Calling the alleged controversy around the death of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and absurd stories about his existence as a “gross insult” to the memory of the leader, his grand-nephew Prof. Sugata Bose Sunday said there is no mystery about the leader’s death. Bose, who is the Gardinder professor of Oceanic History and Affairs at Harvard University in the United States, was delivering a lecture on ‘Rediscovering the Freedom Fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: His ideals for a Modern India’ in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
“There is no mystery about his (Netaji’s) mortal end. There were eye witness accounts of what happened on August 18, 1945. There were seven survivors of the crash of the military bomber. Six of the seven gave their evidence in the 1950…there were doctors, nurses, interpreters who knew Netaji (and) brought (him) to hospital. So, there is no mystery,” he said in reply to a question related to mystery surrounding Netaji’s death in a plane crash.
“I can understand that there were mass psychological phenomena in India in 1950s and 1960s. People wanted him to return and solve the country’s problems, but I think Gandhiji put it best. In an article he wrote for the Harijan on March 30, 1946, Gandhiji said that on the one hand there was unsupported feeling that he returns, and on the other hand, he had strong evidence before him of his (Netaji’s) mortal end. We should follow Gandhiji and take inspiration from his life,” he added.
Speaking further on the topic and referring to the current age of ‘fake news’ and ‘fake history’, Bose said, “If people simply say that we find it difficult to accept that he is no more…I can say that we can take a collective decision as a nation to only celebrate his birthday, as we do in our country. I am perfectly fine with that. But the reason I believe that we ought to honour his martyr’s death…today in the age of lot of fake history and fake news, there are all kinds of absurd stories that are doing rounds, for example reducing Netaji to some Baba somewhere in Northern India which is a gross insult to the memory of the man, whom I described in this lecture to you, not only as a man who made a supreme sacrifice for the country, but also somebody who had a grand vision for the future of India.”
Asking the young generation not to be distracted by such ‘fabricated’ stories, Bose said, “…let’s focus on his (SC Bose’s) life. Let’s not be distracted by the needless controversy and the non-existent mystery over his death…Young people who have come to listen to me…please concentrate on his life and work…learn from his ideas, follow him. Don’t be distracted by all these fabricated stories. Study his life, follow his ideas and all of you, then, will be paying a genuine tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.”
During his lecture, Sugata Bose spoke on varied aspects of development that Netaji had in mind as a vision for modern India like primary education, primary healthcare, reducing infant and maternal mortality rate, industrialisation and sufficient time for people for leisure, recreation and cultural activities.