Similar to the Winston Churchill’s remark about Russia being “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma” the unsolved and untold enigma of just what happened with Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, India’s one of the most iconic freedom fighters and revolutionary leaders. In the year 2015, some classified files from Ukraine about the functioning of intelligence agencies during the Soviet era opened in public domain.
A mystery which has endured since India’s independence in the year 1947 and couldn’t be solved even after 71 years, or it could not be and could affect India’s relations with Russia. Why the ruling Nehruvian governments always had a soft approach and friendly relations with Russia always, did they tried to hide something…? The question is still remain unanswered.
Many times in the past several years after the independence people approached the Prime Minister’s Offices to declassify files related to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Later in the year 2016, Central Information Commission declassified some files related to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose but not all files as it could affect our relations with some other countries.
So these other countries in question are Russia and Britain, a government spokesperson confirmed to RIR.
However, some analysts believed that the chances of relations with either country being hit were “bleak” and “unlikely”.
Later, the Chief Minister of West Bengal state announced that her government will declassify 64 files on Netaji which are now with the state’s home (interior) department and displayed them at Kolkata museum on 18th September 2015.
And this announcement had reopened the mystery surrounding the fate of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, who was supposed to have died on 18th August. 1945.
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, a former member of the Indian Congress Party, left the party and escaped in 1940 to seek assistance from the “enemy’s enemy” in Germany, Japan, and Italy. The enemy was ‘British Raj’, When Britain declared war against Nazi Germany in the year 1939, Netaji saw a hope to liberate India by aligning with the ‘Axis’ powers, Germany, Japan and Italy.
Netaji formed the historic Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauj), tried to use military means to liberate India with the help of Japan. When Japan unconditionally surrendered and accepted the defeat, Netaji tried to leave Formosa (Now Taiwan) and flee to Manchuria and on to Russia to seek assistance and raise Azad Hind Fauj again. Some reports suggest that he died in a plane crash during take-off from Formosa on 18th August 1945.
But many Indians believe that Netaji didn’t die then but it was a fake story spread by Japanese. His plan was to move to Russia and seek assistance from the Soviet government.
Subramaniam Swamy said: “According to the documents and papers that exist with us, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had faked his death and escaped to Manchuria in China, which was then under Russian’s control, hoping Russia would look after him. But Stalin put him in a jail in Siberia. Somewhere around 1953, he hanged or suffocated Bose to death.”
Swamy also claimed that India’s 1st Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was aware that Bose was held captive in the prison of Yakutsk in Siberia.
Meanwhile, the controversy became bigger when Ukraine said it will declassify more than 800, 000 ‘top secret’ file of the ‘Russian spy agencies of the Soviet era, which included the KGB, GRU, and SMERSH, and later put them in public domain.
Among the files dated between 1917 and 1991 are told to be intelligence despatches of Siberian gulags (which was a kind of Russian camp for the political prisoners), Where Bose was suspected to have been imprisoned along with other prisoners of war and political dissidents.
Kuslov, who was an ex-Soviet agent, who was supposed to trained Indians in the year 1934 & later served a few years in a Siberian gulag, had allegedly confirmed that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was kept as a prisoner in Cell No. 45 in Yakutsk prison. Kuslov, who knew Bose, was a Soviet agent in India in the 1930s & had meetings with Bose in Kolkata, reports in the Indian media claimed.
One more spy and prisoner in Siberia, Karl Leonhard, had allegedly admitted and said that Bose was one of the prisoners. But the then government headed by Jawaharlal Nehru had rubbished such claims terming it just an American propaganda.