As Netaji Subhas Chandra Boses death anniversary on August 18 nears, the clamour for his ashes, believed to be kept in a temple in Japan, to be subjected to a DNA test and brought back to India is getting louder.
IANS spoke to Rajashree Choudhury, great-grandniece of Bose. She is also the national president of Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM).
Q: Amid the raging controversy about the end of Netaji, last year his daughter Anita Bose Pfaff had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure DNA tests were done on the ashes kept at Renkoji Temple in Japan. Do you believe it would help establish any credible link with the tragic disappearance of Netaji? Do you support the plane crash theory?
A: The plane crash death theory has already been nullified. So, there is no question of ashes and the resurrection of the theory again. Netaji has met several people after that as per declassified files including one Shri Nikhil Chattopadhayay, son of revolutionary Virendranath Chattopadhayay, in 1968 at OMSK.
According to a classified Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) file released in Delhi, an affidavit filed by Narendranath Sindkdar, a writer-journalist who was based in Moscow between 1966 and 1991, claimed that Chattopadhyay and his wife had met Bose in a Siberian town 23 years after he was apparently killed in a plane crash. Filed before the Mukherjee Commission in 2000, Sindkdar’s affidavit quoted Chattopadhyay as saying that Bose was in hiding in Russia for he feared being prosecuted as a war criminal in India.
There were several radio speeches after August 18, 1945. In the prelude to transfer of power agreement, Netaji’s trial, if captured, was being discussed in Vol-6, Page No: 138, 139 and 140. It was finally said that let him be as he is and not ask for his surrender. Leaders like Dr Radhakrishnan met him in Russia, Muthuramlingam Thevar met him in China, above all Netaji’s elder brother Suresh Chandra Bose’s Dissentient Report says it all that his brother never died in air crash as there was no plane which took off or landed in Taihaku.
Q: Do you think the Government of India should take the initiative to bring back his ashes from the Japanese temple? How will it help unravel the mystery?
A: The Government of India should revive the incomplete Justice Mukherjee Commission and allow it to complete with clarifications. Then it can decide whether it would put its hand in a false rumour or go by substance and legal back-up.
Q: A section of your family believes that Netaji died in a plane crash. But what made you disbelieve that fact? Do you have any other details? If so, can you please share?
A: I had in possession the writer’s copy of the Dissentient Report. So, since childhood I and a section of the extended family did not believe in the plane crash theory. Later I met a number of Indian National Army (INA) veterans like Col Nizamuddin and Col A.B. Singh who vouched for my conviction. The declassified files of the central and state governments also revealed the same. Moreover, Justice Mukherjee Commission has vouched for Netaji’s life beyond August, 1945. How can we accept death certificate of one Okura to be that of the head of our government? Is it a joke? Netaji was a great leader of the country. They are bringing down his stature. It’s absolutely dishonourable.
Q: How do you look at the whole conspiracy theory of Netaji’s disappearance from post-Independence Indian politics?
A: It is a cunning way to block him and fate of Bharat by British-Gandhi-Nehru to allow opponents of Bharat to dominate Asia economically, politically, culturally and socially. It’s part of a big conspiracy. Most of the claims about Netaji’s mysterious disappearance are baseless. There are many questions which were never answered by the government.
Q: How important is it to remember Netaji even after so many years of his mysterious disappearance? If you can kindly explain the enigma called Netaji?
A: We need him as our icon. He infuses truthfulness in us which is essential for building a corruption-free Bharat. Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) will demand for renaming Fort William as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Fort on August 18, 2020. As his great-grandniece and as national president of Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha this will be the first honour we can show to our freedom fighters by removing a British name and honouring the hub from where our brave soldiers fought in the name of the first �Supreme Commander’ of a free Indian government.