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New book claims Netaji died in 1945

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose  

Reports by Japanese and other international authorities have conclusively proved that Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose died in an air crash on August 18, 1945, a new book has claimed.

Author Ashis Ray’s findings in Laid to Rest: The Controversy over Subhash Chandra Bose’s Death have been endorsed by Netaji’s only living child and heir Anita Pfaff, who has urged Japan and India to conduct DNA testing on the remains at the Renkoji shrine of Tokyo for final confirmation.

The air crash has long been at the centre of speculations as it was reported initially to be the cause of his death. However, mystery persisted over Netaji’s final moments and it was felt that he might have fled the crash site to avoid being arrested by the victorious Allied powers of the Second World War.

No frank conversation

“There ought to have been no mystery about what happened to Bose after September 15, 1945, or four weeks after his demise, since on that date, the Japanese government confirmed the tragedy in an interim report to the American general Douglas MacArthur, whose forces occupied Japan after its surrender in the Second World War,” Mr. Ray states in the book, which claims that the tension between Netaji’s older brother Sarat Chandra Bose and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru might have played a role in preventing a frank conversation about the heartbreaking truth of Bose’s death.

Following the Japanese report of September 15, 1945, ten more reports were produced to probe Netaji’s fate.

Irrational behaviour

Mr. Ray says that the continued speculation about Netaji’s fate indicates irrational behaviour by some sections of Indians.

“Two of these inquests were commissioned by the Indian government and their findings wholly accepted by it. Yet, New Delhi has pandered to a motley section of Indians who have been irrationally in denial or have opposed the truth for political reasons, or worse, for financial benefit, by perpetrating outright fraud,” says Mr. Ray.

Sarat Chandra Bose, a prominent Congress leader in his own right, was a Cabinet Minister in the pre-Partition interim government led by Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. However, the writer says that neither Nehru nor Patel shared the reports by the Japanese government or the subsequent reports by the British authorities with Mr. Bose.

The author indicates that lingering doubts over Netaji’s death in the air crash might have resulted from the early death of Sarat Bose himself in 1950 as he alone could have made a public declaration on his brother’s death.

As Sarat Chandra Bose died, so did the possibility of presenting the tragedy to the Indian public through an authoritative family member.


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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 3:36:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/new-book-claims-netaji-died-in-1945/article22545115.ece

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