More than six decades after his allege death in a plane crash, the mystery over that incident and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's possible survival still haunts the Indian nation. The absence of any credible evidence and the subsequent inability of the government appointed committees to unravel the truth have spawned umpteen conspiracy theories with a large chuck of the population refusing to believe that their beloved leader indeed lost his life in a plane crash. Here we have tried to shed light on various facets of the death mystery of Subhash Chandra Bose.
Government Efforts (1945 - 2005)
The four-member Shahnawaz Committee was the first official endeavor to
examine whether Bose actually died in a plane crash in Taihoku (Taipei)
on August 18, 1945. The committee went to Japan in May, 1956 and a
number of Japanese army surgeons testified that they actually conducted
blood transfusion on a seriously injured Subhash Bose who later
succumbed to his injuries. The G. D. Khosla Committee, which carried on
its probe from 1974-1978, could not arrive on any definite conclusion.
The Justice Mukherjee Committe, set up in 1999, submitted its report in
2005 and proclaimed that Netaji did not die in the plane crash.
The Soviet Angle
Many believe that Subhash Chandra breathed his last in Soviet custody
years after the alleged crash in Taiwan. There are unconfirmed reports
that in 1946 Russian strongman Josef Stalin and diplomat Vyacheslav
Molotov actually discussed whether Bose should remain in the Soviet
Union. More startling is the alleged incident that India's ambassador to
Russia, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan was permitted to meet Netaji in an
undisclosed location in the Soviet Union.
Lt Colonel Habibur Rahman Khan, Netaji's trusted Aide-de-Camp, is
widely believed to be the sole survivor of that fateful plane crash.
Rahman later enshrined Bose's ashes in the Renkoji temple Tokyo. However
despite repeated interrogations by British authorities, Rahman never
substantiated Netaji's death and throughout his life maintained that he
was bound by an oath of secrecy to his deceased leader.
Conspiracy theories abound regarding Netaji's death. It is alleged that
both the Congress leadership and the government were tense about the
impact of Subhash Chandra's possible return to India. They believed that
in such a circumstance, it would be impossible for the Congress or
anybody to stop him from coming to power give the way he was worshipped
by the common people.