Netaji’s daughter reiterates demand for his remains to be returned to India


London, June 11: Anita Bose-Pfaff, the daughter of “Netaji” Subhas Chandra Bose, on Sunday reiterated her demand that the remains kept in a temple in Japan and believed to be those of her father, be returned to India.
“I hope that we get closure on this matter and that we get the remains returned and I hope we can do this without controversy because that would be the worst thing we could do for Netaji’s memory,” she said at the Jaipur Literature Festival at the British Library here.
Speaking at the London launch of the book Laid To Rest: The Controversy Over Subhas Chandra Bose’s Death by journalist Ashis Ray, Bose-Pfaff dismissed theories that her father survived a 1945 air crash in Taipei and lived anonymously in India for several years.
She said she understood why so many people, including her relatives and admirers, were reluctant to accept his death chronicled in reports and first-person accounts: “People like mysteries and my father was a romantic and tragic hero, so somehow it was not so surprising.”
But, she added: “It’s about time India did something to bring the ashes to India.”
Asked about the alleged uneasy relations between her father and Jawaharlal Nehru, Bose-Pfaff remarked that “in a way, they were of the same camp but my father would not compromise even if Gandhi said so, whereas Nehru would.”
Recalling her meeting with Nehru, she said: “Nehru was personally very friendly to my mother and towards me, during my first visit to India. I don’t recall us talking about his relationship with my father.”
On the impact on her own life of being related to a significant political figure, she said living outside India meant she did not feel the pressure experienced by the children of other leaders of the freedom movement, such as Indira Gandhi.
She added: “I owe it to my mother (Emilie Schenkl) that the legacy was not too difficult. She said, ‘your father was a great man but that doesn’t make you a great anything’. She tried to educate me to be humble.”  (Courtesy: HT)