Subhas Chandra Bose Didn’t Die in an Air Crash, Suggests French Report

The French government has always been silent on the issue, adding more significance to the findings

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Subhas Chandra Bose and the mystery around his death
Subhas Chandra Bose with Mahatma Gandhi at the Indian National Congress meeting. Wikimedia
  • Paris based historian, J B P More, through a brief French secret service report came up with a finding that Bose didn’t die in an air crash and was alive in 1947
  • The French government has always been silent on the issue
  • The Indian government, supposedly ended the mystery some time ago, by replying to an RTI query

New Delhi, July 17, 2017: Seventy-two years since the report of the death of Subhas Chandra Bose, however, the debate regarding the real timing and cause of his demise continues. Whether the plane crash story holds any ground or not, it is still a mystery that is yet to be solved.

Three commissions were appointed by the government of India to resolve the deeply rooted mystery. Among them, The Shah Nawaz Committee (1956) and Khosla Commission (1970) concluded that Bose died in an air crash on August 18, 1945, at Taihoku airport in Japanese-occupied Taipei, whereas, the Mukherjee Commission came to the conclusion that he did not die in an air crash. Although the Government rejected the claims of the Mukherjee Commission, this did not refrain the scholars around the world to get deep into the case to find the truth.

Recently, Paris-based historian, J B P More stumbled upon a brief French secret service report dated December 11, 1947, at the National Archives of France. He came up with a finding that Bose didn’t die in an air crash and was still alive in 1947.

Also read: Personal life of Subhas Chandra Bose generates divisive views

“It is not stated in the document that Subhas Chandra Bose died in the air crash in Taiwan. Instead, it is reported that Bose’s present whereabouts were unknown as late as December 1947, which again implies that the French did not buy the theory that Bose died in the air crash on August 18, 1945,” said More, who teaches at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Economiques et Commerciales, Paris.

“But he escaped from Indochina alive and his whereabouts were unknown as late as December 11, 1947, as reported in the secret document. This implies that he was alive somewhere but not dead in 1947,” More added, quoting the report written for the “Haut Commisariat de France for Indochina” SDECE Indochinese Base BCRI No. 41283 csah Ex No. 616, under the title: “Archival Information on Subhas Chandra Bose.”

After Bose took off from Saigon on his way to Tokyo, the British and the Japanese too declared that Bose died in an air crash, but the French government always remained silent on the issue, though Vietnam/Indochina was a French colony during the 1940s.

Also read: 100 files related to Netaji declassified by PM Modi on his birth anniversary

Scholars have expressed their concern regarding the need for the findings in the report to be taken seriously. “Even though the Mukherjee Commission concluded that Bose didn’t die in an air crash, the government didn’t recognize it. The Centre’s idea to ‘declassify’ secret files on Bose may not help, But findings like this have significance,” said Kingshuk Nag, a noted journalist and author of the book “Netaji: Living Dangerously.”

Only some time ago, The Ministry of Home Affairs, India, supposedly ended the mystery by replying to a Right To Information query filed by Sayak Sen. MHA reportedly said: “After considering the reports of Shahnawaz Committee, Justice GD Khosla Commission and Justice Mukherjee Commission of Enquiry, the Government has come to the conclusion that Netaji has died in plane crash in 1945.”

Now, Paris-based historian J B P More, with his findings, seems to have given a new shape to this enigma.

– prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha