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LEGACY OF SUBHASH CHANDRA BOSE

26th November, 2021 Prelims

LEGACY OF SUBHASH CHANDRA BOSE

Timeline

Contribution: As a Social Reformer

Against Casteism

  • The India National Army was a mixture of various Religions, Races, and Castes with total social equality of all soldiers.
  • They were served food cooked in the common kitchen and shared space in common barracks breaking the age old caste bonds and practices.
  • These were the first major successful steps in eradicating casteist feelings and nurturing feelings of “being Indian” above everything else among the soldiers.
  • Any Indian irrespective of his caste (including non-martial caste) and religious community could enroll in the INA.

Secularism

  • To strengthen the secular feelings and thereby foster National unity, common worship and celebrations of all religious festivals were introduced in the INA.
  • Many Indians from the Minority Communities occupied high positions in the Provisional Government of Free India and the Azad Hind Fauj.

Impetus to “Unity in Diversity”

  • Though Hindustani was widely used for military commands and administrative use, all other Indian languages were considered equally important.
  • Also, the Azad Hind Radio Station, beamed to India in some Indian Languages like Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Gurkhali and Pushtu apart from Hindustani and English.
  • Azad Hind Radio Station had broadcast stations in Singapore, Bangkok, Rangoon, Tokyo and Saigon.

 

Champion of Women’s Rights

  • Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had an inherent faith in “Nari Shakti” or “Women‟s Power”.
  • He strongly believed in the equality of men and women in Civil and Military life.
  • His ideas on “women empowerment” were not mere lip service.
  • Bose created a history by establishing the world’s first all Women Regiment within the Indian National Army in 1943 and christened it “The Rani Jhansi Regiment.”
  • It was a full-fledged combat regiment with its Indian women soldiers receiving all necessary military training on par with their male counterparts.

Education

  • Bose realized that education is a great force in bringing about a sense of national unity and solidarity.
  • He was in favour of a common educational policy with a common script which should be 'Roman Script', the common lingua franca being Hindusthani.
  • In regard to primary education, Bose was deeply influenced by the kindergarten system in Germany and Scandinavia and the Nursery School of England.
  • He was in favour of visual or sensory method of education.
  • Vivekananda's concepts of man - making and character - building elements in education influenced Bose so much that, he wanted men of character to free India from the foreign domination.
  • Bose firmly believed that no educational plan would be successful without a comprehensive system of teachers' training.

 

Spiritualism

  • His religious and spiritual propensity was further elevated in contact with the teachings of Ramkrishna Paramahansa and Vivekananda.
  • He always had a small copy of Bhagavat Gita in the breast pocket of his field uniform.
  • Subhas Chandra Bose accepted Upanishadic concept of 'Tyaga' and imbibed the ideal of renunciation for self-realisation.
  • He became determined to work ceaselessly for the benefit of the country and its toiling masses.

 

Political

Within Congress

  • Bose stated his opinion that the INC "should be organised on the broadest anti-imperialist front with the two-fold objective of
    • winning political freedom and
    • the establishment of a socialist regime.
  • He started the newspaper 'Swaraj'. In 1927, Bose became general secretary of the Congress party.
  • Bose supported idea of comprehensive independence and with his support Jawahar Lal Nehru has passed resolution of Poorna Swaraj in 1929.
  • He organised the All-Bengal Young Men’s Conference.
  • In 1938 he was elected president of the Indian National Congress (Haripura Session, Bengal) and formed a national planning committee.
  • In 1939 he was re-elected in the Tripuri session of Congress.
  • This win was against the expressed desire of Mahatma Gandhi who had his call on Pattabhai Sittaramayya.
  • Although both shared the same dream of an “Independent India”, Bose and Gandhiji were poles apart in their thought process and political approach of liberating India.

 

Forward Block

  • In 1939 Bose resigned from Congress and established the All India Forward Bloc - as a faction within the India Congress. .”
  • His aim was to liberate India from the colonial yokes.

 

Collaboration with foreign countries

  • In 1943, Singapore, Subhash Chandra Bose reorganized and expanded the Indian National Army. This force was renamed as “Azad Hind Fauj.”
  • He also founded the Provisional Government of Free India at Singapore on 21st October 1943.
  • The government was recognized by nine governments including Germany, Italy, Japan and Myanmar.
  • The Provisional Government of Free India acquired its first territories when Japan handed over the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to it.
  • 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.
  • On the Indian mainland, an Indian Tricolour, was raised for the first time in the town of Moirang, in Manipur by the INA.
  • Dilli Chalo ("On to Delhi)!" This was the call he used to give the INA armies to motivate them.
  • In a nutshell, Bose worked tirelessly to secure German and Japanese support in freeing his beloved homeland from the foreign rule.

Ideology of Samyavada or Doctrine of Synthesis

  • Netaji picked up the common good traits of National Socialism and Communism to “form the basis of the new synthesis.”
  • That synthesis is called as ‘Samyavada’ – an Indian word, which means literally ‘the doctrine of synthesis or equality’.
  • Samyavada points to a perfect balance between the material and the spiritual, between the East and the West.
  • According to Bose, India’s emphasis was not on civilization but on culture, not on the material side of life but on the intellectual and spiritual.
  • Thus, we had our advantages as well as disadvantages.
  • According to his Doctrine of Samyavada , the spiritual aspects, the intellectual, ethical and aesthetic values of life which had a high place in Indian culture must be blended with material civilization in the new set-up.
  • The new India must be a synthesis of ancient glories and modern trends, of Indian achievements and foreign contributions.

 

Economic

  • The National Planning Committee formulated by Bose in 1938 advocated for a policy of rapid and broad industrialization on modern lines.
  • He wanted to adopt a comprehensive scheme for gradually socializing our entire agricultural and industrial system in the spheres of both production and distribution.
  • He also spoke about abolition of landlordism and liquidation of agricultural indebtedness.
  • According to him the appalling poverty, high incident of unemployment and low standard of living were due to the foreign domination.
  • Bose classified industries into three categories, namely Large Scale or Heavy Industries, Medium-Scale and Cottage Industries.
  • According to him, heavy industries are important for rapid economic development.
  • Large-Scale Industries produce the means of production example: metals, heavy chemicals, machinery and tools, and communication industries like railways, telegraph, telephone and radio.
  • Though he was very much in favour of large-scale industries he never lost sight of cottage and small industries in an underdeveloped country like India.
  • In view of all this he desired economic reconstruction and industrialization on modern scientific and technological methods.
  • For him economic freedom was the essence of social and political freedom.

 

Netaji and Indian Industrial Relations

  • Netaji got associated with the Lahore Trade Union Congress in 1922.
  • He was elected President of All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) in 1931 there by emerging as the most important Trade Union Leader of British India.
  • Bose was closely associated with trade union movement in Calcutta, Bombay, Nagpur, Jamshedpur and Bokaro.
  • He was instrumental in the Indianization of the TATA Group preferring Indian workers and higher officials in all its plants.
  • His letter to Chairman of TATA paved the way for the appointment of more Indians in key positions in that Company.
  • Netaji’s relentless fight led to the enactment of Indian Trade Unions Act, 1926.
  • He strongly advocated the “Tri-Partite Scheme” of Industrial Relations where in the Government should play a major role in every sphere of Industrial Relations.
  • He considered that State has the duty of providing employment to citizens or take up the responsibility of maintaining the unemployed citizens.
  • He emphasized the need for Social Security and Labour Welfare Programmes.
  • He was among the first leaders to strongly advocate equality of wages for both men and women in all type of work.
  • Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose proudly proclaimed “Free India will not be a land of capitalists, landlords, and Castes”.
  • He wrote in his August 1942 Article, “India will be able to concentrate her whole attention on the solution of social problems. The most important social problem is that of poverty and unemployment”.

 

The relationship between Gandhiji and Subhash Chandra Bose

  • Mahatma Gandhi and Subhas Chandra Bose were two legendary personalities, gigantic in their political moral and ethical stature. Both of them were two worthy sons of Mother India.
  • To Subhash Bose, Gandhi always remained 'India's greatest man'.
  • Subhash had all praise for Gandhi's unflinching patriotism, firmness in character, love for truth etc.
  • He recognised and admitted Gandhi as the undisputable, unrivalled leader of the masses.
  • Similarly, to Gandhi, Bose was like a son whose 'self sacrifice and suffering, drive, integrity and commitment to the national cause and the capacity to bind all Indians into one people were unsurpassed.'
  • Both Gandhi and Bose were totally honest men. They were internationalists and humanists. They were secular in approach and anti-racial in outlook.
  • Their minds were always diverted towards the liberation of their motherland.
  • The whole life of both the leaders was an epic struggle for India's independence.

Their differences

  • Inspite of their patriotic fervor, there were glaring differences between Gandhi and Subhash.
  • In political life both were posed against each other.
  • Young Netaji was a firebrand nationalist who believed in the tradition of Tilak and Aurobindo.
  • Bose adopted violent means for liberation of India and thus led Indian National Army.
  • Gandhiji, on the contrary, was a reluctant nationalist who belonged to the tradition of his mentor Gokhale and Tagore. He was a firm believer of non-violence and led peaceful mass protests.
  • Gandhi subscribed Trusteeship pattern of relation between Capitalist and labourers.
  • Subhash Chandra was a keen follower of radical leftist and rationalist ideology and organized trade unions.
  • Bose wanted to seize the opportunity provided by Second World War to oust the Britishers and liberate India. Thus, he approached Germany, Japan to seek support for India’s cause.
  • 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 same event.
  • Gandhi’s idea of freedom was based on self rule and rule over self. Bose viewed freedom not only in terms of political self rule but also freedom from socio-economic inequalities, casteism, intolerance etc.
  • Bose's strong revolutionary urge for the emancipation of his motherland made him critical of many of Gandhiji's techniques.

 

Conclusion

  • Despite their differences both Gandhiji and Bose were infallibly dedicated to the cause of India’s liberation from the foreign yolks.
  • Both had great respect for each other. In 1942 Gandhi called Subhash Chandra Bose the “Prince among the Patriots” and one whose “patriotism was second to none.”
  • Bose too admired Gandhiji and in a radio broadcast from Rangoon in 1944, he called Gandhiji “The Father of Our Nation.”


“Give me blood and I will give you freedom!”

“One individual may die for an idea, but that idea will, after his death, incarnate itself in a thousand lives.”

Recent Development

Parakram Divas

  • Government of India had decided to celebrate the birthday of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, on 23rd January, as 'Parakram Diwas' every year.
  • Aim:
    • to honour and remember Netaji's indomitable spirit and selfless service to the nation
    • to inspire people especially the youth, to act with fortitude in the face of adversity as Netaji did, and
    • to infuse in them a spirit of patriotic fervour.