trader and the corrupt in India are mixed-up.

Is it too much to conclude that thanks to Sonia family’s suspected billions in Swiss accounts the system cannot freely probe the $462 billion looted from India at all? Tail-pieces: The total wealth of both Gandhis, as per their election returns, is just Rs 363 lakh, Sonia owning no car. Sonia lamented on November 19, 2010, that graft and greed are on the rise in India!! Rahul said on December 19, 2010, that severe punishment should be given to the corrupt!!! Amen.

Source :

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sonia Gandhi's sisters received Rs18,000 crores : 2G Scam secrets

Here is the sensational letter written by SUBRAMANIAN SWAMY of JANATA PARTY directly to Prime minister Manmohan Singh. After reading this letter we will understand why Manmohan Singh had kept silent and not opening his mouth regarding 2G scam.

Dr. Manmohan Singh,
Prime Minister of India,
South Block,
New Delhi.

Dear Prime Minister:

You may by now have realized that the 2G Spectrum scandal is not only bad for the country in the dimension of corruption, but now it emerges that there is a national security dimension too. The RAW, IB, CBI, ED all have enough material which they may have placed before you regarding the dubious aspects of the principal player in this scam.

According to my information two sisters, Anushka and Nadia, of Ms Sonia Gandhi had received sixty percent of the kickbacks in this deal i.e. Rs.18,000 crores each. The frequent travel of Sonia Gandhi and her immediate family to Malaysia, Hongkong, Dubai and parts of Europe including London requires to be probed under the law. What requires your special attention is the mode of the travel, not by commercial airliners, but by jets provided by the corporate sector which itself is illegal under the DGCA Rules. I find that often Ms. Sonia Gandhi and family have traveled to Dubai and then traveled onwards on private jets provided by dubious Arab business interests to Europe. It is not clear on what passport they have traveled. In Dubai they were facilitated by agencies of countries which are hostile to India including that of Pakistan.

You can no more not take a stand when evil is permeating in the country in the form of terrorism, religious conversion and demographic infiltration. The ill-gotten money in billions of dollars equivalent, the money laundering and Participatory Notes have all undermined our national integrity. The time is come for you to take a stand.

I am familiar with the information and data with our intelligent agencies. I also know that you can seek cooperation of other countries especially the United States in pooling information especially from inter Intelligence interaction that take place regularly. I hope therefore you will rise to the need of the hour and take effective steps to set right the sorry state of affairs in the country caused by overtly and covertly resident foreigners. In this connection I would like to meet you at the earliest. My Secretary will be in touch with your Secretariat to fix a time.

Yours sincerely,


Courtesy :

Monday, February 21, 2011

Who Brought Freedom, Gandhi or Netaji?

Author: N.S. Rajaram

There is a story that the late Mao Zedong, when asked his opinion about Napoleon as a leader replied: "How can I say? He is too recent." Napoleon's career ended in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and Mao died only in 1976. So what could Mao have meant when he said that Napoleon was too recent? He meant that a certain amount of time has to pass before we can view historical events and personalities objectively. Our reading of recent events is bound to be colored by our closeness to them. This truth was brought home to me a few years ago when I was visiting Penang in Malaysia as the guest of some veterans of World War II, but first some background.

In India, people are brought up on the story that Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru with others receive grudging notice if at all led a heroic struggle freeing India from the British rule. Miraculously, the whole thing was accomplished without resort to violence, by the application of a mighty spiritual force called *ahimsa* (non-violence) unleashed by the Mahatma. If true it is a tribute not only to the power of Gandhi's (and Nehru's) spiritual vision, but also a lasting tribute to the spiritual sensitivity of the British rulers. Like the tiger in the children's poem (*govina kathe *in Kannada), which killed itself rather than eat the calf, the British gave up the empire and left.

This received a jolt during a recent trip to Southeast Asia where I had occasion to visit some people who had served with my late father during World War II. Their account of their experience in the period from 1942 to 45 casts serious doubt on this beautiful story. Here we are faced with a dilemma the conflict between what we read in history books and what the people actually saw on the ground. The usual story is that after some initial reverses the British defeated the Japanese. But those who actually served there, now in their late 70s and 80s, remember it quite differently. Uniformly, this is what I heard everywhere and from everyone.

When the Japanese attacked, the British ran away. They were very clever. They had a wonderful life with bungalows and butlers and cooks and all that, but as soon as the Japanese came, they ran away. And once they got back to India, they sent Gurkhas, Sikhs, Marathas and other Indians to fight the Japanese. They knew it was too dangerous for them. That is how we got independence in Malaya. Malaysia was then called Malaya and Singapore was its capital.

Not one of them remembered the British fighting the Japanese only running away. They remember also Indian soldiers coming and fighting; some of them stayed back in countries like Malaya (as it was then called), Singapore and other places. One man, who as a youngster had been my father's orderly during the War, invited me to his home in Penang for the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Singapore. What he told me took my breath away.

That is why the British left India also. When the war was over, all the Indian soldiers who had defeated the Japanese returned to India, and the British got scared. They didn’t want to fight the Indians who had just fought and defeated the Japanese. So they ran away from India also. I tried to explain to him that Gandhiji's nonviolence was the force that convinced the British to leave. But this man, not an intellectual but a battle-hardened soldier with sound commonsense would have none of it. If it was non-violence, why didn't they leave earlier? Gandhi and the nonviolence were there before the war also. Did they have to wait for the Japanese to come and teach them non-violence?

One may smile at this simple way of looking at history, but as will be seen later, this revisionist view has good support. The ‘authorized version with Gandhi and Nehru as central figures continues to be taught in India because it benefits those in power. It shows the British also in favorable light as a magnanimous and even spiritual people, which of course they don't mind. But history shows a different picture.

The year 1942 was momentous. It was the year in which the British Empire suffered a massive defeat at the hands of an Asiatic people (Japanese); it was also the year in which Mahatma Gandhi launched his famous but ill-fated Quit India Movement. Subhas Bose also entered the picture at about that time, first in Germany and later in Southeast Asia. But first it is necessary to get an idea of the momentous impact of the Japanese victory on the psyche of the colonized people as well as on that of the colonizing powers. What triggered it was the Fall of Singapore.

The fall of Singapore in 1942 heralded the end of the British Empire and of European colonialism in general. Indian independence came in 1947, but what really ended the Empire was the fall of Singapore. This has received scant notice by Indian historians who remain trapped in Eurocentric thinking, but there is ample evidence supporting it. Among Indian historians, only R.C. Majumdar has seen its significance: the fall of Singapore broke the spirit of Imperial Britain. As we shall soon see *British historians have themselves admitted it.* Let us look at what really happened to the British in 1942.

When the Japanese attacked Singapore in February 1942, its large and well-equipped British garrison surrendered without a fight. These well-attended pukka sahib used to good living had little stomach for war. For decades, the ruling authorities had avoided facing the truth that they were not a fighting force. They had deluded themselves with resounding slogans calling Singapore the "Bastion of the Empire","Impregnable Fortress", "Gibraltar of the East" and such. None of it helped when Singapore fell to a Japanese army less than a third the size of the defending forces.

Yet, so far removed from reality were Singapore's British residents, that even on the verge of surrender, a gunnery officer was refused permission to mount guns on the golf links for defending the city. He was told that he needed permission from the golf club committee. And the golf club committee would not be meeting for at least a week, so he better hold off!

In the fall of Singapore, its symbolic significance was infinitely greater than the military defeat. *It destroyed the myth of European superiority over the Asiatics once and for all.* Historian James Leasor wrote in his Singapore, the battle that changed the world:

Dazed by the incredible superiority of the Japanese, the defenders will to win had withered. The psychological damage was even greater than the military defeat and this had been grotesque enough. Under the lowering Singapore sky lit by the funeral pyres of the British Empire, a door closed on centuries of white supremacy. Actually the Japanese had planned it that way to break the sense of superiority exuded by the Europeans, by the British in particular, in their dealings with the Asiatics. Leasor wrote:

At the start of the campaign, each Japanese soldier had been issued with a pamphlet that set out Japan's reasons for fighting the British and the Americans. Her [Japan’s] claim was that she would liberate East Asia from white rule and oppression, for since “We Japanese, as an Eastern people, have ourselves for long been classed alongside the Chinese and the Indians as an inferior race, and treated as such, we must at the very least, here in Asia, beat these Westerners to submission, that they may change their arrogant and ill-mannered attitude.

The Japanese attack on Singapore accomplished much more: it ended the British Empire to be followed swiftly by the end of European imperialism itself. To return to the fall of Singapore, as with the fall of Hong Kong a few weeks earlier, the only worthwhile resistance had come from the Indian garrisons the Sikh and the Gurkha regiments. The prestige and the mystique associated with the British Empire were shattered by these ignominious defeats.

And this is how my gracious host in Penang and his friends, men who had seen it at first hand, remember it. As they saw it, the massive defeat destroyed the British morale. It was the specter of the whole nightmare being reenacted in India, with nearly three million Indian soldiers just returned from war, which made the British leave India. They ran away, the old soldier kept telling me repeatedly.

I may point out that this is also the view of many Indians who saw action in the warâ€" both in the Indian Army and those who fought in Subhas Bose's INA. Indian soldiers saw that their British officers were frightened to death of the Japanese, while they themselves were prepared to fight them.

After the War, the British defeat in Singapore was followed by the French defeat in Dien Bien Phu at the hands of Ho Chi Min’s soldiers in Vietnam. This laid the groundwork for the American defeat in all of Vietnam and their inglorious flight from Saigon. No one today talks about the superiority of the White Race. The first nail in coffin was driven by the Japanese in Malaya in 1942.

It was this changed perception, that the British were just ordinary mortals like the rest that allowed Netaji Subhas Bose to recruit Indians in Southeast Asia into the Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauz or the INA). Subhas Bose saw that the Indian armed forces were the prop of the Empire not just in India but everywhere the British went. But Gandhi and Nehru, preoccupied with their utopian dreams of nonviolence failed to realize its significance. When the opportunity arose, Bose seized it to transform the armed forces into a nationalist force, while Gandhi and Nehru started the Quit India Movement which collapsed in a few weeks.

Before we look further, we need to ask: what support do we have for this revisionist view, that Subhas Bose and the INA brought freedom to India? The evidence is ample and impeccable. Several have noted it, but the most distinguished historian to highlight Bose’s contribution was the late R.C. Majumdar, one of modern India’s greatest historians. In his monumental, three-volume *History of the Freedom Movement in India* (Firma KLM, Calcutta) Majumdar provided the following extraordinary evidence:

"It seldom falls to the lot of a historian to have his views, differing radically from those generally accepted without demur, confirmed by such an unimpeachable authority. *As far back as 1948 I wrote in an article that the contribution made by Netaji Subas Chandra Bose towards the achievement of freedom in 1947 was no less, and perhaps, far more important than that of Mahatma Gandhi's" The unimpeachable authority" he cited happened to be Clement Attlee, the Prime Minister of Britain at the time of India’s independence. Since this is of fundamental importance, and Majumdar’s conclusion so greatly at variance with the conventional history, it is worth placing it on record (Volume III, pages 609 â€"10).

When B.P. Chakravarti was acting as Governor of West Bengal, Lord Attlee visited India and stayed as his guest at the Raj Bhavan for three days. Chakravarti asked Attlee about the real grounds for granting independence to India. Specifically, his question was, when the Quit India movement lay in shambles years before 1947, where was the need for the British to leave in such a hurry. Attlee’s response is most illuminating and important for history. Here is Governor Chakrabarti’s account of what Attlee told him:

“In reply Attlee cited several reasons, *the most important were the activities of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose which weakened the very foundation of the attachment of the Indian land and naval forces to the British Government.* Towards the end, I asked Lord Attlee about the extent to which the British decision to quit India was influenced by Gandhi’s activities. On hearing this question Attlee’s lips widened in a smile of disdain and he uttered, slowly, putting emphasis on each single letter "mi-ni-mal". (Emphasis added.)

Another point worth noting: after the fall of Singapore that ended the British Empire, the most dramatic national event was the INA Trial at the Red Fort not any movement by Gandhi or Nehru. This led to the mutiny of the naval ratings, which, more than anything helped the British make up their minds to leave India in a hurry. They sensed that it was only a matter of time before the mutiny spread to other parts of the armed forces and the Government. None of this would have happened without Subhas Bose and the INA.

The crucial point to note is that thanks to Subhas Bose's activities, the Indian Armed Forces began to see themselves as defenders of India rather than of the British Empire. This, more than anything else, was what led to India’s freedom. This is also the reason why the British Empire disappeared from the face of the earth within an astonishingly short space of twenty years. Indian soldiers, who were the main prop of the Empire, were no longer willing to fight to hold it together. This is the essence of leadership.

This brings us back to Mao's half joking replyâ€" that it takes time to get the proper historical perspective. It is now more than sixty years since India became free. We can afford to look back and see the real reasons for British leaving India in a hurry. To sum up, by the end of the War, Gandhi was a spent force, and Subhas Bose was India’s most popular leader.

Now, sixty years and more later it is time to recognize the truth: first, it was the Fall of Singapore in 1942, not the Quit India Movement that was the beginning of the end of the British Empire; and finally, it was Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose more than anyone else who was responsible for India's freedom in 1947.