New Delhi: Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s daughter Dr Anita Bose Pfaff wants a DNA test to be conducted to establish whether the ashes kept in a Japanese temple are her father’s, but believes that the 1945 aircrash in Taipei was the “most likely cause” of his death.
“I believe that the plane crash is the most likely cause of his death,” Ms Pfaff said when asked whether she believes in the theory that her father died in an air crash near the Taihoku aerodrome in Taipei on August 18, 1945.
However, she said she wants a DNA test of the ashes kept in an urn at a Buddhist temple in Tokyo to ascertain whether the remains belong to the freedom fighter.
“A DNA test could provide proof, provided that the bones are not too badly charred for extracting DNA,” Ms Pfaff, the only child of Subhash Bose and Emilie Schenkl, told PTI in an interview from her home in Stadtbergen, Germany.
Bose family sources said the 73-year old German economist, who is likely to visit India next month, may urge the government here to talk to Japan for conducting DNA test of the remains kept in the Renkoji temple in Tokyo.
On whether the recently declassified documents sufficiently proved Netaji’s death in the aircrash, Ms Pfaff said “while I have only looked at a few files, I get the impression that a death certificate is not contained.”
Asked about her opinion that Netaji was not treated with as much respect as were leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, Ms Pfaff said: “That certainly seems to be the case for the official treatment.”
“But the general public, the so-called man in the street, however, seems to have kept his memory alive in a very touching way. It was a shame how the Indian government treated the INA veterans for decades.”
To a question about Nehru’s approach towards Bose, she merely said, “Since their relationship lasted over many years, it was multi-faceted, I imagine. In many aspects they held similar views, in others their views differed.”