Netaji Bose mystery: Why the ashes were never brought back to India?

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New Delhi, Jan 23: The death of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose probably is one of India's biggest mysteries. The process to de-classify the files with the Union Government commenced today.

100 files were de-classified and some researchers and family members while welcoming this move however pointed out that there are more files which need to come out in the open for the mystery to be solved.

Also read: Netaji's 'death' being used for petty politics: Amartya Sen

Going through some of the files, one gets the indication that there was a certain amount of discomfort when it came to dealing with the issue of Netaji. For instance the government was reluctant to bring back the ashes of Netaji.

A document of the Ministry of Home Affairs dating back to the 1970s indicates that the government feared a backlash if the ashes were brought back.

Why were the ashes not brought back?

There were many who did not buy the theory that Netaji had died in a plane crash. The then joint secretary in the external affairs department N N Jha had noted in July 1976 that there could be adverse reactions if the ashes were brought back.

Another correspondence of August 1976 by the joint director of the intelligence bureau, Tajeswar T V too makes a similar point. He says in a communication that the ashes are not recognised by the family members of Bose and also the Forward Bloc which was a political party founded by Bose.

Bringing back the ashes would lead to complications as many would contest it. Moreover the government would be accused of planting a story relating to Bose, the file had also noted.

It was stated in several communications between the home ministry, external affairs ministry and also the intelligence bureau that ashes not be brought back.

These were notes that were in reaction to a proposal made by the Indian Embassy in Tokyo that ashes which were in Renkoji Temple be brought back to India.

What Nehru had told the family members

One of the files also states that the then Prime Minister had written to Netaji's family members intimating them about the death of the freedom fighter. However Nehru had also stated that he could not offer direct proof of the same.

Another file which relates to a cabinet note of 1995 states that there is no doubt about the plane crash. The note states that there seems be no cause for doubt that Netaji had died in the 1945 plane crash.

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