September 2, 2006
That the Bose family has been vindicated by Mukehrjee Commission’s inquiry is underscored by the letters Subhas Chandra Bose\\’s nephew Amiya Nath Bose wrote to Jawaharlal Nehru, Narasimha Rao, VP Singh and Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Mission Netaji recently accessed these letters of historical importance, and now they are online.
Son of Netaji’s elder brother Sarat Chandra Bose, Amiya Nath Bose, an advocate like his father, had been an MP, Ambassador and was actively associated with the Indian National Army. In late 1930s he spent considerable time with his exiled uncle in Europe.
Amiya Nath’s views mirroring the family feelings ran contrary to what has of late been given out by the media savvy wife and children of his kid brother Sisir Bose, who came to control the Netaji Research Bureau (NRB) founded by Amiya in 1950s.
From the last days of Nehru to the fringe of the Vajpayee era, Amiya carried on with the struggle initiated by his father to get out the truth about Netaji’s disappearance. A few days before his death in 1996, Amiya warned then Leader of the Opposition Atal Bihari Vajapyee that “the Communists have again captured the Russian Parliament. It is doubtful if President Yeltsin will be re-elected. It is therefore imperative that the investigation (into Netaji’s fate) is done before President Yeltsin’s term comes to an end.”
Amiya pressed that the “the Government of India should be asked to request the Russian Government to provide access to … relevant KGB files, Army Headquarters files and Soviet Government files.” Before Vajpayee could respond to the letter, personally delivered by common friend Prof Samar Guha, Amiya Nath passed away.
Earlier, in 1964 Amiya had futilely tried to make the Nehru Government to hand over the matter to the Chief Justice of India. “I agree with you that something should be done to finalise the question of Netaji’s death. But it is not quite clear to me how far it will be proper for me to ask the Chief Justice of India to look into this matter,” Prime Minister Nehru had written to him on April 22, 1964.
Amiya\\’s firm disbelief in the Taihoku plane crash theory stemmed from his father who had cross-questioned Col Habibur Rahman, the star witness of the crash. In his letter to Prime Minister VP Singh, Amiya recalled that “in August 1946, General Zaman Kiani, Col Habibur Rahman and Col Gulzara Singh, all top ranking officer of the INA, spent a fortnight at our Woodburn park residence, Col Habibur Rahman accompanied in the same plane from Saigon. Our father Sarat Chandra Bose questioned Col Rahman in detail and rejected his version of the alleged plane crash.”
In August 1992, Amiya informed Prime Minister Narasimha Rao what Justice Radha Binode Pal of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East had told his father. “The American judge of the Tribunal showed Dr Pal a copy of the report of the American Intelligence Agency Party, which visited Taihoku in September, 1945. According to the American report there was no air crash at Taihoku Airport in August 1945 and Netaji safely reached Diren in Manchuria (bordering the USSR) on 18 August 1945 (the day of his reported death).” Amiya also referred to some correspondence, which evidently showed that Mahatma Gandhi had information from “either from British or American sources” that Netaji in Russia almost an year after his reported death.
On the Renkoji ashes, Amiya spelt out the family view to Prime Minister VP Singh. “During the lifetime of our youngest uncle late Shailesh Chandra Bose, a statement signed by him and all sons of every one of Netaji’s brothers were issued to the press at Calcutta stating that the ‘ashes’ at Renkoji Temple were not the ‘ashes of Netaji’.”
Incidentally this letter, signed by brothers Ashoke, Amiya and Subrata, currently a Lok Sabha MP, had been written to ward off an attempt by “certain interested persons” to bring the Renkoji ashes and “foist them on the Indian people as the ashes of Netaji”.