No, Nehru Didn’t Write to Attlee Disclosing Netaji’s Location

The letter was allegedly a part of the classified documents that were released by the central government in 2016.

2 min read
The letter was allegedly a part of the classified documents that were released by the central government in 2016.
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In December 1945, Pt Jawaharlal Nehru wrote a letter to the “Prime Minister of England Clement Attlee” informing him about the whereabouts of “war criminal” Subhas Chandra Bose, urging him to take “proper” action against him.

The letter was allegedly a part of the classified documents released by the Central Government in 2016. Many have been sharing this letter claiming that Nehru was baiting Bose to the British.


A number of factual errors in the letter indicate that it is fake.

To begin with, Clement Attlee was not the prime minister of England, but the prime minister of the United Kingdom.

Said to be written to Clement Attlee, the letter spells his last name incorrectly at the very beginning. This kind of an error in an official letter coming from Nehru, who is known to be well-versed in English, is hard to imagine.

In the letter dated 27 December 1945, Nehru is saying how Bose “has been allowed to enter Russian territory by (Joseph) Stalin. This is clear treachery and betrayal of faith by the Russians as Russia has been an ally of the British-Americans [...]”

The Second World War ended in September 1945 and the Allied powers were busy demarcating territories across Europe, indicating that after the war, there were no Allied or Axis powers. So, there was hardly any scope for Bose to enter Russia or the Russians to harbour him.

Also, Bose was reportedly dead after a plane crash in August 1945 in Taiwan, though rumours of him being alive never died. Prominent historian Ramachandra Guha tweeted at the time the letter was going viral on social media:

“To those who asked, the letter allegedly written by Nehru to Attlee about Bose is completely inauthentic.”
Ramachandra Guha

Another point that indicates that the letter is inauthentic is that 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.

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