I do not want to attract new madness, the old madness does well enough. Here, a summary of various items of fun fact* where *I use the term in the sense of fake news facts*:
Much respect to Netaji, I do of course wish (any of) this was true.
However, some years ago, on the trail of Subhas’s house here in HCMC, which we found, which still exists, though in a dilapidated state, someone was in touch and linked to a number of photographs of an Indian looking gentleman who is pictured at a Chinese pro Vietnam ceremony (can be discounted, read the ‘mobile phone photo story abdout ‘Evidence shows’ – link below) and a picture of the delegation to Paris a few years later allegedly as a member of the talks, with *confirmation* by the famous Madame Binh – head negotiator. Well, most likely not, even if the person does seem to have the correct features, but all other accounts suggest a plane crash. Though Taiwan airport logs no such crash – during a war, go figure – thus pouring aviation fuel on the rumour mill.
Me, personally, I am sure Subhas will return in the next few weeks and reveal that it is true he has been trading Cocaine in Vietnam, then living in China before walking across Tibet with Vikram Seth. Since then he has been living all this time as a sadhu in Varanasi and other parts of U.P., perhaps. Ha!
More likely is the French story that he died in Prison – the notorious Police Bot Catinat (lock up mentioned in Grahame Green’s Quiet American book) is not far from his house, and its the more likely tale really.
Here are the links:
Then, here are a few of the even more fun factoidifications of the endless rabbit hole that is Netaji studies:
Alive in Vietnam:
Dead in Vietnam:
Netaji in China
The Taiwan aircrash never happened:
and perhaps the best yet, also well documented : https://thewire.in/history/netaji-subhas-chandra-bose-gumnami-baba
Indeed, probably worth citing the entire post as, well, surely we can only wish this were all true, what a hero (somewhat unfortunately its only in The Wire, ah well):
“He lived incognito to perform some covert activities in Asian countries. He led an Asian Liberation Army which fought in the Korean War of 1952. The Chinese army that attacked India in 1962 was led by him. He wanted to emancipate India from the western influence but Indians could not recognise him, so he ordered the army to retreat. In Vietnam, he was guiding Ho-Chi-Minh in his fight against US imperialism. He went to Paris in 1969 to mediate for the Vietnamese in the ‘Paris Peace Talks’. Before that, he visited Tashkent to help draw up the Tashkent Pact between India and Pakistan on January 10, 1966. Lastly, he turned his attention to his native state and was in north Bengal in 1970-71 guiding the ‘Mukti-joddhas’ in their liberation war for Bangladesh.https://thewire.in/history/netaji-subhas-chandra-bose-gumnami-baba
Finally – never finally of course – the tributes continue in an effort to actually recognise the achievements of the man.
Me, I most like the story of him beating the black hole monument plaque with his slipper, as mentioned in my article https://www.academia.edu/17780537/THE_BLACK_HOLE in *Strangely Beloved* by the wonderful Nilanjana Gupta.
Thanks to Sarunas for the latest diversion into this quick sand trinketry.
That was interesting! We met someone in Kolkata who believes Netaji is still alive, and he is living somewhere in the North-East. He spoke about Vietnam connection and about the book by Ho Chi Minh ! We wished to dig more (the topic is irresistible), but our health prevented. Unfortunately, we both are down with COVID…
Runa Chakraborty Paunksnis, PhD
Digital Culture, Communication and Media Research Group Faculty of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Kaunas University of Technology
A. Mickeviciaus 37, Kaunas, LT-44244 | Lithuania email@example.com ktu.edu ________________________________