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04-05-2015

The Tashkent Declaration is a peace agreement that was signed between India and Pakistan in the aftermath of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. The signing took place at peace talks specially arranged for this purpose. These peace talks took place on 10-1-1966 in Tashkent, USSR, with the Russian Premier, Alexei Kosygin, mediating between the Indian Prime Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri, and the Pakistani President, Muhammad Ayub Khan.

 

On top of the peace talks already being controversial in both India and Pakistan at the time, Shastri died under mysterious circumstances a few hours after the signing of the Tashkent Declaration.

 

This article focuses on the presence of an unidentified individual at the peace talks who has been dubbed the Tashkent Man. The purpose is to investigate whether the Tashkent Man was actually the Indian nationalist leader, Subhas Chandra Bose, who was thought to have died in an air crash in 1945.

RIA Novosti
From the RIA Novosti image archive in Moscow, Russia

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Topham Picturepoint
From the Topham Picturepoint image archive in Kent, United Kingdom

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Topham Picturepoint
From the Topham Picturepoint image archive in Kent, United Kingdom

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Chughtai Museum
From the Chughtai Museum private collection in Lahore, Pakistan

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Chughtai Museum
From the Chughtai Museum private collection in Lahore, Pakistan

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Chughtai Museum
From the Chughtai Museum private collection in Lahore, Pakistan

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Format: PNG
Dimensions: 1800 X 1395
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Dimensions: 1800 X 1395
Resolution: 360 dpi
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Every piece in the set of six images that comprises the source material contains in it a bespectacled individual dressed in a black suit. He stands out because of his strong resemblance to Bose. Given the back story and context related to the peace talks, in which Bose is routinely mentioned, albeit with significant variations, this line of investigation is deemed a worthwhile pursuit.

 

Culling out the Tashkent Man from each image in the source material results in the set of images depicted below. These images will be investigated further in the course of this article.

The key features and comparables of the Tashkent Man that are clearly visible from the front profile images are the eyes, nose and mouth.

 

The eyes are distinct in that the Tashkent Man has a mild level of strabismus, with his left eye turning at a greater angle than in his right eye when he looks to his left. Furthermore, the magnification factor of his spectacles has an effect on the overall appearance of this area of his face.

 

The nose has a noticeably flat septum, with the nose tip being slightly bulbous.

 

The Tashkent Man's mouth area is accented by the deep cupid's bow above his top lip and the strong downward fold of the corners of his mouth, or the lip-cheek fold.

Factors indicating aging, such as wrinkles, folds and other irregularites related to the skin are commonly absent from old black and white images due to artifacting resulting from lighting, the type of camera and film, exposure time, various forms of blurring such as out-of-focus blur and motion blur, and, the very lack of color itself.

 

Also not to be underestimated is the transient nature of hair, whether it be the hair on top of the head or facial hair such as a beard. It is a trivial matter to shave hair off the head or face, just as it is to grow hair or disguise oneself using a wig or other means. The color of the hair plays a large role in the perception of age, with white hair significantly increasing the perception of age. Conversely, the lack of white hair has the opposite effect.

 

To demonstrate, to the right is an artist's impression of a modification to the Tashkent Man's hair, working on the assumption that he is wearing a wig with hair darker than his actual hair. No other part of his head or face has been touched in any way whatsoever. Notice the immediate change in the perceived age of the Tashkent Man.

Image [2] is considered "of a very poor quality - a cracked wire image" by Topham Picturepoint. It was nonetheless acquired for certain details that it does express from within the boundaries of its quality, namely the overall contours and facial build of the Tashkent Man.

The key features and comparables of the Tashkent Man that are clearly visible from the side profile images are the nose, mouth, left ear and left hand.

 

The view of the nose, at the particular angles present, provides more details of the nasal contour and shape of the nostrils. Where the subnasale looks thick, with small nostrils, in the other images, here it is clearly observable that this is not the case.

 

Once again, the mouth area has a very prominent cupid's bow above the top lip and a strong downward fold of the corners of the mouth.

 

The left ear is visible and the overall contour can clearly be made out, with a salient lobe that contains a peculiar fold.

 

The Tashkent man is right-handed and has large, fleshy hands with long, chubby fingers. His fingernails are small relative to the length of his fingers.

Thus far, a stark collection of similarities can be noted between Bose and the Tashkent Man:

 

1. Shape of the head and the form of the hairline

 

2. Shape of the face: a round face with pronounced chubbiness in the cheek regions and a fleshy, hanging chin region

 

3. Eyes: beyond the obvious similarities, a note must be made that both men have the exact same strabismus and the effect due to magnification factor of the spectacles appear to be the same

 

4. The left ear exhibits key similarities in its overall shape and the form of the lobe

 

5. Nose: the Tashkent Man has a slightly more sagging tip and bulbous look from certain angles - it must be noted that this is a common effect of the human aging process

 

6. Lips: the cupid's bow and lip-cheek fold, together with the overall shape of the mouth are virtually identical

 

7. The left hand