Twitter war: Whether Netaji died as warrior or baba?

Twitter war broke out between two researcher-based-authors and others over the authenticity of the unfortunate death of Netaji in a plane accident in 1945 after two authors participated in a program

By M Sridhar  Published on  5 April 2022 10:04 AM GMT
Twitter war: Whether Netaji died as warrior or baba?

Twitter war broke out between two researcher-based-authors and others over the authenticity of the unfortunate death of Netaji in a plane accident in 1945 after two authors participated in a program "Authors speak…" at the School of Law, Mahindra University in March 2022. Chandrachur Ghose, who wrote two books on Netaji was the first speaker, who emphatically concluded that Gumnamibaba was none other than Netaji, which means the accident theory was wrong. Then, a senior journalist in Telugu newspapers, two decades editor of Andhra Bhoomi, presented his research-based paper to law students of Mahindra University, questioning the reports of various Commissions of inquiry. He said that there is no clinching evidence to say place crash is wrong, and Netaji would have never lived like a timid introvert Baba tolerating useless politics of ruling parties until he died in 1985, as claimed by some. Chandrachurtweeted in a simple and tolerable language asking for public debate. But some others attributed Pro-Congress bias to Sastry, who downgraded the claims of the Indian National Congress to have achieved freedom and elevated Netaji's war as the sole reason for it.

In response, MVR Sastry says the evidence is already there in the public domain, and no need to unearth new evidence. Chandrachur answered it saying no originality. That led to another reply from Sastry. Some others used abusive language. Social media became a platform for writing anything. What surprises me is that one author does not respect the other. Somebody else has to teach that one should not disrespect the other for disagreeing.

Author Chandhrachur spoke on 'Mysteries and Untold Stories of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose' saying that there was overwhelming evidence to say Gumnami Baba was Netaji himself. The second author MVR Sastry has presented equally authentic and overwhelmingly logical reasons to conclude that Netaji was not Gumnami Baba and the plane crash killing Netaji was an established reality. Sastry has investigated Indian History and authored books on the Indian Freedom Movement, Gandhi, Kashmir, and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

Chandrachur's first book gave historical details with documents that formed part of declassified files. He and Anuj collected plenty of evidence, like independent opinions from national and international experts, and concluded that the official claims of the Indian government about the Taihuku (Taiwan) plane crash theory that killed Bose were disproved. Through his monograph, he revealed Netaji's unconventional style of politics, which belied all existing mainstream trends of Indian national politics. He opposed the incrementalism of the Gandhian Congress, the doctrinaire politics of the Communist Party, and communalism in politics and prioritized national interest over abstract political and moral theory in his demand for complete independence. This made Netaji 'inconvenient' to almost all the political groups in the country. They fought for declassification through which they could gain access to 10,000 pages relating to Mukherjee Commission in 2010 and 64 declassified files in 2015. They also used RTI to gain some more information. Chandrachur said that these papers show Bose returned in the early 1950s and lived as GumnamiBaba till 1985. Ghose analyzed that Justice Mukherjee Commission of Inquiry found credible evidence to support the claim that Bose returned to live in India, but hesitated to conclude the same because of a shortage of clinching evidence. The two biggest obstacles were DNA reports and handwriting analysis reports from government laboratories that opined that samples from the unnamed saint, also known as Gumnami Baba, did not match Bose's. Ghose suspected that these reports were fudged.

What MVR Sastry says is: between 1945 and 1974, almost ten investigations took place which were conducted by the British Army, by the Allied Command based in Japan, the Government of British India, the Governments of Japan and Formosa, followed by three commissions appointed in India, and also by individual journalists and followers of Bose and all of them concluded that Netaji died in place crash and the heroic and adventurous character of Netaji is not compatible with a silent, inactive or docile living, tolerating the politics of father and daughter Prime Ministers until his ignominious death. While noting that almost 77 years have passed since the plane crash, Sastry felt deeply pained as no serious action has been taken to bring back Netaji's ashes by any government in all these years. He called for a coordinated campaign to create pressure on the present government, bring back the ashes from the Renkoji temple in Japan, and conduct a DNA test. Sastry raised a brainstorming question: did India gain independence due to the supreme sacrifices made by Netaji Bose with the strength of the Indian National Army or by the non-violent satyagraha movement?

During a discussion in Mahindra School of Law, history faculty Paromita Das Gupta challenged the authenticity of flight accident theory saying no inquiry commission had ever visited the crash site and collected data from ground zero, and missing passengers list, which were also relied upon by the Ghose group. She referred to Netaji's co-passenger and his closest aide Habibur Rahman and alleged him to have planted the crash theory. She says he had no scratch on his body despite a shocking plane crash that caused third-degree burns to Netaji. Sastry answered that there was enough circumstantial evidence to prove the plane crash theory and bring closure to this long-running disappearance saga of a leader who delivered his promise: a Free India through strategies that appeared to be unacceptable to his contemporaries, but that captured the essence of our great national leader. Sastry highlighted the need to give this tallest freedom fighter his long-overdue place of honor in the history of freedom struggle after 75 years of India's independence. It is interesting to note that Chandrachur Ghose, asked why don't they agree that Gumnami Baba was Netaji, and MVR Sastry questioned why don't they agree that Netaji died in the plane crash?

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