It has been 70 years since Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s alleged death. But controversies surrounding his demise never seem to end. Although there are 64 documents on him that are set to be declassified to the public domain on Friday, 18th September, other possibilities of his whereabouts have come to light. Some through a few files attained by CNN IBN and some by a former Supreme Court judge.

Netaji a Japanese spy? Really?

Ex-Supreme Court judge Justice Markandey Katju has been known to make controversial statements. His most recent one being that Netaji was actually a ‘Japanese Agent’. Now that is a strong claim. Katju also claimed that Rabindranath Tagore was a ‘British stooge’.


Justice Katju: “In my opinion Bose was a highly ambitious person, and he became a Japanese agent because neither Gandhi nor Hitler had given him any ‘bhaav’.”

“I am soon coming to Kolkata where I will give a speech with a scathing att-ack on that British stooge Tagore and that Japanese agent Subhas Chandra Bose in a talk in some University or institution. That will be throwing a stone in a beehive, and send many Bengalis swarming like hornets for my blood. But they must know the truth. For too long they have been taken for a ride,” said Justice Katju.


Documents accessed reveal that there is no confirmation of his death in a plane crash in Taipei (now Taiwan), 1945.

These documents were buried under the ‘Official Secrets Act’ and have been accessed by CNN IBN . A letter from the I&B; Ministry, in 1949, to Bose’s family shows that they believe he could still be alive. The files also reveal how Indian intelligence agencies knew that he was alive and also the fact that US & UK secret services couldn’t find any proof that he was involved in any plane crash.

During 1949, UK and US believed that Russia was training Bose to become the next Mao or Tito.

They believed he was waiting for the opportune moment to return to India. Even 4 years after his disappearance, they thought he was behind every communist uprising in South East Asia.


His death was based majorly on one man’s statement, General Habib-ur-Rehman, who was the chief of his personal staff.

He said he was with Netaji during the plane crash. He gave a number of confusing statements. But later, when he joined the Pakistani raiders in Kashmir, he said that Netaji was in fact alive and would return.

The Bose family was snooped upon by the secret services.

A letter was written to Netaji’s nephew, Amiya Nath Bose by Mr Kuang of Ministry of I&B; on 5th March, 1948. But before the letter could reach him, it was intercepted by secret services. The letter read: “I regret that I could not find out that news about Netaji’s death which have been published in Chinese newspaper in Nanking sometime ago. I am still believing that he is alive.”


His grand nephew, Surya Bose, had said that his father was also spied upon in the UK.

Not only this, he said that there were discussions held in the Indology (study of Indian history) section of the Heidelberg University about Indo-German relationships. But he asked why Netaji was excluded from the talks, as Bose was a key component in Indo-German relations. People at the institute replied that if they include him, they are not going to get visas to India. Recently, Surya Bose had met PM Modi regarding the declassification of the files.


Netaji was a major leader in our Independence struggle, but the government never tried to get his remains back from Tokyo.

His remains were at the Renkoji Temple, but no efforts were made to get them back to home soil. Even though the Indian government had confirmed his demise in the plane crash. So why not get his ashes back to his country?


“We should have but one desire today… The desire to die so that India may live.” – Subhash Chandra Bose

India lives. But has it been unfair to the man who died for it?

We really hope that the declassification can actually shed some more light on this issue. As for Justice Katju, he will back his statement up in the speech he intends to make in Kolkata soon.