Fact Check: A 1945 letter of Jawaharlal Nehru addressing SC Bose as a ‘war criminal’ is inauthentic

A few posts containing a letter, dated 27th December 1945, allegedly written by former Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru to the then British Prime Minister Clement Attlee, with reference to freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose as a ‘war criminal’, are circulating on social media.

The letter in the post reads-

“Dear Mr. Attle, I understand from reliable source 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. Yours sincerely, Jawaharlal Nehru.” 

Here’s the link to the above post (archive).

Upon further research, we found some of these posts from as early as 2016.

FACT CHECK

In the letter, we noticed that the name ‘Attlee’ is misspelt in two places. Moreover, the letter addresses Clement Attlee as the Prime Minister of England but he was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Through a keyword search, we found a video interview of historian Ramachandra Guha from 2016 who clarified that the letter in concern is not authentic and was a “dubious claim by a witness seeking publicity before the Khosla Commission in 1970.”

We also found another article by Business Standard that states multiple reasons for why the letter is unauthentic. It mentions that all circulated versions of the letter have lingual errors and that different publications have reported different versions of the fax.

Hence, this proves that the letter and the mention from the letter about Subhash Chandra Bose are inauthentic.

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