No point in speculating about Netaji's fate: Shyam Benegal

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Kolkata, Feb 5: Twelve years after making the biopic 'Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero', film maker Shyam Benegal tonight said people should celebrate Netaji's life and works instead of merely conjecturing what happened to him on that fateful day in 1945. "As keen to know as everybody in the audience about the not released files.

The research for our film was till he boarded the plane in August, 1945 and there was no public information about him afterwards. My only problem is whatever is conjecture is not of consequence to me," Benegal said at the Kolkata Literature Festival discussion of the 40th International Kolkata Book Fair here.

'We should celebrate Netaji's life, work

"What is of consequence to me is that, here is somebody fighting for India's freedom. How come he (would) end up as a holy man. He was certainly not that kind of that person, why would he do that," Benegal said in an obvious reference to claims in certain quarters about Netaji returning back in the guise of a sadhu in the 50s and later.

Pointing out that British actually realised they could not hold on to India in the late 40s, Benegal said apart from the movement in different parts of the country, the battle of INA and Netaji surely played its part in the freedom and gave the final push.

"Another assumption I am opposed to is to portray Jawaharlal Nehru as the villain. Instead he had defended the INA officers facing trial at Red Fort before being court-martialed. Why did he need to do that?," the Padmabhusan and Dada Saheb Phalke awardee said.

Pointing out the first bunch of declassified files of Netaji by West Bengal government and Centre so far have not revealed anything, the 'Ankur' and 'Mandi' director said, "hopefully they will reveal something in future."

Referring to the research work for his film, he said "Whatever research I had done based on books and documents including known scholar Purabi Roy's books, I find his life and vision fascinating. And perhaps there was certain kind of destiny involved in this man."

The only way to know reality is, "Lets see if other documentations exist and will come and if these reveal something at all. If not we will continue to have wonderful imagination speculating what happened to Netaji." "In my film he takes the aircraft and flies off and after August 18 1945 no general public at large had seen Netaji," Benegal said.

PTI 

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