Blogs Home / Blogs / आलेख- भारत का इतिहास / Gandhi And Subhash Bose At Loggerheads
  • Gandhi And Subhash Bose At Loggerheads

    Gandhi And Subhash Bose At Loggerheads

    POLARIZATION BETWEEN TWO WORLD WARS (With Special reference to Gandhi Vs. Subhash)

    हमारी नई वैबसाइट - भारत का इतिहास -

    The anticipated world war – II had been brewing for quite some time and came as no surprise in the first week of Sept. 1939. Since 1936, the international situation had been fast deteriorating. Indian National Congress was sure, as in the first World War, Britain might entangle India in any future conflict. They remembered the dividends received by India after active participation in the First World War. After the Jallianwalla Bagh and the Rowlatt Acts, it could scarcely ignore the fact that Indian’s participation in the war hinged on the issue of her independence. Indian people had the right to decide whether to participate in any war. If the British Government tried to involve India in any warlike adventure, it would be the duty of Indian people to resist it. The Congress was determined, not to allow India to be exploited by Britain for its imperialist objectives.1 Such a resolution was again passed in 1928.2

    Civil disobedience campaign continued intermittently till 1934. Hence the Congress could pay scant attention to international problems and this continued till Jawaharlal Nehru’s taking over the presidentship of the Congress in 1936. Congress policies on international issues were formulated mainly by Nehru. It was, to a great extent, largely due to him that the Congress developed a strong dislike for the aggressive intentions of the Fascist powers and veered round to supporting the causes of democracy and freedom as against the forces of Fascism., Nazism and Imperialism.

    The Lucknow Congress (April 1936) affirmed its conviction that lasting peace could only be established with removal of the underlying causes of war and cessation of the domination and exploitation of one nation by another. Apprehending that in the event of such a war an attempt would inevitably be made to drag in and exploit India for the benefit of British imperialism, the Congress reiterated its determination to oppose Indian participation in any imperialist war.3 This imperialist became a recurring theme of all Congress sessions till 1939.4

    Striving to obtain its main objectives i.e. India’s Independence, the Congress followed a dual policy during 1936-39. It openly condemned the warlike activities of Italy, Germany and Japan and expressed strong sympathy and moral support towards the victims of Fascist aggression. Simultaneously, the Congress repeatedly declared that India would support any war against fascism and Nazism only if she herself became independent. The Congress put both the Facist and the imperialist powers at the same level. Once imperialism, the root cause of conflict was eliminated, fascism would then automatically be defeated. On 1 May 1939, the All India Congress Committee re-affirmed its determination to oppose all attempts to involve India or use Indian resources in such a war without the consent of the Indian people. 5 As war seemed imminent following the Nazi occupation of Czechoslavakia, the Congress working committee warned in the second week of August 1939, that it would not welcome any imposition of war on India. It did not approve of the policy of sending Indian troops to Middle East or Far East. As a protest, it called upon the Congress members of the Central Legislative Assembly to refrain from attending the next session. The Working Committee further advised the Congress ministries in the provinces not to cooperate with the Government’s, war effort and to remain prepared to lay down office, if the Congress policy led to this contingency.6

    Subhash had well formed political opinions even before joining politics. At Cambridge, he studied more European History including some original source books like Bismarck’s Autobiograhy, Metternich’s Memories and Cavour’s Letters etc. “These original sources”, Bose recalls, “more than anything else, studied at Cambridge, helped to rouse my political sense and to foster my understanding of the inner currents of International Politics.7 He was firmly convinced that “a nation can be made only by the uncompromising idealism of Hampden and Cromwell” and followed his goal of achieving India’s freedom with an uncompromising spirit. He replied to his friend Dilip Roy, who shared his views: “Those of us who still fondly believed that India’s going to win her independence by raising echoes to such nostrums of alien countries are blowing hope bubbles of illusion. They don’t know what they are talking about.8 For the obvious reasons that nobody helps another disinterestedly, not politics, recalls Mirzafar9. Didn’t he believe as fondly as you believe in English Labour or Russian Communists, the Clive would help him on his throne and then gallantly buttress him with the fealty of an obedient vassal? No Dilip, Sir Aurbindo was perfectly right when he said in the Swadeshi days that no outsider, would help India. If we ourselves can’t win our freedom none will come to our rescue.”10

    Subhas was clear in his mind that Indian people have to be organized to start a revolution, ideas of revolution were not to be imported from Russia or from any other country. The Indian revolutionary movement at the time of partition of Bengal was vivid in his mind. It was due to his radical views that the Gandhian ideology could not exert any lasting influence on Bose. It was an interesting co-incidence that he travelled in the same ship with Rabindranath Tagore and this short contact helped him to confirm his views on the political problems of India. In his own worlds: “I had occasion to discuss with him the new policy of non-cooperation adopted by the Congress. He was only anxious that there should be more of constructive activity….. what he suggested was analogous to the constructive side of the Irish Sinn Fein movement and was completely in accord with my views.”

    After the arrival in Bombay on July 16, 1921 Subhas met Mahatma Gandhi at Mani Bhavan. Gandhi’s influence had tremendously increased since the special session of the Congress in Calcutta in the Autumn of 1920. Gandhiji was, undoubtedly, the most prominent leader of the Congress and Subhas wanted to understand him in the light of the ideas acquired at Cambridge, before accepting this leadership. Gandhi had, by now become one of the most prominent leaders of the Congress and the National Movement was entering a new and dynamic phase. Gandhi’s unique weapons of Satyagrapha11 and cooperation were proving effective.

    Bose wanted Gandhi to elucidate on three points. How were the different activities conducted by the Congress going to culminate in the last stage of the campaign namely, the non-payment of taxes? How could non-payment of taxes or civil disobedience force the government to retire and grant freedom to Indians. How could the Mahatama promise Swaraj within one year as he had been doing since the last session of the Indian National Congress? Subhas was satisfied with Gandhi’s answer to the first question but the replies to the other two were not convincing. This was the first fateful meeting between Subhas and Gandhi. They had agreement on the ultimate objective of India’s freedom, but there were fundamental differences on the method of achieving the objective. In the words of S.A.Ayer, the Minister for Publicity and information in the Provisional Government of Azad Hind: “Agreement on the ultimate objective of India’s freedom from foreign rule, the fundamental differences on the method of achieving the objective largely characterized the political relations between these two leaders from the day Subhas first met Mahatma in Bombay in July 1921 till they met for the first time in Wardha in June 1940. With the Mahatma, non-violence was a living creed, it was an article of faith that the use of force was necessary to dislodge the alien ruler from Indian soil13.

    Bose’s first meeting with Gandhi was “a failure in its immediate purpose14 and as it is known to recorded history it “set the tenor of future relation between the two.”15 “The common characteristics which united Mahatma Gandhi and S.C. Bose were their ability to transform ideas into facts and their implacable sense of discipline.” Alexander Werth tries to point out the reasons for divergences in the approach of these two great leaders of India’s freedom movement. “In view of this similarity the temporary divergences which occurred between Gandhi and Bose who had devoted themselves to the same task for many years, could only affect the procedures as to how to approach the goal, taking into account the frequent changes and uncertain situations before and during the war. The great difference in age, naturally, played a big role too. Netaji’s birth was separated from that of Gandhi’s by one generation. This means, from the beginning – even considering the common aim both the personalities had in mind there was fundamental difference in temperament and style. This polarity forms a part of Indian history and consequently the world history.

    Gandhi could read the mind of Subhas and advised him to report to C.R. Das when he reached Calcutta. Subhash had already established a contact with Das through letters from Cambridge and on reaching Calcutta, he took the earliest opportunity to meet him. This meeting proved to be very auspicious. Bose writes: “During the course of our conversation I began to feel that here was a man who knew what he was about, who could give all that he had, and who could demand from others all that they could give, a man whom youthfulness was not a shortcoming but a virtue. By the time our conversation came to an end my mind was made up. I felt I had found a leader and meant to follow him.18


    In 1921, when Bose entered the political arena, India witnessed hectic political activity. Gandhi’s call for ‘Swaraj within a year; had electrified the whole nation. His unique method of non cooperation had great appeal for the people. Gandhi gave a call for boycotting legislatures, courts and educational institutions. On August 1, 1921 the first Anniversary of Lokmanya Tilak’s death was observed throughout the country with huge bonfires of foreign cloth. This symbolic agitation created tremendous patriotic fervour in the country.

    C.R. Das was immensely satisfied with the ability and sincerity of Subhas and placed him in charge of the publicity board of Bengal Provincial Congress Committee. He was also made head of the National Volunteer Corps. When some people complained that a single person should not be entrusted with so many responsibilities and that too when he is inexperienced, C.R. Das assured them: “I can see through persons. Bose will never belie my expectations. He will be the right man to do justice to the work”.

    Bose effectively organized the propaganda activities of the Congress in such a manner that the Government felt terribly embarrassed. The statesman of Calcutta recognized the great ability of Subhas. Subhas’ main slogan was “To make our non-cooperation with the Britishers successful, Indians must have the fullest cooperation among themselves.20 In September 1921, many Congress leaders, headed by Gandhi, came to Calcutta to persuade the former revolutionary to join the new cooperation movement. Most of the leaders were the guests of C.R. Das and Subhas was entrusted with the duty of arranging the meeting between Gandhi and the revolutionaries. It is an irony of history that Subhas who later followed the method and programme of action of the revolutionaries had to mediate for arranging a meeting between Gandhi, the apostle of peace and non violence, and the revolutionaries who believed in blood and sacrifice.

    The non-cooperation movement became very prominent as it was used as an effective non violent weapon to protest against the proposed visit of the price of Wales to India with the purpose of assuaging public feelings and to make the Indians cooperative in their attitude towards the inauguration of the Montford Reforms. Instructions were issued by the Congress Working Committee to boycott the visit of the Prince of Wales and a call for a hartal on November 17, was given. On this day, the Prince was scheduled to land in Bombay. The hartal was a grand success, especially in Calcutta the whole administration was Paralysed.21 A Government notification was issued within 24 hours declaring the Congress Volunteer organization illegal C.R. Das, in an emergency meeting, was vested with all powers and was also authorized to nominate his successor. Bose had earlier become a member of the Bengal Provincial Congress Committee and C.R. Das put him in charge of the new movement. “In the next two months he was prominent in the agitation against the Prince of Wales’ visit, and under took the leadership of the Congress Volunteers in Calcutta.22

    Thousands came forward to join as volunteers for courting arrest. There was no room for them in the jails and orders were issued for summary release, but no one was prepared to leave the prison. C.R. Das said: “I feel the handcuffs on my wrists and the weight of iron on my body. It is agony of bondage”.23

    In shear frustration, the Government arrested C.R. Das but Bose was not arrested in the beginning. He put on a long face for which he was teased by Das as “Our Crying Captain”. On December 10, 1921, Bose was arrested for parading illegally and received a sentence for six months simple imprisonment. “Only six months”, he mocked at the magistrate, “have I then stolen a chicken?”24. In prison, Bose lived in close proximity with C.R. Das and served him as secretary, cook and valet. He had long discussions with him on several subjects and benefitted very much by broadening his mental horizon. “For Bose he came to stand in the place of the guru he had sought so long.25

    Lord Reading, the Viceroy , was anxious for a compromise and wanted the Congress to call off the proposed boycott of the Prince’s visit to Calcutta on December 24. 26 If the Congress acceded to this the Government would order a Round table conference of the Congress and the Government for a general release of all prisoners and arrange for summoning a round table conference of the Congress and the government representatives to discuss proposed reforms.27 This was communicated to C.R. Das through Madan Mohan Malaviya. Das and Abdul Kalam Azad accepted this offer inspite of opposition from younger elements including Subhas Bose. The year in which Gandhi promised Swaraj was drawing to a close and C.R. Das wanted that something ought to be done to save the prestige of the Congress.28 He thought that the Congress may not succeed but its failure would provide the Congress to fight with redoubled vigour and force. Gandhi insisted on the release of the Ali Brothers29 and a firm declaration of the date and nature of composition of the proposed Round Table Congress. The viceroy was no longer in a mood to continue the parleys and the matter ended there itself. The Government of India, tired of waiting, had changed their mind.” The Deshbandhu was beside himself with anger and disgust. The chance of a life time, he said, “had been lost.”30

    The Congress Movement of 1921. The year, 1921 came to an end with a whimper as nothing startling was achieved. Bose as an objective critic of Gandhi, while recognizing the great ability of the leader did not spare the shortcomings. “There can, of course, be no doubt that within twelve months, the country had made tremendous progress and much of the credit for that belonged to the Mahatma, But what has to be regretted is that the he did not show sufficient diplomacy and prudence when the crucial hour arrived. In this connection, I am reminded of what Desh Bandhu used to frequently say about the virtues and failings, of Mahatma Gandhi’s leadership. According to him, the Mahatma opens a campaign in a brilliant fashion; he works it up with unerring skill; he moves from success to success till he reaches the Zenith of his campaign but after that he loses his nerve and begins to falter.31

    The year, 1921, undoubtedly, gave the country a highly organized party-organization. Before that, the Congress was a constitutional party and mainly a talking body. The Mahatma not only gave it a new constitution on nation-wise basis-but what is more important, converted it into a revolutionary organization.32 But, in spite of its glorious achievements, the movements of 1921 failed. Gandhi called off the civil-disobedience movement altogether,33 following the incident in Chauri Chaura, where some policemen were killed as angry villagers set fire to a police station. Except for his closest followers, all congressmen decried this move of Gandhi. Bose considered it as “nothing short of national calamity.34” C.R. Das, Moti Lal Nehru and Jawaharlal Nehru35 were all greatly disappointed and annoyed at such a decision by Gandhiji36. J.L. Nehru agreed that the decision to call off the movement brought out a certain demoralization: “It is possible that this sudden bottling up of a great movement contributed to a tragic development in the country. The drift is sporadic and futile violence in the political struggle was stopped, but the suppressed violence had to find a way out, and in the following years, this, perhaps, aggravated the communal trouble.”37

    The non-cooperation movement started by Gandhi let loose many forces in the country which posed a threat to the safety of the British Empire in Iindia.38 The suspension of movement, however, had dampening effect on public enthusiasm and morale. “For half a decade after the blow of Bardoli, the national movement was prostrated. The Congress fell to a low ebb.39

    The boycott of the legislatures, as conceived by the Calcutta Congress in 1920, had proved to be a failure; while the nationalists had kept away from the legislatures, the undesirables had captured those bodies. These people instead of assisting popular movement in the country, had lent their support to the Government. Through their help, the Government was able to demonstrate to the world that in their policy of repression, they had the support of the elected members of the legislatures 40. C.R.Das was of the view that in a revolutionary, the points of vantage should not be left in the hands of the enemy. He, therefore, wanted that all elected seats in the legislatures and public bodies like the municipalities and district boards should be captured by Congressmen to “carry on a policy of uniform, continuous and consistent opposition to the Government.” This was necessary to prevent the Government and its agents from doing any mischief….It meant the extension of Congress activity to capturing elected seats in the Legislatures and the public bodies. “As these discussions went on for some weeks, two parties crystalled among the political prisoners’ in the Alipore Jail and they proved to be the nuclei of the future ‘Swaraj and ‘No-change’ Parties.41

    Subhas Bose had been released from jail earlier, than the release of C.R. Das and he became the chairman of the reception committee of the All Bengal Young Men’s Conference held at Calcutta in September 1922. In his speech, Bose laid stress on constructive activities, social uplift and mass education.42 There was an unprecedented flood in the northern districts of Bengal in September 1922. Bose recruited hundreds of volunteers to help in the relief works which was a great success.43 The annual session of the Indian National Congress which was to be held in Gaya in the last week of December 1922 attracted the attention of the whole country. C.R. Das was again elected the president. The session almost became a battle ground between the advocates of council-entry and the opponents of council entry, They were known as ‘no changers’ and ‘pro Changers’ The resolution supported by C.R. Das was lost on December 31,1992 by 1784 votes to 890.Subhas was the chief lien lieutenant of Das at Gaya. M. Tayyebulla writes: “…… we had Subhash as C.R. Das’ Lientenant at Gaya. Young Subhas was following Das and Motilal Nehru more than Gandhi, whose creed to him was ‘a vague philosophy’, ‘a religious ideal’, ‘a beautiful vision’, and a ‘religious credo’, but not something that could be called ‘politics’! Subhas began his public life is the Swaraj party.44

    The Swaraj Party:

    After the rejection of the proposal at Gaya Congress, C.R. Das resigned as President of the All India Congress Committee. Pt.Mtilal Nehru, the general secretary of the Party, also resigned and both formed the Swaraj Party on January 1,1923, a day after their resignation. “This unexpected blow cast a shadow on the faces of Mahatma’s supporters. Most of the outstanding intellectuals were on the side of C.R. Das and there was no doubt that without them, the Congress would lose much of its strength and importance”.45 This was the second loss for Congress after the exit of the liberals. If the supporters of Gandhiji left Gaya satisfied at their victory, the Swarajists with a sense of defeat but with the determination to fight and win.46 Bose had no choice other than supporting his boss. He “had naturally cast his lot with his leader and become a faithful if not an ardent ‘pro-changer.47” Bose was made the editor of the journal ‘Banglar Katha’-started for party propaganda. He was given the responsibility of managing the daily paper, Forward, which went on to becoming a nationalist paper of India. Many forceful articles published theirin attempted to interpret India in terms of Marxist ideas.48

    Subhas was greatly influenced by socialist and Marxist ideas. Forward, which became the mouthpiece of the Swaraj party, expressed radical views on many contemporary political problems and added to the prestige of the party. Despite the opposition of the followers of Gandhi, the Swaraj Party gained great popularity among the masses. The political atmosphere of the country was vitiated by feelings of bitterness between the two parties and “the breach between the two groups of Congress was now open.49 In spite of just two months for fighting elections, the Swarajists succeeded in winning a large numbers of seats in the Central Legislative Assembly. Bose writes:…. In the central provinces, the election returns were excellent and it was clear that by their obstructive tactics, the Swarajists would be able to paralyse the works of the Local Legislative Council.”50 Subhas soon emerged as a well-known youth leader. The “All Bengal youth League” was formed under his presidentship with an ambitious programme. When Gandhi was pre-maturely released, the Swarajists were eager to seek his blessings. Das and Motilal Nehru met him in Juhu, Bombay, where he was convalescing. Even after prolonged discussions the two were unable to convince Gandhi, who was of the view that the Swarajist strategy of ‘obstruction form within’ was a contradiction in terms51. Gandhi refused to help the Swarajists, but in view of the Congress resolution in favour of council entry, he advised his followers to remain absolutely neutral and adhere to the Constructive Programme. “On principle he was, of course, bitterly opposed to the Swarajist policy of ‘Council entry’, nevertheless, he did not adopt a hostile attitude. If may be that he found the position of Swarajists to be too strong in the country to able to overthrow them, so he bowed to the inevitable. Or it may be that he felt that the changed circumstances in the country warranted a change in tactics52.”

    In April 1924, the Swarajists hegemony over Calcutta Corporation was established. Subhas Bose was returned unopposed and was appointed the Chief Executive Officer in April,1923. The Government was not pleased with this appointment and its sanction was not given until a month later.53 “At the age of twenty-seven he was, thus, in a far more responsible position than any which he could have occupied in the Indian Civil Service for many years.”54 After Bose joined office, the administration of the Calcutta corporation got a new orientation under the Swarajists. Khadi became the official uniform of the Municipal Employees and the Swarajist councillors had already taken to it. Steps were taken to open schools and colleges. Provision was made for social welfare and public health services. Streets and public places were named after nationalist heroes. Nationalist leaders were given office receptions and the practice of presenting addresses to high Government officials was discontinued. “…… Municipality arranged to give civic receptions to Nationalist leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Motilal Nehru and Mr. V.J. Patel when they visited the city and the previous custom of giving civic receptions to Viceroys, Governors, and officials was discontinued once and for all.55 The Calcutta Municipal Gazette, a weakly civic journal, the first of its kind in the whole country, was published.56 Preferential treatment was given to the minorities in civic appointments.57 From a political worker, Bose became a civic official dedicated to constructive hard work, and for the time being, was lost to the Congress.58

    “People for the first time began to look upon the Municipality as their own institution and upon Municipal officers and employees as public servants and not bureaucrats.59 Though in the beginning, things were smooth, gradually there was bitter opposition from the Government , “with the result that constant friction used to take place.”

    As a dynamite did not explode in time, Lord Irwin had a providential escape. The independence resolution which was moved in the session of the Congress included a clause congratulating the Viceroy for his providential escape which read: “The Congress deplores the bomb outrage perpetrated on the Viceroy’s train and reiterates its conviction that such action is not only contrary to the creed of the Congress , but results in harm being done to the national cause . It congratulates the Viceroy and Lady Irwin and their party, including the poor servants on their fortunate and narrow escape.60 Bose was opposed to the inclusion of such a clause in a political resolution. He writes: “The feeling in the Congress was that, that clause was uncalled for in the political resolution, but the Mahatma insisted on retaining it, probably he wanted to placate Lord Irwin and prepare the ground of a rapprochement in future.61 “Inevitably official suspicion turned against him: to the British he was that most sinister of objects, an enigma.62” A new emergency ordinance was issued by the Viceroy, called the Bengal Ordinance. Subhas Bose “was arrested as one of the most dangerous.63 Hugh Toye writes: “No charge was ever brought and such was the clamour against his arbitrary detention that, had a conviction been possible, the authorities could hardly have refrained from trying him”.64

    Bose’s Return to Active Politics

    C.R. Das’ demise 65 sounded the death knell of the Swaraj Party which merged itself in Congress. By mid 1927 When Bose returned to Active politics, the darkest hour had come to an end and the horizon looked well-lit. Bose was elected the president of the Bengal Provincial Congress Committee. Though he had good relations with J.M. Sen Gupta in the beginning, soon strained as both differed fundamentally on vital issues. Bengal Congress politics was vitiated as rival groups of the Jugantar and Anusilan parties extended support to Bose and Gupta respectively.66 Bose blamed Sen Gupta and Kiran Shankar Roy for the miserable state of affairs of the Congress. He felt there was the need or a strong man to settle factional differences and to constitute one United national party in Bengal. 67 Bose, for sometime remained aloof from rampant factional politics of Bengal but the involvements of his elder brother Sarat Bose, a personal and political confidant, did not allow Subhas to remain outside Congress conflicts 68. After C.R. Das passed away, Bengal became known for factional politics and no single individual or group was able to control all the factions 69. The conflict was mainly between the Gandhian High Command, the dominant faction at the centre of the Congress organization and the Boses who were most often the dominant faction in Bengal Congress 70. Bengal politics was a tangled web of shifting alliances 71.

    Bose heard the news of the suspension of the civil disobedience Movement by Gandhi. Bose and Patel were both furious at such a decision on flimsy grounds. Bose considered it an ignoble surrender to the British 72. The history of 1922 was repeating itself. They issued a joint statement 73 denouncing the suspension of the moment, which no-body in India had dared to do inspite of their resentment against the Congress action. Though Jawaharlal Nehru 74, J.B. Kiriplani 75, K.M. Munshi 76 and Pattabhai Sitaramaya all tried to justify Gandhi’s mysterious decision on different grounds. Signing of the joint statement was “Patel’s last political Act”. Soon he died on October 22, 1933.

    During his stay in Europe for nearly four years, Bose had been thoroughly disillusioned with the Gandhi philosophy and strategy for winning independence for India. He had set his mind on evolving more radical methods of mass organization and armed revolt in various European countries which had won their independence by applying this method. He visited Berlin and Rome many times and met top ranking Nazi and Fascist leaders to ascertain their views about India’s freedom. He met Mussolini several times but could not get to meet Hitler as the latter was not prepared to have any discussion with him 79. He enquired as to when Germany would strike Britain “so that India might also take up arms simultaneously against the British.” But Hitler was never in favour of the Indian Declaration of Independence against Britain 80. Bose wanted that world opinion should be mobilized in favour of Indian independence 81 and India should not hesitate to get help from foreign powers hostile to Great Britain. On this point, he developed a fundamental difference with Gandhi 82. He was much impressed by the underground movement of the Sinn Feins and considered this successful historic movement as a good model for India’s fight for freedom. Bose highly valued de Valera’s leadership and his valiant fight against the British. He was cordially received by the Irish leader who expressed full sympathy for the Indian cause 83. With Irish support Bose wanted the Indian fight for freedom known to the whole world.84

    On the Indian political scene, political recession was evident on all fronts since the release of Gandhi in 1933. Till 1937, Gandhiji’s leadership remained withdrawn, but the Congress was dominated by his urdent supporters and followers. During 1933-37, period, of political retirement, Gandhi exercised his powers through Jawaharlal Nehru “who, in one aspect of his personality was Plato to Gandhi the Socrates. 85” Although Nehru’s popularity increased during this period, yet he was unable to provide the “Congress with that quality of leadership which had, since 1919, given it the dominant voice in India.86 Hugh Toye was correct in his assessment that this lack of dynamic leadership in the Congress was responsible for the unimpaired influence of Bose, in spite of his exile in Europe. Bose was a fiery patriot who symbolized the forces of socialism, secularism and pragmatism. He had the promise of an alternative leadership in the Congress and large sections of people who wanted that the country should take radical, progressive and even extremist steps to win the independence of India, admired him as the savior of the nation, the shortcomings of his political faith not withstanding. No Indian leader was capable of substituting for Bose. Hugh Toye who has been able to free himself from seeing things with British eyes had to admit that when Bose’s ‘The Indian struggle ‘ reached India in 1935, “its doctrines had an audience hardly less favorable than if Bose in person had been preaching them.87

    Gandhi’s decision to sponsor the election of his most vocal critic as Congress president, had surprised many of his followers. But Gandhi had sponsored Bose’s candidature to forge unity between the Left wing and the Right wing in the Congress. It was also a shrewed move on the part of Gandhi as he knew that the election of a fire-brand like Bose to the office of Congress president would be a timely warning to the British and provide a strong bargaining counter. Again by securing the election of Bose as Congress President, Gandhi might have thought of taking the wind out of the sails of the Leftists as he had done earlier by sponsoring the case of Jawaharlal. But it did not succeed in the case of Bose, and soon their differences became public.

    As president, after the Haripura session, Bose was conscious of Gandhi’s “incorrigible habit of putting all the cards on the table, his opposition to the policy of social boycott of the political opponents, his hope of a change of heart on the part of the British Government” 88 but at the same time, he was aware of the supreme need of unity in the Congress to fight against British imperialism and all the impervious designs of the rulers. He, therefore, said: “The Congress today is one supreme organ of mass struggle. It may have its Right block and its Left but it is a common platform for all anti-imperialist organisations striving for Indian emancipation. Let us, therefore, rally the whole country under the banner of the Indian National Congress".89 He appealed to all Leftist Groups in the country to pool all their energy and resources for democratizing Congress and reorganizing it on the broadest anti-imperialist lines. Outlining his policy on the eve of the Haripura Congress session, Bose said: “My term of office as the Congress president will be devoted to resist this unwanted federal scheme with all its undemocratic and anti-national features, with all the peaceful Legitimate powers, including non-violent non-cooperation if necessary and to strengthen the country’s determination to resist this scheme”. 90

    The adoption of other methods of attainment of independence constituted the vital difference between Gandhi and Subhas. Gandhi, occasionally, retired from politics when the difference of opinion between him and the other prominent members was acute in the Congress, but staged a comeback in an attempt to achieve compromise with the forces which were to be reckoned with. In the year 1934, the year when the Congress Socialist Party was organized, Gandhi resigned from the membership of the Congress and in a parting statement explained that “there is a growing and vital difference of outlook between many Congressmen and myself." 91 It was clear that the majority of Congressmen accepted non-violence as only a policy and not as a fundamental creed; The strength of the socialist and radical forces in the Congress was growing: “If they gain ascendancy in the Congress, as they well may, I cannot remain in the Congress”. 92 But Gandhi’s resignation from the Congress membership or his formal retirement for a temporary period did not remove his influence from Congress. For years to come, Gandhi was Congress and Congress was Gandhi. When Gandhi sponsored the candidature of Jawaharlal Nehru in 1936 for the Congress presidentship, it marked a recognition on his part of the inevitable ascendency of the forces of socialism.

    In spite of his earlier differences with Gandhi and his group, as Congress President, Bose determined to abstain from doing anything that would offend Gandhi as far as possible and worked with an equal determination to provide leadership to the Congress in moulding it according to his plan of thinking. In selecting members of the working committee, he did not deviate from the old pattern: “All important decisions were taken by the working committee as a body. The President was the first among equals.” 93 Even in the matter of preparing his presidential address for the Haripura Congress session, Bose did not deviate from the traditional practice of Congress presidents in taking advice from the Mahatma. As a keen student of History, Bose knew that empires have invariably gone through the process of expansion and after reaching the Zenith of prosperity, have gradually shrunk into insignificance and sometimes death. He was sure that the same fate awaited the British Empire and apart from the external pressure it was sure to break down under its won strain. Bose was being prophetic when he hinted at the British policy of divide and rule and its application to India. At that time Pakistan was nowhere on the horizon but the British continued their sinister move to divide the Hindus and the Muslims in order to neutralize the demand for the transference of power. 94 Bose had realized that the perpetuation of the princely sates in India would mean the perpetration of the mischief of imperialism through a different counter. This was also another example of the British policy of divide and rule.

    Ever since the beginning of his political career, Bose was a Champion of communal harmony. In his attempt to seek a solution to the vexed Hindu-Muslim question, he held a series of meetings with Jinnah, the leader of the Muslim league. All his efforts failed to bring any result due to Jinnah’s obduracy. Bose was conscious that a worsening of Hindu-Muslim relations would lead to vivisection of India and he was determined to avert this disaster. But as ill luck would have it, he was removed from the political scene in India and his dream of a united India was belied. It would not be out of place to mention in his context that it was Bose’s secular approach and his acceptability to the Muslims that must have been Gandhi’s main consideration for Gandhi to propose his name for the presidentship in 1938, inspite of their ideological differences. Gandhi, perhaps, thought, and not without reason, that Bose’s election as Congress President would arrest the mounting tide of communalism in the country.

    Bose became Congress President on the initiative of Gandhi but it was certainly not an undeserving favour bestowed on him. By 1938, Bose was one of the front-ranked leaders of the Left wing in the Congress, he rightly deserved his high office and Gandhi’s choice had the whole hearted support of the Nation. Thus Gandhi was right for his selection of the Congress president for the session at Haripur, but it was wrong on his part to expect that like Jawaharlal, Subhas would be won over to his side. Bose knew that in spite of the cordiality on the surface from both sides, his polices and principles were not liked by the Gandhi wing. The cordiality between Bose and the members of the Congress Working Committee since the Haripura session was like the full force of the storm and Bose’s decision to contest for a second term of presidentship resulted in open hostlity 95. Till that time, the choice of the president was made by the working committee informally, on the basis of Gandhi’s directives.The Congress High Command was displeased with Bose’s decision to contest for the second term. 96 But he neither assigned any reason for his opposition to Boses candidature nor did he make it explicit. Bose‘s decisions to contest for presidentship for the second time was nothing unusual. The reasons given by Sitaramayya, justifying Gandhi’s opposition to Bose’s candidature, appear unconvincing.97 Prior to Bose, Jawaharlal had presided over the Congress thric 98 and Gandhi, at first, suggested his name when he returned from Europe in November 1938. 99 Gandhi proposed the name of Maulana Azad when Nehru declined. Azad had also presided over the Congress once in 1923, and he agreed, he would have been contesting for the second term. Sitaramyya’s argument that in proposing Azad’s name Gandhi was guided by the consideration of seeking a solution to the communal question by electing a Muslim as Congress president was the main aim of Gandhi as contended, there was no dearth of Nationalist Muslims who could have been nominated to the office after Azad declined the offer. Gandhi’s choice was not a Muslim, but Sitaramyya 100 himself, who was his staunch follower and supported him “ with the whole weight of his authority”.101

    Patel Against Subhash’s Re-Election

    Subhash said at the end of 1938 that he desired another year in Congress’ chair. Patel, who had not liked Subhash’s selection a year earlier was disturbed. The reaction had a personal component. Vallabhbhai’s misgivings about Subhash’s role in Vithalbhai’s will had not died, and he held a poor opinion of Subhash’s efficiency. In July, 1938, he had written to Prasad who had fallen ill: “Jawahar has gone abroad for atleast 4 months. You go out for 6 months, and we have to deal with a President who does not know his own job.” 102 Yet Patel would have opposed Subhash’s re-appointment even if the episode had never occurred and even if his estimate of Subhash’s capability had been different.103

    His disagreements with Subhash were profound. Subhash was eager and Vallabhbhai reluctant, to exploit Englands vulnerability before Hitler’s threats. Whereas Subhash felt that the moment had come for mass disobedience to oust the British, Patel thought that Congress’ principal task in 1939 was to consolidate its power in the rovinces. Not that Subhash was indifferent to the advantages of power. Yet Subhash seemed ready by the end of 1938 to pull out all the Congress Ministries in a war with the Raj-a course that appeared unwarranted and unwise to Patel. 104 Another difference was over Gandhi, who was dispensible in Subhash’s eyes but absolutely necessary to the Sardar. Finally, though Subhash had led Congress in 1938 in the manner of a constitutional monarch, he now desired a Prime Minister’s power for the Congress President. Vallabhbhai’s views on this question, spelt out without ambiguity at the end of 1936, were the opposite of Subhash’s and had not been altered. 105 Subhash’s candidacy became even less appealing to Patel after he received a report from Azad about the line being taken by Bose’s supporters.

    Bose’s decision to contest the election despite Gandhi’s disapproval was guided by ideological considerations rather than personal ambitions. He thought the war was imminent in which England would be involved and the Congress needed a definite Realist orientation in order to take maximum advantage out of England’s difficulties.102 Accordingly he issued a statement on January 21,1939 : “The issue is not a personal one. The progressive sharpening of the anti-imperialist struggle in India has given birth to new ideas, ideologies, problems and programmes. People are, consequently, veering around to the opinion that, as in other countries, the Congress Presidential election in India should be fought on the basis of definite problems and programmes so that the contest may help the clarification of issues and give a clear indication of the working of the public mind.103” Bose sought re-election as a protest against possible compromise: “There is a prospect of a compromise on the Federal scheme between the right wing of the Congress and the British Government during the coming year. Consequently, the right wing do not want a Leftist president who may be a thorn in the way of compromise and may put obstacles in the path of negotiations.104 It may be pointed out here that a man of Rabindranath Tagore’s eminence, requested Gandhi to allow Bose a second term.105 This is evidence of the fact that Tagore lost faith in Gandhi’s method and was confident that the modernist 106 alone were capable of delivering the goods. On 24th January, 1939, six members of the Congress working Committee issued a statement opposing the re-election of Subhas Chander Bose.107

    CSP leaders supported Bose for his re-election and most of the CSP delegates voted for Bose. In the face of opposition of the official machine, Bose emerged victorious in the election. Bose was declared elected by 200 votes. Bose cautioned his followers against making any provocative statements but his election became the talk of the country on the whole. It was considered by many as the defeat of the right-Wing and the end of the Gandhian era in the Congress. The election of Bose, in the face of opposition from Gandhi and the Right-wing, led to sharp inner crisis in the Congress. Gandhi was not prepared to take it lying down and he issued a statement after the election of Bose which gave rise to an undesirable controversy which, ultimately, led to a serious breach in the Congress: “I must confess that from the very beginning, I was decidedly against his election for reasons into which I need not go. Since I was instrumental in inducing Dr. Pattabhi not to withdraw his name as a candidate, the defeat was more mine than his. And, I am nothing if I do not represent definite principles and policy. Therefore, its plain to me that the delegates do not approve of the principles and policy for which I stand. I rejoice in this defeat.” Subhas Babu, instead of being President on the sufferance of those whom he calls Rightists, is now President in a contest election. This enables him to choose a homogenous cabinet and enforce his programme without let or hindrance. 110

    Gandhi threw a challenge to Bose and asked him to carry on the work of the Congress without his support. Gandhi issued a statement accusing the Congress of becoming a ‘corrupt organisation’ with bogus members and asked the right Wing to come out of the Congress. While complementing Bose, he also held out a threat that those Congressmen who do not approve his policy, should leave Congress: “After all Subhas Babu is not an enemy of his country. He has suffered for it. In his opinion, his is the most forward and boldest policy and programme…………. I must remind all congressmen that those, who being Congress-minded remain outside it by design, represent it the most. Those, therefore, who feel uncomfortable in being in the Congress, may come out, not in a spirit of ill-will, but with the deliberate purpose of rendering more effective service. 111 “Gandhi had become uncompromising in his attitude to Bose. He had treated the election of Bose as a vote of no-confidence in his leadership and the rejection of the principles for which he stood. He had taken the defeat of Sitaramayya as his personal defeat 112. Bose regretted this attitude of Gandhi: “It grieves me to find that Mahatma Gandhi has taken it as a personal defeat. I would respectfully differ from him on this point. The voters were not called upon to vote for or against Mahatma Gandhi.113

    Bose tried to dispel the apprehension in some quarters of a split between the Leftists and the Rightists: 114 “Personally, I am definitely of the opinion that there is neither reason nor justification for a split within the ranks of Congress…… Let me make it quite clear that there will be no violent break with the past, parliamentary or in the extra-parliamentary sphere".115 It was not at all surprising to anybody, but in spite of the recurring differences, both the political leaders had great admiration for each other. 116 What appeared surprising to Bose at this critical juncture was the attitude of Jawaharlal, whom he had always held in respect for his radical socialistic views. He hoped that Nehru would definitely support him in his conflict with the old guard. But Nehru brought all sorts of allegations against him. In one of his letters he challenged Bose: “In effect you have functioned more as speaker than as a directing President." 117 Bose was astonished when Nehru refuted his connections with the radical elements:118I rubbed and rubbed my eyes when I read the remark to the effect that inspite of his long association with the Congress, Panditji had never been closely associated with any particular group in it….. Pandit ji has for long been the spearhead of the radical forces of our country. I appeal to him in this fateful hour of our history to shake off his present vacillation and give a bold and correct lead to all the radical and progressive forces in the country". The later political developments alienated Bose and Nehru from each other and Bose attributed his defeat entirely to Nehru: Nobody has done more harm to me personally and to our cause in this crisis than Pandit Nehru. 119 This caustic remark is in one of his letters to his nephew Amiyanath. But it was no use blaming Nehru since he had surrendered his political leftism to his loyalty for Gandhi. He confessed this to Taya Zinkin: I had realized that, at that stage, whatever one’s view might be about the way India should develop, Gandhi was India. Anything that weakened Gandhi weakened India. So, I subordinate myself to Gandhi although I was in agreement with what Bose was trying to do.120

    During the year as Congress President, Bose felt that he was being subverted by the Congress working committee which was having rightest majority. Inspite of opposition from Gandhi and his followers, Bose could have done much had the Left wing been able to maintain its unity after the election of Bose and passing of the ‘National Demand resolution. Before the Tripuri session on March 7, Bose met Gandhi at Wardha on February 15 in a bid to win his support. The meeting was unsuccessful and Gandhi remained firm on his own principles and was of the view that Bose was not sincere in seeking his support. Bose’s lack of co-operation with a majority of working committee members became an “effective barrier in a further co-operation between him and Gandhiji. On the eve of the Tripuri Congress, the events at Rajkot forced Gandhi to undertake a vow of fast unto death. Soon twelve members resigned from the working Committee and resigned after Bose, unfortunately, fell ill and sent a telegram requesting the postponement of the meeting. Nehru did not resign immediately but he gave the impression of being with the old guard. Maulana Azad took the chair and Bose read out the presidential address which was the shortest on record.124 In his address, Bose concentrated only on the vital burning problems: “The time has come for us to raise the issue of Swaraj and submit our national demand to the British Government in the form of an ultimatum …….. and give a certain time limit…… and if no reply is received, we should resort to such sanctions as we possess in order to enforce our National Demand. 125 Bose’s proposal was opposed by the Gandhi wing and Nehru. The All India Congress Committee adopted the report of the General Secretary against the wishes of the President, thrown out. Many delegates who had voted for Bose in the Presidential election started having second thoughts and changed their views because of Gandhi’s opposition and his threat that he might retire from politics. 126 “That was the first tussle. It showed which way the wind blew. 127 It was clear that it was an open conflict between Bose and Gandhi. So, it was a question of choosing between the two and the delegates certainly preferred Gandhi: “Congress and nation wanted Gandhi more than it did any other personality or programme, to guide it. The reasons for this lie buried in the social relationship that Gandhi had formed with the people of India….. Gandhi represented a degree of order, restraint, predictable leadership and Congress and the people eschewed any path which might lead to anarchy. Bose’s vehemence and impatience frightened people, although it also thrilled them. Gandhi’s personality and views were diametrically opposed to Bose’s and when the issue came to deciding between the two, Gandhi emerged supreme. 128


    After the first setback on the second day of the session, G.B. Pant had given a final notice to the President to move a resolution at its meeting: ‘In view of the various misunderstandings which have arisen in the Congress and the Country on account of the controversies in connection with the Presidential election and after, it is desirable that the Congress should clarify the position and declare its general policy.’ This Congress declares its firm adherence to the fundamental policies which have governed its programme in the past 20 years under the guidance of Mahatma Gandhi and is definitely of opinion that there should be no break in these policies and they should continue to govern the Congress programme in future. The Congress expressed its confidence in the work of the Working Committee which functioned during the last year and regrets that any aspersions should have been cast against any of its members. In view of the critical situation that may develop during the coming year, and in view of the fact that Mahatma Gandhi alone can lead the Congress and the country to victory in such crises, the Congress regards it as imperative that the Congress executive should command its explicit confidence and request the President to nominate the Working Committee in accordance with the wishes of Mahatma Gandhi.129

    “In view of the critical situation that may develop during the coming year, and in view of the fact that Mahatma Gandhi alone can lead the Congress and the Country to victory during such crisis, the Congress, regards it as imperative that the Congress executive should command its explicit confidence, and requests the President to nominate the Working Committee in accordance with the wishes of Mahatma Gandhi.”

    The passing of the resolution with an overwhelming majority was indirectly an expression of the lack of confidence in the President. Bose’s plan to win the Congress on his side to launch an immediate movement was smashed. He left Tripuri with a bitter experience and utter disappointment.

    The Pant resolution, therefore, was being considered afresh in search for any meaning that it did not contain so as to stretch it to support any possible action by President Bose to nominate a committee of his own. The report that Gandhiji had asked Mr.Bose to put his interpretation on the Pant resolution and get approval of the AICC for it is construed as a call for fresh trial of strength. Though no one seemed to be certain how things were shaping or might ultimately shape, of one thing most people seemed to be certain and it being that Calcutta might spring some surprises. The resolution which, as accepted in the Subject Committee the previous day, created a storm in the plenary session when Mr.Aney moved its reference to the AICC at a future convenient date in view of Subhas’ health.

    The resolution was being interpreted in different ways. Mr.Srinivasa Iyengar said that if the resolution were to meet with the approval of the Congress at its open session, the only natural course for Subhas Bose would be to resign from the presidentship because there would be absolutely no initiative left in his hands in view of the last part of the resolution which requests the President to nominate the members of the Working Committee according to the advice of Mahatma Gandhi.

    Mr.Rajagopalachari said the meaning of the resolution would be nothing more or less than what was conveyed in the letter of resignation submitted by the majority of the Working Committee ; namely, that there can be only one policy for the Congress and that it would not be possible for the Congress to advance even by an inch with incompatible groups within it.

    Mr.Bulabhai Desai was, however, very reticent when questioned if the resolution amounted to a direct vote of censure on Mr.Bose. He said, “I leave it to your imagination”. Mr.Subhas Bose himself, it is understood, did not interpret it as vote of no-confidence against him. Prominent leftists, it may be remembered, characterized the resolution as a vote of censure on the President and an attempt to reduce him to the position of “a town crier”. There was a certain section among the Leftists which, it was understood, had been urging Mr.Bose to tender his resignation.

    The press confidently asserted that Subhas Bose had not at all contemplated resignation and which, according to the close circle in touch with the President, did not arise at the movement. It was being pointed out that interpretation of the resolution adopted at the subject committee was made clear in unmistakable language by Pandit, presumably in consultation with the Congress leaders who had resigned after telephonic talk with Gandhiji.

    The resolution was not a vote of censure either indirect or by inference or suggestion but was intended to create an atmosphere which should enable the old members of the Working Committee to rejoin Mr.Bose’s cabinet and ensure Mahatma Gandhi’s co-operation and advice. In the face of the unequivocal declaration by Pandit Pant, the Congress circle there felt that it was mischievous to suggest that the resolution had only one meaning that Mr.Subhas should tender his resignation as seams to have been done in certain messages emnating from Tripuri.

    In fact, it appeared that Subhas Bose had been sounded by responsible Congress leaders that it would not be fair to put that interpretation on the Motion. It was believed that Mr.Bose would not take any precipitate action even if the resolution was endorsed by the majority of delegates at that evening’s session.

    The CWC became the high command after it was made strong by Patel so that the Provincial Committees couldn’t be unduly strong and dominating and the Presidents of the Congress could not become high handed, over-bearing and over-powering. This is what hindered Subhas Bose’s path as the President. He had to take the consent of the high command before venturing into varied avenues. He could not possibly impose his will on the saner elements in the high command which lent the proceedings a democratic colour.

    Bose made repeated attempts to come to an understanding with Gandhi. The Pant resolution had tied the hands of the President. Bose had himself declared that he would implement the Pant Resolution. Bose sought clarification and guidance from Gandhi on a number of issues in his letter of March, 1939.130 This was a very detailed and unambiguous letter in which Bose wanted to know whether Gandhi would like him to act independently or only as dummy President. In his letter of March 24, which was posted earlier to Bose’s letter Gandhi advised Bose to resign, if he was not keeping good wealth 131. Bose replied: “I have not the slightest desire to stick to office. But I do not see reason for resigning because I am ill. No president resigned when he was is prison, for instance. I may tell you that great pressure is being brought to bear on me to resign. I am resisting, because my resignation will mean a new phase in Congress politics which I want to avoid till the last." 132 In spite of the ultra vires clause in the Pant resolution, Bose wanted that it should be given effect to be moved and discussed. 133 But Gandhi was in no mood for a compromise: “since we met in February my opinion has become strengthened that where there are differences on fundamentals, as we agreed there were, a composite committee would be harmful. Assuming therefore, that your policy has the backing of the majority of All India Congress Committee, you should have a working committee, composed purely of those who believe in your policy 134 It may be mentioned that Gandhi did not empower Bose to appoint a homogenous Leftist cabinet. 135 Bose had wanted a strong determined and uncompromising war against the British. 136 the charge that he wanted to stick to his own position and to have his own way is not true. He was prepared to step down from office, if Gandhi was prepared to take the leadership in the struggle against the British. “it you takes up struggle, I shall most gladly help you to the best of my ability…….. All that I want is that you and the Congress should, in this critical hour, stand up and resume the struggle for swaraj. If self effacement will further the national cause, I assure you, most solemnly, that I am prepared to efface myself completely. I think I love my country sufficiently to be able to do this." 137 

    The Calcutta Congress

    Bose wanted to make the last and final effort to remove the stalemate in the Congress affairs, before deciding to resign from the office. In consultation with Gandhi, 138 he therefore, decided to summon the meeting of the all India Congress Committee of Calcutta to settle the whole affair. Tagore tried to intervene in the political turmoil of the time in a bid to save the Congress from the impending split. In a desperate attempt to bring a rapprochement in the Congress circle, he wrote letters to Nehru and Gandhi. After the Tripuri Congress, he wrote to Gandhi on March 29,1939: “Dear Mahatma ji….. At the last Congress session some rude hands have deeply hurt Bengal with an ungracious persistence, please apply without delay balm to the wound with your own kind hands and prevent it from festering. 139 Gandhi remained impervious even to the request of Tagore. His reply was non-committal: “Dear Gurudev……... I have your letter full of tenderness The problem you set before me is difficult. I have made certain suggestions to Subhas. I see no other way out of the impasse". 140 Before the Calcutta Congress met, Nehru could sense the impending crisis and he too tried to bring a rapprochement between Bose and Gandhi 141 I think now, as I thought in Delhi, that you should accept Subhas as President. To try to push him out seems to me to be an exceedingly wrong step. As for the working committee it is for you to decide….. After all, we must remember that by having a homogenous executive, we do not create a homogenous Congress. The latter is easier of achievement if we have a larger homogeneity in view". 142 Gandhi was not very much influenced by Nehru’s arguments but was persuaded by the latter to visit Calcutta at the time of the All India Congress Committee meeting. As soon as Gandhi arrived in Calcutta, Bose called on him and both the leaders had detailed discussions. Gandhi stuck to his old stand that he had repeated in his letters.143 He advised Bose to discuss the matters with the ex-members of the working committee to see if there could be a mutual settlement. Gandhi’s advice was incorporated in a letter and handed over to Bose who discussed the matter with his old colleagues but they failed to come to any agreement.144 In the open session of the all India Congress Committee, Bose read out Gandhi’s letter and gave a detailed account of his efforts to come to a settlement. Since no settlement could be possible and Gandhi was not prepared to oblige him in any of his requests, he made a statement tendering his resignation.145

    Jayaprakash Narayan rightly said that no other organization except the Congress was capable of waging the independence struggle. Since Congress was firmly in the hands of Gandhi, the means of struggle was “the old Gandhian techinique, whether anyone likes it or not. 146

    It was Gandhi in the end, who defeated Bose. Rabindranath Tagore, who had always advised Bose not to resign and demand the final reply from Gandhi, was very happy over his dignified role and sent him this message on his resignation: “The dignity and forbearance which you have shown in the midst of the most aggravating situation has won my admiration and confidence in your leadership” 147 Referring to Gandhi’s role, Hiren Mukherjee writes: It was one of the extremely few occasions when the great man, so cool and collected in his dignity, seemed small and peevish.148 Michael Edwardes, who had no reason to be partial or biased observes: “Gandhi now turned the technique of non-cooperation, not against the British, but against Congress’ own President. Bose was forced to resign…. Gandhi whom so many both in India and abroad believed to be compounded only of sweetness and light, had by the use of his overwhelming prestige and the sort of intrigue one would expect from Tammany Hall, succeeded in disposing of the only real opposition to his leadership.149 Michael Brecher agreed with this view. “of all participants only Gandhi had a clear and consistent object – to oust Bose” 150

    Subhas Expelled From the Congress

    Bose’s idea of a new party was a strong, centralized and well-disciplined All India Party, working amongst every section of the community. This Party was to have its representatives working in the Indian National Congress, in the All India Trade Union Congress, in the peasants’ organizations, in the women’s organizations and all other organizations of importance to serve the cause of the nation. The party of the future was to be a party of determined men and women prepared to sacrifice their life for the cause of the nation. The members of the party must have a clear notion of the work they would have to do before the conquest of power and thereafter, and who would have the necessary intellectual and Leftist training to make them fit for the required job.151 It will be the task of this party to deliver India from foreign yoke. Last but not the least, it will be the task of this party to lead India on to her honoured place among the free nations to the world.152 Bose’s conception of the new party for India was a pragmatic one, based on national considerations. Bose was not very optimistic about the role of the Congress Socialist Party, even though he welcomed it as a natural reaction against the Rightist policy of the Congress: “while the instinct that has urged the formation of the Congress Socialist Party is correct, I am afraid that there is some lack of clarity in the ideas of the party. To some people, again, Socialism is synonymous with Communism. Why then use a terminology which is used by different people in different senses.153

    Alternative leadership

    Great similarities can be found in the political thinking of Bose and M.N Roy and Jawaharlal Nehru who had met at the Karachi Congress and were drawn towards one another and, as a result of their efforts, the Congress adopted economic and social objectives. Since then the socio- economic programmes of the Congress assumed great importance. M.N.Roy was convinced about the importance of youth, workers and tillers of the soil and with a view to organizing the Labour force of the country, he formed the Indian Federation of Labour and was one of the pioneers of the Trade Union Movement in India.154 Like Bose, he challenged the leadership of Gandhi, and suggested that the Congress constitution should be changed in order to make it a dynamic organization. He criticized Gandhi as a reactionary and was firm in his view that “a religious, and cultural revivalist was bound to be a reactionary socially, however revolutionary he might appear politically.155 Bose analysed the Gandhi Movement from the dialectical point of view and explained that leftism was the anti-thesis of Gandhism. There was nothing to be afraid of the conflict between the thesis and the anti-thesis as it would be resolved in a ‘synthesis’, which, in turn, would become the thesis of the next stage of evolution. It may be pertinent to point out that even Jawaharlal Nehru, whom Gandhi declared as his virtual heir, developed acute differences with him.

    Subhas Bose was expelled from the Congress by the Working Committee with the help of Gandhi on the plea that by advocating use of force against the British for liberation of India, he went against non-violence. Gandhi never dealt with any firmness with the recalcitrant the way he dealt with Subhas for allegedly going against his non-violence. When the Gandhi wing was strongly organized, the Leftist, inspite of the general popularity of Leftism, remained mostly scattered and unorganized Thus they were at a disadvantage because They were not organised under one leadership, as the Gandhi wing was. The whole problem before Bose was that the Right wing would not allow him to have his own way. Gandhi’s position was organizationally very strong as he had built up his own party within the Congress and, with its help, he was able to dominate the Congress organizations.158 The official wing of the Congress was led by Sardar Patel, Rajendra Prasad, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad and others. This block was united under one centralized leadership

    The Forward Block

    The formation of the Forward Block at a critical juncture was forced by unavoidable circumstances and by the uncompromising attitudes of the High Command159 But in the beginning, Bose had never thought about organizing it as a separate political party, distinct from the Congress. The immediate task was to organize the radical anti-imperialist and progressive elements within the Congress “to fight the increasing drift towards constitutionalism, reconvert the Congress into a revolutionary organization and bring it back to the path of national struggle and prepare the country for the coming war erisis.160 It was hoped that with the progress of time, the Forward Block would draw into its fold all the radical and socialist group in the Congress161 The forward Block will function as an integral part of the Congress. It will cherish the highest respect and regard for Mahatma Gandhi’s personality and have complete faith in his political doctrine and non-violent non-cooperation. But that will not mean that the Forward Block will, necessarily, have confidence in the present High Command of the Cogress.162

    In organizing the forward Block, Bose had two expectations. Firstly, in the event of a conflict with the Gandhi Wing in the future, he could fight more effectively and further he could hope to convert the whole Congress, one day, to his own point of view. In the event of any future crisis, he could act on his own, even if the Gandhi Wing did not support such a move.163 As soon as the Forward Block was launched, it created an internal crisis within the Congress and Bose was criticized for promoting the crisis at a critical juncture. Bose’s reply was “Personally, I am of the opinion that an internal crisis, today or tomorrow, is inevitable in view of the uncompromising attitude of the present High Command and their failure to move with times…. It would be much more desirable to face the internal crisis now, go through it and emerge out of it before the external crisis seizes us.164 He argued that if the Gandhi Seva Sangh did not create a split and destroy the Congress, there was no reason for the critics to apprehend that the creation of the forward Block would create a split and destroy the Congress. “Left consolidation will, in my view be a stepping stone towards real national unity, which is unity of action and not unity of inaction. Without Left consolidation, I do not see how we can arrive at real national unity.” 165

    In April 1939, Bose had an interesting discussion with Jawaharlal Nehru in Calcutta, when he announced his desire to resign the presidentship of the Congress and organize a new party within the Congress that would, one day, move the Gandhi Wing and the entire Congress to militant action.166 Bose was of the view that India would repeat its mistake of 1914 if there was no well organized party ready to utilize the coming international crisis for winning freedom.167 Nehru, however, was not convinced by Bose’s arguments and pointed out that such a move would create a split in the Congress and would weaken it at a critical moment.

    The Forward Block had its own ideology and programme from the time of its inauguration in May, 1939 and was an integral part of Congress, but after Bose’s expulsion from the Congress, it was declared to be a separate party at the second All India Congress held at Nagpur in June 1940.168 The left Consolidation Committee which had come into existence in June, 1939, became totally disintegrated because of the desertion of the other leftist parties. The Royalists or Radical Leaguers,169 the Congress Socialists and the Communists or the National Frontiers all deserted the Left Consolidation Committee. The Kisan Sabha of Swami Sahajanand and the Forward Block were the two parties which functioned as the spearhead of the Left Movement in the country.170 The concept of Left consolidation received a rude shock when at the time of the All India Anti Compromise Conference which was held at Ramgarh in March, 1940 it was found that the Royalists, Congress Socialists and National Frontiers boycotted the Conference and threw in their lot with the Gandhities.171 Answering the question as to why the Royists and other Leftists deserted the Left Consolidation Committee, Bose says, “So far as I can judge they are afraid of being expelled from the Congress and they feel, perhaps ,that once outside of the Congress they will be completely lost.172 Bose also knew that without the anti-imperialist front in the form of Left Consolidation Committee, it would not be possible to establish Leftist ascendency in the Congress and to resist the onslaught from the Rightists.173 The Forward Block, however, developed greatly since its birth, along with changes in the political scene.174 But its original intention to bring other Leftist Parties together on one platform failed. The reason for this is not far to seak.175

    Bengal gave enthusiastic support to the Forward Bloc and its programme of action.176 There was sympathy for the movement all over the country and this led Gandhi and this followers to realize that the policy of cooperation with the British would not be supported by the people in general and “would surely lead to the loss of their influence and popularity. Consequently, they began to alter their attitude gradually.177 Bose wanted to mobilize all the available revolutionary energy of the nation by raising and equipping a Congress Volunteer corps on an all India basis, which would have ultimate and closer ties with other anti-imperialist organizations like Kisan Sabha and Trade Union Congress178, Youth Leagues and student movements. He suggested that a sub-committee of the Congress formulate a comprehensive programme for helping and guiding the people’s movement in the six hundred odd states.179 Bose was convinced that any revolutionary movement in India, for its success, needed real unity among the people.180 Through the Radical programme of the Forward Block, Bose expected to establish real unity.181

    When Bose decided to challenge the Gandhians at the end of 1938, he found that his socialist colleague, his ‘political elder brother was not with him. Nehru did not view the Congress in quite the same Left vs. Right terms as Bose and thought Gandhi was the vital heart of the movement. Even Sarat Bose is reported to have said privately that Subhas should not have made suggestions which he could not prove.182 Nehru said that Bose had not changed and some of Bose’s actions made him realize ‘how difficult it was to work together with you.183 Nehru wanted a compromise between Bose and Gandhians. As he wrote to Gandhi in April 1939; Subhas has numerous failings but he is susceptible to a friendly approach.... To try to push him out seems to me to be an exceedingly wrong step.... But I do think the idea of homogeneity, if narrowly interpreted, will not lead to peace or effective working.184 From Nehru’s perspective, to prevent a split in the Congress, it was necessary to have Gandhi and the Gandhians in the leadership, and desirable to have Bose and other socialists. In a letter to Nehru on March 23,1939, Bose said to him... for some time past you have become completely biased against me.... since the Presidential election, you have done more to lower me in the estimation of the public than all the twelve ex-members of the Working Committee put together. Of course if I am such a villain, it is not only your right but also your duty to expose me before the public.185 Bose faced Gandhi’s unwillingness to compromise along with lack of allies. Bose said he was for a dynamic move from our side – for an ultimatum to the British Government demanding Purna Swaraj and could not understand why Nehru was not with him.186 Bose agreed that their appraoches to the international context were different. He wrote.... I have been urging....everybody....including Mahatma Gandhi and you, that we must utilize the international situation to India’s advantage and....present the British government with our National Demand in the form of an ultimatum, but I could make no impression on you or Mahatmaji, though a large section of the Indian Public approved of my stand.187 Rabindranath Tagore considered Subhas as the honoured leader of the people of Bengal. He spoke eloquently for a besieged Subhas and to him in our essay entitled Deshnayak (The leader of the country) he said in part: The Gita tells us that from time to time the eternal principle of good arises to challenge the reign of the evil... After a lapse of many years I am addressing..... one who has come into the full light of recognition.... I can only bless him.... knowing that he had made his country’s burden of sorrow his own, that his final reward is fast coming as his country’s freedom.188 In December 1939, Tagore asked Gandhi to have the ban on Subhas lifted and his cooperation cordially invited in supreme interest of national unity. 189 ‘Writing in Harijan in early 1940, Gandhi said, “The love of my concpetion, if it is as soft as a rose petal, can also be harder than flint.... I had thought I had gained Subhas Babu for all time as a son. I have fallen from grace. I had the pain of wholly associating myself with the ban pronounced by him".190

    Bose stressed that to fight a war on a bigger and more intensive scale, there should be intellectual and practical preparation based on scientific and objective considerations. To fight this war against British imperialism, Bose emphasized the need for a party of determined men and women who will take upon themselves the task of delivering India no matter what the suffering and sacrifice may be: “whether India will be able to free herself... Her ability to produce the requisite leadership will be the test of her vitality and of her fitness for ‘Swaraj’.191 There should be a programme of action for the new party. The new party was not only to fight India’s battle for freedom, but it was the party, which Bose wanted, should take responsibility of post war reconstruction. It was to take up the tasks of guiding, controlling and developing the new state, and through the state, the entire Indian people.192 Nothing was to be left to chance. Everything should be neatly planned. But opposed to the view of Bose, Gandhi advocated in 1948, just before his death, that the Congress should not be allowed to continue as a political party.... but a non-political institution which should devote itself to social service and constructive work. Gandhi argued that the Congress “must be kept out of unhealthy competition” for power. He was of the view that the Congress was a movement and the movement did not cease after the independence of the country as most of the social problems had been left unsettled. As for those who aspired to have political office and pursue parliamentary or Governmental careers, he advised them to leave the Congress and form their non political parties. The proposal, sdhowever, was duly ignored as it disregarded the political dimension of the Congress as a Government party, after independence, when it was necessary to combine the functions of continuing the movement and a political party. 193

    QUIT INDIA MOVEMENT - A tussle between Congressites

    Congress remained engrossed in the civil-disobedience campaign intermittently till 1934 and, consequently, happened to, unwittingly ignore international problems. Jawaharlal Nehru became the Congress President in Lucknow in 1936 and, thereafter, it was mainly he who formulated the Congress policies and evinced interest in international issues. It was largely because of him that the Congress developed a strong dislike for fascist powers and veered round to supporting the causes of democracy and freedom against the forces of Fascism, Nazism and Imperialism. As war seemed imminent in the wake of Nazi occupation of Czechosolovakia, the Congress Working Committee made it abundantly clear in August, 1939, that it would not welcome the imposition of war on India and it did not approve of the policy of sending Indian troops to the Middle East or the Far East. It gave a call for the boycott of the next Assembly session by its legislators. This set the cat among the pigeons and after the declaration of war by the British on 3rd September, 1939, the Viceroy declared war on India’s behalf against the Axis powers. Close on its heels came the promulgation of the Defence of India Ordinance which gave teeth of emergency powers of all kind to the Government. The Committee felt that conflict could not be resolved without liquidating imperialism. India was the crux of the problem. The committee, therefore, invited the British Government to declare in unequivocal terms what their aims regarding democracy, imperialism and the envisaged new order were. The meaning of the statement was abundantly clear that in order to obtain India’s support, Britain should immediately grant her freedom. The All India Congress Committee, on 9 and 10 October, 1939 endorsed the statement of the Working Committee.

    In the aftermath of the failure of the Cripps Mission, it was C.Rajagopalachari alone who felt that it was Jinnah’s flat refusal to cooperate with the Congress in the formation of a National Government which had resulted in the sudden breakdown of negotiations with Cripps. Rajaji first moved towards Jinnah for a settlement. On behalf of the Congress, he immediately recognized the Muslim League as a political organization, next in importance to the Congress. Jinnah promised not to, thereafter, dub the Congress as a Hindu body. The talks could not proceed further owing to Jinnah’s demand to have fifty percent share in political power at the centre. At the meeting of the Madras Legislative Congress party on 23rd April, 1942, convened by Rajagopalachari himself, the purport of Rajaji’s speech was that the Congress should recognize the demand for Pakistan and appealed to them to get rid of their pre-conceived notions and to face facts. He felt that the Muslim demand for separate existence could only be prevented through a civil war. Rajaji got not bouquets but brickbats from the Congress High Command. According to Nehru it was a “dangerous solution”. He was definitely opposed to the vivisection of India. Azad also disfavoured the move and according to J.B.Kriplani, it was tentamount to repudiating the Congress aims and its historical past, its struggles and sufferings. Only Mian Iftikharuddin, the President of the Punjab Provincial Congress Committee praised Rajagopalachari for his bold initiative and termed it as a “unity of India” move. B.S.Moonje, the Hindu Mahasabha leader found the move “most humiliating”. But Gandhi appreciated Rajaji and said “It reflects the greatest credit on him. He is entitled to a respectful hearing. His motive is lofty.” Soon, Rajagopalachari’s membership of the Madras Legislative Assembly was questioned by Vallabhbhai Patel, the president of Congress Parliamentary Board. Thereupon, Rajgopalachari, B.Sambamurthy, the ex-speaker, Dr.Rajan and Ramanathan, two ex-ministers and eight others resigned their membership of the Assembly.

    Gandhiji strongly felt now that the British should leave India in an orderly manner. Once the idea took roots, it gripped him completely. Now he started devoting almost all his working time to the elucidation and justification of his formula which soon became famous as the Quit India demand. He argued that by liberating India, Great Britain would strengthen the moral stand of the Allied powers that they were fighting for freedom and democracy. He believed that peaceful withdrawal by Britain from her biggest colony on the strength of bare inherent justice of the cause would serve as an eye-opener to the warring nations, particularly to the Axis powers who harboured a deep grudge against the imperialist powers for possessing colonial dominions. Soon they might, he believed, realize the futility of war. A completely different Gandhi now emerged on the political scene. Previously sympathetic to the Allied cause, he had transformed into a determined antagonist of the British. Could an unarmed India protect herself against the Japanese might. Was there any ground to believe that in the wake of British withdrawal, the Japanese would not travel into India? How long would the Allied army be able to defend India? One of the British Generals had publically stated that they could not defend the whole of India. But Gandhi was convinced that powerful non-violent action could change the whole situation. The Japanese, if they encroached into India, would run into a non-violent non-cooperative nation. In such an event, they would have to either retreat or to exterminate the whole nation. The Japanese could hardly face the latter course.

    Acting on this hypothesis, Gandhi prepared a draft resolution for consideration by the Congress High Command. Gandhi had been vigorously and regularly been contributing articles on Quit India Movement in the Harijan which had, naturally, conditioned the minds of a large section of the Congress members. This pro-active stance of Gandhi surprised many of his followers. Gandhi seemed totally motivated and possessed and was in a very non-conciliatory frame of mind, unlike his earlier approach to men and matters. His unprecedented stand flabbergasted Nehru who felt Gandhi could not have compromised his hatred for Fascism and Nazism because of his distaste for the British rule. He could not comprehend how a demand for immediate British withdrawal in the midst of life and death struggle could bring India’s independence. How could he have forestalled inevitable Japanese invasion ? How, after asking the British to quit, could the Congress claim that it was following a policy of non-embarrassment? And, Nehru was not done yet. Several others entertained similar misgiving and doubts about the efficacy of the Gandhian scheme.

    Knowing well Nehru’s and Azad’s mental reservations about his scheme and knowing that his personal presence would hinder a free discussion, Gandhi sent his draft resolution through Meera Ben for consideration at the CWC meeting on 27 April, 1942. On the basis of this draft, Rajendra Prasad prepared the following resolution:

    Whereas the British War Cabinet’s proposals sponsored by Sir Stafford Cripps have shown up British imperialism in its nakedness as never before, the AICC has come to the following conclusions:

    The AICC is of the opinion that Britain is incapable of defending India. It is natural that whatever she does is for her own defence. There is an internal conflict between Indian and British interests. It follows that their notions of defence would also differ……… The Indian army has been maintained uptill now mainly to hold India in subjugation. ……..This policy of mistrust still continues and it is the reason why national defence is not entrusted to India’s elected representatives.

    Japan’s quarrel is not with India. She is warring against the British Empire. India’s participation in the war has not been with the consent of the representatives of the Indian people. It was purely a British act. If India were freed, her first step would probably be to negotiate with Japan. The Congress is of the opinion that if the British withdrew from India, India would be able to defend herself in the event of Japanese or any other aggressor attacking India. The AICC is, therefore, of the opinion that the British should withdraw from India. The plea that they should remain in India to protect the Indian princes is wholly untenable. It is additional proof of their determination to maintain their hold over India.

    For all the reasons, the committee appeals to Britain, for the sake of her own safety, for the sake of India’s safety and for the cause of world peace to let go of her hold on India even if she does not give up all Asiatic and African possessions.

    A number of Congress leaders including Nehru, Azad, Asaf Ali, Bulabhai Desai and Rajgopalachari were opposed to this resolution. On the other hand, persons like Patel, Prasad and J.B.Kriplani were in favour of it. After prolonged discussion on the resolution, Nehru submitted a separate draft. Though Rajendra Prasad’s resolution was carried and Nehru’s lost. At the President’s(Azad”s) intervention the committee unanimously accepted Nehru’s draft. This resolution was later endorsed by AICC at Allahabad (29 April to 2 May, 1942).

    So, there is no denying that there had been a prolonged tussle between the Congressites during the unfolding of the Mahatma’s ‘Brahmaastra’- the Quit India Movement. This movement brought to the fore Gandhiji’s hitherto unseen facet of personality when he chose not to leave any room for reconciliation with the British. This was a revelation to his avid and dedicated followers as well as his detractors. Hence, there was a perceptible taking of sides and positions among the Congressmen. If ideological differences ruled the roost, personal loyalty to political idols of different hues played havoc with the conhesion and fairplay of the party. Ever since its inception in 1923, the Swaraj Party created dissentions and desertations. Events leading to Bose’s return, his expulsion and the formation of Forward Block also see an upheaval in the party cadre, ranks and, of course, leaders. The Pant resolution made congressites look for cover and a chance to run down the adversary. And, above all, the Quit India Movement almost caused a vertical split in the party. Thus, the Congress had to tread a very tricky and slippery path on the highway of the freedom movement. May be the pole positions taken by the leaders over issues of common interest and the overt and covert clashes of ideology alongwith an eye for political positioning, name and recognition besides the desire to ascend to the peak of political power, worked in tandem to give the British the confidence to apply the policy of devide and rule to complete fruition which has, sadly trickled down to the modern times, may be.

    Bose’s statement regarding the post war preparedness of the leaders for undertaking the gigantic responsibility of re-construction has proved to be prophetic: “.... It should, therefore, be clear that the generals of the war-time period in India will have to carry through the whole programme of post-war reform in order to justify to their countrymen the hopes and aspirations that they will rouse during the fight. The tasks of these leaders will not be over till a new generation of men and women is educated and trained after the establishment of the new state and this new generation is able to take complete charge of their country’s affairs.194

                                                                                                 - Dr. Bhanu Kapil, Udaipur


    1. Report of the Forty-second Indian National Congress, Madras, 28-31, December, 1927 (Madras, n.d.), pp.4-11.

    2. Report of the Forth-third Indian National Congress, 1928 (Calcutta, The Reception Committee, n.d.), p.95.

    3. Report of the Forth ninth Session of the Indian National Congress, Lucknow, 1936 (Allahabad, The All India Congress Committee, 1936), pp.44-47.

    4. Bimla Prasad, The Origins of Indian Foreigner Policy (Calcutta, 1960), pp.138-43.

    5. The Indain National Congress, 1939-10 (Allahabad, A.I.C.C. n.d), pp.10-1.

    6. Ibid.

    7. An Indian Pilgrim, p.93.

    8. Netaji – The Man, p.158.

    9. He was the Commander-in-Chief of Siraj-ud-Daula and perpetuated treachery against his master in the Battle of Plassey in 1757 with the hope of getting the thrown with the help of Clive.

    10. Netaji - The Man, pp. 158-59.

    11. Ibid., pp.161-62.

    12. Bose, The Indian Struggle, 1920-34, p.88.

    13. Cf. Satyagraha was a contribution of two words – ‘Sat’ and ‘Agraha’ Gandhi explained the meaning of ‘Sat’ as truth and that of ‘Agraha’ as firmness. Jointly the two terms meant firm assertion of truth. Satyagraha implied non-submission to wrong and injustice and in the process willingly accepting plain and suffering. The efficacy of the weapon had already been tried in Champaran, Khaira and Ahmedabad.

    14. Bose, The Indian Struggle, 1920-42, pp.54-55.

    15. Ayer, Introduction, Selected Speeches of Subhas Chandra Bose, p.12.

    16. Ibid.

    17. Jog, In Freedom’s Quest, p.41.

    18. Bose The Indain Struggle 1920-42, p.55

    19. Jog, In Freedom’s Quest, pp.42.

    20. Ibid.

    21. Sec R. Palme Dutt, India Today, pp.344-46.

    22. Huge Toye, The Springing Tiger, p.29.

    23. Ibid.

    24. Ibid.

    25. Ibid.

    26. Young India, December 15,1921.

    27. Pilgrimage to Freedom (Bombay, 1967), p.23.

    28. Bose, The Indian Struggle, 1920-42, p.67

    29. Azad, Indian Wins Freedom, p.15.

    30. Bose, op. cit., p.68

    31. Ibid., pp.69-70.

    32. Ibid., p.70.

    33. Mahatma Gandhi (London, 1942), p.132.

    34. Bose, The Indian Struggle, 1920-42, p.72.

    35. Autobiography, p.81.

    36. Gandhi – A Study in Revolution (London, 1968), p.300.

    37. Autobiography, p.86, Indian National Movement, p.104.

    38. Indian National Movement, p.104.

    39. R.Palme Dutt, India Today, p.353.

    40. Bose, The Indian Struggle, 1920-42, p.78.

    41. Ibid., 79.

    42. – Jog, in Freedom’s Quest, pp.46-47.

    43. – The Springing Tiger, p.30.

    44. Between the Symbol and the Idol at Last (New Delhi, 1964), p.49.

    45. Bose, The Indian Struggle, 1920-42, p.83 46. Ibid.

    47. Jog, The Freedom’s Quest, p.47.

    48. Marcus F. Franda, Radical Politics in West Bengal (Cambridge, 1971), p.26.

    49. B.R. Nanda, Mahatma Gandhi – A Biography, p.142.

    50. Bose, The Indian Struggle, 1920-42, p.87.

    51. B.R. Nanda, Mahatma Gandhi – A Biography, p.143.

    52. Bose, The Indian Struggle, 1920-42, p.102.

    53. Leonard A. Gordon, Bengal – The Nationalist Movement, (New Delhi, 1974), p.224.

    54. Hugh Toye, The Springing Tiger, pp.30-31.

    55. Bose, The Indian Struggle, 1920-42, p.95.

    56. Ibid., footnote.

    57. See Azad, India Wins Freedom, p.18.

    58. Hugh Toye, The Springing Tiger, p.31.

    59. The Indian Struggle, 190-42, pp.95-96.

    60. Gupta, They Lived Dangerously, p.318.

    61. Bose, The Indian Struggle, 1920-42, p.174.

    62. Toye, The Springing Tiger, pp.31-32.

    63. Ibid., p.32.

    64. Ibid.

    65. R.C. Majumdar, History of the Freedom Movement in India, Vol. III, pp.255-61.

    66. Ibid., p.321.

    67. Bose, Correspondence 1924-32, pp.299, 390, 394, 402.

    68. Hemendranath Das Gupta, Subhas Chandra (Calcutta, 1946), PP.94-95.

    69. Subhas Chandra Bose, Correspondence 1924-32 (Calcutta, 1967), p.299.

    70. Leonard A .Gordon, Bengal: The Nationalist Movement, 1876-1940, p.240.

    71. Ibid.

    72. Ibid., p.48

    73. See Appendix II

    74. Nehru on Gandhi, p.78

    75. Kriplani, Gandhi: His Life and Thought

    76. Munshi, Pilgrimage to Freedom.

    77. Sitaramayya, op. cit., vols. I and II.

    78. G.I. Patel, Vithalbhai Patel, Book Two, p.12-19.

    79. Alexander Weath, Planning for Revolution, in A Beacons Across Asia (Orient Longman, 1973), p.119.

    80. India’s Independence and the Axis Powers: Subhas Chandra Bose in Europe during the Strategic Initiative of the Axis Powers.

    81. Impressions in Life (Lahore, 1947), p.143.

    82. India’s Freedom Movement – Some Notable Figures (1972), p.151

    83. Subhas Bose, Impression in Life (Lahore, 1947), p.13.

    84. Ibid.

    85. Toye, The Springing Tigar, p.52.

    86. Ibid., p.53.

    87. Ibid.

    88. J.S. Bright (Eds), Important Speeches and Wirings of Subhas Bose, p.129.

    89. Selected Speeches of Sabhas Chandra Bose, p.94.

    90. Ibid., p.73

    91. R.P. Dutt, India Today, p.381.

    92. Ibid.

    93. Kriplani, Gandhi: His Life and Thought, p.117.

    94. Ibid., p.74.

    95. Nripendra Nath Mitra, The Indian Annual Register, 1939, vol. I, p.44.

    96. A.K.Majumdar, Advent of Freedom p.155.

    97. See Sitaramayya, op. cit., Vol. II, p.105

    98. See D.V. Tahmankar, Sardar Patel, p.156.

    99. __Gandhi: His Life and Thought, pp.179-88.

    100. Ibid., p.177.

    101. R.C. Majumdar, History of the Freedom Movement in India, Vol. III, p.580.

    102. Raj Mohan Gandhi, Patel-A Life, 1991., Navjivan Publishing House, Ahmedabad, p.277.

    103. Ibid.

    104. Ibid.

    105. Ibid , pp.277-78.

    106. Nripendra Nath Mitra, op.cit., Vol.II, July-Dec.1945, pp.58-59.

    107. Bose, Cross Roads,p.87.

    108. Ibid.,p.91 see D.V.Tahmankar, Sardar Patel, pp.156-57.

    109. Jawaharlal Nehru, A Bunch of Old Letters(Bombay, 1960), p.308.

    110. Rabindra Nath and Subhas Chandra, The Sunday Amrita Bazar Patrika, May 6, 1973.

    111. __Nripendra Nath Mitra, op. cit., Vol. II, July-Dec. 1945, p.54.

    112. History of the Indian National Congress, Vol.III, p.105.

    113. R.P. Dutt, India Today, p.533.

    114. Bose, Cross Road, pp.105-106.

    115. Ibid.

    116. J.S. Bright (Ed.) Important Speeches and Writings of Subhas Bose, p.251.

    117. Nripendra Nath Mitra, op. cit., vol. II, July 1945, pp.54-55.

    118. Ibid.

    119. Ibid.

    120. Azad, India Wins Freedom, p.36.

    121. J.S. Bright (Ed.) Important Speeches and Writings of Subhas Bose, p.255.

    122. __Why did India Not Follow Subhas Chandra Bose in 1939?

    123. A Beacon Across India (Ed.) Bose, Wealth and Ayer, p.90.

    124. Ibid.

    125. J.S. Bright, (Ed.) op. cit., pp.249-50.

    126. Ibid.

    127. Sitaramayya, op.cit., p.258 9.

    128. For details of the Speech, see Appendix IV.

    129. For details of the Speech, see Appendix IV.

    130. Netaji Subhas in my Estimate, in Netaji Subhas: Valient Son of India, p.9.

    131. Sitaramayya, op. cit., vol. II, p.110.

    132. Heimsath, why did India not Follow Subhas Bose in 1939?

    133. Sitaramayya, op. cit., vol. II, p. 110.

    134. J.S. Bright (Ed.), op. cit., pp.275-77.

    135. Ibid., p.177

    136. Ibid., p.280

    137. Ibid., p.279.

    138. Ibid., p.281.

    139. Selected Speeches of Subhas Chandra Bose, pp.110-111.

    140. Nripendra Nath Mitra, ed., The Indian Annual Register, vol.II, July – Dec. (Calcutta), pp.56-57.

    141. J.S. Bright (Ed.) op. cit., pp.285-88.

    142. Ibid., p.307-309.

    143. Krishna Bose, “Rabindranath and Subhas Chandra”, The Sunday Amrita Bazar Patrika, May 6, 1973.

    144. Jog, In Freedom’s Quest, p.157.

    145. Nripendra Nath Mitra, ed., The Indian Annual Register, 1939, vol. I, pp.345-46; Also see Bose, Cross Roads, pp.379-80.

    146. Nehru, A Bunch of Old Letters, pp.379-80.

    147. Selected Speeches of Subhas Chandra Bose, p.109

    148. Ibid., p.110.

    149. The Springing Tiger, pp.58-59.

    150. Jayaprakash Narayan, Towards Struggle, p.140.

    151. Shri Ram Sharma ed., Netaji: His Life and Work, pp.V-VII.

    152. H.Mukherjee, The Gentle Colossus, p.78.

    153. Edwardes, The Last Years of British India, p.67.

    154. Brecher, Nehru, a Political Biography, p.245.

    155. “The Meaning of Leftism”, published in What We Believe (Calcutta, 1948), pp.12-28.

    156. Ibid., p.378.

    157. The Indian Struggle, 1920-42, pp.383-84.

    158. M.N. Roy, Poverty of Plenty, pp.XX – XXIV

    159. M.N. Roy, Memoirs, p.379.

    160. –A.I.C.C at Wardha, January, 1942.

    161. Leonard A Gordon, Bengal: The National Movement, 1876-1940, p.275.

    162. Bose, The Indian Struggle, 1920-42, p.330. 163. Selected Speeches of Subhas Chandra Bose, p.115.

    164. Bose, Fundamental Questions of Indain Revoltuion, p.54.

    165. Selected Speeches of Subhas Chandra Bose, p.113.

    166. Ibid., p.114.

    167. Bose, The Indian Struggle, 1920-42, p.334.

    168. Selected Speeches of Subhas Chandra Bose, pp.114-15.

    169. Ibid., pp.335-36.

    170. Bose, The Indian Struggle, 1920-42, p.335.

    171. Ibid., pp.335-36.

    172. Bose, Fundamental Questions of Indian Revolution, p.59.

    173. Fundamental Questions of Indian Revolution, p.47.

    174. Selected Speeches of Subhas Chandrar Bose, p.119.

    175. Ibid.

    176. Ibid., p.121.

    177. Bose, Fundamental Questions of Indian Revoltuion, p.54

    178. Ibid.

    179. Ibid.

    180. Sitaramayya, op. cit., Vol. II, pp.114-15.

    181. Bose, The Indian Struggle, 1920-42, p.340.

    182. Selected Speeches of Subhas Chandra Bose p.116.

    183. Ibid., p.117

    184. Ibid., p.123.

    185. Sitaramayya, Vol. II, op. cit., p.115.

    186. See Jawaharlal Nehru, A Bunch of Old Letters Bombay: Asia Publishing House, 1958. Letters of Nehru to Bose, Feb., 1939, 317-21, and Patel’s frank letter to Nehru, February 8, 1939, 322.

    187. Nehru, Bunch, 350-63 Letters of April 3,1939.

    188. Nehru, Works, Vol. 9, 553-54, Letters of April 17, 1939.

    189. Bose Crossroads, 115-130. Letters of March, 28, 1939.

    190. Bose Crossroads, 127

    191. Bose Crossroads,117

    192. Rabindranath Taghore, ‘Deshnayak’, Original in Kalantar (End of an Era), Calcutta: Visva Bharti, 1962, 371-76.

    193. Tagore’s telegram to Gandhi in Gandhi, Works, vol. LXXI, 50, footnote, 2.

    194. Gandhi, Works, Vol. LXXI, 94, from ‘The Charkha’, Harijan, January 13, 1940.

    195. Bose, The Indian Struggle, 1920-42, pp.358-59.

    196. Ibid., p.370.

    197. Rajni Kothari, Politics in India (1972), p.155.

    198. Bose, The Indian Struggle, 1920-42, p.371.

    Our new website - Bharat Ka Itihas -

  • Share On Social Media:
Or sign in with
Forgot Password
Already a user ?