On Aug 18, 1945, Subash Chandra Bose, former president of the CWC and the head of the INA died in a plane crash in Taipei while he was on his way to Tokyo to negotiate a separate surrender for the INA to the Allies.
This is what all of us have read in NCERT text books, but things are not always what they seem. Anuj Dhar claims that Bose or Netaji as he was lovingly called by his followers, did not die in the plane crash, and it was all a conspiracy hatched by Netaji and some of his closest followers.
I'm a total skeptic when it comes to conspiracy theories, the evidence and the arguments put forward by Mr Dhar have convinced me that there was some cover up, something happened on the fateful day of Aug-18 1945 that we are still struggling to comprehend.
Buried in the Government archives, is the key to this secret. The govt has classified files on Bose's fate which only past Prime Ministers and top govt officials have been privy to, as per the government these files can't be disclosed to the general public because these records if leaked to the public can cause a law and order situation, thus these vital clues to Netaji's fate remain reticent and don't come under the ambit of the RTI.
There has been three official inquiries which the govt ordered, two by Congress governments and one by BJP. Shah Nawaz and Khosla inquiries concluded that Netaji did die in the plane crash where as the Mukherjee commission concluded that he did not. Congress did not of course want a rival for Nehru and his dynasty which prevails till this day.
The author dissects the Shah Nawaz and Khosla commissions, going into great details about how the commissions were biased and prejudiced. They set out to prove that Netaji did indeed die in the crash and their inquiry went into the same direction, where as Justice Mukherjee did a fair and unbiased investigation.
I will try and put forward some unanswered questions about Netaji's death:
- There is no photographic evidence of his dead body
- There is no cremation record for SC Bose, as opposed to cremation records found of other people on same dates
- Why did the Japanese change his plane at the last minute? he was supposed to travel in a charted plane with the rest of the crew but was later accommodated to travel in another flight where only two seats were available
- Why can't the govt provide sufficient evidence to prove that ashes kept in the Renkoji temple are of SC Bose?
- It is now clear that Netaji was not going to Tokyo to surrender but to go underground in the Soviet Union so as to prevent the Britishers and Americans from catching and putting him on trial for being a war criminal, did he stage his death and escape to Soviet Union.
- Who was Bhagwanji? why does his handwriting match with SC Bose, how come so many greats of the INA were his followers?
The author throws so many documents and records in your face, that the reader becomes stupefied with all this data, This book is an excellent piece of Investigative Journalism, a mystery,and a lesson in history.
This is a must read for anyone who likes mysteries and history.