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Either way, Netaji’s last rites yet to be performed: Author

Was Gumnami Baba Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose or did Netaji die in a plane crash? -- the question continues to remain unanswered even today. But, the most unfortunate part in both scenarios, says author and logic tutor Adheer Som, is that his last rites never took place.

lucknow Updated: Dec 04, 2017 16:08 IST
Deep Saxena
Author Adheer Som at the launch of his book.
Author Adheer Som at the launch of his book.(HT Photo)

Was Gumnami Baba Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose or did Netaji die in a plane crash? -- the question continues to remain unanswered even today. But, the most unfortunate part in both scenarios, says author and logic tutor Adheer Som, is that his last rites never took place.

Som made these remarks while launching his book ‘Gumnani Baba: A Case History’ at MB Club in Lucknow on Sunday.

“We are talking a lot about Hinduism these days, but the fact remains that his (Bose’s) ‘shraadh’ (last rites) is yet to take place. If we believe Gumanami Baba was Netaji then his ashes are locked up in the district treasury of Faizabad. And if he died in a plane crash, then his remains are in Renkoji Temple, Tokyo,” he said.

Netaji is presumed to have died in a plane crash in Taihoku, Japan (now Taiwan) on August 18, 1945. His ashes are kept in Tokyo. His death has been a subject of a lot of debate and inquires.

Som said his case history shed light on facts related to Gumnami Baba. “The chronology begins with documented evidence dating back to 1957. In a letter written in Hindi, dated July 17, 1957, Babu Banarasi Das, then parliamentary secretary to UP CM Dr Sampurnanand, wrote to Gumnami Baba saying that if he needed a security perimeter (raksha rekha) the same would be provided to him,” said Som, adding that back then Baba lived in Singar Nagar in Alambagh.

Netaji’s grandniece Jayanti Bose Rakshit was also present at the launch. In her forward note, she has written that like many others she too believes that there was no plane crash at Taihoku aerodrome. “I appeared before the Gumnami Baba inquiry commission. Deposing as witness number 1, I stated on oath that the nameless saint (Gumnami baba) may well have been none other than Netaji...” wrote Jayanti Bose.

After three years of research and interaction with people who have worked on Bose’s life, Som has provided a chronology that supports the assertion that the saint in question could have been Netaji. “I have just provided the case history and laid down facts and findings. Now, it’s up to the reader to draw a conclusion.”

He said he too remained inconclusive about Baba being Netaji, but seconds Jayanti Bose’s opinion that both men could be the same. “It can be proved by conducting a DNA test from the remains of Gumnami Baba, but the call can be taken only if there’s political will. The tooth DNA from Baba (after his death in 1985) was examined at a laboratory, but it did not match. At another lab, the result was inconclusive. However, In 2013, justice DP Singh and justice VK Dixit observed that it had not been proved if the teeth belonged to Baba in the first place,” Som pointed out. Both justices were also present during the launch. The book has been published by the Eastern Book Company.