Conspiracy Theories: What is the truth behind the death of Subhas Chandra Bose?


Subhas Chandra Bose was a Indian legendary  freedom fighter who tried to get rid of the British through armed means. Although he failed in his mission, his heroism is greatly respected and inspirational among the Indians. His death near Taiwan during World War II is still shrouded in mystery. But the various conspiracy theories about it make it even more mysterious.


Here are some of the most intriguing conspiracy theories:


Subhas Chandra Bose Plane crash

Recent developments regarding disclosure of files by West Bengal Government will be updates as the story follows. A popular belief states that Bose died as a result of overloaded plane crash. He was seen coming out of the plane literally like a human torch, as he was soaked in gasoline when the plane hit the ground.

He was taken to the nearest hospital by the ground staff and had suffered third-degree burns. In spite of formal treatments, blood transfusion and professional care, he went into coma and breathed his last a few hours later on 18th August, 1945. His body was cremated two days later and ashes later taken to Tokyo, where they still remain.


This is the established account of how one of India’s most famous and legendary freedom fighters died.

Plans to surrender Bose as a war criminal

There are unsubstantiated reports that Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru had plans to surrender Bose as a war criminal to the British, which is why he faked his death and never came back to India.

Netaji is Alive in 1948 in China

Netaji Subash Chandra Bose alive: Freedom fighter Netaji Subash Chandra Bose was “alive” and “somewhere in Manchuria, China” in 1948, one of his trusted aides, Deb Nath Das, had claimed then, according to the declassified files by the West Bengal government.

Among the released dossier, file No. 22 sheds light on intelligence gathered by the Bengal government (office of the deputy commissioner of police), on INA leaders, including Das.

An extract dated August 9, 1948, says: “Deb Nath Das, an ex-INA leader who is actively engaged in anti-Congress propaganda, is preaching in political and party circles that Netaji Subash Chandra Bose is alive and is somewhere in Manchuria, China at present.”


The Soviet Connection and a Conspiracy

After he faked his death in Plane crash, he went to USSR keeping in mind the cold tussle between America and USSR and asked for asylum. Now, there are two versions of what happened to him in USSR.

a. He was jailed in Siberia and then hanged to death

This version says Netaji was jailed in Siberia and then killed by Stalin by 1953.

BJP’s Subramanian Swamy alleges ,

“According to the papers that exist with us, Bose had faked his death and escaped to Manchuria in China which was under Russian occupation, hoping Russia would look after him. But Stalin put him in a jail in Siberia. Somewhere around 1953, he hanged or suffocated Bose to death,”

b. Got asylum in Russia

In 1995, a team from Calcutta’s Asiatic Society, researching Indo-Soviet ties in Moscow, found a bunch of declassified files that hinted at Bose having been in the USSR after 1945.

There are reports that Dr Saroj Das, of Calcutta University, told his friend Dr RC Muzumdar that Dr Radhakrishnan had told him that Bose was in Russia.


Gumnami Baba aka Bhagwanji Theory

This theory says Netaji came back from USSR and started living in Faizabad as a sadhu. Locals called him Bhagwanji aka Gumnami baba. Baba had some letters written in Bengali, he never spoke to anyone but he had books written in German, French. He maintained contact with Dr Pavitra Mohan Roy, the former top Secret Service agent of the INA. He died on  September 16, 1985.

However, more than his life, what Bhagwanji left behind after his death seems to confirm that the sadhu and Bose were one and the same: Gold-rimmed spectacles identical to what Netaji was always pictured wearing, powerful German binoculars, a colour photograph of Swami Vivekananda, Bengali books, the original copy of the summons issued to Suresh Chandra Bose to appear before the Khosla Commission, a map of undivided India, an album containing family photographs of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.


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