Everybody loves a good conspiracy theory. The world has far too many of them – every assassination, genocide, war or any similar turn of events in the history of mankind brings along a new theory to confuse the hell out of innocent content consumers. I mean, let’s be honest, would half the stories even make the newspaper or the TV show if the word “allegedly” didn’t exist? Conspiracy theories often offer neither the truth nor the lies, rather choosing to provide readers with the “grey” area, which lets them speculate to their heart’s content. And if we’re even more honest, what’s not to love about them?
So we decided to dig a little deeper in a bid to uncover some of the best Indian conspiracy theories we could find. Note to readers--we intentionally gave religiously-incline conspiracy theories the boot because there are more than enough bigoted issues in the nation without us adding fuel to the fire. Instead, we chose to focus our energies on some of the more objective ones, and hopefully, they’ll tickle your curiosity as much as they tickled ours. Make no mistake, it’s extremely likely that at least a few of these are true.
I . Is India still a colony of the UK?
So, the theory goes something like this. By the Transfer of Power Agreement of 1947, India was declared an independent nation, but it also implied that India would continue to serve as a Commonwealth Nation. So all Commonwealth nations, India included, are still a colony of the Queen. It is said that the Queen does not need a visa to visit her colonies, and thus, this theory gained popularity and created quite a furore when the Queen visited India in 1997 without a visa. Furthermore, the theory also says that our national anthem “Jana Gana Mana” was originally written in honour of the Queen as the song only features territories that were under British India.
II. Did the Vimanas (Vedic aircrafts) of Ancient India really exist?
The Vedic literature is supposed to be one of the oldest forms of literature known to man; encompassing the wisdom of the simple man who lived thousands of years ago and offers philosophical and practical solutions to life. It is little known, however, that these Vedas also contain something about the Vimanas, i.e. flying aircrafts. Apparently, the Vimanas are of two types: 1) A manmade craft that resembles the modern airplane and flew with the aid of birdlike wings. The machines, and its mentions, bear a lot of resemblance to the modern day aircraft. (2) Unstreamlined structures that fly in a mysterious manner and are not made by man. Its structure and functioning generally treads towards what we know today as the UFOs. Although this theory seems far-fetched, the fact that there are a number of carvings, both in India and abroad that show a picture of the flying aircraft certainly made a few people sit up and take notice. This one came under some serious media-fire during the now infamous 102nd Indian Science Congress.
Still, even if you don’t believe in the possibility of these having existed, you should read more about some of India’s real scientific contributions to the world.
III. Did Shivkar Babuji Talpade Invent The Plane 8 Years Before The Wright Brothers?
Shivkar Talpade was a scientist who is rumoured to have built the first ever aircraft known to man. Born in what we know today as Bombay, Talpade received backing and funding from the Maharaja of Baroda and built an unmanned aircraft. Apparently, it flew at a height of 1500 feet before it came crashing down. Although there are no records, and this was never proven, the machine ‘allegedly’ used four mercury powered containers that acted as engines, propelling the craft with a powerful thunderbolt to heights. However, the aircraft was never controlled, and after repeated warnings from the British government, the Maharaja stopped his funding, and the aircraft model remained a dream. P.s. - This was in 1895, eight years before the Wright brothers even came up with their aircraft model.
IV. Did Gandhiji Want Bhagat Singh Dead?
One of the biggest names in the Indian freedom struggle, Bhagat Singh is considered by many to be a martyr. His story has been read in history books in schools and recounted in hundreds of movies. However, certain conspiracy theorists believe that if Mahatma Gandhi wanted, he could have stopped Bhagat Singh’s execution. The reason he didn’t intervene is because he didn’t approve of his violent methods, which were gaining popularity in the nation. Gandhiji wanted to lead the freedom struggle by means of Satyagraha, and Bhagat Singh wasn’t exactly poster boy material for it. A second theory suggests that Gandhiji was actually actively involved in his capture and execution because Bhagat Singh had become a threat as the leader of the Independence movement. It is said that while Gandhiji appreciated Bhagat Singh’s patriotism, he never approved of his methods.
V. Was Agni V’s Missile Range A Deliberate Mislead By The Government Of India?
This theory is short and simple: When India built the Agni V missile, there was widespread anticipation about the, well, let’s call them “specifications” for a better understanding of the subject matter. However, in a shocking, disappointing move, no specifications were given. After a few days, the officials held a press conference and said that the Missile had a range of 5,500 kms only. This was bizarre because the previous version, Agni IV, had a similar range, which barely made the new one look like an upgrade. But theorists (read: The Chinese) say that that missile actually has a range of 8,000 and Indian authorities are downplaying it so that they can use it as an “unexpected” surprise.
VI. Lal Bahadur Shastri’s Death--Fate Or Murder?
A prominent Indian freedom fighter and the second Prime Minister of India, Shastri died in Tashkent, Russia, a day after signing the Tashkent Declaration, allegedly due to a heart attack. His untimely death led to conspiracy theories that he was poisoned. This theory gained momentum by the fact that no post-mortem took place to identify exact reason behind his death, either in Russia or by the Government of India. Furthermore, all his belongings came back to India except for his thermos flask from which he was said to have had his last drink of water. In 2009, an RTI was filed to declassify the documents related to Shastri’s death, but these were (rightly) dismissed because they would harm foreign relations and might also cause disruption of the country’s peace.
VII. Homi Bhabha’s Death--Was The CIA Behind It?
Famously regarded as the father of Indian Nuclear Programme, Dr. Homi Bhabha was India’s foremost Nuclear physicist who was killed in an air plane crash in 1966 near Mount Blanc, France. The conspiracy theory here suggests that the CIA was involved with the crash possibly to cripple India’s nuclear programme, which suffered a massive blow and came to a temporary halt following his death. If this interests you though, you might be further intrigued to know that even today, India’s nuclear scientists continue to die in the strangest of ways and very few people in India seem to be aware of it.
VIII. Subhash Chandra Bose’s Death Has More Than One Theory Behind It.
The case of Subhash Chandra Bose is possibly one that has been widely discussed at least once by the average Indian person. The thing is, there are so many theories about him, that we actually had to narrow it down to the best three. So, let’s look at the official facts: Netaji Bose was flying to Tokyo when his plane crashed and he was badly burnt, eventually succumbing to his injuries. His body was cremated and laid to rest in a Buddhist temple in Taiwan. Now, the three theories, one progressively crazier than the next suggest that:
1) He didn’t really die, but was alive in Taiwan and lived his life in the Temple itself.
2) He was alive, but remained in Russia as a war criminal because of his close ties with Japan, where he died in a Russian jail some years later.
3) That he lived incognito in India itself as Gumnami Baba. Gumnami Baba was said to have an eerie resemblance to Netaji Bose, and lived a long, full life before he passed away in late 1985.
IX. Does India Really Have Its Own UFO Base?
India’s very own Area 51 is Kongka La Pass on the border of China. Locals on both sides of the border believe there is an underground UFO base in this region with the knowledge of both countries. They also claim that they have seen UFOs coming out of the ground. Tourists are denied entry to this area in spite of permits to travel between the two countries. This theory is given credence by the fact that in June 2006, satellite imagery on Google Earth revealed a 1:500 scale detailed terrain model of the area in question on the Chinese side of the border. This model was surrounded by buildings resembling a military facility, suggesting that was indeed something fishy about the area. More curiously still, in recent years, there have been numerous reports from Ladakh saying that they have indeed been sighting UFOs on a regular basis, though these “UFOs” are downplayed and said to be nothing else but Chinese Fire Lanterns.
X. Sanjay Gandhi’s “Assassination”--Did His Own Mother Orchestrate It?
Indira Gandhi was a shrewd, cunning and dominant politician, who was known to fight back and win against all odds. She tormented politicians all over and was often called the Margaret Thatcher of India. But the simple question is, would a mother kill her own son? Well, that’s what this theory suggests. It says that Sanjay Gandhi, a brilliant pilot, was killed in a plane crash that was staged and orchestrated by his own mother. The reasoning behind this theory is interesting too. It says that Sanjay Gandhi, apparently, got too big for his shoes, and started blackmailing his own mother. She wasn’t one to take that from anyone and the rest, as they say, is history.
XI. Was The 2004 Tsunami Cause By An Indian Bomb Testing Gone Wrong?
During the second World War, the United States and New Zealand armies secretly carried out Bomb-testings on the coast of New Zealand. The reason behind it was to develop a bomb that could trigger a Tsunami due to the electromagnetic waves, and would thus destroy a whole coastal area in one go. Although the project was a success, the bombs were never used. Now, conspiracy theorists suggest that the 2004 Tsunami was actually caused due to a Nuclear Bomb-Testing gone wrong. The result was that it triggered an earthquake and a series of devastating Tsunamis that destroyed coastal areas and took thousands of lives. The fact that it was proved almost 70 years ago that triggering a Tsunami is possible, this theory has scientific backing and doesn’t seem that far-fetched after all.
XII. The Nine Unknown Men
This theory states that around 270 BC, Mauryan Emperor Asoka set up a secret society called “The Nine Unknown Men” who were to preserve and develop knowledge that would be dangerous to humanity if it fell into the wrong hands. The nine unknown men were entrusted with guarding nine books of secret knowledge, some of which included:
1. Propaganda and Psychological warfare
2. Physiology, including secrets concerning the “touch of death”
5. Communication, including communication with extraterrestrials
6. Gravity, and anti-gravity devices (Vimanas, the “ancient UFOs of India” which have been mentioned above)
7. Cosmology, including hyperspace and time-travel
8. Light, and a technology capable of modifying the speed of light
9. Sociology, including rules predicting the rise and fall of empires.
If conspiracy theorists are to be believed, the society exists even today, right among us, guarding these books. Illuminati who?