Highlights

  • India commemorates Netaji’s death anniversary on August 18
  • Bose’s death has been shrouded in mystery
  • Netaji is believed to have died in a plane crash in 1945

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Netaji's kin want his remains brought back: All you need to know about mystery around his death

Netaji's only child Anita Bose Pfaff on 15, August, 2022 appealed to the Indian government to bring back his remains from Tokyo temple and conduct a DNA test so Bose's kin can get a closure.

Did Netaji survive the plane crash? Or did he really live in disguise for years? These speculations around Indian freedom fighter and national leader Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose seem to be unceasing. Even after so many years of his death, Bose's demise is still shrouded in mystery.

India commemorates Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's death anniversary on August 18 every year and for the longest time after the fierce leader suspiciously disappeared, it was widely believed that Netaji died in a plane crash in Taiwan on August 18, 1945. Initial investigations carried out by the British government in pre-independent India, Japanese government and Allied forces came to the same conclusion of Netaji's dying in a plane crash. Apparently, Netaji died of third degree burns in a hospital.

What do we know of the fateful day?

According to historical narrative, one version states that after Japan's formal surrender post World War II on August 16, 1945, Bose decided to leave for Saigon along with his aides. Netaji accompanied by his aides and senior Japanese officials arrived in Saigon. After Japan's unconditional surrender, Netaji wanted to go to the Soviet Union in search of a safe place. To carry out his wish, Japanese Field Marshal Tarauchi carved a secret plan. On August 18, 1945 Netaji along with his colleagues arrived at Taihoku. The team was headed for Dairen in Manchuria to drop off Japanese Army Lieutenant general Shidei. Apparently, Netaji agreed to go with Shidei to Mukden (Shenyang), the capital of the Manchuria region in China. The plane took off at around 2-2:30 pm. As soon as the plane was air-borne, a loud explosion was heard with multiple bangs. The plane crashed thereafter.

Why was Netaji's demise disputed?


Soon after Netaji's demise, conspiracy theories and narratives started doing rounds. In 1956, the Indian government constituted a committee to investigate his death. The committee backed the same theory of death in a plane crash. However, Netaji's brother refuted the claims and refused to sign the report and stating this was a cover-up.

Read More:- Targeted killing: J&K administration moves to attach house of terrorist, police arrest kin

Theories over Bose's death

  • The narrative is known from the time Netaji disappeared in 1945-- he died in a plane crash in Taihoku (present day Taiwan) on August 18. Netaji's followers refused to believe the theory and stressed on Netaji surviving the crash.

  • 2) In 1966, Netaji's brother claimed that the freedom fighter was all set to make a return. For years, rumours floated around sightings of Netaji in the country.

  • The second theory was proposed by Indian army's Retd Major Gen GD Bakshi in his book. Bakshi claimed that the plane crash was a decoy by the Japanese to help Bose escape to the former Soviet Union. Not just this, the retired major general also stated that Netaji successfully made three radio broadcasts from Siberia which gave away his location to the British. It is after this that the British interrogated Netaji and thus tortured him to death, alleges the retired general.
  • In another bizarre theory claims were made that Netaji was living disguised as a saint named Gumnami baba Uttar Pradesh in the 80s.

How Mukherjee commission's report baffled all

Even though there were weird theories and narratives surrounding Netaji's disappearance, Mukherjee commission's report in 1999 left the countrymen baffled. The report supported public speculations that Bose did not die in a plane crash and the remains in the Japanese temple are not his.

Also watch: Netaji's daughter Arpita Bose: will approach India, Japan for DNA test of his ashes

The De-classification of Netaji's file

In 2016, a total of 304 files related to Netaji were declassified by the Central ministry. This move came after the Kolkata government made files related to Netaji's public. The government had received appeals for several years. Even after the declassification of the files, there is less known about Netaji's death. It is believed that Netaji's remains are kept at Renko-ji temple in Tokyo Japan. Netaji's only child Anita Bose Pfaff on 15, August, 2022 appealed to the Indian government to bring back his remains from Tokyo temple and conduct a DNA test so Netaji's kin gets closure.

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