The role of personalities in the freedom movement and their ideology in the political sphere are often asked in UPSC. Further key places and events related to personalities are important.
- SC Bose timeline
- SC Bose and the new synthetic ideology of Samyavada
- SC Bose role in Indian National Congress
- SC Bose role in Indian National Army
- Differences in outlook of Gandhiji and SC Bose
SC Bose timeline:
Jan 23, 1897- Subhas Chandra Bose is born
Mar 29, 1911 – Bose got admitted to Presidency college
Mar 28, 1918 – He received his B.A. in philosophy
Mar 29, 1919- He passed the ICS exam, but turned down the job because he had to work under the British
Apr 24, 1919 – He left India for Great Britain
May 20, 1923 – He was elected leader of the All India Youth Council and secretary of the Bengal State Congress
Sep 14, 1925 – Bose was arrested
Mar 30, 1927 – He got released from prison and began working with Nehru
May 28, 1930 – Bose became mayor of Calcutta
Feb 28, 1938 – Bose accepted nomination as the INC presidential candidate
Oct 8, 1939 – He organised the All India Forward Bloc
Jan 19, 1941 – Bose escaped from India after it becomes hostile towards him
Aug 18, 1945 – Subhas Chandra Bose disappeared.
Bose was announced to have died in a plane crash on the way to Taiwan, but this has been hotly disputed and never confirmed.
SC Bose and the new synthetic ideology of Samyavada:
- Netaji Bose, by his own admission in his book, “Indian Struggle”, (published in 1935) believed India needed a political system that was a mix of fascism and communism – which he called samyavad.
- He made a special trip to Rome in 1935 to present a copy of his book to Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, whom he greatly admired and whose ideals he would follow for the rest of his life.
- Bose’s reactionary views had naturally brought him into conflict with the pacifist leaders of Congress, most notably Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Nehru much earlier.
- As early as 1930, in his inaugural speech as mayor of Calcutta, he had first time expressed his support for a fusion of socialism and fascism.
- In years that followed he would occasionally modify this radical doctrine, but would never abandon it entirely.
- In late 1944, in a speech to students at Tokyo University, he asserted that “India must have a political system of an authoritarian character that should be a synthesis between National Socialism and Communism.”
- According to him, both Communism and Fascism believed in the supremacy of the State over the individual, denounced parliamentary democracy, believed in party rule and in the ruthless suppression of all dissenting minorities and a planned industrial reorganisation of the country.
- These common traits will form the basis of the new synthesis of ‘Samyavada’ which means literally ‘the doctrine of synthesis or equality’.
- The Samyavada or doctrine of synthesis leads not only to socialism with due regard to national sentiment, but also it points to a perfect balance between the material and the spiritual, between the East and the West, between the past and the present.
His social outlook was also based on anti- communalism and an adherence to the principles of rationalism and atheism. He visualized Indian society beyond the hidebound traditionalist caste and religious identities and sought the emergence of a modernist Indian identity which is thoroughly placed in the spiritual heritage of India (influence of swami Vivekananda).
SC Bose role in Indian National Congress:
- On return from England Subhash met Mahatma Gandhi and on his advice he came into contact with Chitta Ranjan Das.
- Subhas became his ardent disciple from 1921-25 and Bengal was his field of activities.
- He organised the congress party being attracted by the Non-cooperation movement.
- He along with Jawaharlal Nehru represented the left and progressive views inside congress.
- These two leaders became the symbol of change in the congress.
- In 1928 he attended the Calcutta session of Indian National Congress.
- Subhash-Jawahar group first tested their strength that they opposed the official resolution moved by Mahatma Gandhi and secured 45% vote (the vote was on the dominion status to India and the opposition by Bose and Nehru was based on the idea of Purna Swaraj).
- However both Jawahar and Subash pushed through the Karachi resolution of 1931, which besides endorsing the Gandhi-Irwin pact included the principle of fundamental rights and national economic programme.
- The formation of congress socialist party in 1934 did not attract Subhash and Jawahar to its fold.
- They remained within congress and successfully pushed through progressive views.
- Subhash represented the young and extremist element in the congress and was elected its president in 1938 and again in 1939.
- He supported the extension of the nationalist movement to the princely states of India.
- The re-election of Subhash at the Tripuri Session of congress was against the expressed desire of Mahatma Gandhi.
- Later he resigned from the party and formed his own political party, ‘Forward Block’.
SC Bose role in Indian National Army:
- An important development in the struggle for freedom during the Second World War was the formation and activities of the Azad Hind Fauj, also known as the Indian National Army (INA).
- Rash Behari Bose, an Indian revolutionary who had escaped from India and had been living in Japan for many years, set up the Indian independence league with the support of Indians living in the countries of south-east Asia.
- When Japan defeated the British armies and occupied almost all the countries of south-East Asia, the league formed the Indian National Army from among the Indian prisoners of war with the aim of liberating India from the British rule.
- General Mohan Singh, who had been an officer in the British Indian army, played an important role in organizing this army.
- In the meantime, Subhas Chandra Bose had escaped from India in 1941 and gone to Germany to work for India’s Independence.
- In 1943, he came to Singapore to lead the Indian Independence league and rebuild the INA to make it an effective instrument for the freedom of India.
- The Azad Hind Fauj comprised about 45,000 soldiers, among who were Indian prisoners of war as well as Indians who were settled in various countries of south-east Asia.
- On 21 October 1943, Subhash Bose, who was now popularly known as Netaji, proclaimed the formation of the provisional government of independent India (Azad Hind) in Singapore.
- Netaji went to the Andaman which had been occupied by the Japanese and hoisted the flag of India.
- In early 1944, three units of the Azad Hind Fauj (INA) took part in the attack on the north-eastern parts of India to oust the British from India (Imphal campaign).
Differences in outlook of Gandhiji and SC Bose:
Both Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose differed in their approach and had a different understanding of political reality.
- Subhash Chandra Bose adopted violent means for the liberation of India and thus led Indian National Army. Gandhi, on the other hand, was a firm believer of non-violence and led peaceful mass protests.
- Gandhi subscribed to the favoured trusteeship pattern of relation between Capitalist and labourers. Subhash Chandra was a keen follower of radical leftist ideology and organized trade unions.
- Bose wanted to grab the opportunity provided by the Second World War for India’s freedom, thus approached Germany, Japan while Gandhi saw fascism and Nazism a greater danger to Indian polity and society thus co-operated with British.
- Religious teachings had great importance in the life of Gandhi while Subhash Chandra Bose was a leftist and rationalist.
- Gandhi’s idea of freedom was based on self-rule and rule over self. Bose viewed freedom not only in terms of the political self-rule but also freedom from socioeconomic inequalities, casteism, intolerance etc.
Both Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi were infallibly dedicated to the cause of Indian freedom. In spite of all the differences in ideologies, both these great men admired and respected each other. In 1942 Gandhi called Subhash Bose the “Prince among the Patriots” for his great love for the country. Bose too admired Gandhi and in a radio broadcast from Rangoon in 1944, he called Mahatma Gandhi “The Father of Our Nation.”
- Subhash Chandra Bose represented an alternative political tradition in Indian national movement which questioned the dominant line of the Indian politics. Critically Examine.
Approach to the answer:
- Write about ideology of Bose
- Write his contribution in INC
- Write why he quit congress and formed Indian National Army (INA)
- Write his differences of opinion with Gandhi
- Conclude with stating about the respect Gandhi and Bose had towards each other