Indian politics and mysterious deaths of politicians have run parallel over the years. Since the initial phase of Indian democracy, political leaders were eliminated by non-state actor and even rival politicians who exercised their clout to remain scot-free. However, there are some sensitive cases that never got uncovered. Whether they were murders, or natural deaths in unthinkable circumstances, these deaths of prominent politicians are still an unsolved enigma.
Netaji Subash Chandra Bose
The Greatest hero of Indian Independence Subash Chandra Bose’s last day is still a mystery after decades of inquiries & commissions. Subash Bose was declared dead on 23rd August, 1945 by British Government, citing a plane crash in Taipei (Now Taiwan) on 18th August. There has been a secrecy maintained by the interim & present Government of India by not declassifying the files related to Netaji. There have been 3 commissions appointed by the government Sahanawaz Khan Committee in 1956, Khosla Commission in 1970 & Justice Mukherjee in 1999.
There have been claims that Netaji did not die in the plane crash and was kept captive in a prison in Siberia, where he finally died. Many claimed he turned a sannyasi or renunciant, “Gumnami Baba,” also known by his religious name “Bhagwanji” who lived in Faizabad, India. Justice Mukherjee even claimed that he did not die in the plane crash and the ashes kept at the Renkji temple, reported to be Bose’s, were of a Japanese Soldier who died of cardiac arrest.
The government has refused to provide information under RTI filed by Subash Agarwal citing “Disclosure of documents contained in these files would prejudicially affect relations with foreign countries”
In the year 2015, there has been an outrage by the family members & followers of Netaji over the Government to declassify the secrets about Netaji.
Dr Shyama Prasad Mookerjee
Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookerjee was a political titan in his own right. A member of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's first cabinet, he left the government and founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the political wing of RSS. He was the first politician who revolted against the policy of Nehru regarding Jammu & Kashmir. He used to say “Ek desh me do nishan, do pradhan, nahin chalega, nahin chalega”. He has always opposed article 370, which gave special autonomy to the parliament of J&K, which does not allow integrating the state with India. He also advocated the application of Uniform Civil Code in India.
After resigning from the cabinet, he formed Bharatiya Jana Sangh. In the early 1953 he tried to enter J&K without permission to stage protests and was arrested by the government. Dr Mookerjee's death took place in inexplicable conditions. He was admitted to hospital 90 days after his arrest due to his ailing condition. He was suffering from dry pleurisy and coronary problems and had already intimated doctors about his allergy to penicillin. Yet he was dispensed one. The great soul left the world on 23rd May, 1953.
After his death his body as directly flown to Kolkata and not sent to Delhi, even no postmortem was done. This suspicious activity raised eyebrows, but inspite of repetitive
request by his mother Smt Jogmaya Devi no inquiry was setup by Nehru. The former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee even alleged that Dr. Mookerjee died due to negligence committed by Jawahar Lal Nehru.
Lal Bahadur Shahstri
Lal Bhadur Shastri was the first Indian Prime Minister to die while in office. Lal Bahadur Shahtri and the then Pakistan President Ayub Khan met in Tashkent for a summit which was organized by Soviet Prime Minister Alexei Kosygin. The Tashkent declaration was signed between India and between Pakistan at this summit, in which the two armies returned to their respective positions after the 1965 war, with India handing over the vital Haji Pir to Pakistan.
Post the declaration, in the night of Jan 11, 1966 Lal Bhadurji was declared dead of multiple heart attack. In his last moments he talked to his daughter over phone & said about a glass of milk, after which the phone suddenly got disconnected & after 15mins when she called he was declared dead. His dead body was flown back to India and no postmortem was done, which again raised suspicions. His wife complained that he was poisoned as his body turned blue with certain cuts.
Raj Narayan inquiry was setup to investigate the matter, but now Government of India holds no records of the inquiry. In 2009, a journalist Anuj Dhar requested the government to carry out a probe into the mysterious death of Shastri. A report was released after some days which said that the prime minister's office has some documents related to Shastri's death but they cannot be released in public as it would harm India's foreign relations and create national unrest.
The 3 prime accused the Russian Butler triggered many questions but they remained unanswered till today. Another accused Dr. RN Singh (BhadurJi’s Doctor) was hit by a moving truck on his way to court. The third witness Ram Nath his personal servant was also hit by a moving vehicle crushing his legs eventually loosing his memory. In spite of clear evidence of sabotage no answers has been given so far on his death.
Some die while abroad, some killed by unknown detractors and some die a silent death inside the confines of an inaccessible room. Nothing however got cleared. Neither the circumstances of deaths, nor the people behind it have come out in public domain. The world should know the last moments of these great personalities. The government must come out clean on these cases. The question remains, why is there an ambiguity on their demise?