A Trunk Full of Treasures: Letters from a Legacy

On November 7, contents of a trunk containing rare treasures will spill out into the public domain. Private letters from nearly a century ago exchanged between Netaji Subhas Bose, his elder brother Sarat and Sarat’s son and Netaji’s nephew, Amiya will be selected and read out. The session is expected to reveal intriguing and unknown details about the life and times of Subhas, who seven decades after his mysterious disappearance, remains unchallenged as amongst India’s most iconic leaders. Amiya carefully preserved the letters, which his daughter, Madhuri Bose inherited.

Stills from the cine play

Five years ago, in her book, “The Bose Brothers and Indian Independence: an Insider’s Account” published by Sage India, Madhuri gave us glimpses into a number of letters, which were stored in as many as ten trunks. “The Bose family did not throw away a single scrap of paper,” she says, smiling. This vast existing written matter constitutes a veritable treasure trove of documentation on one of the country’s most important historical periods. 

Madhuri’s book inspired Mumbai thespians Playpen Performing Arts Trust to stage a production which will be made into a movie. The “cine play” directed by Nikhil Katara generated a great deal of interest and triggered the idea of hosting a letter-reading session. “The journey of working on ‘The Bose Legacy’ has been an enriching one,” says Katara. For the online event on the 7th, actor and director Sachin Khedekar will be reading the private letters exchanged between Subhas, Sarat and Amiya. Madhuri will share anecdotes around the letters.

Madhuri with her father Amiya Bose in Mandalay

“I will be reading a very important piece which Netaji wrote in Mandalay Jail,” she says. Clarifying, she adds, “I will be drawing particular attention to ‘The Ethical Code’ which Netaji developed while he was in Mandalay Jail.” The session will be moderated by actress Yuki Ellias.

Categories: Feature, History

3 replies »

  1. Please read my comment carefully. After Netaji’s great escape on 16 January 1941, there are no letters to Amiya Nath Bose from Netaji until his death on 18 August 1945. Bose-Brothers are the second enemy of Netaji after the first enemy of Congress party led by Gandhi and Nehru as per the voice of Netaji’s PS late Masayoshi Kakitsubo (Japanese). You the Bose-Brothers had no idea that Netaji had his Japanese personal secretary as your elder brother claimed to me. In my books, all the truths and facts is published. JAI HIND.


  2. Dr Gorachand Ghosh, What a ridiculous comment to make! It only shows your ignorance about the subject.


  3. The Bose-Brothers, family had no documents of Netaji after his great escape on 16 January 1941. Only in the name of Netaji they are engaged to do business instead of following his words. JAI HIND.


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