Sunday July 21, 2019
Home Opinion Netaji Subhas...

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose vs Mahatma Gandhi, who do we owe our freedom to?

0
//

banner15

By Gaurav  Sharma

While popular opinion says that the freedom that we enjoy today is the result of the efforts of the Father of the Nation, would it be a delirious thought if Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had more to do with ousting the British than Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi?

Let’s have a look at what Netaji did for us.

Even ahead of Gandhiji’s Quit India Movement, Bose had pressed that the Congress serve a six month ultimatum to the British during the Second World War. It was an apt opportunity that Bose thought could be taken advantage of in 1939. But the party spearheaded by Gandhiji refused to act.

Notably, the gearing of the Indian National Army to combat with the British Indian Army coincided with the start of Gandhiji’s Quit India Movement in 1942. The movement fizzled out a few months after it was crushed in three weeks time.

While the argument still remains whether either were effective in affecting the retreat of the British, what needs primacy here, is Babasaheb Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar’s interview with BBC’s Francis Watson in February 1955.

Ambedkar pondered as he recalled the then British Prime Minister’s move to retreat from India in 1947 , “I don’t know how Mr Attlee suddenly agreed to give India independence,” and he went on to say, “That is a secret that he will disclose in his autobiography. None expected that he would do that,” he added.

In the BBC interview he also affirmed that from his “own analysis” he had come to understand that “two things led the Labour party to take this decision” [to free India].

Ambedkar  explained: “The national army that was raised by Subhas Chandra Bose. The British had been ruling the country in the firm belief that whatever may happen in the country or whatever the politicians do, they will never be able to change the loyalty of soldiers. That was one prop on which they were carrying on the administration. And that was completely dashed to pieces. They found that soldiers could be seduced to form a party — a battalion to blow off the British.”

A year after his interview in October 1956, two months before Ambedkar passed away, the very secret was disclosed by Clement Attlee  in a confidential talk. This talk came out in the open only after two decades.

What Ambedkar had foreseen only became more consolidated from records and data from credible authorities such as Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor and Major General GD Bakshi.

Excerpts of an observation in a secret report (Nov 1945) by Sir Norman Smith, Director, Intelligence Bureau, only reinforces the impact of the INA on British move to transfer power: “The situation in respect of the Indian National Army is one which warrants disquiet. There has seldom been a matter which has attracted so much Indian public interest and, it is safe to say, sympathy… the threat to the security of the Indian Army is one which it would be unwise to ignore.”

In 1976, an interesting observation made by Lt General SK Sinha, former Governor of Jammu & Kashmir and Assam, one of the only three Indian officers posted in the Directorate of Military Operations in New Delhi in 1946, is worth a mention: “There was considerable sympathy for the INA within the Army… It is true that fears of another 1857 had begun to haunt the British in 1946.”

To add to it all British MPs met Atlee in 1946 and warned him that, “There are two alternative ways of meeting this common desire (a) that we should arrange to get out, (b) that we should wait to be driven out. In regard to (b), the loyalty of the Indian Army is open to question; the INA have become national heroes…”

So while it is true that Netaji was sidelined and eventually ousted from the Congress, it cannot be denied that he did erect an army that made the colonialists question their power over India.

Much buzz circulates in the country of his disappearance but little is acknowledged of his crucial role in delivering a powerful blow to the British Raj.

Next Story

Astronaut Floats in Space on Mural Sporting a Gandhi Patch on Shoulder

The mural that looks up from the vista that opens to the iconic glass-fronted UN building a block away commemorates the occasions

0
Gandhi
Sporting a Mahatma Gandhi patch on his shoulder, an astronaut floats in space on the mural painted on the side wall of the Indian Mission to the UN. Wikimedia

The high-tech future of green jobs and the Gandhian virtue of the dignity of work meld their messages on a six-storey high mural commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and the centenary of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Sporting a Mahatma Gandhi patch on his shoulder, an astronaut floats in space on the mural painted on the side wall of the Indian Mission to the UN that was inaugurated on Tuesday.

The mural that looks up from the vista that opens to the iconic glass-fronted UN building a block away commemorates the occasions.

The other themes on the mural, a joint effort of the ILO and the Indian mission, include the concept of “green”, environmentally sustainable jobs and the greening of the world by planting trees.

India’s Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin said at the inauguration that the mural addresses global concerns of decent jobs and the environment.

gandhi
Sporting a Mahatma Gandhi patch on his shoulder, an astronaut floats in space on the mural painted on the side wall of the Indian Mission to the UN. Pixabay

He said the mural effort goes beyond the diplomatic work at the UN of dealing with resolutions to a new diplomatic area of reaching out to people to create broader awareness of issues.

Victor Ash, the artist who painted it while perched high on a cherry-picker, told IANS: “I mixed different ideas and came up with this ‘green astronaut’ that is also worker – the worker from the future who would be working in space.”

And to commemorate the anniversary of Gandhi’ birth, he said he added Gandhi’s image as a logo on the arm of the astronaut.

Ash said that one of his inspirations was India’s record in 2017 of planting 66 million trees on a single day.

The mission building with a red-stone facade was designed by the internationally acclaimed Indian architect Charles Correa, but one of its sides was bared to the bricks after the neighbouring building was torn down and a hotel was built on the site with a deep setback.

The mural now decorates that side without impinging on the building’s Correa design.

gandhi
The other themes on the mural, a joint effort of the ILO and the Indian mission, include the concept of “green”, environmentally sustainable jobs and the greening of the world by planting trees. Wikimedia

The mural was one of several sponsored across the city by ILO to commemorate its centenary with a project called Street Art for Mankind that aims to spread the message of decent work for all with sustainable development and social justice.

Portugal-born Ash said that he had painted a mural at the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai during its Summerfest.

He said that he had started as a street-artist in Paris, where he had studied, and later went into doing paintings for galleries.

ALSO READ: UAE Gets Help From An Indian Student, Develops Robot Cleaner For The State

“But it was only the studio work and exhibiting in galleries was not reaching such a broad public,” he said.

“So I went back to the street and did murals because it has a much bigger impact and you can actually transmit messages much better than just exhibiting in galleries for a few specific people.” (IANS)