Statement to the Press,New Delhi (11 Oct 1946)
From time to time some item of news appears in the press relating to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. It is stated that he is alive, that he is coming to India soon, that he has been seen in some part of India, that somebody has received a message from him and so on and so forth. Sometimes even a date is fixed for his public appearance in India. When closely examined these items of news turn out to be just rumours or vague hopes. But this constant repetition of this theme has undoubtedly made many people believe that Shri Subhas Chandra Bose is alive. I do not think there is the slightest justification for this belief.
For some months after the news of his death came I was rather doubtful of its veracity. Later, when Col. Habibur Rahman gave me a detailed eyewitness account” of the accident which resulted in the death, I became convinced of it. No piece of news has come to me since then or has appeared in the press, that has shaken that conviction. All of us would like him to be alive, but it is no good feeding ourselves with rumor which is without foundation.
Col. Habibur Rahman has written to me again expressing his great distress at the prevalence of these rumors. He assures me that he personally saw the accident in which he himself was involved. Netaji had sustained a serious head injury in addition to burns on the upper part of his body. In the hospital, Netaji and Col. Habibur Rahman had their beds side by side and the latter was present when Netaji died on August 18. When it was not found possible to take the body to Singapore or Tokyo, the body was cremated in the Presence of Col. Habibur Rahman who subsequently took the ashes.
Nothing could be clearer than Col. Habibur Rahman’s account as an eyewitness of all these sad occurrences. In view of his statement, it seems to tie absurd and completely wrong to circulate rumors about Netaji being alive. I hope that people will not indulge in this irresponsible talk which raises false hopes which are doomed to disappointment.
Soruce :: SWJN, Second Series, vol 01 page 609
Nehru’s Message to INA officers on 23,Jan 1948(Bose’s birthday)
On this day of Netaji’s birth anniversary many things come to my mind but most of all I think of the way he faced and solved the communal problem not only in the I.N.A. but also in his other activities in Southeast Asia. How soon we have forgotten that lesson!
If we have to honour his memory and his work, the first thing we have to remember is that there must be unity in India and that we must not think on religious but on national lines.
Let us pay tribute to Netaji’s memory, but in doing so let us realise that we have a big task ahead and that the fight for freedom which may have ended politically has yet to be won in other fields. We have enemies abroad and we must be on our guard against them, but we must be even more on guard against the enemies within who disrupt and endeavour to destroy the edifice of India’s freedom.
Source :: SWJN II Vol 5 page 23