The role of personalities in freedom movement and their ideology in the political sphere are often asked in UPSC. Further key places and events related to personlaities are important. The recent renaming of islands in Andaman and Nicobar after S.C.Bose and martyrs of INA makes S.C.Bose and his ideas important for the exam.
The Ross Island was renamed as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep, the Neil Island would now be known as Shaheed Dweep and the Havelock Island as Swaraj Dweep. In tribute to Subash Chandra Bose and his INA.
Placing it in syllabus
- Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues
- The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.
- 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
Samyavada – ideology
Netaji Bose, by his own admission in his book, “Indian Struggle” (published in 1935 in London), believed India needed a political system that was a mix of fascism and communism — something that he called samyavad. Netaji 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 naturally brought him into conflict with the pacifist leaders of Congress, most notably Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Nehru. But the friction didn’t happen in 1935, it happened much earlier.
Some speeches given by him/book written by him tells us why he had stressed on samyavada, they are;
- As early as 1930 — in his inaugural speech as mayor of Calcutta — the fervent young Bose first expressed his support for a fusion of socialism and fascism:
- “… I would say we have here in this policy and program a synthesis of what modern Europe calls Socialism and Fascism.
- In years that followed he would occasionally modify this radical doctrine, but would never abandon it entirely. For example, in late 1944 — almost a decade-and-a-half later — in a speech to students at Tokyo University, he asserted that India must have a political system “of an authoritarian character. . . To repeat once again, our philosophy should be a synthesis between National Socialism and Communism.”
From Bose’s Indian Struggle, Vol.1–
- “In spite of the antithesis between Communism and Fascism, there are certain traits common to both. Both Communism and Fascism believe in the supremacy of the State over the individual. Both denounce parliamentarian democracy. Both believe in party rule. Both believe in the dictatorship of the party and in the ruthless suppression of all dissenting minorities. Both believe in a planned industrial reorganisation of the country.
- These common traits will form the basis of the new synthesis. That synthesis is called by the writer ‘Samyavada’ — an Indian word, which means literally ‘the doctrine of synthesis or equality’. It will be India’s task to work out this synthesis.”
Bose formed the Forward Bloc in 1939. This is what he wrote about this Bloc in Indian Struggle volume 2:
- “The immediate objective of the Forward Bloc was an uncompromising struggle with British Imperialism for winning India’s independence. To this end, all possible means should be employed and the Indian people should not be hampered by any philosophical notions like Gandhian non-violence, or any sentimentalism like Nehru’s anti-Axis foreign policy. The Bloc stood for a realistic foreign policy and a post-war order in India on a Socialist Basis.”
Netaji picks up the common good traits of National Socialism and Communism to “form the basis of the new synthesis.” The Samyavada or doctrine of synthesis leads not only to socialism with due regard to national sentiment, it points to a perfect balance between the material and the spiritual, between the East and the West, betweeen the past and the present.
- His economic ideology revolved around a planned model of development and the predominant role of state in planning and organizing the economy with the concepts of equity and social justice at its core.
- His social outlook is 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).
Role in congress
- On return from England Subhas met Mahatma Gandhi. 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. Subhas organised the congress party being attracted by the Non-cooperation movement.
- Subhas 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 subhas attended the Calcutta session of Indian National Congress. Subhas-Jawahar group first tested their strength that they opposed the official resolution moved by Mahatma Gandhi and secured 45% vote (the vote is on the dominion status to India and the opposition by Bose and Nehru 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 subhas and Jawahar to its fold. They remained within congress and successfully pushed through progressive views.
- Subhas’s pro-people, progressive and radical attitude, on the other hand, made his popular inside and outside congress. Subhas 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 Subhas at the Tripura Session of congress was against the expressed desire of Mahtma Gandhi. Gandhiji considered Sitaramaya’s defeat as his own defeat and the followers of Gandhiji did not allow Subahs Chandra Bose to function effectively. Later he resigned from the party and formed his own political party, ‘Forward Block’
Role in INA
- 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, or 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 Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauj) to make it an effective instrument for the freedom of India. The Azad Hind Fauj comprised of 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, Subhas 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 there 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).
Gandhi – Subash differences
Both Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose were stalwarts of Indian freedom struggle. Both Gandhi and Bose were members of Indian National Congress and both of them had their own ‘political and social weight’ with the party and in society in general.
’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.
- Ideologically Gandhi subscribed to 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 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. Thus they had a different understanding of the same event.
- 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 Subhas 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.”
Test yourself: Mould Your Thoughts
Subash Chandra Bose represented an alternative political tradition in Indian national movement which questioned the dominant line of the Indian politics. Critically Examine.
Arrange the following events with respect to Indian national movement in chronological order
- Formation of India Independence league by Rash Behari Bose
- Passage of the Purna Swaraj resolution
- Karachi congress
- Extension of the national movement to the princely states
- Tripuri session of congress