Taiwan, where Netaji's plane crashed, invites Indians for more research

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Taiwan, where Netaji's plane crashed, invites Indians for more research

Taiwan has invited Indian scholars to visit their island nation and study the historical documents on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose available in their archives. It was in Taiwan where Netaji’s plane supposedly crashed in 1945.

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Taiwan’s Deputy envoy to India, Mumin Chen — while speaking at an event organised by FICCI on Saturday for the 125th birthday celebration of Netaji — offered to open the National Archives to Indian scholars for further study about the Indian freedom fighter.

“A lot of historical evidence and documents about Netaji and Indian independence movement are in Taiwan. Right now very few Indian scholars notice this there are photos and historical documents which show there were a lot of reports about Netaji,” Mumin Chen said.

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A fair amount of Netaji’s struggle to liberate India was on foreign soil, from Afghanistan and Burma, to the Far East in China including Taiwan, Japan and the South East Asia in Singapore; and Europe.

“I call on our friends in India to do something about this in the future. We have National Archives and database. We could have Indian scholars to come and find out more about Netaji and his legacy who had a huge influence on Taiwan in the 1930s and 40s,” the Taiwanese diplomat said.

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Back then Taiwan was a part of Japan. When the Japanese were ousted and Chiang Kai-shek took control of Taiwan then all the colonial history, including reports around Netaji’s visits and death – were never publicised till the 1990s when Taiwan achieved democracy.

The Taiwanese diplomat added that India and Taipei have “historical connections” that most who grew up before the 1990s had very little or no knowledge about. But he also acknowledged, “In 1940s, Chiang Kai-shek also wrote about Netaji in his dairy. He felt the decision to cooperate with Japanese in fight for independence, was understandable.”

Archives from Taipei showed Chiang Kai-shek’s comments about Subhas Chandra Bose in his personal diary on 31 October 1943.

“We are now a full fledged democracy and have our own identity. Lot of young historians are conducting research about Taiwan with Southeast Asia and even India Taiwan and India should try to rediscover this common history of the Indo-Pacific. We have had historical connections,” said Mr. Chen.

Several books have been written about the mystery surrounding the disappearance and passing away of Netaji and a number of enquiry commissions appointed by the government have submitted their reports.

The Taiwanese diplomat also highlighted that in Taiwan, where Netaji’s plane “crashed” in 1945, certain historical documents and photos were well preserved in the national archives, but received no public attention until now.

According to reports, Japan had officially surrendered on August 15, in 1945 and on August 17, a plane from Saigon crashed over Taipei, Taiwan. That was the plane in which Netaji was believed to have been travelling. He was taken to Army Hospital Nanmon Branch in Taipei where he died.

The hospital is the present-day Taipei City Hospital Heping Fuyou Branch. Netaji’s belongings and his ashes are kept at Renk-ji temple in Tokyo, according the Japanese accounts.

Certain historical documents and photos were well preserved in the national archives, but received no public attention until now, emphasised Chen.

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