The controversy over whether the Gumnami Baba of Faizabad was actually Subhash Chandra Bose, is about to be put to rest.
The Justice Vishnu Sahai Commission's report on the mysterious 'Gumnami Baba', which was tabled in the UP cabinet on Tuesday, says it's difficult to determine whether he was indeed Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, as popularly believed.
The findings of the commission, set up in 2016, which will now be tabled in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, reportedly only draw parallels between Bose and the Baba.
It mentions that other than literature in English, Bengali and Hindi, the three languages in which Netaji was fluent, books on Bose himself and authors he liked to read have been recovered.
Sources said that the report also mentions that Gumnami Baba was also fluent in these three languages and was an influential person to whom people flocked.
"As per the report, Gumnami Baba continued to stay in his Faizabad house till rumours of him being Subhash Chandra Bose surfaced, after which he left that place. The report also mentions Gumnami Baba's love for music and cigars," said the source.
The report, prepared by Justice Vishnu Sahai, was commissioned by the Samajwadi Party government in 2016 on directions of the Allahabad High Court. The court order followed a PIL, in which the petitioner claimed that Gumnami Baba was Subhash Chandra Bose.
Justice Vishnu Sahai had earlier told reporters that many people he interviewed, had come with the pre-conceived notion that Gumnami Baba was indeed Bose.
He, however, added that collecting reliable testimony was a challenge since the Baba died in 1985 and witnesses deposed before the commission only in 2016 and 2017.
Gumnami Baba was a fairly known entity in Uttar Pradesh and, he lived in various parts of the state in great secrecy, hidden behind a curtain most of the time.
It was only after he died that he began making news. He was known as 'Gumnami Baba'-- a term never used by his followers, who called him by the 'Bhagwanji' (the reverend one).
After his demise, his room was found to contain hundreds of objects, most important of which were his correspondence and notes.
There was much connected with Subhash Chandra Bose and those who were known to Bose in pre-Independence period. It was at that time that many of his followers were confronted by the media. They gave out that he was Subhash Bose to their belief and knowledge. They had kept their mouths sealed in deference to his order that it be done in 'national interest'.
Matters turned volatile when Lalita Bose, a niece of Subhash Chandra Bose, arrived in Faizabad, where the holy man had last lived. She conducted a personal inquiry and was convinced that he was her uncle.
Lalita Bose tried to persuade the then Chief Minister of the state, Vir Bahadur Singh, to order a proper inquiry, but he is said to have told her that the matter was beyond him.
Lalita and two citizens then filed a suit in the Allahabad High Court, using the services of eminent lawyer Robin Mitra. In response, the state government just clammed up and filed a counter-affidavit only after 13 years.
It was only in 2013 the order for an inquiry could be delivered. Three years later, following some lobbying with then Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, an inquiry commission was set up, headed by Justice Vishnu Sahai.