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Time we unravelled Netaji's 'death' story

Why is it so important to know what happened to Subhas Bose?

We are close to the end of one phase of the public probe into this untold tragedy. It is time we cleared our collective mind and answered the question: What is the purpose of it all?

First let's admit, it is not a collective lamentation.

Yes, it is true that the absence of a relatively young leader at the time when undivided India's future was being decided made a qualitative difference to what happened to India in 1947. Furthermore, what happened then has very largely decided the kind of country we now are.

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Mukherjee Commission
It's now or probably never
That a non-Congress government would be receptive to the idea of another probe into the Netaji mystery was never under doubt. That too a government led by a Netaji fan, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Vajpayee was the External Affairs Minister in 1978 when Prime Minister Morarji Desai publicly rejected probe reports by the Shah Nawaz Committee and G D Khosla Commission.

Much as he admired Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Gandhiji, Vajpayee has often said that the previous governments downplayed Bose's role. He began the celebration of Netaji's birthday under the central government auspices.

The ground for the formation of another probe was prepared by an abortive attempt by the Narasimha Rao Government to bring "Netaji's ashes" to India. Shortly followed the Government's ham-handed move to confer Bharat Ratna on Netaji 'posthumously'.

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