On Subhas Chandra Bose's death anniversary, a look at his political career, mysteries surrounding his demise

Subhash Chandra Bose as featured across literature, cinema and podcasts offers a glimpse into life, politics and the mysterious death and disappearance of one of the most contentious of personalities of the freedom movement.

FP Staff August 19, 2019 09:37:08 IST
On Subhas Chandra Bose's death anniversary, a look at his political career, mysteries surrounding his demise
  • Part of Incarnations: India in 50 Lives, the episode on Bose is a dive into Bose's life as a political leader and freedom fighter

  • Shyam Benegal's biographical work traces Bose's movements in the aftermath of his disagreement with Mahatma Gandhi, his subsequent arrest and escape to Germany

  • Laid to Rest debunks conspiracy theories, claiming to provide closure to the unnecessary controversy around Bose's death

A figure shrouded in mystery and intrigue who elicits vastly conflicting opinions from people, Subhash Chandra Bose is one of Indian history’s most controversial political leaders. While he may be loved or hated, celebrated, condoned or rejected, he is not irrelevant or forgotten in the public imagination – cases in point are the recent inauguration of his namesake museum and the trailer-release of yet another film around him.

On the 74th death anniversary of Subhash Chandra Bose, Firstpost rounds up works across literature, cinema and podcasts that delve into the life, politics and the mysterious death and disappearance of this most contentious of personalities.

On Subhas Chandra Boses death anniversary a look at his political career mysteries surrounding his demise

Subhash Chandra Bose. Photo credit: Facebook @NetajiSubhashC.Bose

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero (2004) - Shyam Benegal

Written and directed by the prolific filmmaker Shyam Benegal, this biographical work showcases the events that led to the formation of Bose's Azad Hind Fauj, his life in Nazi Germany during World War II and his work in Japanese-occupied Asia. The National Award-winning film starring Sachin Khedekar follows Bose's movements in the aftermath of his disagreement with Mahatma Gandhi and his subsequent arrest and escape to Germany.

Subhas Chandra Bose: A Touch of the Abnormal (2016) - BBC 4

Part of the series, Incarnations: India in 50 Lives, the episode centered on Bose is a 15 minute dive into Bose's life as a political leader and freedom fighter. The BBC 4 podcast is hosted by Sunil Khilnani, Professor of Politics, Director of the King's College London India Institute, and author of The Idea of India.

Back from Dead: Inside the Subhas Bose Mystery (2005) - Anuj Dhar

The author and journalist who has written extensively about the mystery surrounding Bose's death has also suggested that the freedom fighter purportedly lived on for several years after the plane crash in Taipei. His 2005 work kicks off with the very idea that Netaji did not, in fact, die in 1945. Tracking down facts, fallacies and chinks in the popular narrative, in this book, the writer traces the mystery behind the seemingly secretive evidence surrounding the leader's death.

Mahanayak (1998) - Vishwas Patil

A fast-paced, thrilling narrative that extensively follows Bose's politics especially after his banishment from the Indian National Congress (INC) and his alliances during the World War II, this 1998 work of historical fiction offers a glimpse into the mind of the powerful figure and his intricate ties with the country's most prominent leaders of the time, Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi. Originally written in Marathi by the Sahitya Akademi Awardee Vishwas Patil, Mahanayak has since been translated into 14 languages, with its English translation receiving a reprint in 2019.

Bose: Dead/Alive (2017)

A period drama focusing on the mysterious death of Bose, the Rajkummar Rao-starrer web miniseries is based on the book India's Biggest Cover-up by Anuj Dhar. It also delves into Bose's early days and his spirit of rebellion, while exploring his time as the leader of the Indian National Army (INA).

Laid to Rest: The Controversy Over Subhas Chandra Bose's Death (2018) - Ashis Ray

Laid to Rest is a comprehensive collection of the extant evidence surrounding the mystery of Bose's death. It brings together and analyses various eye-witness accounts of the Taipei plane crash, which are said to have led to his death. It gives a platform to voices from India, Japan and Taiwan to piece together Bose's demise, and debunks conspiracy theories, claiming to provide closure to an unnecessary controversy.

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