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Subhas Bose: Did He Die in Air Crash or Escape to Russia?
Subhas Bose was a leader in the Congress party. He was, however, a firebrand and believed in radical solutions to oust the Imperial power i.e the British.Gandhi wanted a non-confrontational approach and both men differed. In the 1938 session, Bose defeated the nominee of Gandhi for the party president post. Gandhi as an astute politician decided not to talk to Bose. He put this into effect by taking a vow of silence.Other leaders like Nehru and Patel who were stooges of Gandhi followed likewise. An exasperated Bose resigned and announced his vision to free India from British rule come what may.He formed his own splinter group called the "Forward Bloc".
Bose was put under house arrest in Calcutta, but he escaped and traveled via Moscow to Germany where he met Hitler. He stayed in Germany for 2 years and in 1943 was transferred by a German U-Boat to the Indian Ocean, where a Japanese Submarine awaited him. He was transferred in mid-ocean and spirited away to Tokyo, where he met the Japanese wartime leader General Hideki Tojo.
The Purported Death of Bose
In 1945 Japan surrendered after the dropping of the Atomic bombs. Bose was in Taiwan at that time. Bose at that time had two options. He could surrender to the British and be tried as a war criminal or he could escape to Russia and try to get the support of Stalin, for the liberation of India.
It was officially announced that Bose had died in an air crash and the government of India accepted this. In fact, the government ordered 3 Judicial commissions to investigate whether Bose really died in the air crash in Taiwan. The first 2 commissions accepted that Bose died in the air crash. The third commission headed by justice Mukherjee opined that Bose escaped the air crash and went away. The commission could not hazard a guess where he went.
The government of India at that time headed by the BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee rejected the findings of the commission and stuck to the fact that Bose died in the air crash.
Do you feel Bose died in the air crash in 1945 ?
Controversy is Re-ignited
The death of Bose and controversy surrounding it again gained fresh impetus when the government of Narendra Modi leaked two classified flies that brought to light that Nehru and the Congress party had kept the family of Subhas Chandra Bose under surveillance by the Intelligence Bureau for 20 years after the death of Bose.
The question is why Nehru and other Congress party leaders kept tabs on the family unless they had something to hide. Probably Nehru knew a lot more about Bose. Facts have now emerged that there was no plane crash in Taipei and this has been given in writing by the Nationalist Government of Taiwan. So if there was no crash, then what happened to Bose? where did he go? It is obvious that Bose himself faked his death to get the Allies of his back. Perhaps Nehru had a role in this entire episode.
Could Bose have Escaped to Russia ?
If Bose did not die in the air crash, as there there was no air crash, it is obvious he went somewhere. Now it appears that Bose escaped to Russia in a Japanese plane which made it to Manchuria. He is reported to have landed at an airfield controlled by Russia and taken to Moscow.
This was a grievous mistake as Stalin was unforgiving to anybody who had shaken the hand of Hitler and Tojo. Bose had thought that Stalin would side with him and help throw the British out of India.But in 1945 Russia and Britain were allies and there is every possibility that the British asked the Russians to imprison Bose.He was kept in Moscow for 17 months and then jailed in Siberia. He probably died in 1958/59. There are many who conjecture that Nehru was aware of this and made a pretense of Bose's death and commissions of inquiry.
It must also be remembered that Nehru was mortally scared of Bose, for in case he had come back he would have led India and Nehru would have been sidelined. Can one forget that Bose defeated Gandhi's nominee in 1938 Congress party elections for president.?
The situation in the 21st century is quite murky as far as the death of Bose is concerned. The West Bengal government de-classified 64 files on Netaji( Bose) in September 2015 and are now in the public domain. Unfortunately, they do not resolve the mystery of the death of Bose. One fact does emerge that Nehru kept the entire Bose family under surveillance. Why? This is an intriguing question and there is every reason to believe that Nehru knew more than he revealed about Bose.