NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting Japan after eight years and though he will engage with all Quad leaders in his individual capacity and collectively for the Summit, the one place he will skip going to for the second time is visiting the Renko ji temple which houses the ashes of Subash Chandra Bose.
Even though the Modi government has been giving a lot of importance to Netaji and even placed his hologram in India Gate to mark his 125th birth anniversary in January this year, they haven’t so far decided to go further and unravel the mystery around his death or even ascertain whether the ashes in Renkoji are true of Netaji.
"It will be a symbol of India’s indebtedness to him," PM Modi had tweeted when the hologram of Netaji was showcased in January this year.
After Netaji died in an air crash in Taiwan on August 18th,1945 his ashes were brought to Tokyo and kept in Renkoji.
"When PM Modi visited Japan in 2014 a political party called Netaji Subash Kranti Manch urged him not the visit the temple as they said it would send wrong signals of his government on Netaji. Even though the Indian Embassy in Tokyo had suggested that PM Modi visit the temple, he prefered to skip it," said a political expert.
Renkoji Temple was visited by PM Nehru in 1957, President Rajendra Prasad in 1958, PM Indira Gandhi in 1969 and PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2001.
Meanwhile, earlier this year Chandra Kumar Bose, Netaji’s grand nephew, had urged the government to bring back the ashes from Renkojiand conduct a DNA test to prove that it was him. They are looking at a closure of this case.
Anita Bose Pfaff, daughter of Netaji, also wanted to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to seek a DNA test of the ashes interred in Renkoji since she believes he died in a plane crash in August 1945. Anita Bose Pfaff (born in 1942) is an Austrian economist and the only child of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Emilie Schenki.
Earlier, in 2019, Hiroshi Hirabayashi, President of Japan India Association, Tokyo and former Ambassador of Japan to India asked why successive governments in India have failed to take back the ashes of the “hero” back home.
His question came in the run-up to the 2019 general elections when our political parties were accusing each other for having let down the nation, including ignoring Netaji.
"One of the reasons that PM Modi has kept away from Renkoji is that the Mukherjee Commission appointed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government had concluded that the ashes in Renko ji are not Netaji’s. PM Modi wants to refrain from getting embroiled in any debate," the expert added.
If you look at PM Modi’s diplomatic stand of skipping Renko ji it makes sense. With so much to fight, contest and establish he naturally wouldn’t want to stir a hornet’s nest which will entangle him in a controversy.