Documentary filmmaker Amlan Kusum Ghosh is all set to make his Bengali feature film debut with a political thriller exploring the possibility of Indian revolutionary Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose resurfacing in the guise of a monk post the alleged disappearance in the 1945 plane crash.
Titled “Sannyasi Deshonayak: Quest for Truth and Justice”, the movie goes on the floor in September this year.
“It is my responsibility (as a Bengali) to work on this subject. The films that have been made on Netaji so far deal with his life up to 1945 (the year of the plane crash), but I wonder why no director has worked on the fact that Netaji could have been alive post 1945, since so much information has come up,” said Ghosh.
Although there are several theories of the nationalist resurfacing and living in the guise of a holy man post the alleged crash, the director said he chose the ‘Gumnami Baba’ lore (one of the most enduring theories) as the base of his film. “Since direct, circumstantial and scientific evidences identify Gumnami Baba (Gumnami Baba/Bhagwanji/Mahakal in Faizabad and Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh) as Netaji, we have chosen to base our film around him,” said Ghosh.
The Indian government constituted as many as three probe commissions to ferret out the truth behind the disappearance. In 1999, the Mukherjee Commission, led by retired Supreme Court judge M.K. Mukherjee initiated an exhaustive six-year-long probe into the “alleged disappearance”.
Though Mukherjee, in the report, nixed the air crash theory, he did not conclude that the sanyasi was Bose due to “absence” of any clinching evidence. Incidentally in Ghosh’s documentary film footage (taken without Mukherjee’s knowledge) on the Netaji mystery titled “Black Box of History”, the retired judge was heard saying: “I am hundred percent sure that he (the monk) is Netaji.”
“A lot of the research work was already done since I had made the documentary film,” said Ghosh. The Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government in 2015 declassified 64 files on Netaji.
The Narendra Modi-led government, beginning this January, has made public a series of files revealing many sensational facts about the revolutionary.
Earlier in June the Uttar Pradesh government set up a judicial commission to probe the identity of Gumnami Baba, reigniting the debate whether the ascetic who lived in the state’s Faizabad district till 1985 was Netaji.