Friday, January 23, 2009

Netaji died in Taihoku, claims Italy envoy

As doubts prevail over Subhas Chandra Bose's mysterious disappearance, Italy's Ambassador in India Alessandro Quaroni, whose parents
were close to Netaji, on Friday said he saw no point in further research claiming that the leader had died in 1945 in an air crash at Taihoku.

"I personally do not see the point of research because unfortunately, the person Netaji died, but his message lived on and still remains," Quaroni told newsmen after delivering the 'Netaji Oration' at the leader's ancestral house here.

Stating that an Australian historian had conducted 'the most extensive research' in establishing the exact circumstances of Netaji's death, Quaroni said, "I think inspite of the legend that (Subhas) Chandra Bose has not died, probably his death really happened in August '45."

Following a public outcry against the government's view that Netaji died in the Taihoku air crash, it set up three enquiry commissions -- the Shah Nawaz Commission, the Khosla Commission and the Justice Manoj Kumar Mukherjee Commission -- to look into the matter.

While Shah Nawaz and Khosla agreed that Netaji was, indeed, killed in the Taihoku air crash, the Mukherjee Commission, however, concluded that Netaji was actually alive when the crash is said to have taken place.

Quaroni replied in the negative when asked whether his parents were in possession of any document indicating Netaji's death in the Taihoku crash.

"But I don't know if there is any Japanese report. After all, there is a possibility of a plane crash. At that time Taiwan, where the crash occurred, was under Japanese dominion. So if there is any written proof or record of the circumstances, that should be in the Japanese records," he said.

Alessandro Quaroni's father Pietro Quaroni, who was the then Italian Ambassador to Afghanistan, had given Netaji a false passport in the name of Orlando Mazzotta in Kabul during the leader's great escape in 1941 from the very house in Kolkata which now houses the Netaji Research Bureau.

"What is important is that the core message from (Subhas)Chandra Bose gathers momentum. Even his temporary rivalry with Nehru and Gandhi subsided because the two of them recognised that he had, after all, the right view that it would not be possible to obtain India's independence through peaceful ways," Alessandro Quaroni said.

Earlier, delivering the Netaji Oration, 2009 on 'The Kabul Connection: Subhas Chandra Bose, Pietro Quaroni and Indo-Italian Relations,' the Italian envoy dwelt at length about his parents relationship with Netaji.

Quaroni said while his father Pietro had always tried to procure help in Netaji's mission from the axis forces, his mother acted as the secret messenger keeping contact with Netaji at his hiding place in Kabul.

Believing Netaji might travel from Afghanistan through the middle east to Europe, the British had ordered his assassination in Turkey. Bose, however, travelled via the Soviet Union to Germany using the name and the passport of Orlando Mazzotta which Pietro Quaroni had arranged for him.

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