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We need closure on Netaji, says ‘Mission Netaji’ on US tour

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By Kanika Rangray

New Delhi: To shed some light on the controversy surrounding the death (or, as some believe, sudden disappearance) of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced on Friday that her government will publicize 64 files on Netaji. Banerjee said that the mystery surrounding the freedom fighter’s disappearance needed to be solved and put at rest.

Subhas-Chandra-Bose-Sketch-Photos1“Still the mystery surrounding Netaji’s disappearance continues to be unsolved. So whatever files we have, we will declassify them which may help in unraveling the mystery,” Banerjee was quoted as saying to a newspaper.

The move by the West Bengal government was welcomed by descendants of Netaji and researchers who have been campaigning for the declassification of these files; they hope that this will encourage the central government, which claims possession of 100 such files, to do the same.

Apart from the government and descendants of Netaji, Mission Netaji, an organisation of journalists, activists, lawyers, IT associates and others, have also come forward to pursue the case of disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

Abhishek Bose, part of Mission Netaji, conversed with NewsGram via email: “We are currently conducting a US tour of our principal activist Sri Anuj Dhar. We have confirmed public events in Washington DC, Philadelphia/Delware and New York area(s).”

Talking about Mr. Dhar, Abhishek Bose said: “He had been instrumental in gathering evidence and helping the Mukherjee commission prove that the air crash theory was false. Thanks to his and other activists’ efforts, the West Bengal government has finally decided to declassify 64 files.”

“We intend to continue our efforts in creating awareness, building support and convincing the government to help solve this case. Towards that end, Mr. Dhar along with members of the Bose family and other public figures have been travelling across India and abroad addressing people, media and government functionaries,” he added.

Campaign to unveil mystery circling Netaji

Official documents maintained by the Indian government say that Netaji died when his plane crashed off Taihoku (Taiwan) in August, 1945. But Bose’s body or any picture of it was not produced to validate the controversial Japanese account, forcing some half-hearted investigations by the government. And so, in 2006 some admirers of Netaji and others decided to unravel this mystery and force the government to reveal classified documentation about Netaji’s life and death, the INA (Indian National Army led by Bose), which is spread across ministries.

The government accepted that the Prime Minister’s Office alone has 60 files regarding the same, the Intelligence Bureau has 77 and 29 are with the Ministry of External Affairs. The West Bengal government has a stockpile of 70 such files, out of which 64 are to be made public.

Anuj Dhar was quoted in a newspaper saying: “The demand for declassification of the Netaji files has gone international and vast Indian community living abroad and at home want to know the facts of their beloved leader. I hope the present government would do what previous Indian governments could not.”

Dhar, who has been leading an RTI campaign regarding the same, said: “Seventy years is a long time for someone to disappear. Indians have a right to know the truth. The excuse given by successive governments is that the information contained in the classified files will ‘spoil India’s relations with foreign countries’. This movement for transparency is about getting to the bottom of what really happened to Netaji.”

Gumnami Baba was Netaji himself?

It was once believed (and still some do) that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose died in a plane crash in Taipei (Taiwan) in 1945, but an inquiry by the Indian government in 2006 revealed that there was no such plane crash.

Photo credit: hindutav.com
Photo credit: hindutav.com

Indian author and former journalist Anuj Dhar claims that his research unveiled that Netaji lived in disguise as a nameless hermit monk in northern India and died in 1985. The nameless ascetic is none other than Gumnami Baba who lived in UP’s Faizabad.

Many people from the state have recounted incidents from their lives claiming that Gumnami Baba or Bhagwanji, as he was called, was none other than Indian freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose himself.

One among those who believed Bhagwanji was Netaji is Surajit Dasgupta. The 64 year old went back 33 years down his memory lane and recounting his encounters with Gumnami Baba said: “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.”

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.

Read more about Gumnami Baba

 

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10 Must Know Facts About Subhas Chandra Bose

Subhas Chandra Bose was a true legend in every essence and one of the most decorated freedom fighters who ever fought for incredible India.

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Subhas Chandra Bose views on attaining freedom were very much different from other Congress leaders. Wikimedia Commons
Subhas Chandra Bose views on attaining freedom were very much different from other Congress leaders. Wikimedia Commons
  • Subhas Chandra Bose was a true patriot and a man of principle who left no stone unturned to bring independence to India
  • Subhas graduated with Bachelors of Arts from the University of Calcutta
  • Subhas Chandra Bose never complied with the thoughts of Gandhi

NEW DELHI: A true Indian can never forget the very famous slogan of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, “You give me blood, and I’ll give you Freedom”. His words immediately sparked the zeal of patriotism in the hearts of many Indians during the independence struggle. Even today these words are as inspiring as they were at that time. Subhas Chandra Bose was a true patriot and a man of principle who left no stone unturned to bring independence to India.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was born on January 23, 1897, in Orissa, Bengal division. He is considered as one of the most esteemed freedom fighters of India who was the mastermind behind raising the Azad Hind Fauj. This force was created to fight the British people and was the first Indian armed force. Subhas Chandra Bose was a true legend in every essence and one of the most decorated freedom fighters who ever fought for incredible India.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was born on January 23, 1897, in Orissa, Bengal division. Wikimedia Commons
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was born on January 23, 1897, in Orissa, Bengal division. Wikimedia Commons

He was the ninth member of a family of 14. In January 1902, Subhas Chandra Bose joined Protestant European school. Due to his extreme brilliance and skills, Subhas Chandra Bose was admired by his principal. Subhas graduated with Bachelors of Arts from the University of Calcutta. After that, he left India in 1919 and promised his father that he will be taking Indian Civil services examination.

Also Read: 10 Facts You Need To Know About Homi Bhabha

On 19 November 1919, he matriculated from Cambridge and stood fourth overall but he didn’t pursue his job over there as he didn’t want to work under the British. Thereafter, in 1921, he gave up his dream of civil services and returned to India. Two years down the lane, Subhas Chandra Bose was elected as the president of all India youth congress and under the leadership of Chittaranjan Das. During that time only, he was also selected as the CEO of Calcutta Municipal Corporation.

He staged many campaigns against the atrocities of British rule in India and got arrested in a roundup of nationalists. After he got released from the prison, he came in contact with Jawaharlal Nehru and started working for the independence struggle. He even wrote a book named, ‘The Indian Struggle’ which was published in 1935. His book was based on the facts that he witnessed personally and the painful experiences of his fellow freedom fighters.

Related imageAfter he got released from the prison, he came in contact with Jawaharlal Nehru and started working for the independence struggle. Wikimedia Commons
After he got released from the prison, he came in contact with Jawaharlal Nehru and started working for the independence struggle. Wikimedia Commons

He was also elected as the mayor of Calcutta in 1930. He later on accepted for the Nomination of the president of India.

 

Take a look at some of the astonishing facts related to Subhas Chandra Bose.
1. Earlier in his career, Subhas Chandra Bose was the leader of the radical wing of the Indian National Congress in the late 1920s and 1930s. After taking a note of his efforts, he was elected as the Congress President in 1938 and 1939. But due to some differences with Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and the Congress high command, he has been expelled from Congress leadership positions in the very same year. Subhas Chandra Bose openly criticized Congress’ foreign and internal policies.

Also Read: 15 Facts To Know About Arnab Goswami and Republic TV

2. Being a hardcore freedom fighter, Subhas Chandra Bose came under direct threat of British government. Between 1921and 1941, he was imprisoned eleven times for his fight for complete independence.
3. Subhas Chandra Bose never complied with the thoughts of Gandhi. He believed that the tactics of non-violence would never be sufficient to secure independence and rather advocated violent resistance to secure the nation.

4. To fuel the spirit of independence, Subhas Chandra Bose visited many countries Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. He requested all the country leaders to allow their alliance for securing India’s independence. It initiated his move at the outset of the Second World War and during that time, most of the nations were building their military might. Finally, with the assistance from Imperial Japan, Subhas Chandra Bose raised Azad Hind Fauj or Indian National Army (INA). Japan offered monetary, political, diplomatic and military assistance to the force. Later, the Azad Hind Fauj was stationed at Andaman and Nicobar Islands and then travelled all the way to Manipur in India.

5. On August 23, 2007, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe personally visited the Subhas Chandra Bose memorial hall in Kolkata and later met his family members also. Prime Minister Abe quoted, “, “The Japanese are deeply moved by Bose’s strong will to have led the Indian independence movement from British rule.”

Subhas Chandra Bose was elected as the president of all India youth congress and under the leadership of Chittaranjan Das. Wikimedia Commons
Subhas Chandra Bose was elected as the president of all India youth congress and under the leadership of Chittaranjan Das. Wikimedia Commons

6. Subhas Chandra Bose was successful in establishing the Azad Hind Radio station in Germany and thus stoked up the Indian nationalist movement in East Asia.

Also Read: 10 must-know facts about Anand Mahindra

7. Subhas Chandra Bose was very much inspired by Bhagavad Gita and drew a lot of inspiration from it. He was also very much moved by Swami Vivekananda and his teaching on universal brotherhood, his nationalist thoughts and his emphasis on social service and much other reform.

8. Subhas Chandra Bose views on attaining freedom were very much different from other leaders. Congress wanted to gain independence through phases of a dominion status, whereas he stressed upon complete freedom. For his will to fight for his country, he was considered as a true patriot even by some of his rivals. He just wanted freedom for his nation and he didn’t mind going to anyone for assistance.

9. After successfully clearing his Indian Civil Services examination, Subhash Chandra Bose refused to obey the custom of carrying his umbrella while meeting the Governor General at his office. He never tolerated any misbehaviour in his life.

10. Subhash Chandra Bose travelled to Germany while attempting with a daring escape from his house arrest in India. He travelled from Kolkata to Gomo by a car and from there to Peshawar by train. He then went to Kabul and proceeded directly to Germany to seek help from Adolf Hitler for India’s independence. After many attempts, he was able to speak with Hitler.

Subhash Chandra Bose travelled to Germany to seek Adolf Hitler's help. Wikimedia Commons
Subhash Chandra Bose travelled to Germany to seek Adolf Hitler’s help. Wikimedia Commons

Subhas Chandra Bose death still remains a mystery at large. As per the government report, he died in a plane crash on 18 August 1945. But this theory is refuted by many historians and scholars. In the book, “Bose: The Indian Samurai – Netaji and the INA Military Assessment”, Maj Gen G D Bakshi (retd), has pointed out that the above report was made by Japanese intelligence agencies to help Subhas Chandra Bose to make his way to the Soviet Union.

In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the family members of Subhas Chandra Bose and announced the declassification of files related to his life. Later on, 100 secret files were made public by the central government.