NEW DELHI: Germany-based economist, Professor Anita Bose Pfaff, the only child of one of the heroes of the Indian independence struggle, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, feels her father experienced mixed fortune.
Seventy-five-year-old Pfaff, writing an exclusive foreword to a forthcoming book on her father, Laid to Rest: The Controversy over Subhas Chandra Bose’s Death,written by London-based BBC and CNN broadcaster Ashis Ray and slated to be released by Roli Books on February 12, 2018 says: “Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose can be considered a tragic hero, a most unfortunate man since he did not live to see his beloved country – India – free of foreign occupation, oppression and colonial exploitation. But he can also be considered a fortunate man, because seventy-two years after his death many of his compatriots – who may not have even seen him personally – remember, love and respect him as their hero and idol.”
Significantly, Pfaff goes on to assert “the only consistent story about Netaji’s demise remains his death in a plane crash on 18 August 1945”.
To support the Pfaff’s firm position, the book presents the most comprehensive documentary evidence ever assembled on the subject, highlighting an incredible eleven different official and unofficial investigations into Bose’s death, each and every one reaching the same conclusion - that he died as stated by Pfaff.
A staggering array of irrefutable eye-witness accounts hitsthe reader as never before, including statements under oath by six survivors of the cash, doctors who treated him before he died, those who attended the cremation of his body and people who hand carried his remains to Tokyo and then this city’s Renkoji temple, where it’s preserved till date.
Netaji’s Austrian wife Emilie Schenkl passed in 1996 without closure on her husband’s remains, which have been kept at Renkoji since 1945.
Pfaff has requested the Government of India to bring her father’s ashes to India. Among her wishes is they be immersed in the River Ganga in keeping with Hindu tradition. She believes he is deserving of this respect, but has so far been denied it.
The book traces the genesis and history of the dispute over Netaji’s death, with hitherto undisclosed recorded proof, and points to the disservice done to Netaji by the government and people of India by not bringing his remains to India.
The bookis a must read for anyone interested in the intriguing 72-year- old controversy over the death of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.