Ashis Ray states: “The uncertainty (over Netaji’s death) would probably have been resolved but for the downward spiral in relations between Nehru and Sarat.”
Certainly, Ashis Ray has a vivid imagination. Personal relationship between Sarat Bose and Nehru had nothing to do with the mystery surrounding Netaji’s disappearance. Ashis Ray has correctly stated that Sarat Bose resigned as leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party in the Central Legislative Assembly and also from the Congress Working Committee to protest against the Congress leadership which had decided to partition India and Bengal. Sarat Bose’s resignation had absolutely nothing to do with his relationship with Nehru.
It has been observed that Nehru, right from the beginning, tried to suppress facts on Netaji’s disappearance and promoted the plane crash theory without any conclusive evidence to establish the same.
If we accept Ashis Ray’s contention that the Netaji mystery could not be solved as relationship between Sarat Bose and Nehru soured, it projects Nehru in extremely poor light. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was president of the Congress, a colleague of Nehru, supreme commander of the Indian National Army, first head of state of United free India. Whether, or not, the enquiry to find out what happened to Netaji was curtailed as Sarat Bose, elder brother of Netaji, fell out with Nehru, should be left to the readers to judge.
Ashis Ray quotes S.A. Ayer, who had not only betrayed the nation by stealing a part of the INA treasure but was also rewarded by Nehru for keeping his mouth shut on Netaji’s disappearance. Ayer was made an advisor by Nehru in the Prime Minister’s office.
After the nation rejected the Shah Nawaz Committee report appointed in 1956, as it was found to be inconclusive, my father Amiya Nath Bose wrote to Nehru to appoint a high level enquiry commission under the Chief Justice of India. Nehru rejected the proposal outright. Nehru’s attitude proved he was not willing to pursue the matter to solve Netaji mystery right from the beginning. The reason was much more complex than his mere relationship with Sarat Bose.
We need to read Ashis Ray’s book to see whether he has provided any conclusive evidence to establish the plane crash theory. People are willing to accept a particular theory, provided clinching evidence is furnished. Further, we must ensure that DNA test, if feasible, must be done of the Renkoji ashes/remains to determine its authenticity. However, even if the DNA proves the Renkoji ashes/remains are Netaji’s it does not establish the plane crash theory. Anthropological mitochondrial DNA, if possible, would identity the approximate age of the remains which would indicate the year of death. We are still a far cry away to establish what happened to the #LiberatorofIndia after 18 August 1945.
Whenever a new book pertaining to the #LiberatorofIndia hits the stands, there is excitement among the people who closely follow the Netaji Mystery. So it is but natural that Ashis Ray’s book, Laid to Rest, would create the necessary interest among Netaji’s admirers. Many books have been published on Netaji’s disappearance angle, but none to date have been able to establish any of the possible theories conclusively. The Commission of Enquiries also were not able to convince the people of what happened to Netaji after 18 August 1945. What is required is a commitment to resolve independent India’s biggest controversy. Somehow this commitment has been lacking and individuals or organisations have all worked with an agenda of their own.
It has to be seen whether Ashis Ray has been able to put forward clinching evidence which would be acceptable to the logical Indian. He claims to have done research for over three decades, but no one knew about that. If he was so involved to solve the Netaji mystery, why didn’t he depose before the Commission of Enquiries? However, we would like to read Ashis Ray’s book to search for the clinching evidence which would be acceptable to the people and would finally solve the Netaji Mystery. Or wouldn’t it?
Chandra Kumar Bose is the grand nephew of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose