The Unfortunate Plane crash
On 18 August 1945 at around 2:30 pm in Taihoku passengers of a plane heard some engine backfiring kind of sound. Before they could understand the situation the plane crashed breaking into two and exploded. The pilot along with 3-4 other people died on the spot. Two people, one fully soaked in gasoline, were still concious on the plane. They both tried to escape from the rear door but it was blocked by luggage. They then had no other option but to exit through the front door running through the flames. The ground staff saw two people one of whom had become a human torch because of being soaked in gasoline coming out of the front door of the plane. His face and head were badly burnt. He was none other than Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and the other one being Habibur Rahman his assistant. Bose had severe third degree burns on his body and was rushed to the military hospital Taihoku. He was concious for sometime. Later inspire of the on going treatment ge went into coma and died on 18th August 1945.
Two days later on 20th August 1945 his body was cremated there only. His ashes are still placed at Renkoji Temple Tokyo. On 23rd August 1945 Japanese news agency announced his demise.
Subhash Chandra Bose and INA (Indian National Army)
Subhash Chandra Bose, born on 23 January 1897 in a well to do family of Cuttack Odisha, is an Indian nationalist with defiant patriotism. His father Janakinath Bose was a successful lawyer and government pleader. After joining Congress he rose to become its President in 1938. He was reelected in 1939 but due to his differences with Mahatma Gandhi he was ousted out from the leadership position of Congress. He stood for self governance (unqualified Swaraj) and the use of force against the British. Netaji was jailed several time. During 1925-1927 he was jailed in Mandalay Myanmar. It was the same time when he got tuberculous and also his mentor Chittaranjan Das died in Darjeeling.
Again in 1940-1941 Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was jailed by the British government he was released following a 7 days long hunger strike. His residence at Calcutta was under survillance by CID. He secluded for a few days and avoided meeting any British guards to grow a beard. Disguised as a Pathan he escaped his house on 17 January 1941. Then sometimes disguised as a deaf and dumb tribesman or an Italian nobleman he reached Germany. Before that he also tried to gain support from Soviet Union against the British but got disappointed. He got the support of Adolf Hitler there and even found Azad Hind Legion out of 4000-5000 indian prisoners of war who had earlier fought for the British and planned to attack British in India with the help of Germany. But when Hitler attacked Soviet Union he got sceptical of his idea and when the Germans started retreating it became evident that the German army would be of any help. He then left for Japan. There he revived INA(Indian National Army) which even had a separate women’s unit Rani of Jhansi Regiment. Japan went on to take possession of Andaman and Nicobar islands with the help of INA but they also had other intentions and tried to control the administration there. Later with Japan’s surrender at the end of World War 2 (WW2) the remaining elements of INA also surrendered.
Conspiracy theories and investigations
The disappearance of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose gave birth to a lot of conspiracy theories like he is been arrested by Soviets or it is a ploy created by Netaji himself to reach a safe place and continue his struggle. As a result of which 10 separate investigations were conducted by the British government, the Japanese government, the Indian government and private sources but they all ended up with the same conclusion that he died in a plane crash due to severe third degree burns.
Although all investigations containing testimonies of Doctors, Nurses and other people concluded the same thing one investigation that was held in 1999 under Vajpayee government headed by Justice Manoj Mukherjee said otherwise. They dismissed the fact that there was any plane crash on 18th August citing a newspaper that it did not have any of of the crash. This later on proved to be a wrong inference as the newspaper cited by him was not a local newspaper at that time and this plane crash was covered in other newspapers. There were other facts like this one on the said report which later turned out to be ambiguous or false. So this flawed investigation fueled the conspiracy theories yet again. Although the reason of his death is ascertained to be the plane crash but the possibility of Japan or Allied forced behind the crash still exists.
Had this plane crash not happened we do not know how the fate of India would turned out to be. If Netaji would be alive we surely would be studying some different history of Modern India. However the government has decided to celebrate his birth anniversary 23 January as Parakram Diwas since 23 January 2021 to pay tribute to his contributions. Earlier in December 2018 Ross island that was named after marine surveyor Daniel Ross, it was renamed as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose as a tribute to him.