An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Disappearance of Subhash Bose

Subhash Bose – The truth…. and the myth

Subhash Bose (Jan 23, 1897 – ????)

Jan 23rd was Bose’s Birth Anniversary.

This is an exceptional story and investigation on the disappearance of Subhash Bose. Bose was one of the leading freedom fighters of Indian Independence… who went on to actually raise an Army and fight the British. He could have done wonders but his army lost and he disappeared.. announced as dead in an aircrash.. but never confirmed! this investigation details what probably did happen:


Reported death of Subhas Bose (August 25, 1945)
The Japanese News Agency on Thursday announced the death of Mr Subhas Chandra Bose in a Japanese hospital from injuries received in an air crash, says a London message …more

Eyewitness account of Subhas Bose’s death, Tokyo (November 1, 1945)
An informant who was a passenger with ten others in a Japanese two-engined bomber in which Mr Bose was flying to Japan said that there is not the slightest doubt that Mr Subhas Bose died on August 18 at the Taihoku Hospital, Formosa after the plane in which he was travelling to Tokyo crashed on the Taihoku airfield …

Conditions in I.N.A. camp near Jessore (November 2, 1945)
According to Mr Sassadhar Acharya, assistant secretary, Jessore District Congress Committee sanitation conditions in the caged camps are bad. There is congestion and possibility of diseases breaking out any day while, practically, there is no medical arrangement …

Many I.N.A. men already executed, Lucknow (November 2, 1945)
“Probably few people know that many valiant soldiers of the I.N.A have already been executed after army trials by court-martial,” said Mr Ansar Harvani, president, All-India Youth League …

Is Subhas Chandra Bose still alive? (November 11, 1945)
The Japanese Board of Information anounced “Subhas Chandra Bose, who was on his way to Japan from Singapore for consultation with the Japanese Government, died of injuries received when his plane crashed near Taihoku.” But no one was even informed where the “remains” were kept, let alone allowed access to the place …

“Netaji is not dead” (March 24, 1946)
Mr T.K. Nair, one of the engineers who was in charge of the municipal works of Singapore at the time of its fall to the Japanese said he did not believe the story of Netaji’s death. “I was told,” he said, “that the plane in which he was travelling and which is alleged to have crashed was in fact seen in Hong Kong the next day” …

Subhas Bose seen at Nalanda? (April 29, 1946)
Pareman Pasla, a labourer at Nalanda believes he saw Mr Subhas Bose there a few days ago. The resemblance was unmistakable except that Mr Bose wore a moustache. He was dressed in khaki shorts and shirts and a pair of brown canvas shoes …more

“Deal with Bose on the spot”

British Indian archival documents show that during the dying months of World War II, Viceroy Wavell and senior British officials did not want Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose brought to India even as a prisoner. The surviving documents reflect British preference for dealing with the leader ‘on the spot’ – whatever that meant.
On the other hand, Bose was focussed on stimulating a post-war internal Indian upsurge against the British Raj. Subhas was convinced that India’s partition was inevitable if the British Parliament were allowed to “transfer power” under an act of the British Parliament.

(Gandhiji in 1946-47 had the same fear. He wanted the British to leave India and allow Indians themselves to find a solution to the Muslim League’s demand for partition along religious lines).

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Bose’s aim in 1945 was not just to escape the British pursuit. He had foreknowledge of Japan’s decision to capitulate.

In the spring of 1945, he had wanted personally to lead a military challenge against the superior forces of the Allies. He wanted to court death in this battle. Suicide was not the aim of this move. He thought that, after Aung San of Burma switched over to the victorious British side at the last moment, the INA needed to set an example of patriotic bravery in battle. He felt his own death in battlefield would stimulate a new phase in India’s internal freedom struggle.
He was dissuaded from this course because two divisions of the INA were still intact and he thought of a new role for this patriotic Indian military force in the postwar situation.

Unlike other leaders of the Japan-occupied Southeast Asian countries, he, at one stage, thought of staying with INA troops in Singapore to await the arrival of the Mountbatten-led British Indian occupation force.

This course was abandoned on August 14, 1945, on the advice of the members of the Azad Hind government and other important officers of the INA.

On August 14, 1945, some information was brought to him from Thailand. This information led him to abandon the plan that the INA troops with Netaji as their head, should await the capture of Singapore by the British occupation force. There is no record of the information that caused the Azad Hind government to ask Netaji to fly to Tokyo for final consultations with the Japanese government. Is it likely that Netaji had been forewarned of the British preference for dealing with him “on the spot”?

Netaji had not rejected the idea of his being taken to India as a prisoner. Did he fear that he would not be taken to India as a British prisoner?

He knew of the existence of the Allies’ spies and operatives in the INA and the Anglo-American forces and agents operating behind the Japanese lines. As the war drew to a close, important but vulnerable people changed sides. They acted on the Allies’ directives.

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The INA, too, had been penetrated by persons who were Allies’ operatives. Even in Japan there were important people who wanted to please the victors. They were ready to pay the price the new masters demanded of them.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose knew that he was in a veritable snake pit. It is necessary to bear this fact in mind when the story of his death in an air crash on August 18, 1945 is read.

The Tip Off

Dear Editor,

I am a retired Indian Police Service officer who had worked for long years in the Intelligence Bureau in various capacities. In the final phase of my service, I worked as the Director General, Bureau of Police Research and Development, New Delhi.

During my days with the Intelligence Bureau, in the early 1960s, “Major General” Bonzo J K Bhonsale become a very close friend of mine. During a conversation we had in 1962, General Bhonsale categorically told me that – despite the controversy – Netaji had, in fact, died in the air-crash, as reported. There was just no other evidence or ground to prove otherwise.

Later, I submitted a full account of the matter as recounted by General Bhonsale to the Director, Intelligence Bureau. It was seen by the highest officers before being returned to me as the originator, for filing. It may be still in the old files (of 1962-63 vintage).

General Bhonsale, a direct descendent of Chhatrapati Shivaji, was perhaps the Director of Military Operations of the Indian National Army when Netaji was killed in an air-crash.

Therefore, he was a well-placed and well-informed person on the circumstances leading to the death of Netaji.

General Bhonsale joined the Congress party after his release at the end of the INA Trial. He was elected to the Lok Sabha and became Deputy Minister for Rehabilitation. Later, he was given the charge of Director General, National Discipline Scheme.

It was at this stage that I befriended General Bhonsale. At that time, I was a superintendent of Police in the Intelligence Bureau.

Vinod Krishna Kaul
A-9, Pamposh Enclave
Greater Kailash-1
New Delhi


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