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Saturday, August 18, 2018

Remembering Nethaji Bose this day !! letter to Prof Samar Guha seeking truth !!!

One man who has left the most indelible impression on India – as fighter par excellence was certainly ‘Nethaji Subash Chandra Bose’ and the Nation remembers him today .. 

After their first defeat at the hands of British in 1757, there have been many occasions, when Indian patriots formed groups and fought hard and bitter battles exhibiting selfless sacrifice.  Alongside hundreds of Velu Thampi, Peshwa Baji Rao, Sardar Shyam Sing, Rani Laximibhai, Tantia Tope, Maharaj of Dumraon, Nana Sahib, there are many hundreds hidden whose exploits, history did not record or were neglected by the British historians and later partisan historians.  May be those were the time, when such fighters did not fully realize that British singularly constituted gravest threat to the whole of India and not to a particular dominion alone.  Despite some early stage victories, ill-luck, being unorganized, better arms & ammunition, slavery, and many other aspects led to their subjugation.

Years later in the foreign land came another clarion call for organizing Indians in self-defence and fighting for Independence occurred.  In a conference at Tokyo in March  -    Giani Pritam Singh, Swami Satyanand Puri, Capt, Mohammed Akram and K. A. N. Iyer crashed and died while proceeding for attendance. Delegates to the Conference came from Hongkong, Shanghai and Japan, Malaya and other places.  Rash Behari Bose presided. The Conference decided to start the Indian Independence movement amongst Indians in East Asia. It was also decided to raise an Azad Hind Fauj and resolved  that military action against the rulers of India will be taken by the Indian National Army.  The next conference was at Bangkok in June 1942, under Rash Behari Bose. The Indian National Army was formed on September 1, 1942. Capt. Mohan Singh was appointed G.O.C.   A large body of nearly 7,000 well disciplined troops was raised, the training and fighting being done with British Arms, The  Army was governed by the Indian National Army Act which was specially prepared in August 1942.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose arrived in Singapore on July 2, 1943. On July 4 a Conference of delegates from all countries in East Asia assembled to meet him. At that conference Rash Behari Bose formally handed over presidentship of the Indian Independence League to Subhas Bose.

Tragically for the Nation, Nethaji died in a hospital at Taipei (Taiwan) on 18.8.1945 – two days later, his body was cremated and ashed arrived at Tokyo.  The ashes were kept in a Buddhist temple in Tokyo.

it is stated that the British government did not really believe that Bose was dead. Even for some months after the Japanese announced Netaji’s death, the British goverment continued to discuss ways of ‘dealing with him’.  Sadly, Indians under Congress believed the death.  After Independence too, the Indian Govt  was “not inclined to favour” the bringing back of Netaji’s ashes kept in Renkoji temple, Tokyo “due to possible adverse reactions from members of Netaji’s family, as well as certain sections of the public, who refused to believe in his death in the plane crash in August, 1945”. The commission under  GD Khosla was fully  convinced that  the wooden casket lodged in the Renkoji Temple at Tokyo contained Bose's ashes and these ashes were placed in the box at Taipei after the cremation of his dead body.

According to a confidential report prepared by the home ministry in 1977, the Indian embassy was paying the temple authorities in Tokyo Rs 5000 a year for the safekeeping of the freedom fighter’s ashes.  The chief priest at the temple sought some kind of recognition in the form of a letter or a medal from the Indian government for the trouble he took to retain the ashes. Later it was paid to Netaji’s daughter and was duly discontinued in 1965 when she got married !

That was the sad story of the greatest hero of India – born in 1897, Bose became president of the Congress Party for India's independence but resigned from the post following differences with Mahatma Gandhi. He exiled himself in Germany before moving to Japan. In 1944, he commanded the Indian national army at the Battle of Imphal, a clash during the now-defunct Imperial Japanese Army's invasion of British India through Burma, now Myanmar. He was said to have aspired to continue fighting in the former Soviet Union.   Recently, the  Japanese government declassified archival materials to help settle the long-held controversy over the death of Subhas Chandra Bose, and the Indian govt too declassified its files containing information on the leader’s mysterious disappearance aka presumed death. 

After the fall of Japan on 15th Aug 1945, Tokyo radio reported on 23.8.1945 that Subash Chandra bose had died in a plane crash at Taipei, in former Taiwan on 18.8.1945 ~ however not many bought this report and certainly not Prof. Samar Guha former MP who wrote to Comrade Mikahil Gorbachev, then President of USSR – here is his letter in Nov 5, 1988 – which was sent to the President of India and by him to the PM, VP Singh.  The noted Parliamentarian Guha had been a close associate of Nethaji.  He was an academician, whose books on Chemistry were widely used.  He was elected as a Praja Socialist Party candidate MP in 1967 and relected in 1971 & 1977.

Guha was of firm conviction that Bose was not killed on 18 August 1945 after the overloaded Japanese plane that Bose was flying in crashed in Taihoku Japanese-occupied Formosa (now Taiwan), As a parliamentarian, he was a devoted activist to make Government of India accept that Bose lived after 1945.  He also made several efforts to make Government of India publish all secret files on Bose's death. Guha did not believe prior Shah Nawaz Committee's report on this. Even though the secret files were not published, Guha was one of the main vocal supporter of creating G D Khosla commission to re-investigate Bose's death in 1970. However, G D Khosla Commission also came up with the same conclusion as Shah Nawaz Committee even after Guha's effort to point out the inconsistency in the report produced by Khosla Commission.

In his letter to Russian President, Guha mentions that Dr s Radhakrishnan who was second Indian Ambassador in Moscow confided to his close friend Dr S Das, the head of Philosophy Dept in Calcutta University and Dr LC Majumdar that he came to know that Bose was kept captive in Stalin’s Russia.  He added that he had come across an important report   on Bose’s presence in Russia in 1961, from an Engineer A Sarkar who was sent to Russia 3 times for training from Heavy engg Corporation for manufacturing heavy machinery set up in collaboration with Russia.  While working at Gorlovska, near Doniesh he came into contact with a jew  - BA Zerobin who had earlier designed machines in Nazi Germany.    Zerobin told Sarkar that he was captured in Berlin after fall of Germany and sent to reorientation camp somewhere in Siberian- Mongolian border  and had met Bose twice.  Zerobin having seen him earlier could identify him because of his handsome appearance and rare cut.  According to Zerobin, Bose was brought to the Camp in a car accompanied by 2 Mongolians, one as his interpretor. Zerobin believed that both the Mongolins were KGB men but it appeared to him that Bose was well looked After. When Zerobin tried to converse, the interpreter stopped stating that it was not allowed.  Zerobin while disclosing his meeting with Subhas Bose warned Sarkar that he should not disclose it while in Russia as it would endanger both. Sarkar told about the matter to the Second Secretary of the Indian Embassy in Moscow, who also warned him of the dire consequence if he disclosed it to anybody. Sarkar told Saha after he came out of Govt service by which time Zerobin also was dead.

Saha addressed Comrade Gorbachev- You have taken many bold steps in disclosing many suppressed facts of horror and repression of the Stalin days. You have done great justice to history by rehabilitating Trotsky and Bhukharin and restoring honour to the great scientist, Prof. Sakhalov. Inspired by your great liberal policy of 'Glasnost', I would make an appeal - an appeal from the depth of my soul to you – on behalf of the patriotic people of India to reveal all facts about the Universally adored hero Subhas Chandra Bose.  Stalin might have done injustice to the legendary hero but why would you not reveal it now ? Bose was a Promethean hero of Indian revolution who staked everything for the liberation of his motherland and was always friendly with Russia.  Why should you not let the Indian people know what happened to the hero – and win the hearts of millions of patriotic Indians.  When Comrade Brezhnev visited India in Nov, 1973, I met him in the President’s house as leader of Socialist Party and gave him a letter seeking information about Subash Chandra Bose’s presence in Russia.  The letter was acknowledged but was not replied.  Considering the poignancy of the issue, I hope you will excuse me for addressing this long letter to you.  I eagerly expect reply before you visit India.

The truth as they say, never came out ! and got buried elsewhere perhaps as most attribute to the Congress leaders who were not interested .. !!   - Interestingly, Subhas Chandra was conferred with Bharat Ratna but the award was subsequently withdrawn, due to a technicality, the only case of an award being withdrawn. It was withdrawn in response to a Supreme Court of India directive following a Public Interest Litigation filed in the Court against the “posthumous” nature of the award. The Award Committee could not give conclusive evidence of Bose’s death and thus it invalidated the “posthumous” award.

Sad to read the history of this great son of India ~ and today (18th Aug) is the day when he reportedly perished

J  a  i        H  i  n  d

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
18th Aug 2018.
Biblio : story of INA by Kusum Nair; declassified files & letters of Prof Samar Guha, Ex-MP

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