Some members of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s family are planning to file a PIL in the Calcutta high court to stop “constant efforts to denigrate the patriot’s name”, ahead of the release of a film based on the leader’s life. The film, Sannyasi Deshonayak, explores a contentious theory about his last years.

The film deals with the Gumnami Baba-Netaji theory which claims that Subhas Chandra Bose returned to India in the 1960s and lived as an ascetic in multiple places in U.P. before finally settling in Faizabad where he died in 1965.

Members of the Bose family said, they were in talks with top lawyers as they felt, the portrayal of Netaji in the film was an insult to the freedom fighter. They explained that Subhas Chandra Bose took great pride in being an Indian, and lived in virtual anonymity in the guise of a hermit. “It is time to take a strong stand against these attempts to disparage the patriot and spread false narratives,” said Netaji’s grand-nephew, Chandra Bose. He added, “We will file a PIL to safeguard his name.”

Thirty-two members of the Bose family had expressed displeasure in 2019, after the film Gumnami delved into the theories over his disappearance on August 18, 1945. They had claimed that the film was trying to “distort history”.

Amlankusum Ghosh, director of Sannyasi Deshonayak, said that his film was based on an interview he had taken of Justice Manoj Kumar Mukherjee (retired Supreme Court judge whom the Centre had tasked with probing Netaji’s death, in 1999, and who submitted his report in 2005). He said, he would “request the Bose family to demand the release of Pratul Gupta’s manuscript on the history of the INA… so that the nation knows the real history of the INA and its contribution to India’s freedom movement.”

Chandra Bose countered that the controversy over Netaji’s death had been resolved with the declassification of the Netaji files in 2016-17, which released documents pertaining to 11 enquiries/commissions. Ten of the 11 reported that he had died in a plane crash on August 18, 1945.