“Mahaniskraman” (The final escape)
Netaji’s escape from Calcutta was a meticulous plan which was planned inside a prison, where he was held by the British.
Subhash Bose wanted to escape India but he could not afford to involve many people in his escape journey, since one leak of any such plan would had him imprisoned for the whole duration of world war 2. It is said that Britishers would have spies disguised as prisoners, so that they can listen to whatever words Bose speaks inside the prison. For this reason, Bose never talked and neither he ate any food, except the ones sent from home.
The Elgin house residence of Bose’s family (now Netaji Bhavan). It is this room where the plans of escaping India were hatched behind closed doors, with policeman house arresting him 24/7. It is unbelievable how one man could chalk out a detailed escape plan without any telephone calls and absolutely no help from anyone.
He could not use his “trusted resources” and hence had to carefully select only 3 men. Also, he could not let them know of the final plan – the escape towards Kabul and then to Moscow so he can seek Stalin’s help in freeing India.
One of his trusted resource was a Pathan (mia Akbar Shah) and Bose wanted to send him a message that he has secret plans to escape Calcutta. He did not even tell Akbar that he wants to visit Kabul.
It is believed that he used some sort of cryptic messages with his contacts inside the Jail in Calcutta that would reach Akbar and he would arrange his journey through Peshawar and then Kabul.
Bose went on to hunger strike and grew a beard so he can seek the alibi of a Muslim gentleman. He needs this alibi so he can evade police officers in Peshawar (present day Pakistan). Hence, the preparation started months ago from the D day of January 17, 1941. He also wrote a letter to Rabindranath Tagore in which he expressed his desires to become a “Sanyasi”. He knew that this letter will be tracked by spies and they will know that Bose is planning to retire and become a Sanyasi.
Bose did not had any talk with his family members for weeks, to show that he has really taken the path of a “Sanyasi”. Nobody inside the house knew what he was doing in his room and nobody was allowed to talk to him.
During that night, Subhash used his amateur Nephew and his wife for cover and escaped in their car dressed in a Muslim kurta and coat with a Mollah cap. His alibi was “Ziauddin Ul Haq” . This is an extremely smart tactical move to evade spies who would have their eyes on his “sources”.
He did not take the train from Howrah. Instead, he drove to Bihar and boarded a train from a rural station of “Gomoh”. This station has a board dedicated to his name
He was completely alone and reached Peshawar on his own.
Bose always knew the activity of British spies around him. He had been to Germany in 1930’s and he had the knowledge of how Invisible Intel is around every political leader who tries to cause disruption.
From Peshawar, he went to Kabul as “Ziauddin Ul Haq” and became Kham Mohammad in Kabul before he convinced the ITalian Embassy for a transit visa to Berlin (via Russia). His cover was “Orlando Matzotta”.
His meticulous escape plan and its execution became the greatest adventure in the Indian freedom movement.
This is that car his Nephew Drove. This car is still available in his Elgin house residence in Calcutta
Post Courtesy: Amit Banerjee
The Mahaniskraman reference -> Dr. Sisir Kr Basu