The Intelligence Bureau files declassified recently said Bose's close relatives, including his two nephews, Sisir Kumar Bose and Amiya Nath Bose, sons of his brother Sarat Chandra Bose, were spied upon for 20 years between 1948 and 1968.

Nehru was Prime Minister for 16 of these 20 years. The files, now with the National Archives, said the Bose family homes at 1, Woodburn Park and 38/2 Elgin Road, were kept under surveillance.

The IB sleuths intercepted and copied letters written by the Bose family and even trailed them on foreign tours.

Bose's family reacted to reports with "shock" and said it was a "poor reflection" on the quality of democracy at that time.

"Yes, it is a poor reflection on the quality of India's democracy in the first two decades that there was such invasion of privacy of freedom fighters. It is not just a family matter.

The most disgraceful aspect of this surveillace was that private letters between my father and his aunt (Netaji's wife) were being opened and read and copied. It was a matter of great disrespect to the freedom struggle and freedom fighters, Sugata Bose, his grand nephew and TMC MP, who read the files and copied the relevant material, cited.

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