Indian national award-winning filmmaker Srijit Mukherji has questioned a tweet by Press Information Bureau that claims 18 August is Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's death anniversary. If we put a definite date to Bose's demise, we accept the plane crash theory is the true explanation of his death, he pointed out.
"We are not in a position to accept beyond questioning any of the three theories pertaining to his death," Srijit said.
On Sunday, the central government's Press Information Bureau (PIB) landed in controversy after paying homage to the late freedom fighter Bose, in a tweet claiming 18 August was his death anniversary.
"#PIB remembers the great freedom fighter Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose on his death anniversary. #Netaji #subhashchandrabose," went the PIB tweet, along with a photograph of the freedom fighter.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee was the first person to protest against this tweet, saying no one still knows for sure if Bose indeed died on that day. She tweeted: "On this day, in 1945, Netaji went on a flight from Taihoku Airport in Taiwan, only to disappear forever. We still do not know what happened to him. People have a right to know about the great son of the soil."
Asked if we should accept 18 August as Bose's death anniversary, Srijit told IANS: "Even if you want to mention 18 August as his (Netaji's) death anniversary, the word death should be written within quotes. There are a lot of theories and proofs that say the plane crash never happened on 18 August 1945. That theory is under a lot of examination. So, if you call it his death anniversary, then you kind of accept that the plane crash theory is true. I don't think we are in a position to accept beyond questioning any of the three theories pertaining to his death."
On the work front, Srijit Mukherji is preparing for the release of "Gumnaami", a Hindi-Bengali bilingual mystery film written and directed by him, and based on Bose's disappearance.
"The film deals with the three theories behind Netaji's death. The first being the plane crash theory, the second being the theory that suggest his death happened in Russia, and the third theory being that he came back to India and died as Gumnaami baba. The film mainly deals with the Mukherjee commission proceedings, where all theories were discussed, debated and questioned," said Srijit.
Asked why he chose to make a movie on this subject, Srijit replied: "Netaji has intrigued me since childhood. He has been an inspirational figure for all of us in Bengal. I consider him to be the true liberator of India. I do not want his life and death to remain shrouded in mystery. The film should hopefully clear a lot of confusion about his death."
"Gumnaami" stars Tollywood superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee and is expected to hit theatres in October.