Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s grandnephew Ardhendu Bose has exhorted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to pressurise the Russian government to release documents related to the disappearance of Netaji in 1945. “The most convenient thing for any country is to say that it does not have any information. But our government has to pressurise them. Russia definitely has a lot of information which it isn’t releasing. Now that it has been proven that no air crash happened in that region on 18 August 1945, we need to know what really happened to Netaji. As per information available today, it is certain that Netaji went towards Russia. He was seen off in Manchuria by the Japanese. Then what happened to him?” Ardhendu Bose asked.
He talked exclusively to The Sunday Guardian after he recently signed a petition on the digital platform change.org. The petition is addressed to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. It seeks the Russian government’s help in solving the mystery surrounding Netaji’s disappearance. It was launched by one Chandra Nath Mullick from Kolkata a few months ago.
“Bose was a rare kind of a leader who was single-minded in the pursuit of his dream to liberate his motherland. He may have collaborated with the Axis powers in his drive against the British rulers, but he was always sympathetic towards the Soviet socialist system and his disapproval of Germany’s declaration of war against the Soviet Union is well-known. Unfortunately, neither the Indian government nor the authorities of other countries, which somehow can be linked to Bose’s disappearance, have shown any interest in conducting a detailed investigation of this case so far,” he has said in the petition. Mullick could not be contacted.
“I don’t know the petitioner, but he seems to be some follower of Netaji. See, though the petition has been addressed to the Russian president, I think, something can happen only if the Indian government takes it to heart to talk to Russia about this. The government has now decided to declassify files pertaining to him. I think, by the time the last files are declassified, it will be time for next election,” he said.
Ardhendu Bose said that Japan has a lot of respect for Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, but even it had shied away from sharing information till now. “The Japanese have five files related to Netaji. Now, they have promised that they will release one file. The government should talk to them and make them release all the five files. From the information which is being made available slowly, it is clear that Japan is likely to have helped Netaji escape to Russia. A Japanese general had escorted Netaji to Manchuria. If he didn’t want to go to Russia, there was no reason for him to be in Manchuria. But Japan, too, doesn’t want to disclose its part,” he said. He also claimed that the death certificate showed in India to be that of Netaji’s, was in fact of a Japanese or Taiwanese soldier who died due to natural causes.
Bose said that his niece had recently gone to Pakistan for personal reasons, where she unsuccessfully tried to trace the family of Habibur Rehman. He was Netaji’s trusted ADC who was the sole Indian witness to the alleged death of Netaji. “The Pakistani army or the government will have to be approached to get information about Habibur Rehman. He went to Pakistan after partition. It was under his leadership that Pakistani troops had attacked Kashmir. He is no more now. But the family should be able to shed some light on the matter. My niece could not trace them.”