Friday, April 24, 2015

Nehru's vanquished rivals - Netaji Subhas Bose and also Jinnah


The ability to pass on or represent FAILURE as SUCCESS is called Legacy. 

A man can be generous and benevolent but it's true the attendance in his funeral ultimately depend on the weather. This has been precisely the spirit how history is often guided by. In the case of illustrious figures of Indian freedom struggle - the likes of Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, Mohammed Ali Jinnah and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose while there have been no dearth of informative studies, a number of manipulated misconception about them - bright and grey spots - have passed into accepted facts.
The recent debate about Nehru snooping on Bose's kins has revived this gory episode of contemporary history. If we do not touch Mahatma Gandhi in these debates, it cannot be denied that Nehru did have fierce and bitter rivalries against both - Jinnah and Subhas Bose. And both were 'vanquished'.

By focusing on Nehru's brighter spots and virtues - including knowledge of English, good rapport with Britons like Lord Mountbatten to Sir Stafford Cripps and later his role in stewarding free India, scholars have only judged him softly with kids gloves. On the other hand, circumstances have compelled two others Subhas Bose and Jinnah to be judged rather harshly. "Bose's decision to seek Germany's help has tarred him with a Nazi brush," rightly points out Meghnad Desai in his book 'The Rediscovery of India'.
In the same platitude, majority of historians portray Jinnah as an uncooperatve communalist. Yet another book, 'Jinnah's Early Politics - Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity' by Ian Bryant Wells, a Coordinator of Intelligence Studies, Australia, says, to a large extent such portrayal of Jinnah was resulted from Mountbatten's antipathy towards Jinnah and his close friendship to Nehru.
Jinnah appreciated that Bose unlike Gandhi wanted to lift nation's business above religion/Hinduism
Both Jinnah and Subhas Bose were perhaps more talented and more genuine nationalists. But look at the history today, while Jinnah's soul can rest in peace for having a country hailing him as its father, in India, Subhas Bose is history's one of the tragic victims of manipulation. Even the Father of the Nation, Gandhi apparently did not do justice to Subhas Bose when on his (Bose's) second time election as 
Congress president, Bapu made all his acolytes resign from Congress Working Committee. This led to Bose quitting the post and forming his own group, Forward Bloc.
Ideologically too both Jinnah and Subhas Bose seemed to have been more pragmatic and looked for 'active' mode of struggle as against the passive resistance policy of Gandhi and his team led by Nehru. In his life time, Nehru benefited by his proximity to Gandhi and at a later stage after his death left it for his daughter Indira, son Rajiv Gandhi and now grandson Rahul 'exploit' that facets of Indian history; while Jinnah and Bose at best remain romantic heroes.
In the case of Jinnah, the hatred is so intense that by calling him 'secular' in 2005, onetime Hindutva politics protagonist L K Advani lost his grip in the Sangh parivar and BJP permanently. 
The Gandhi-Nehru machinations was so well calculated that while in several quarters, Jinnah has gone down as a mere 'stooge' in the hands of British
policy of 'divide and rule'; as against the Muslim League, the Congress arugued eloquently that it was the sole representative of Indians.
Thus the Congress was seem to be fighting not just for an independent India, it was purely fighting for one under single party domination of the Congress.
The ulterior electoral motive remained foremost even after independence as despite Mahatma Gandhi's suggestion, the Indian National Congress was not disbanded.
With regard to Subash Bose, the alleged 'snooping' by Nehru regime only brings into light that all that is past is not pristine white. 
For a large number of Indians, especially in Bengal, Bose is the future that could have been.
In book, 'The Indian Ideology' Perry Anderson, Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles, writes, “Subhas Chandra Bose, the only leader Congress ever produced who united Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs in a common secular struggle,…" adding the obvious the political landscape of postwar India would not have been the same had he survived.”  
How did Bose succeed in INA achieving the 'Hindu-Muslim' unity something in such a scale that was a catastrophic failure in India? The reason for Bose’s success, shared by most historians of repute, was his deft handling of the communal question.
Subhas Bose met Hitler's Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and also Hitler
in May 1942. But there was no meeting of minds.
Bose entered into an alliance with the Muslim League in 1940. The reason lay in his conviction that for a unified national demand 
from the British at least one of two conditions had to be met: a settlement with the Muslim League at the all India level, or coalition 
governments with Congress and Muslim League. 
By 1937 different power games were on. Nehru made a disastrous refusal to induct only two members from the Muslim League 
in the government of UP. Bose, as President of Congress in 1938, began a fresh attempt to negotiate with Jinnah for a settlement of the 
Hindu-Muslim question. But he soon discovered that Nehru was reluctant and had already complicated the negotiations. 
Nehru allegedly used to dismiss the existence of League. He said there were only two parties in India: the British and the Congress!
And looking "through the telescope” for a Hindu-Muslim problem, Nehru is understood to have concluded 
“if there was nothing, what can you see?”. The partition of India and the rest is only history. 
History should have been more grateful to Subhas Bose and also Jinnah. The lapses do remain in the bygone pages. 
That's history all about. 
Between the past and the future lies the present. 
We can change the present and help recreate a future even as we cannot rewrite history.

(ends) 
Gomoh railway station was renamed as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Junction in 2008 to honour Netaji as he set out from here on a long journey never to return 



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