Netaji Bose's daughter rubbishes conspiracy theories

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's daughter is annoyed that instead of accepting evidence, many continue to be excited by ''asinine'' theories that he survived the plane crash in Taipei in 1945 and lived in the mountains as ''Gumnami Baba''.

Anita Bose Pfaff, 73, was about a month old when Bose saw her for the last time in Vienna. She is convinced Bose died in the crash on 18 August 1945, and has proposed a DNA test on his remains kept at Renkoji Temple in Japan.

Speaking to the Hindustan Times shortly before the Narendra Modi government begins releasing declassified files related to Bose, Pfaff said she supported the move but doubted if it would end the ''fruitless'' controversy.

Pfaff, Bose's daughter with Emily Schenkl, added that the plane crash was the "most likely thing to have happened" and is yet to come across any evidence that suggested otherwise. She said that she had not ''seen any evidence which is more convincing'' but was open to other possibilities supported by evidence.

''It is rather fruitless with all these rather asinine theories being advanced, including that he is still alive, God knows where, or that he lived in the mountains as 'Gumnami Baba', which is an insult to him ...'' she said.

She has suggested that Indian and Japanese governments could jointly approach the Renkoji temple priest for permission to test the remains. ''I think rational people would at least accept the outcome of that, whichever way it were to go,'' she said.

She added that if the DNA test proved that the ashes are of Bose then it would be better for them to be taken to India.

She also said that Netaji would have come to India after World War II if he were alive and would involve himself in politics. Netaji "would have been a prominent alternative to (Jawaharlal) Nehru'', she said.

She said that Nerhu and Bose agreed on industrialisation but differed on Pakistan, adding that her father would have succeeded in having better relations with the neighbouring nation.