Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s daughter Anita Bose Pfaff said she will soon approach the Indian and the Japanese governments for a DNA test of the ashes at Tokyo’s Renkoji temple.
IMAGE: Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s daughter Anita Bose Pfaff. Photograph: PTI Photo
In an interview to PTI, Pfaff said resolving the mystery shrouding Bose’s life and bringing back the ashes to India would be a true tribute to the revolutionary as the country celebrates its 75th anniversary of Independence.
“I, as the daughter of Netaji, want this (mystery) to end in my lifetime. I would soon officially approach the Indian government with the request to conduct a DNA test. I will wait for some time for their response, if I get a response, it’s good, and if I don’t, I will get in touch with the Japanese government. If the government agrees or if they ask me to move forward and don’t want to get involved, then I can take it forward,” she said.
Pfaff, a German, said she had approached the Indian government for the DNA test when the Congress was in power but never got a reply.
“This time, I won’t dillydally much longer. This COVID situation has already delayed the matter by two years. I would parallelly get in touch with the Japanese government. Initially, the Japanese government decided to keep the ashes as they thought they would be for a few months. But now it has been 77 years,” she said in a telephonic interview from Germany.
“I don’t want to name anyone. But for some people, it is true, saw a political campaign in Netaji’s life and mystery for their political advantage. But, this is not a general attitude. A majority of the people still admire him and are not in politics,” said Pfaff, an economist.
She said that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in India has been doing more in honouring the legacy of Bose.
“But at the same time, I don’t see a reason they should take the initiative without my pushing them,” she said.
“It is not a mystery for me as there is ample proof that he died in the air crash. But, I want his ashes to be brought back to his motherland. I want to do this service to my father,” she said.
Pfaff said technology advancement now offers the means for sophisticated DNA testing.
“To those who still doubt whether Netaji died on August 18, 1945, or not, it offers a chance to obtain scientific proof that the remains kept at Renkoji Temple in Tokyo are his,” she said.
Since Independence, the Centre formed three inquiry commissions to unravel the mystery over Netaji’s disappearance.
Two of them — the Shah Nawaz Commission and Khosla Commission, formed by the Congress governments — concluded that Bose died in an air crash. The third one — the Mukherjee Commission formed by the BJP-led NDA government had said he did not die in it.
In 2015, the West Bengal government released 64 files on Netaji held by the Home Department. The Narendra Modi government in 2016 released 100 files on the legend.