Wednesday, 20 November 2019

In Life Or In Death Controversies Never Leave Netaji

Updated: June 20, 2015 3:15 pm

One feels for Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, when will his soul be able to rest peacefully. For long the controversy whether he was alive or dead raged even when he would have been 100 year old. Thankfully that has been settled. Some time ago another report triggered another round of furious tug-of-war between opposing factions. It was alleged that the Soviets incarcerated Netaji on the egging of Pandit Nehru. And that is where Netaji died. Now such stories are hard to prove or disprove.

But, now another controversy has cropped up. Netaji’s family met Narendra Modi recently regarding the report that the prime minister– going by his statements to them also– does not believe that the remains enshrined in the Renkoji Temple in Tokyo are of the freedom fighter. Now, why is it that the Bose family members and researchers do not accept that the ashes kept in the Renkoji Temple aren’t those of Netaji? All information on record from Indian, Japanese, British and Taiwanese sources is unambiguous that the man who died in the Nanmon military hospital in Taihoku (Taipei) in August, 1945 was a Japanese soldier named Ichiro Okura.

Secret Japanese government dossiers supplied to the government of India names him. Okura’s name appears in the official records accessed by various authorities, with Justice MK Mukherjee, head of the last inquiry into Netaji’s disappearance, doing so in the early 2000s.

In fact, the former Supreme Court judge provided the following telltale details in his report: The very fact that the Japanese Buddhist custom, viz, preservation of the dead body for three days before cremation which fits in the [case of] Ichiro Okura’s death on the 19th [August, 1945] and his cremation three days thereafter, ie, on the 22nd [August, 1945], and picking up of bones from every portion of the body after the cremation and keeping the same with the ashes was adhered to, is another circumstance which indicates that the body cremated and the mortal remains taken there were of Ichiro Okura and not Netaji.

With that being the truth, where do we stand regarding the DNA test of the Renkoji remains?

Every now and then, someone pops up to pontificate that the Subhas Chandra Bose mystery could be easily cracked if the ashes assumed to be his are subjected to a DNA test! Well, people trying to resolve the mystery aren’t living in a fictional world. So that is where the matter stands. I doubt whether Netaji who in his life never rested in search of support to free India from the British, would get some rest after life. Ironically it his followers who come up with various speculative stories from time to time and cause another round of controversies. It is unfortunate that a nationalist, a legend is known only through controversies. All answers need to be resolved.

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