Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


By NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi: One of the greatest mysteries which troubles India till date is the death of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. There have been various speculations revolving around it, one of them is Gumnami Baba, the ascetic of UP’s Faizabad, was actually none other than Netaji himself.

Surajit Dasgupta, 64, racked his memory to 33 years ago, and recalling he said: “He was seated before me like everyday when I had an urge to see him. I stole a glance and was so dazzled by the glow that emanated from within that I had to immediately lower my gaze. It is a sight I will never forget.”

Dasgupta was talking about Bhagwanji, an ascetic in Faizabad, and very few were privy that he was none other than Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The man who was proclaimed dead for past 37 years by some, others believing he still lived. Quite a few people felt that he would one day return to his homeland to prove all the doubting Thomases that he was indeed alive.

“Netaji’s associate and our guru, Sunil Gupta, had been visiting Bhagwanji for two decades. In the initial years, it was very secretive. He wouldn’t disclose where he was going. All that we knew was that he had some very important mission. Later, he cryptically said: ‘Contact has been established’. I knew at once he was referring to Netaji. I was thrilled. In the years that followed, I would accompany Gupta till the station as he took a train twice a year to travel to Neemsar and later Faizabad, once during Durga Puja and again on January 23, Netaji’s birthday. It was much later, in 1982, that Gupta decided it was finally time we could be let into the exclusive circle, and we travelled to Faizabad to meet Bhagwanji,” he reminisced.

Gupta had been ordered by Netaji’s elder brother, Suresh Chandra Bose, to investigate into every news and rumour related to Netaji’s return to India. Following different leads and meeting with dead ends, Gupta finally met Bhagwanji at Neemsar in 1962.

Dasgupta talked about some rules to be followed if you wished to pay a visit to Bhagwanji, one of them was that you were not allowed to look at his face. There was generally a short curtain drawn between him and the visitors that hid his face.

Dasgupta said: “We would go to his house every day, have breakfast and then go to shop for the day’s meals. While Saraswati Devi would cook, we would discuss world politics. After lunch, it could be about theology, music, even metaphysics. Sometimes, the discussions went on till the wee hours next morning. We would sit transfixed, listen with rapt attention and take notes. He predicted the disintegration of USSR that was unthinkable then, talked about the mess in the Vietnam War. He even remarked that communism would die in the place of its birth. During the Bangladesh Liberation War, he followed the developments keenly and we believe he even passed on strategic instructions that helped decide the war.”

After the initial visits, Bhagwanji started trusted the youth enough to not look at him and so stopped drawing the curtain, Dasgupta recalls. It is at one of those occasions that Dasgupta couldn’t resist a peek and he was astonished! “There was no mistake in identification that he was Netaji. His hair had thinned, much more than what we were used to seeing in his photographs. He had a flowing beard. But the features were exactly the same. Only, he had aged. The eyes were so powerful I had to turn away immediately. I realized then that the patriot our parents and we had worshipped since we were kids had reached a higher plane of existence. He had become a mahatma,” he said.

Rita Banerjee of Faizabad, who Bhagwanji called as “Phoolwa Rani” and her husband as “Bachha”, talked about a “bright light” emanating from him. “The aura was so intense that I could not establish eye-contact with him.” Gyaani Gurjeet Singh Khalsa, the chief priest of Gurudwara Brahmakund Sahib overlooking the raging Saryu river, recounts a similar experience when he met Bhagwanji face-to-face. “I was a 17-year-old when I saw him. The radiance on his face was astounding. It cannot be explained in words,” he said.

Some of the people, including Dasgupta, who believed that Bhagwanji was indeed none other than Netaji, are fighting a silent legal battle with the Indian government to unveil the truth and destroy the lie (as they claim it to be) that is being propagated since past seven decades. In his later years, Bhagwanji related about his escape to USSR via Diren in Manchuria after the “concocted air crash” and also about how prison camps worked in Syria.

Bijoy Nag, 76, a former auditor at a private firm, also recalls a meeting with Bhagwanji with brilliant accuracy, “On my first visit, I touched his feet while he remained behind a curtain. Blessing me, he said: ‘Your dream is now a reality’. I was 31 and thrilled.” Nag met Bhagwanji 14 times between 1970 and 1985, and says each meeting was memorable.

Nag met Bhagwanji at Brahma Kund (Ayodhya), where he had stayed for a few months between 1975 and 1976. “I stayed in the room next to his. I could have looked at him any time if I wished because by then, the curtain had been drawn. He had only instructed us not to look at him and we didn’t disobey him,” says Nag, who had on Bhagwanji’s request collected and delivered photographs of Netaji’s mother, father and school teacher.

“Though I didn’t look at him, I don’t have an iota of doubt that it was Netaji speaking to me. It is an unshakeable truth,” he added. UP CMs Sampurnanand and Benarasi Dasgupta remained in contact with Netaji from December 1954 to April 1957. Their letters, including those from former railway minister Ghani Khan Chowdhury and other important leaders, were found among Bhagwanji’s belonging which are now in possession of the Faizabad Treasury.

The piece is sourced from TOI sources



Rihanna was summoned from her seat to accept the honour, with the Prime Minister.

Singer Rihanna was honoured by Prime Minister Mia Mottley at an event which marked Barbados's new status as a republic, which was attended by Prince Charles. Addressing the pop star by her real name, the PM said: "Robyn Rihanna Fenty tomorrow morning shall have conferred upon her the order of national hero of Barbados."

Rihanna was then summoned from her seat to accept the honor, with the Prime Minister managing to rouse a laugh from the singer when she referenced her 2012 hit 'Diamonds', reports She added: "On behalf of a grateful nation, but an even prouder people, we therefore present to you, the designee, for the national hero of Barbados." "And to accept on behalf of a grateful nation - you can come my dear - ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty, may you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honor to your nation." Rihanna, who was born in the St Michael parish of Barbados, found fame in 2005 after being spotted by a record producer and has since gone on to become one of the most successful female artists of all time with sales of over 250 million and recently reached billionaire status through her Fenty beauty brand.

The Prime Minister continued in her speech: "Commanding the imagination of the world through the pursuit of excellence, her creativity, her discipline, and above all else, her extraordinary commitment to the land of her birth. "Having satisfied that, Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty has given service to Barbados which has been exemplified by visionary and pioneering leadership, extraordinary achievement and the attaining of the highest excellence to the Government of Barbados." It comes after a historic move for Barbados, which has become a republic after almost 400 years and welcomes its first president, Sandra Mason, after removing Queen Elizabeth as head of state. (IANS/ MBI)

Keep Reading Show less

It's that time of the year when there are festivities galore and entertaining comes to the fore.

By Manav Bhatia

It's that time of the year when there are festivities galore and entertaining comes to the fore. Manav Bhatia, Founder Trunkin shares some tablescapes for the season

Christmas Tablescapes: Whether it's cherry red tablecloths or plush green napkin rings, there's something for everyone. Red and green are synonymous with colour themes this time of year.

red and white candles on white ceramic vase Red and green are synonymous with colour themes this time of year. | Photo by Libby Penner on Unsplash

Keep Reading Show less

Typically, Glaucoma occurs in people with over the age of 60 however it can occur at any age.

By IANSlife

Have you ever faced eye redness? Or have witnessed blurry or foggy vision? Or experiencing halos around lights? Or nausea and vomiting are very common for you. You may well be suffering from Glaucoma which needs immediate attention.

Glaucoma is the second most common causes of blindness worldwide, according to a report by World Health Organisation (WHO). Typically, it occurs in people with over the age of 60 however it can occur at any age. It is also estimated that globally 79.6 million people are affected with glaucoma, half of them being Asian population. While in India, around 11.9 million people suffer vision impairment and out of which 1.2 million cases are due to Glaucoma. It is a growing concern for the population in India. Even after these high numbers, the enormous majority remains undiagnosed, and untreated. More than 90 percent of cases of Glaucoma remain undiagnosed.

Pink eye Glaucoma is the second most common causes of blindness worldwide, according to a report by World Health Organisation (WHO). | Wikimedia Commons

Keep reading... Show less