‘Lot of Politics has Been Played Over Subhas Bose’

London-based author Ashis Ray talks to Medha Dutta about the book which is a culmination of 30 years of extensive research in Taiwan, Japan, Pakistan, Russia, the UK and the US.

Published: 10th March 2018 10:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th March 2018 10:58 AM   |  A+A-

London-based author Ashis Ray talks to Medha Dutta about the book which is a culmination of 30 years of extensive research in Taiwan, Japan, Pakistan, Russia, the UK and the US.
 
What does it mean to have your views endorsed by Netaji’s heir Anita Pfaff?
For Professor Pfaff to put it on record in the form of a foreword to my book is extraordinary. As Subhas Bose’s only child, her word is final.
 
How has the feedback been to your book?
I am quite staggered by the print and internet coverage. Of course, at the end of the day the success of a book is determined by how many copies it sells and whether critics and readers like it. The yardstick in the case of my book is acceptance of the evidence presented. 
 
Do you think India, and more importantly Bengal, will accept Pfaff’s endorsements?
All rational Indians, including Bengalis, have realised there isn’t a scrap of evidence to back any story other than Subhas Bose dying as a result of a plane crash. Only a tiny minority are in denial. I would urge anyone who respects Bose, to read the book, absorb the evidence and support Professor Pfaff.
 
Can Netaji finally rest in peace?
Netaji cannot rest in peace unless his mortal remains are brought to India from Japan. It is a grave insult to him that his ashes have not been disposed of as per Indian tradition and have been lying in Tokyo for 72 years.
 
Apparently eight very sensitive files are still to be de-classified.
I am not aware of any file connected with Subhas Bose not been declassified anywhere in the world. This is another disinformation campaign. 
 
Was the tension between Netaji’s older brother Sarat Chandra Bose and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru the reason for confusion?
Netaji’s older brother Sarat Bose’s premature death in 1950 was the primary reason for the confusion. Had he lived longer, visited Japan and Taiwan, he would have been convinced of the truth. The lack of coordination between him and Jawaharlal Nehru—once close friends—unfortunately caused a standstill. 
 
There have been quite a few probes and books on the issue, why then is it still inconclusive?
The matter is not inconclusive. Successive Indian governments have accepted the truth. The Netaji Papers declassified by Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphatically ratify the truth.
 
Is it a political game now?
A lot of politics has been played over Subhas Bose. Various political parties have tried to claim him. He belongs to the nation.
 
Do you think Japan will co-operate should a DNA test be done?
Yes. But there is now so much incontrovertible evidence that a DNA test is not really necessary.
 
Lastly, does our government lack the courage to do the right thing?
The Indian government has lacked courage for over 60 years.

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