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‘Subhas Bose unquestionably died in plane crash, dishonour that his remains have not been brought to India’

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Netaji subhash chandra bose

By Saket Suman

New Delhi, Feb 5: A new book on the death of Subhas Chandra Bose — with a foreword by Boses daughter Anita Bose Pfaff — presents an entire “gamut of documentary evidence” to suggest that Netaji perished as a result of a plane crash at Taipei on August 18, 1945. Its author, Ashis Ray, claimed that the remains at Tokyo’s Renkoji temple are his and that it is a dishonour that his remains have not been brought to India even after 72 years since his death.

“There is no mystery, only a lingering and needless controversy. Subhas Bose unquestionably died as a result of a plane crash in Taipei on 18 August 1945. Eleven different official and unofficial investigations — brought together in my book for the first time — re-confirm this. The mortal remains preserved at Tokyo’s Renkoji temple are undoubtedly his. It is incredible dishonour and disrespect to the memory of a great son of India that his remains have not been brought to India even after 72 years since his death,” Ashis Ray, the author of upcoming “Laid To Rest” told IANS in an email interview from London.

In the book, Ray, who has been a foreign correspondent for 40 years, working mainly for BBC and CNN, mentions that he was well-acquainted with former Prime Minister Narasimha Rao and was “able to encourage moves on his part and in effect action by the Government of India” to bring home the remains of Netaji. Elaborating on this, he maintained that Rao too was certain that Netaji had died in the plane crash.

“Narasimha Rao did not have the slightest doubt that the story of the plane crash was true and that the ashes at Renkoji temple were Subhas Bose’s. He was wary of opposition to the ashes being brought to India from Forward Bloc, BJP and a section of Bose’s extended family — and he was, don’t forget, running a minority government in parliament which was dependent on opposition support. But he sent Pranab Mukherjee, then external affairs minister, to visit the temple and meet Bose’s widow Emilie Schenkl in Germany,” added Ray.

However, the Justice Mukherjee Commission of Inquiry (JMCI) report suggested that the story of Bose’s death in a plane crash was “nothing but a smokescreen” and was rejected by the then UPA government in 2006, which maintained that the “the Commission’s inquiry was inconclusive in many ways, unable to provide a definitive finding on several issues and at variance with past well accepted Inquiry Commissions’ findings in some critical areas”.

“I have some sympathy for Justice Manoj Mukherjee because he was hamstrung by none of the survivors of the plane crash being alive to give evidence when he undertook his inquiry. But I obviously don’t agree with his finding that Subhas Bose did not die as a result of a plane crash at Taipei. The government’s reaction to the report was by no means hasty. It was prompt and proper,” he quipped.

Ray maintained that even though the Narendra Modi-led NDA government has declassified all Government of India files on Subhas Bose, the ruling dispensation has not overturned Singh’s verdict on the Mukherjee Commission report. “This ratified what I have been maintaining since the mid-1990s – that Subhas Bose died as a result of a plane crash at Taipei on 18 August 1945. Having accessed the facts, Modi realised Manmohan Singh’s verdict on the Mukherjee Commission report was correct and didn’t overturn it,” he said.

“All governments in India have so far proved to be cowardly on the issue of bringing Subhas Bose’s ashes to India. The BJP tried to distance itself from the RTI reply. There are no new facts, other than what are cited in my book, which merely reinforce the truth.

“The matter of bringing Subhas Bose’s mortal remains has got caught up in politics; and the attitude of a section of Subhas Bose’s extended family has been unhelpful to Professor Anita Pfaff. I believe the Government of India has a moral and legal obligation to honour Pfaff’s wishes. My information – as elaborated in the book – is the Japanese government is unlikely to object to the remains coming to India,” concluded Ray.

The book, “Laid To Rest” is published by Rolli Books and will be launched on February 12 at Bikaner House in the capital.

IANS

(Saket Suman can be contacted at [email protected])

India

Congress condemns Bengaluru violence, questions police role

The statement comes after the BJP leaders questioned the silence of the Congress on the whole incident, which occurred on Tuesday in which the house of the Congress MLA was attacked by a mob.

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Begaluru Violence

New Delhi, Aug 12 : A day after the attack on its party MLA in Bengaluru, the Congress has condemned the incident and has questioned the role of the police in controlling the riots in which three persons died.

Congress Chief Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala in a statement on Wednesday said, “Riots and arson are reprehensible, condemnable and unacceptable, and it is a complete failure of the law and order machinery and rule of law.”

The Congress raised questions about the role of the police and the Yediyurappa government. Surjewala said, “Was the Yediyurappa government sleeping or waiting for violence to happen. And, why did the police not act in time? Who is responsible for the three deaths?”

The statement comes after the BJP leaders questioned the silence of the Congress on the whole incident, which occurred on Tuesday in which the house of the Congress MLA was attacked by a mob.

Three people died in the police firing, 60 policemen were injured and several vehicles were set ablaze in Bengaluru on Tuesday night after Congress MLA Akanda Srinivas Murthy’s nephew Naveen allegedly posted a derogatory message on social media. Naveen has been arrested. The police had to resort to firing in order to bring the situation under control.

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Covid cases haven’t yet peaked or even plateaued: AIIMS Dir

The remarks come at a time when the infections are racing ahead with the country adding at least a lakh new cases every two days.

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Randeep Guleria AIIMS

New Delhi: All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Randeep Guleria, one of India’s leading medical experts, has asserted that the coronavirus cases in the country have not yet hit their peak or even plateaued.

The remarks come at a time when the infections are racing ahead with the country adding at least a lakh new cases every two days. It has logged more than 23 lakh cases and over 46,000 deaths so far since the first case on January 30.

“These are trying times. It has tested the resilience of the nation. We have not reached the peak or started plateauing as far as cases are concerned,” Guleria, who is also the part of a core team monitoring the pandemic, said.

Shedding light on the vaccine development, he said that India has an advantage because it makes almost 60 per cent of the world’s vaccines.

“We have the capacity to manufacture a large number of vaccines and that is the commitment that the government and manufacturers have given — that we will be able to upscale our manufacturing capacity not only for our own country but for the entire world,” he added.

Three vaccine candidates are in different stages of human clinical trials in India — one developed by University of Oxford by Pune’s Serum Institute of India, the other inactivated virus vaccine by Bharat biotech and the third DNA vaccine by Zydus Cadila.

The country’s top pulmonologist further said that the vaccine development has moved so rapidly because of the collaborative work between various countries. “What the pandemic has shown is the resilience that the world has and the way researchers, manufactures and industries can come together to overcome any hardship we face as a planet.”

Guleria, however, advised caution with regards to the Russian vaccine, being touted as the world’s first coronavirus vaccine. Elaborating on the safety aspect, he said that the issue would be just to make sure that the vaccine is “safe and efficacious”.

“Any vaccine that is tried in a large number of people who are elderly or have comorbidities, safety is the most important thing and should of course be efficacious in terms of what degree of protection does it give and how long the protection lasts,” the AIIMS Director said.

The comments come in the backdrop of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement about the approval of the coronavirus vaccine for public use. It is, however, marred by controversies and is yet to complete the final trials.

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India

Shia board issues Muharram guidelines

Muharram, this year, begins on August 20 and ends on September 18.

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Muharram Shia

Lucknow, Aug 12 : The All India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB) has issued its Muharram advisory, asking people to follow all norms of social distancing, wear masks and wherever possible, take part in Muharram rituals online or via TV channels broadcasting them.

The first month of the Islamic calendar, Muharram is a mourning period in remembrance of Imam Husain-Prophet Muhammad’s grandson and his family and companions who were martyred by Yazid in Karbala (Iraq) in 680 AD.

The 14-point advisory issued by board president Maulana Syed Saim Mehdi and general secretary Maulana Yasoob Abbas said that all mosques and Imambaras with carpets and floor covers should ensure disinfecting the space before and after every majlis (sermon session).

Clerics said that the advisory was in accordance with the guidelines by ayatullahs from Iraq and Iran, including Grand Ayatullah Ali Al Sistani.

Children, pregnant women and the elderly have been advised to stay at home and use online and other mediums to be part of the sermons.

Water and food distributed among the poor as ‘tabarruk’, should be packed and sealed, and guidelines issued by the administration should be followed. A number of Shia and Sunni clerics have also met the district officials and discussed the guidelines with them.

Muharram, this year, begins on August 20 and ends on September 18.

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