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Mystery continues to shroud Gumnami Baba

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Subhas_Chandra_BoseNew 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.

Netaji_Subhas_Chandra_Bose_and_Members_of_the_Azad_Hind_Fauj

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

  • asit guin

    Declassification of all Netaji files may prove that JAP AND BRIT JOINTLY PLAYED A FOUL GAME WITH NET@JI; In WW-I, J@pan was a Briti$ ally. Before WW-II, Jap-US trade war and political war started; this led to actual US-JAP war. So Briti$ became an enemy to J@pan by diplomatic manipulation as US-Briti$ alliance was there. After WW-II, J@pan revived their old link with Briti$. Jap and Brit spies were well linked before WW-II. JAP SPIES AGREED TO ELIMINATE NET@JI. Motive was to appease Brit and purchase security for Jap royal family. So, J@PAN HANDED OVER NET@JI TO BRITI$ AND BRITI$ EXECUTED HIM IN SECRETE. False news of air crash was Jap fabrication. In any controversial case, liar is to be suspected. Net@ji plan to start second independence war with USSR help was known to J@pan. So, Brit and Jap spies developed a common minimum program against pro-SOCIALIST agenda of Net@ji. Why should Jap imperialism agree to patronize emergence of independent India as a permanent communist ally? Is it not more logical to fulfill Briti$ condition and purchase favor? Why Jap royal family was not tried as a war criminal? What is the mystery behind this favor?
    There is another point about gumnami baba. Who was he? He was a dummy created as a part of common minimum program of Jap and Brit imperialism. In axis camp, creation of dummy by plastic surgery was a common practice. Hitler and Mussolini were having number of dummies. J@pan sold Net@ji-dummy to Briti$. Briti$ deputed this dummy at faizabad of UP, with a purpose to create confusion regarding Net@ji. This confusion prevented nation to be doubtful about role of Jap or Brit. So, gumnami baba of faizabad is a common creation of Jap and Brit spies. Never had he told truth. If he had told anything, that must be lie. In a controversial case, liar is to be suspected. So, J@PAN SOLD NET@JI TO BRITI$ AND BRITI$ EXECUTED HIM IN SECRET. J@pan sold Net@ji-dummy to Briti$ and Briti$ deputed him at faizabad of UP. J@PAN SURRENDERED TO US-UK SIDE ON 15-AUG-1945. Net@ji’s last flight was on 18-aug-1945. A SURRENDERED J@PAN WAS NO LONGER AN ALLY OF AZAD HIND. They worked as per their new mentors, the Briti$.

  • asit guin

    British documents
    show that during last days of WW II, Viceroy Wavell did not want Netaji brought
    to India as a prisoner. British preferred for dealing with him ‘on the spot’.
    Bose was stimulating a post-war upsurge against British. He thought that India’s
    partition was inevitable if British were allowed to “transfer power”.
    Bose’s aim in 1945 was not just to escape the British pursuit. He had
    foreknowledge of Japan’s decision to surrender. In the spring of 1945, he
    wanted to lead a challenge against the forces of Allies. He wanted to court
    death in battle. He thought that, after Aung San of Burma switched over to
    British side at the last moment, the INA needed to set an example of patriotic
    bravery. He was dissuaded from this course because two divisions of the INA
    were still intact and he thought of a new role for this patriotic force in the
    postwar situation. Unlike other leaders of the Japan-occupied Southeast Asian
    countries, he, at one stage, thought of staying with INA troops in Singapore to
    await the arrival of the Mountbatten-led British Indian occupation force. This
    course was abandoned on August 14, 1945, on the advice of members of AH govt.
    On Aug 14, 1945, some information was brought to him from Thailand. This
    information led him to abandon the plan that INA should await the capture of
    Singapore by the British. There is no record of the information that caused the
    AH govt to ask Netaji to fly to Tokyo for final consultations with Jap govt.
    Netaji had been forewarned of British preference for dealing with him “on
    the spot”? Did he fear that he would not be taken to India as a prisoner? He
    knew of the existence of the Allies’ spies in INA and behind the Japanese
    lines. As the war drew to a close, important people changed sides. They acted
    on the Allies’ directives. Even in Japan there were people who wanted to please
    the victors. They were ready to pay price new masters demanded. The British Foreign
    Office had ordered the assassination of Netaji in 1941, just after he made his
    “grand escape”. But his decision to change route and reach Germany
    via Russia had scuttled their plan. Eunan O’Halpin of Trinity College, Dublin,
    made this claim at Netaji Research Bureau. O’Halpin said the British Special
    Operation Executive (SOE) (formed in 1940 to carry out sabotage activities)
    informed its representatives in Istanbul and Cairo that Bose was thought to be
    travelling from Afghanistan to Germany via Iran, Iraq and Turkey. They were
    asked to arrange his assassination. O’Halpin handed over relevant documents to
    Krishna Bose. On June 13, 1941, the
    British SOE confirmed to Istanbul that the assassination order still stood.
    After Japan surrendered, again scope came for British to utilize Japan against
    Netaji. So, British must have utilized this new opportunity and assassinated him
    in secret.

SHARE
  • asit guin

    Declassification of all Netaji files may prove that JAP AND BRIT JOINTLY PLAYED A FOUL GAME WITH NET@JI; In WW-I, J@pan was a Briti$ ally. Before WW-II, Jap-US trade war and political war started; this led to actual US-JAP war. So Briti$ became an enemy to J@pan by diplomatic manipulation as US-Briti$ alliance was there. After WW-II, J@pan revived their old link with Briti$. Jap and Brit spies were well linked before WW-II. JAP SPIES AGREED TO ELIMINATE NET@JI. Motive was to appease Brit and purchase security for Jap royal family. So, J@PAN HANDED OVER NET@JI TO BRITI$ AND BRITI$ EXECUTED HIM IN SECRETE. False news of air crash was Jap fabrication. In any controversial case, liar is to be suspected. Net@ji plan to start second independence war with USSR help was known to J@pan. So, Brit and Jap spies developed a common minimum program against pro-SOCIALIST agenda of Net@ji. Why should Jap imperialism agree to patronize emergence of independent India as a permanent communist ally? Is it not more logical to fulfill Briti$ condition and purchase favor? Why Jap royal family was not tried as a war criminal? What is the mystery behind this favor?
    There is another point about gumnami baba. Who was he? He was a dummy created as a part of common minimum program of Jap and Brit imperialism. In axis camp, creation of dummy by plastic surgery was a common practice. Hitler and Mussolini were having number of dummies. J@pan sold Net@ji-dummy to Briti$. Briti$ deputed this dummy at faizabad of UP, with a purpose to create confusion regarding Net@ji. This confusion prevented nation to be doubtful about role of Jap or Brit. So, gumnami baba of faizabad is a common creation of Jap and Brit spies. Never had he told truth. If he had told anything, that must be lie. In a controversial case, liar is to be suspected. So, J@PAN SOLD NET@JI TO BRITI$ AND BRITI$ EXECUTED HIM IN SECRET. J@pan sold Net@ji-dummy to Briti$ and Briti$ deputed him at faizabad of UP. J@PAN SURRENDERED TO US-UK SIDE ON 15-AUG-1945. Net@ji’s last flight was on 18-aug-1945. A SURRENDERED J@PAN WAS NO LONGER AN ALLY OF AZAD HIND. They worked as per their new mentors, the Briti$.

  • asit guin

    British documents
    show that during last days of WW II, Viceroy Wavell did not want Netaji brought
    to India as a prisoner. British preferred for dealing with him ‘on the spot’.
    Bose was stimulating a post-war upsurge against British. He thought that India’s
    partition was inevitable if British were allowed to “transfer power”.
    Bose’s aim in 1945 was not just to escape the British pursuit. He had
    foreknowledge of Japan’s decision to surrender. In the spring of 1945, he
    wanted to lead a challenge against the forces of Allies. He wanted to court
    death in battle. He thought that, after Aung San of Burma switched over to
    British side at the last moment, the INA needed to set an example of patriotic
    bravery. He was dissuaded from this course because two divisions of the INA
    were still intact and he thought of a new role for this patriotic force in the
    postwar situation. Unlike other leaders of the Japan-occupied Southeast Asian
    countries, he, at one stage, thought of staying with INA troops in Singapore to
    await the arrival of the Mountbatten-led British Indian occupation force. This
    course was abandoned on August 14, 1945, on the advice of members of AH govt.
    On Aug 14, 1945, some information was brought to him from Thailand. This
    information led him to abandon the plan that INA should await the capture of
    Singapore by the British. There is no record of the information that caused the
    AH govt to ask Netaji to fly to Tokyo for final consultations with Jap govt.
    Netaji had been forewarned of British preference for dealing with him “on
    the spot”? Did he fear that he would not be taken to India as a prisoner? He
    knew of the existence of the Allies’ spies in INA and behind the Japanese
    lines. As the war drew to a close, important people changed sides. They acted
    on the Allies’ directives. Even in Japan there were people who wanted to please
    the victors. They were ready to pay price new masters demanded. The British Foreign
    Office had ordered the assassination of Netaji in 1941, just after he made his
    “grand escape”. But his decision to change route and reach Germany
    via Russia had scuttled their plan. Eunan O’Halpin of Trinity College, Dublin,
    made this claim at Netaji Research Bureau. O’Halpin said the British Special
    Operation Executive (SOE) (formed in 1940 to carry out sabotage activities)
    informed its representatives in Istanbul and Cairo that Bose was thought to be
    travelling from Afghanistan to Germany via Iran, Iraq and Turkey. They were
    asked to arrange his assassination. O’Halpin handed over relevant documents to
    Krishna Bose. On June 13, 1941, the
    British SOE confirmed to Istanbul that the assassination order still stood.
    After Japan surrendered, again scope came for British to utilize Japan against
    Netaji. So, British must have utilized this new opportunity and assassinated him
    in secret.

Next Story

The Mainstreaming of Netaji

Politics is about legacy. It is a constant. But political choices are like the swing of a pendulum

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Subhas Chandra Bose wikimedia.commons

By Ananda Majumdar

It is impossible to delink a political motive from the revival of Subhas Chandra Bose under the NDA. The result, however, goes beyond politics. The discourse around him, even though pushed by the ruling party, has led to the mainstreaming of Netaji and given him a far bigger stage than the one he has generally had as one of the icons of the freedom movement from Bengal.

What had started with the declassification of a part of the Netaji papers has now reached full momentum with the opening of the Netaji Museum in the Kranti Mandir complex at the Red Fort. For his followers, this is a sort of rehabilitation. He is back on centre-stage in the national discourse, and that includes on the social media, the pre-eminent medium of communication in the digital age. Even Congressmen suggesting that there were no major differences between him on the one side and Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi on the other only succeed in keeping him on the national stage.

Bose is a good vehicle to use in the effort to reinstall icons from the Congress party and outside overshadowed by the Nehru-Gandhis and the Mahatma. His views led to the formation of the Leftist Forward Bloc but that does not make him an untouchable for India’s Rightwing. His obvious nationalism, and a militaristic approach to it, make him a ready-favourite. One of his most-quoted lines, “Give me blood and I shall give you freedom,” from his speech to the Indian National Army in Burma in 1944 is the kind of stuff that drives the Rightwing. His life story gives a dimension that is more substantive than merely placing him in the space opposite Gandhi and Nehru and other Gandhian acolytes. In that sense he gets a heads-up when compared to say, Bhagat Singh, the other Leftist icon of the freedom movement.

Netaji
Gandhi and Bose in a train compartment, 1937. Photo: Netaji Research Bureau.

More than politics and ideology, the key words while referring to Bose are nationalism and patriotism. Taking up his cause helps the ruling party to score high on the patriotism index. This is one of the legs on which the BJP’s push for new constituencies stands – the others being a wave of welfare populism signified in the budget, talking Bharat ahead of India, and finding ways to ensure its upper caste vote which is illustrated in the move for quota in the general category.

Whether the pursuit of Bose and his legacy by the BJP will polarise the vote bank is an open question. In West Bengal where it is hoping to win at least 20 seats, and the Prime Minister has campaigned aggressively, the party has been moving in stages. There was an elaborate, almost ritualistic celebration of Swami Vivekananda, and Modi has made no secret of the fact that he has been an avid reader of Vivekananda’s teachings. Once again, social media has highlighted this. That apart, there has been an attempt to introduce ‘shastra pujan’, or a worship of weapons, a practice that did not originate in the state. The common thread running through these is nationalism/patriotism.

Also Read- To Clean Goa Beaches, This ‘Waste-bar’ Exchanges Cigarette Butts, Used Straws For Beer

Taking up Bose and Vivekananda in Bengal is a bit like selling coal to Newcastle. So it is doubtful whether they alone will bring in new voters for the BJP. But it is part of an overall package as mentioned earlier. The state is certainly providing the setting for a definitive electoral battle. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has positioned herself at the vanguard of the anti-Modi alliance. The recent all-party meet in Kolkata has shown that. The BJP has matched that with a campaign strategy to up its presence in the state, and that is going to increase in the lead-up to the Lok Sabha elections. If the vote count in Uttar Pradesh will have a bearing on the constitution of the next Lok Sabha, the polls in Bengal will provide the setting for the ideological battle between the two sides.

Politics is about legacy. It is a constant. But political choices are like the swing of a pendulum. They move from one extreme to the other. A liberal discourse ruled for a long time. There is now a course correction towards the Right. It has come more than 90 years since the formation of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh by K.B. Hedgewar in 1925 and over 60 years since the Bharatiya Jana Sangh was founded by Syama Prasad Mookerjee in 1951. The mainstreaming of Netaji becomes relevant in this context. Whether or not the Rightwing discourse is the dominant one will not be determined by the Lok Sabha polls because of the number of factors involved in the world’s largest democracy. But it will be a key determining factor. (IANS)