This is one story that has all the makings of a thriller! And, it is a real story- no fiction.
It is a haunting story of one of the most loved heroes of India- Subhash Chandra Bose.
For nearly 200 years, India was ruled by a foreign power-the Britishers.The British had made a quiet entry in India more than 400 years ago when Sir Thomas Roe presented his credentials to the Mughal Emperor, Jahangir in Ajmer, India.
In the next 200 years, the British , represented by the East India Company first made the tentative first moves and then established themselves as a trading organization in the coastal areas of India.Silently, they also armed themselves.
In the late 1700s, when the Mughal power was in fast decline, the British decided to take the first important step in occupying India by defeating the local rulers.And by the time 1857 arrived, they were in full control of India.
Initially, the people of India first watched with incredulity the arrival of the Brits but, after they had realized what their foreign masters were upto, the Indians rose in revolt.Led by the immensely respected Mahatma Gandhi, Indians stood upto the British , asking them to go back to Britain.
.One of his followers was one Subhash Chandra Bose, popularly known as Netaji, He was born in Bengal and was brilliant intellectually as well as leadership wise.He joined the Indian National Congress, the principal political party of those times , and by dint of his personality, was elected to the President ship of the party.Bose’s was quite a forceful personality and the people of India loved him immensely.
But, when he was elected the President of the party, Mahatma Gandhi wanted him to step aside in favour of Jawahar Lal Nehru, another important leader. Ultimately, Bose had to leave the party and he founded the Indian National Army that was committed to fighting the Britishers by resorting to arms. He left India and raised the Indian National Army in Singapore. This Army allied with the Japanese in fighting the British in East Asia. The British government was by now an inveterate foe of Bose and wanted him exterminated, he was getting increasing popular support in India with each passing day because of his daring.Bose kept on eluding the British by disguising himself as a Pathan or by travelling in submarines.The British were desperate to get him- dead or alive.Then something happened in 1945-Japan surrendered to the US after the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.Bose had to leave Japan and he went to Taiwan.
One day, it was announced that Bose had perished in an air crash in Taiwan.The whole country went into mourning- nobody was prepared to accept it, he was a living legend.
Gradually, people forgot about him and the world moved on..
Until in the early 1970s, when a frail sadhu made his abode in one of the northern towns of India.The sadhu had no name and people did not know about his origins. He was a mystery, he spoke little , came out of his room rarely and refused to be photographed.He always met people with a partition between them and him.The sadhu was a complete mystery to people around him.
he had an uncanny resemblance to Subhash Chandra Bose, the legendary Indian freedom fighter who, the world believed , had perished in an air crash!
The world had forgotten him but to his friends, he was very much alive.
Over the years, some of the details of the mysterious sadhu began emerging- Bose had fallen into the hands of the Soviets who had him imprisoned in their notorious concentration camps.After, he was released , he made to India via Afghanistan and settled in one of the obscure North Indian towns.
But, if the sadhu was Bose, why did he hide himself? Was it because, he did not trust Nehru and the other Indian governments?Why?
The sadhu was also known by another name-Gumnami Baba , or the baba who did not have any name!
The astonishing thing is that the sadhu displayed the exact mannerisms as Bose and he possessed the same articles that Bose had in his lfe time!
The baba is to the left while Bose is in right, above.
The Indian government has from time to time, tried to solve the mystery but very little has come out of this saga.
The sadhu passed away in the late 1970s , and his last rites were executed in utter secrecy.
The Times of India , India’s largest English newspaper has been carrying views and reports about this controversy for some time so that the government does something about it.
It is also claimed that the sadhu was also present during the signing of the Tashkent agreement between the Indian and Pakistani governments in 1965 after the culmination of the war .Tashkent was in Russia.A video surfaced on September 17, 2015 showing the baba actually in that ceremony and the similarity between him and Bose is striking!
So, what is the truth?
The mystery continues…..