A currency issued by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s Bank of Independence has been made public here on the eve of his 113th birth anniversary, leading to excitement among his supporters.

In the 1980s, Ram Kishore Dubey, a retired contractor with the State Irrigation Department, discovered the note in his grandfather’s Ramayana book, but did not realise its historical significance till recently.

“My grandfather, Praagilal, worked for Netaji in the Azaad Hind Fauj and passed away in 1958,” says the 63-year-old Dubey.

“He used to stay away from the family for months on end working covertly for the INA [Indian National Army] in the Bundelkhand region on a recruitment drive for its Jhansi ki Rani Regiment, led by Lakshmi Swaminathan. He gave up his land for the cause of the army and so Netaji rewarded him with this note promising him the amount in independent India.”

The currency, of denomination one lakh, has a photograph of Bose on the left side and a pre-independence map of the Indian territory with the inscription “ swatantra bharat” in Hindi on the other. In the middle are inscribed the words “ Jai Hind” in English, with the words “I promise to pay the bearer the sum of one Lac” below it.

On the top of the note is a series of flags of the Azaad Hind Fauj over a bold inscription saying “Bank of Independence” with “good wishes” inscribed at the bottom.

“Nobody is aware of the this fact that submitting to the demands of the British, Nehruji [Jawaharlal Nehru] gave them Subhash Bose in return for India’s independence,” says Mr. Dubey.

Several historians contend that in April 1944, Netaji established the Azad Hind Bank or the Bank of Independence in Rangoon (now Yangon) to manage funds donated by the Indian community from across the world.

Correction

The first paragraph of a report “Netaji currency made public” (January 23, 2010) said that a currency [note] issued by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s Bank of Independence was made public in Bhopal on the eve of his 103rd birth anniversary. It should have been 113rd birth anniversary.

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