Supreme Court of India understands, Mahatma Gandhi > Bharat Ratna. Once upon a time, specifically on 23.01.1992, a press communique was issued from Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi.
“President is pleased to confer Award of Bharat Ratna posthumously on Shri Subhash Chandra Bose.”
It was contended before SC, when a personality is higher and greater than any award or title, conferring of such honor on that person becomes ridiculous and it becomes an act of carelessness to classify such a person as an equal of others who have already been awarded such title or who may be awarded such a title in future. It seems, Family Members of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose also conveyed to Government of India their unhappiness and expressed their unwillingness to accept such an Award.
“In deference to feelings so eloquently expressed in these proceedings, and which were no doubt conveyed to Union of India, Award was, in fact, not conferred and proposal was dropped. We need not, therefore, go into question of whether ‘posthumously’ has been justifiably used in press communique or wider question of whether there is enough material available for concluding, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose died either in air-crash of 18th August, 1945 or at any time thereafter. This is a wider issue on which undoubtedly in future as in past, there will be divergent views.
Since no further steps have been taken pursuant to press communique and matter is treated as closed, we declare, press communique should be treated as cancelled.”
– Hon’ble Judges Sujata V. Manohar and G.B. Pattanaik, Union of India v. Bijan Ghosh, (1997) 6 SCC 535.
There can never be a conclusion on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, as is also reflected in this remark: “Justice (Retd.) Markandey Katju is entitled to his views and put those views in public domain for consumption of public in general.”
Thus, let us attempt to keep it simple.