‘The Vanishing….’ another attempt at cracking the Netaji mystery

New Delhi, Jan 23 : Did the declassification of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose’s files on December 3, 2019, really unravel the mystery behind his alleged disappearance and death in an air crash in Taipei? As the nation celebrates the 125th anniversary of his birth comes “The Vanishing of Subhash Bose – The Mystery Unlocked” by Delhi-based lawyer and author Rajesh Talwar, a well-researched book that carefully analyses all three inquiries into Boses alleged disappearance, which has never been attempted before in this manner.

Talwar has approached the Bose mysteries not directly but through an analysis of Jawaharlal Nehru’s character and behaviour combined with the available evidence in the penultimate chapter titled “What Nehru Knew”. It is a different, unusual but appropriate way of addressing the Bose mysteries and in the author’s opinion the answers provided are far more convincing than any that have previously been presented.

Clearly the author cannot know more than what Nehru knew, but existing material, properly analysed allows him to make a very accurate estimate of what India’s first Prime Minister knew and that is sufficient to answer most of the questions in the public’s mind.

With historical proof, the author brings out the nature of the motives and the hidden agendas of the Indian National Army (INA) that Bose led. He has very arduously investigated all theories and controversial conversations and has dissected each one of them with clear and convincing explanations.

For instance, did Bose really die in the air crash or was it a fabrication? This question was considered by three inquiry commissions, the last of which came to the clear conclusion that there was in fact no air crash. Each report is carefully dissected by the author.

If Bose did not in fact die in the air crash, where did he go, what happened to him, and when, where and how did he meet his end? Why did Nehru keep Bose-related files away from the first committee that conducted an enquiry? Why did he order that surveillance be carried out on the Bose family for decades? Why did Prime Minister Morarji Desai speak of new evidence that challenged the conclusions of the first two inquiries that Bose had died in an air crash? Why did Desai subsequently fall silent?

If Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent struggle represented the feminine spirit of ahimsa Bose and the INA’s struggle represented Indian manhood in its fullest flowering. In freedom struggles across the world, some of those who fought the hardest are subsequently ignored. If we apply the necessary corrective to the history of Indian independence, the author argues, we will change India’s view of itself and its place in the world, past, present, and future.

Rajesh Talwar has written on a variety of themes ranging from social justice to law and culture for international and national magazines, newspapers, and websites including The Guardian, The Economic Times, the Pioneer, and Sunday Observer.

His notable books include “The Judiciary on Trial”, “The Third Sex and Human Rights” and “Courting Injustice: The Nirbhaya Case and Its Aftermath” in the aftermath of the terrible rape in December 2012 which made international headlines.


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