In the time of severe chaos and struggle, there were men who were giving direction to the uprisings, raging in different parts of the country, against the Imperialist Rule. But, under the silhouette of unity against foreign rule, there was politics of the natives. The thirst for power and the ultimate hold over the governing body of the country grew incessantly. This leads to diplomacy and overthrowing of more eligible candidates to establish a democracy that catered to the basic ideas of the leaders. Amidst such conundrums, within and without, the nation was suddenly shrouded by one of the biggest mysteries of all time. The suspicious death of Netaji — Subhash Chandra Bose.
Subhash Bose had been one of the most prolific leaders of the nation. His charm and personality had captivated the country. Thus apprehension that came with the news of his death fueled the suspicion brewing in the minds of the people. Several historians, scholars and investigative journalists had come to certain conjectures. But they could hardly quench the questions that did arise. In this book, Mr Rajesh Talwar had addressed the conniving plots, both known and unknown. In the process, he had brought forth the Indian politics and its charades that had manipulated the formation of the government. He had deftly ventured the layers of situations responsible for the alleged plane crash and its aftermath.
The book has been written with close reference to history and other references made by scholars and journalists. Mr Talwar has taken time to decipher each and every aspect that evoked suspicion in the minds of the people. He has given a thorough analysis of the prevailing political system; the reactions of the leaders, their equation with Netaji and how these people were responsible for Netaji being cast out of the mainstream revolution. Despite being deprived of his due honour and responsibility, suffering betrayal from his mentor, Talwar upheld Netaji as a man of staunch beliefs and rational thinking. Netaji is illustrated, here, as a person who did not let trivial disagreement come into the way of his ideals. Thus, Talwar, in this book, not only had tried to resolve the long-existing mystery but also given a varying character sketch of Bose.
With language lucid and the facts systematically constructed, it has proved conducive for the reader to move from page to page. It is exclusively informative and extremely sharp in approach. Talwar hasn’t much indulged into digressions that might distract the reader from the promised theme. The author maintains a smooth pace and follows a more formal approach to present before his readers, his assimilation and inference. He has employed an engaging tone to make it less tenuous. This, in turn, enables the narrative to attract the reader at the depth of its plot. Talwar has displayed his conjectures with sufficient evidence and justifications. These provide answers to the questions that had tormented the minds of young and old, alike. Hence, for a beginner, who might want an introductory tour of the given issue, this book is highly appropriate.
Amidst such positive aspects, the book lacked a few things that should be mentioned. The book contains editorial glitches and is scattered throughout the book. They are few in number but their mere presence might dissuade the reader to go further in the narrative. The author exercises a pragmatic tone which grows to become mundane after a few chapters. Hence, would have been better, if he had opted for a more simplistic style of narrative—an informal advancement towards his readers. There are few episodes which seemed redundant to me. Had he omitted them away and employed brevity in language, the work would have appeared more compact. The author could have remained neutral by keeping away from personal inclusion. By doing so, the reader could have had his /her own opinion formed about the situation in question. But Mr Talwar had used Nehru as the foil to Bose. His incompetence and short stature came in sharp contrast to Netaji’s magnanimous and upright personality. Such a clever act of characterization is highly commendable.
There were different speculations propounded by various notable figures. But none of them could come with a surer version of the later. Generations had gone by, with one common question in their mind. What happened to Netaji? The death of a much-deferred leader came as an unexpected shock to the nation. Researches, investigations, interviews, debates and many more were held to unravel the mystery behind Netaji’s disappearance. But the ambiguity prevailed. This may have been due to a lack of transparency or sheer political motives. Thus, Talwar exposes his stance with evidence and refuting various age-old impressions. By doing so, he tacitly brings out the truth. This is an enjoyable light read. Interesting in its discourse yet could have been more of a treat had there been used of a certain economy.