How did Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose die? Where did he die? When did he die? These are all questions that continue to intrigue all nationalists and patriots across the country.
Taiwan, an island nation, has invited Indian scholars to visit the country and study historical documents available in Taiwanese archives relating to Netaji.
Taiwan’s Bose connection
Taiwan has a strong connection to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s life and death. It was in Taiwan where Netaji’s plane supposedly crashed in 1945, resulting in his death.
Taiwan was under Japanese occupation at the time, and, therefore, Japan carried out an investigation into Netaji’s death.
The official version
After Netaji went missing in 1945, some of his family members had rejected reports of the plane crash in Taihoku airport in Taiwan.
Thereafter, the Japanese government compiled an investigation report titled “Investigation on the cause of death and other matters of the late Subhas Chandra Bose”. Completed in January 1956 and handed over to the Indian Embassy in Tokyo, the report concluded that Netaji died in a plane crash in Taiwan on 18 August 1945.
In 2016, the report was declassified by the Modi government.
The mystery remains
Despite the declassification of the investigative report prepared by the Japanese, Netaji’s death continues to remain shrouded in mystery. Many theories have been doing the rounds regarding his death.
One such theory claims that the acclaimed Gumnami Baba, who spent approximately thirty years travelling across Uttar Pradesh, was in fact none other than Netaji himself.
Read more: Was Gumnami Baba of Uttar Pradesh really Subhas Chandra Bose?
Ordinarily, Netaji is believed to have passed away in 1945.
However, the followers of Gumnami Baba would tell you that he died in 1985. They, however, never referred to him by this name. For them, he was ‘Bhagwaanji’. The term Gumnami Baba was coined by the media of the time. When the same media questioned the followers of this Baba, they would hesitantly admit that he was Netaji Subhas Bose. It turned out that the Baba had told his close followers to keep their mouths sealed in this regard in ‘national interest’.
Taiwan to help India resolve the mystery
India has been honouring the great freedom fighter by recognizing his birth anniversary as Parakram Divas, installing his statue at the empty India Gate canopy and starting Republic Day celebrations with Bose’s birth anniversary.
Read more: The curious case of George V’s statue in India Gate complex and the re-entry of Bose
But there is a nationwide demand to resolve the mystery around his death in order to truly honour him. And now Taiwan wants to help India in solving the mystery.
Taiwan’s Deputy envoy to India, Mumin Chen, made the offer during an event organised by FICCI on the 125th birthday celebration of Netaji. Chen offered opening up the National Archives to Indian scholars.
The Taiwanese envoy said, “A lot of historical evidence and documents about Netaji and Indian independence movement are in Taiwan. Right now very few Indian scholars notice this there are photos and historical documents which show there were a lot of reports about Netaji.”
Chen added, “I call on our friends in India to do something about this in the future. We have National Archives and database. We could have Indian scholars to come and find out more about Netaji and his legacy who had a huge influence on Taiwan in the 1930s and 40s.”
The Taiwanese diplomat also said that there are historical documents and photos in Taiwan which have been well preserved but haven’t received much information till now.
For India, this is a big opportunity. Historians may find out something while going through Taiwanese records that could finally help settle some mysterious questions around Netaji’s death. Taiwan’s offer to help India in solving the mystery is, therefore, a true tribute to Netaji on his birth anniversary.
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