So who freed India — Gandhi or Netaji?

| Saturday, June 11, 2016 - 20:31
First Published |
So who freed India — Gandhi or Netaji?

A lively historical debate is on about the comparative roles and contribution of Pandit Nehru and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose towards the achievement of Indian independence and even more important, to the very nature of the nation state that emerged from our freedom struggle.
It was Mahatma Gandhi who sensed the inflamed feelings of the Indian pubic and decried the legalistic approach of the anglophile lawyers of the Congress. He, in fact, reached out to the rural masses to give a mass-based character to this struggle. The Congress evolved from an effete debating society to a more serious form of a freedom movement. Gandhi, however, insisted that this struggle be kept non-violent.
Bose (and revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh) differed radically from Gandhi about the non-use of force. Bose very correctly identified the centre of gravity of the British rule in India as its ability to retain the loyalties of the Indian soldiers of the British Indian Army. When the Second World War started, he correctly identified it as a historic opportunity to seek the help of the Germans and the Japanese, and overthrow the British Empire in India. And when the WWII was coming to an end he went to Russia to continue his fight. But there he was betrayed and his trail went cold.
From 1947, a patently false narrative of state was propagated, which has claimed that freedom came solely from non-violence and was the gift of ahimsa. In fact, after freedom of India it was even said that India as such did not need military force.   
The truth is far from true. India won its freedom due to the Royal Navy Mutiny of 1946 and INA.

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