Meeting with PM Modi bares Netaji family feud

  • Snigdhendu Bhattacharya, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • Updated: Oct 15, 2015 14:08 IST
Anuj Dhar, a researcher on Netaji, shows a jacket presented to PM Modi on Wednesday. (Mohd Zakir/HT Photo)

Long-running fault lines in Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s family came to the fore when the freedom fighter’s descendents opposed to the theory of his air crash death met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on Wednesday.

About three dozen family members of Netaji had an audience with Modi to press for declassification of all secret files related to him while two prominent ones — former and current parliamentarians — stayed away in London.

Krishna Bose, wife of Netaji’s nephew Sisir Bose, and her son, historian Sugato Bose, were in Britain and refused to respond to queries if they were invited to meeting with the Prime Minister.

Sisir, son of Netaji’s elder brother Sarat Chandra, was the first family member to accept that his illustrious uncle died in an air crash in Taihoku on August 18, 1945. He was also the first Netaji descendent to join the Congress in independent India and become an MLA in 1987.

Read | Declassified file states Netaji ‘alive in China in 1948’

Later, wife Krishna and son Sugato maintained the same view.

Sugato wrote about Netaji’s death in the controversial air crash in his 2011 book, His Majesty’s Opponent.

The rest of the family, including Sarat Chandra’s other children and grandchildren, never believed the air crash theory.

“I don’t think Krishna and Sugato would have had anything to do the meeting. We have come here because we do not believe in the air crash theory and demand declassification of relevant files to let people know what happened to him after August 1945,” Netaji’s grandnephew Arya Bose said.

Read | Netaji’s elder brother believed air crash was an eyewash

Another grand nephew, Chandra Kumar Bose, agreed. “It is unfortunate that they played a negative role when other family members built a movement for declassification of all Netaji files,” he said.

The family feud is more than three decades old, starting in the 1970s when Sisir, who had helped Netaji escape capture by the British in 1941, agreed to the air crash theory. His father, Sarat Chandra, had called for a probe.

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