Now, a Chinese angle adds to Netaji mystery

Last Updated 18 October 2013, 09:26 IST

Deepening the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, a new book claims the nationalist leader went to China after escaping into Russia.

In his new book 'No Secrets' researcher Anuj Dhar says Netaji's elder brother and his closest associate Sarat Chandra Bose had written a front-page article in his newspaper 'The Nation' proclaiming that Netaji was in Red China in October 1949.

A copy of the newspaper clipping is there in the book, which would be released next week in Kolkata, to support the claim.

"It goes without saying that Sarat would not have published this in such a manner without being sure about it. The story quoted him claiming "that the Government of India were in possession of definite information that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was in Red China of Mao Tse-Tung". When asked why Subhas was not coming to India, Sarat Bose replied, "I don't think the time is ripe for his coming back home"," says the book.

"It is a truth that in 1949 rumours began doing the rounds in India and elsewhere that Subhas Bose was in China. So much so that when pro-Soviet Bombay tabloid 'The Blitz' carried a sensational news headlined "British report Bose alive in Red continent" on 26 March 1949, the American Consul there transmitted its text to the Secretary of State under the subject "Ghost of Subhas Chandra Bose".

Written with the help of declassified and still secret records, the book says in 1956 Bose's associate Muthuramalingam Thevar had told newspapers such as 'Hindustan Standard' that he had secretly visited China on Sarat Bose's instruction.

"I cannot believe that the Chinese attention was never drawn to numerous claims about Subhas's presence in their country. Priyadarsi Mukherji, professor in Chinese & Sinological Studies Centre at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, thinks that the Chinese are holding some records about Bose," says Dhar.

The book links the life of the secretive holy man known as 'Bhagwanji' or 'Gumnami Baba' who died in Faizabad in 1985 to that of Netaji.

'No Secrets' refers to Bhagwanji's claim that "he met Mao Tse-tung several times 1949 onwards and that he visited secret Dixia Cheng (underground nuclear shelter) of Beijing much before the world came to know if its existence".

In January this year the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court observed that "there was substantial oral and documentary evidence" that prima facie made "a case for scientific investigation with regard to the identity" of 'Bhagwanji'.

When under house arrest by the Britishers, Netaji had escaped from India in 1941 to seek international support for India's freedom struggle. After organising the Indian National Army with Japanese help he went missing in 1945, giving birth to India's most debated and puzzling mystery.

He was last seen at the Bangkok Airport on 17th August 1945, since then no news of his whereabouts has been confirmed.

The Mukherjee Commission formed by the Centre had rejected the opinion that he died in a plane crash in Taiwan on August 18, 1945.

Even Suresh Bose, one of the older brothers of Netaji and a member of the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Inquiry Committee, had stated on oath before his death in 1972 that his brother was alive at the time.

(Published 18 October 2013, 09:20 IST)

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