Taiwan offers to open its national archives to ‘rediscover’ legacy of Bose

New Delhi: 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 the 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 a huge influence over Taiwan in the 1940s,” Mumin Chen, deputy representative, Taipei Economic and Cultural Center or Taiwan Embassy in Delhi said at a virtual event organized by FICCI. A lot of historical documents and evidence on Netaji, and the Indian Independence movement are in Taiwan. Right now, very few Indian scholars know about it, he added.

This is the first time such an offer has come from Taiwan. So far, there hasn’t been any India-Taiwan connection 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.

So far, a large part of the information about Netaji after the crash has been based on Japanese accounts. The government of Japan has declassified two files relating to Netaji and his ashes are purported to be kept at Renkō-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, Mumin Chen said, “In the 1940s, Chiang Kai-shek wrote about Netaji in his diary. 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 an iron fist till his death in 1975.

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