Dynacracy, that is, Dynastic Democracy, is unfair, and is against the spirit of the constitution. It discounts merit and prevents competent from rising. The quality of leadership emerging out of a dynastic process can never really be good. Please also check Blunder#99. Yet another major negative of Dynacracy is that it suppresses truth. Continuance of the dynacracy requires that the halo be maintained. That requires hiding the ugly, and highlighting the positive—the latter is mostly manufactured. Both hiding the ugly and highlighting the manufactured positive requires continued suppression of truth. Among the biggest suppression of truth by Nehru and his Dynasty is the ‘Netaji Subhas Death Mystery’, prompting Anuj Dhar to title his book on the subject as ‘India’s Biggest Cover-up’.

It was claimed that Netaji Subhas had perished in a plane crash in Taipei on 18 August 1945; and that his ashes are enshrined in Tokyo’s Renkoji temple. This was the version accepted by Nehru and the Congress, and was the conclusion of the first two Enquiry Commissions on Netaji, who had conveniently endorsed the government’s position, or rather deliberate misinformation.

Reportedly, a Mitsubishi Ki-21 heavy bomber took off from Saigon airport at 2 pm on 17 August 1945. The bomber was being used for transportation, but it had no seats (it didn’t have parachutes either). Passengers had to squat on floor on cushions. Inside the bomber were 13 people, including Netaji Bose and Lt Gen Tsunamasa Shidei of the Imperial Japanese Army. Bose was accompanied by his ADC and INA’s Deputy Chief of Staff Lt Colonel Habibur Rahman.

The plane landed for refuelling in Taihoku, Formosa (now Taipei, Taiwan), after an overnight halt in Vietnam. Moments after the flight took off after refuelling on 18 August 1945, passengers heard a loud ‘bang’. Ground crew saw the portside engine fall off, and the plane crashed. The pilots and Lt Gen Shidei died instantly. Rahman, who miraculously survived, recalled that Netaji was doused in a splash of petrol when the plane crashed, and his clothes subsequently caught fire. Netaji was badly burnt, was taken to hospital, but passed away a few hours later, unable to survive his burn-injuries.
But, is the above story true?

No Official Confirmation
Though Nehru had repeatedly reiterated the crash-claim, there was no official confirmation either by Britain (in power then) or by the subsequent Indian government.
“You ask me to send you proof of the death of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. I cannot send you any precise and direct proof.”
—Nehru to Suresh Bose in 1962.

Dead Body?
How come Netaji’s other colleagues, who were to follow him on another flight, never saw his body? Why were no photographs taken of Netaji’s injured state or his body in the hospital? Why was no death certificate issued?

Biography of an INA recruiting officer
An article in Mumbai Mirror of 28 August 2005 titled “Nehru ditched Bose! ”, based on a biography of Dr VJ Dhanan, an INA recruiting officer, says that Bose had not died in that so-called air-crash on 18 August 1945 in Taiwan. The story was a concoction by the Japanese to keep Bose safe in exile. Soviet diplomats had claimed that Bose was in Russia.

Sardar Patel’s Response
Ahmed Jaffer asked Sardar Patel, the then Home Minister in the Interim Government, on 31 October 1946 meeting whether the government had evidence on the death of Bose. Patel’s laconic reply was: “No!” When pressed further, Patel replied: “The government are not in a position to make any authoritative statement on the subject.” When Patel was confronted with Nehru’s definitive statement that Bose had died, Patel reiterated that the government had no view in the matter either way.

Claims of Netaji’s Close Relatives
Sarat Chandra Bose, the elder brother of Netaji, broke his two-year silence—during which he had been investigating the matter—over the reported death of Netaji, by stating in late 1947: “Subhash is alive and Jawaharlal knows it .” Sarat lived with this conviction till his death in 1950.

Emilie Schenkl, Netaji’s wife, refused to buy the story of ‘death by plane crash’. Indeed, Emilie was so much against the said story that she refused to meet Pranab Mukherjee in 1995, the then External Affairs Minister, when he had approached her to discuss the possibility of transferring Subhas’s ‘ashes’ from Tokyo’s Renkoji temple to India.

Letter from Bose to Nehru & Letter by Nehru to Attlee
Reportedly, Viceroy Wavell had mentioned that Nehru had received a letter from Bose after the date of his reported death . As per the submission made by one Mr Shyamlal Jain of Meerut to the Khosla Commission, that was setup in 1970, he was called by Nehru to Asif Ali’s residence with typewriter on 26/27 December 1945 (Netaji reportedly died on 18-Aug), and was given a letter to type—the following letter:

Mr Clements Attlee
British Prime Minister 10 Downing Street, London
Dear Mr Attlee,
I understand from most reliable source that Subhas Chandra Bose, your war criminal , has been allowed to enter Russian territory by Stalin. This is a clear treachery and betrayal of faith by the Russians as Russia has been an ally of the British-Americans, which she should not have done. Please take care of it and do what you consider proper and fit.
Yours sincerely, Jawaharlal Nehru

The above letter is a proof Bose did not die in the air-crash, and that Nehru knew it! What is, however, worth noting and shocking are the use of words “…Bose, your war criminal…” by Nehru in the above letter. Clearly shows Nehru’s disdain for Netaji and his insulting attitude. For Nehru, Bose was not a patriot who gave his all to the nation, he was a war criminal, meant to be treated as such!

Justice Mukherjee Commission [JMC]’s Categorical Statement
As per a report in ‘Outlook’: “The Taiwan Government has informed the one-man Netaji Commission of Inquiry that there was no air crash at Taihoku on August 18, 1945, till date believed to have killed Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Disclosing this to newspersons after a routine hearing of the [Justice Mukherjee] Commission [JMC] here, Justice MK Mukherjee said that the Taiwan Government has confirmed to the Commission during its recent visit to that country that no plane crashed at Taihoku between August 14 and September 20, 1945.”

Declassified Files on Snooping
Most of the 64 files declassified by the West Bengal government on 18 September 2015 relate to snooping on the family members of Netaji. Their contents clearly establish that the Indian government as well as several foreign governments connected with Netaji believed Subhas was still alive, and that he had not perished in the plane-crash.

(1) Shah Nawaj Committee (SNC) or Netaji Inquiry Committee (NIC), 1956
“I have no doubt in my mind—I did not have it then and I have no doubt today of the fact of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s death… There can be no enquiry about that .”
—Nehru in reply to a question put in the Parliament by HV Kamath on 5 March 1952.

Nehru did his best for a decade to stall all enquiries into the death of Netaji. But, when he could fend it off no longer, he decided to set up a committee that would give a report as he desired. A committee headed by Shah Nawaz Khan (24 January 1914 – 9 December 1983), a Congress MP and a former Lieutenant Colonel of INA, was appointed in 1956. Its other members were SN Maitra, ICS, nominated by the West Bengal Government, and Suresh Chandra Bose, a non-political elder brother of Netaji. The committee came to be known as the Shah Nawaj Committee (SNC) or the Netaji Inquiry Committee (NIC). SNC-NIC interviewed 67 witnesses in India, Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam between April and July 1956. The interviewees included the reported survivors of the alleged plane crash, one of whom was INA’s Lt Colonel Habibur Rahman, who had since joined the Pakistan military establishment.

Two members of the NIC, Shah Nawaz Khan and SN Maitra, concluded Bose had died in the plane crash. However, Suresh Chandra Bose, the third member, differed, did not believe so and submitted a dissenting note. He claimed that certain crucial evidence was withheld from him, and that he was pressurized by the other members and also by the then WB Chief Minister BC Roy to sign the final report. Suresh Bose alleged: “My colleagues, both connected with the Government, have tried their utmost to secure and manipulate the evidence, so that it could easily conform with the Prime Minister’s statements.” Incidentally, Shah Nawaz Khan held various ministerial posts between 1952 and 1977. Was he bought over?

(2) Khosla Commission 1970-74
Owing to persistent doubts and pressure from many quarters, a one-man
commission of enquiry headed by a retired Chief Justice of the Punjab High Court, GD Khosla, was set up in 1970. It submitted its report in 1974. Justice Khosla concurred with the earlier report of the Shah Nawaz Committee on the main facts of Bose’s death.
Justice Mukherjee Commission (please see below) was dismayed by the sheer negligence of the Khosla Commission in omitting to pursue several crucial leads Dr Satyanarain Sinha had provided to unravel the Netaji mystery.

(3) Justice Mukherjee Commission (JMC) of Inquiry 1999-2005 Justice Mukherjee Commission of Inquiry was set up in 1999 during the Vajpayee’s NDA regime, following a Calcutta High Court Order. It was headed by a retired Supreme Court Judge Manoj Kumar Mukherjee. The commission studied hundreds of files on Bose’s death drawn from several countries and visited Japan, Russia and Taiwan. It submitted its report in 2005. The Commission’s conclusions were several:
(1)The oral accounts on the plane crash were not reliable.
(2)Bose had NOT died in the alleged plane-crash. Thanks to the cooperation extended by Taiwan, it could be confirmed by the JMC that no air-crash took place on 18 August 1945! The US state department too had corroborated the fact of no air-crash in Taiwan on that day.
(3)The plane-crash was a ruse to allow safe escape of Bose by Japan and Taiwan. There was a secret plan to ensure Bose’s safe passage to the USSR with the knowledge of the Japanese authorities and Habibur Rahman (who had testified on the plane crash). As per the Report: “…On a conspectus of all the facts and circumstances relevant to the above issues it stands established that emplaning at Saigon on August 17, 1945 Netaji succeeded in evading the Allied Forces and escaping out of their reach and as a camouflage thereof the entire make-believe story of the air crash, Netaji’s death therein and his cremation was engineered by the Japanese army authorities including the two doctors and Habibur Rahman and then aired on August 23, 1945…”
(4)The Indian government subsequently came to know of the escape, but chose to suppress the report.
(5)The ashes kept at the Renkoji temple in Japan, reported to be Bose’s, were of Ichiro Okura, a Japanese soldier who died of cardiac arrest.
(6)JMC asked for a thorough probe into the Russian connection that contends that Bose had been detained in a Siberian camp.
(7)JMC couldn’t find any evidence that “Gumnami Baba”/Bhagwanji, a monk who lived in Faridabad until his death in 1985, was Bose in disguise. (However, later Justice Mukherjee had commented: “It is my personal feeling…But I am 100 per cent sure that he is Netaji.”)

The Action Taken Report (ATR) was tabled in the Parliament on 17 May 2006 during UPA-I by Minister of State for Home S Regupathy along with the JMC Report. The ATR mentioned, inter alia, that the government had examined the Commission’s report submitted to it on 8 November 2005 “in detail and has not agreed with the findings that Netaji did not die in a plane crash and the ashes in the Renkoji Temple were not of Netaji.” Expectedly, the Commission’s report was rejected by the government without assigning any specific reasons—it being UPA-I/Congress Govt.

Reportedly, the Commission did not receive cooperation from either the Indian government or the foreign countries it visited, except Taiwan. The hostile posture of the British, Russian, Japanese and Indian governments was intriguing and indicative of an international conspiracy to suppress the truth. The Indian government refused to share many important files and documents with the JMC under the pretext of them being sensitive. Disappointed, the JMC was forced to submit its unfinished work to the then Congress home minister Shivraj Patil.

Gumnami Baba, aka Bhagwanji, was a monk who lived in Lucknow, Faizabad, Sitapur, Basti and Ayodhya in UP for over 30 years till his death on 16 September 1985. He maintained contact with Dr Pavitra Mohan Roy, the former top Secret Service agent of the INA.

Personal effects (German binoculars, Gold-rimmed spectacles identical to that of Subhas, Bengali books, the original copy of the summons issued to Suresh Chandra Bose to appear before the Khosla Commission, an album containing family photographs of Netaji Subhas, newspaper clippings about Netaji’s ‘death’ probe, letters from Netaji’s followers, and so on) left behind by Bhagwanji seem to indicate he was perhaps Bose himself! Bhagwanji’s birth date was 23rd January, the same as Netaji’s.

The Mukherjee Commission had referred the handwriting samples of Bhagwanji and Bose to Dr B Lal, a forensic expert. His report was that the two matched! As per a report in ToI: “A leading American handwriting expert has concluded that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose lived in India for several decades after Independence, under the identity of a ascetic, Gumnami Baba… The expert, Carl Baggett, reached his conclusion after studying letters written by both Bose and Gumnami Baba.”

How come the government took no steps to ascertain the truth when Bhagwanji was alive? Or, in case it did, why has it been secretive about it? What was the government’s relationship with Bhagwanji?

Why nothing was done to get at the truth even after Bhagwanji’s death, especially after personal effects of the deceased pointed to his being perhaps Netaji? And, in case the truth was already known or was found out, why was it not made public? Why was Bhagwanji not rehabilitated or welcomed as Netaji? Why were even his relatives kept in the dark?

Why did Bhagwanji prefer to remain unknown or ”Gumnami”? What were his constraints that he didn’t wish to reveal his real self?

How could such a tragedy unfold for one of the greatest sons of India, even as his compatriots and political leaders remained mute, indifferent witnesses for decades?

Share this post