Brief Outline: A fake message being shared on the social media stating that Jawaharlal Nehru in December 1945 to then British Prime Minister Clement Attlee, referred to Bose as a war criminal.

Facts Check: Fake

What is Viral? 

The purported letter reads:
"Dear Mr Attlee, I understand from reliable sources that Subhas Chandra Bose, your war criminal, has been allowed to enter Russian territory by Stalin. This is a clear treachery and betrayal of faith by the Russians as Russia has been an ally of the British-Americans, which she should not have done. Please take note of it and do what you consider proper and fit." The missive bears no cursive signature, just "Yours Sincerely, Jawaharlal Nehru," in printed lines.

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Facts Check Analysis: The letter said to be written by Jawaharlal Nehru in December 1945 to then British Prime Minister Clement Attlee, referring to Bose as a "war criminal."

There are different version of the story carried out by The Times of India shows 26 December as the date on which it was written, whereas DNA carries the correct spelling of Jawaharlal, but it is dated 27 December. carries a version where the spelling of Attlee is wrong, though the date matches with that of the one carried by DNA.

The letter was not written by Nehru, it wasn’t even written by his stenographer and has been part of the public domain for a while.

In fact, one of the files declassified on 2016 answered the question of whether Netaji's name was ever listed as a war criminal by the UK after the end of World War II. Answering the question, Indian High Commission in UK said that his name was never part of the list of war criminals as the list was only drawn up for Japanese and German citizens.

Netaji Files: The real story behind Nehru's letter calling Subhash Chandra Bose a 'war criminal'

The biggest talking point from the 100 files that were released by Narendra Modi pertaining to Subhas Chandra Bose seems to be a letter doing the rounds. In this letter, allegedly written by Nehru in 1945 to Clement Attlee, the former PM of UK, he apparently refers to Bose as a 'war criminal'.

Similarly, the permanent mission of India to the UN also said Bose's name did not appear in the list of people tried for war crimes. "It is presumed that the reference to the judgment of the International Court in Tokyo is a reference to the judgment of International Military Tribunal of the Far East delivered on 4 November, 1948.

However depending upon the number of errors in the letter it can be directly termed as fake.

  1. Clement Attlee was not the prime minister of England, but the prime minister of the United Kingdom.
  2. The letter is not authentic as it was not signed by Jawaharlal Nehru, and unlike other classified files, it did not have a stamp or watermark of the National Archives of India.

About The Author

Ashwin Chandra is an Indian fact-checker and news writer, writing news for Ayupp since 2014.

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