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Muthuramalingam Thevar and Subhas Bose mystery

June 20, 2008 by anuj

14 November 2007


E
ven as Thevar centenary celebrations are on across Tamil Nadu, the nation might recall the sensational claim made by the legendary leader. Muthuramalingam Thevar, reverentially referred to as Pasumpon, was a freedom fighter and a confidant of Subhas Chandra Bose from late 1920s onwards.

These are the known facts. What seems to have been unknown is that Thevar was the first person to depose before Shah Nawaz Committee, the first official probe into Subhas's reported death. This very hearing on April 1 convinced Thevar that it was unlikely to do justice. On April 3, he held a press conference in Delhi, and seen below is the report ran by Hindustan Standard on 4 April 1956.



Calling the committee "an eyewash", Thevar said he would furnish "conclusive proof that Bose was alive "if the committee was reconstituted". He said he might tell the Prime Minister Nehru about Bose "if he was sympathetic". Thevar wanted Dr Radha Binod Pal, in news recently due to the visit by the Japanese Prime Minister to his son in Kolkata, to head it in place of Congress MP Shah Nawaz. Thevar also wanted to know from the Government whether Bose's name was included in any list of war criminals, setting off a controversy that continues till date.

The more startling bit about Thevar's press conference was the claim that he met Subhas Bose in China in 1950. He said that in late 1949 he met Netaji's ailing elder brother Sarat Chandra Bose in Calcutta. Sarat Bose confided in something to Thevar, who then made a surreptitious trip to China to meet Subhas Bose.

Thevar's statement leave much to answer, even when one consider the insight Anuj Dhar offers in Back from Dead: Inside the Subhas Bose Mystery. But then there is much left to be decoded in the Netaji mystery.