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Abiding Mystery-II

The reports of the Shah Nawaz Committee and Khosla Commission were rejected by Prime Minister Morarji Desai in 1978 in Parliament. Nevertheless, a campaign of falsehood continued at other levels. The latest is that those who, after Mukherjee Commission’s findings, vociferously argued against the crash theory have now taken a complete U-turn. They say that there is nothing to show that Netaji was alive after 18 August 1945.

NANDALAL CHAKRABARTI | New Delhi |

The Shah Nawaz Committee’s Report was not found trustworthy by the public in general and eventually, several members of Parliament raised a demand for a fresh inquiry. The government, pursuant to this set up an inquiry Commission in 1970 headed by G.D. Khosla, retired chief justice of the Punjab High Court.

The Commission was tasked to inquire into all the facts and circumstances relating to the disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in 1945 and the subsequent developments connected therewith. But the Commission took into consideration even grossly contradictory accounts which endorsed the story of the accident and death.

One of the Japanese witness’ statements will show how fictitious narratives were relied upon. Colonel Nonogaki, one of the self-proclaimed co-passengers of the alleged plane carrying Netaji made four contradictory statements about the aftermath of the reported accident.

His first statement was, “Bose arrived at the hospital completely bandaged.” Then he changed it by stating, “from the airport to the hospital he [Bose] was completely naked… especially I remember that Chandra Bose was standing naked at the airport.”. Finally, he said, “when he [Bose] was near the airport, he was not naked, but when he was put in the car, he was naked.” About the alleged crash, Col. Nonogaki said, “the plane was broken into two pieces…” and added, “both the parts were on fire.” But another so-called co-passenger, Major Tarokono, said, “the plane was broken into three parts.” Such fundamental contradictions were ignored as long as the witnesses stuck to the story of Bose’s death in a plane crash.

The reports of the Shah Nawaz Committee and Khosla Commission were rejected by Prime Minister Morarji Desai in 1978 in Parliament.

Nevertheless, a campaign of falsehood continued at other levels. The latest is that those who, after Mukherjee Commission’s findings, vociferously argued against the crash theory have now taken a complete U-turn. They say that there is nothing to show that Netaji was alive after 18 August 1945. They also want DNA tests of the ashes kept in the Renkoji Temple of Japan. There are of course, more counterfactuals. The argument that there is no evidence of Bose’s existence after 18 August 1945 is factually incorrect.

Khurshed Naoroji’s letter to Louis Fisher and the Russian Vice consul General, Moradoff’s Report, among others, prove that he was in Russia in 1946. Khurshed was the granddaughter of Dadabhai Naoroji. She wrote to Louis Fischer, author of “Seven days with the Mahatma’’, on 22 July 1946 that, if Bose now comes with Russian help, neither Gandhiji nor Congress would be able to reason with the country.

On the other hand, File No. 273/INA reveals that Moradoff, the Russian Vice Consul General, disclosed Bose’s existence in Russia in March 1946. But, unfortunately, Bose’s existence in Russia triggered many counterfactuals. A group desperately campaigned that Bose died in Russia. In Moscow, the Russian witnesses before the Mukherjee Commission emphatically denied it. After this, a new group that previously rejected the crash theory has now accepted it. They say that official accounts have maintained that Netaji died in an air crash in August 1945. Nothing could be further from the truth. About the claim that the

The government of India has accepted the crash and death story, the following would be an eye-opener. In 2011, a Calcutta High Court advocate Rudrajyoti Bhattacharjee wanted to know about the factual basis of the date of death mentioned in a publication of the Parliament House Complex. In response, Smt. Kalpana Sharma, Director, Parliament House Complex, on 25 November 2011 informed that the date of death mentioned in the publication was actually announced by Tokyo Radio, “although there is no irrefutable proof of his death in the alleged air crash.” About the date ‘18 August 1945,’ there is an interesting document.

Anandamohan Sahay, an activist of the Indian Independence League, wrote in a top-secret letter dated 17 January 1952 to Subimal Dutta, then Secretary to the Govt. of India, Ministry of External Affairs, that the crash took place on the 18th and the announcement regarding his [Netaji’s] death was made the previous day. It has been claimed that despite several requests of the priest of the Renkoji Temple of Japan, the ashes are not being brought to India. A close examination of the entire episode will prove that the Government of India doubted the authenticity of the ashes kept in the priest’s custody.

In 1953, the priest of Renkoji Temple, Mochizuki, wrote in his letter to Prime Minister Nehru, “I, a stranger to the late Netaji, was asked to keep the ashes by people who were stranger to me including Indians of whom I have never heard since that time.” The government’s stand on this letter was reflected in a note from the Joint Secretary of External Affairs. The note says, “A remark of this nature could throw doubt on the authenticity of these ashes…” In short, the government did not accept that the ashes kept in the Renkoji Temple were Netaji’s. One would find it significant that Shah Nawaz Committee, which endorsed the plane crash theory, said in its recommendation, “if the ashes are taken to be genuine, Renkoji Temple cannot obviously be their final resting place…” [Chapter VII: Recommendation].

It is obvious therefore that the committee doubted the genuineness of the so-called ashes. There is more shocking information about the ashes. M.O. Mathai, Secretary to Prime Minister Nehru wrote in his note dated 2 December 1954, “A small amount of Rs. 200/- and odd was received by the Minister of External Affairs from our Embassy in Tokyo along with the ashes and other remains of the late Shri Subhas Chandra Bose. The money is being kept in the External Affairs Ministry.”

The government of India never clarified its stand in this regard. It shows that the so-called ashes have already been brought to India. The ash propagators never questioned the government’s silence on this issue. Meanwhile, the demand for a DNA test of the ashes has been raised again.

The Mukherjee Commission sought the opinions of experts both at home and abroad on a DNA test of ashes. The Director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, informed that if the bones were collected after the cremation, from ashes, a DNA test would not be possible. German expert Dr. Pabo expressed his inability to conduct a DNA test of ashes.

Alec Jeffrys of the University of Leicester informed that DNA test of bone samples subjected to high temperature was not possible. None of the experts agreed to conduct DNA test of ashes/ mortal remains that were subjected to high temperatures. Thus, the demand for a DNA test of the ashes is a pure propagandist move to put an end to the investigation into Bose’s disappearance.

(To Be Concluded)