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Taiwan, where Netaji went missing, offers to open its national archives to ‘rediscover legacy’

Source : WION

Taiwan, where Netaji went missing, offers to open its national archives to ‘rediscover legacy’
Mumin Chen, deputy representative, Taipei Economic and Cultural Center  Photograph:( Others )

Taiwan has offered to open its national archives and database to ‘rediscover’ the legacy of illustrious Indian freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose. Taiwan, which was under Japanese occupation in 1940s, was the last country that he was seen alive in. While consensus is that he died in a crash in Taiwan in 1945, controversy refuses to die.   

“We have national archives and several databases. We can help Indian friends rediscover that will give more information about Netaji and also his legacy, which has huge influence over Taiwan in 1930s, 1940s,” Mumin Chen, deputy representative, Taipei Economic and Cultural Center or Taiwan Embassy in Delhi said at a virtual event organised by FICCI.    

According to various accounts, after the plane crash in August 1945 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.   

Taiwanese deputy envoy explained, “Lot of young historians are conducting researches with South East Asia, even with India. A lot of historical documents and evidence on Netaji, and Indian Independence movement are in Taiwan. Right now, very few Indian scholars know about it.”    

He elaborated, “Taiwan and India should re-examine and re-discover the common history of Indo-Pacific” since we have “historical connections”.   

So far, large part of the information about Netaji after the crash has been based on Japanese accounts. Government of Japan has declassified two files relating to Netaji and his ashes are purported to be kept at Renk?-ji temple in Tokyo. Taiwan’s unique history makes it a special place to find research resources about Netaji.    

Pointing out that “with India and Netaji, we have historical connections” that Taiwanese did not know, the diplomat in Delhi, said, “In 1940s, Chiang Kai-shek wrote about Netaji in his dairy. He felt sympathy…decision to cooperate with Japanese fight for independence, is understandable.”   

Chiang Kai-shek fled to Taiwan from China in 1949 and then ruled the island with iron fist till his death in 1975. He was known for the strong resistance he gave to Japanese forces during World War II. Subhas Chandra Bose had sought Japanese help to overthrow British rule in India and had raised Indian National Army with Tokyo’s help. Chen said, “Taiwan before 1945 was a Japanese colony, that is why Netaji stepped on Taiwan in 1943, and then in 1945, he came to Taiwan for second time.”   

The development comes as Indian PM Narendra Modi will unveil hologram statue of Netaji at India Gate on Sunday on the occasion of his birthday anniversary. A statue of the freedom fighter will be installed at the same location in future. This year marks the 125th birth anniversary of the stalwart. Indian Govt has announced January 23 will be celebrated as “Parakram Diwas”.   

This is the first time such offer has come from Taiwan. So far, there hasn’t been any India-Taiwan connections in the research about Netaji’s legacy in the country where he was last seen publically, and believed to have died in a crash, a claim which remains contested by his supporters.

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