Netaji Subhas Bose would have been truly proud of India and its military might,’ said Narendra Modi in a programme organised to commemorate his 125th birth anniversary which actually falls next year, 2022 but then the current regime is ‘expert’ in political profit and loss. Leaders become greater or lesser with the purpose of his ‘public image value’. Anyway, it is ironic that Hindu rights are trying to grab the legacy of Subhas Chandra Bose which he despised and his Azad Hind Fauz and its composition reflect how he was proud of India’s multi-cultural, multi-ethnic heritage.
The one person who was glorified up to the hill without reading and understanding his work and ideas has been Subhas Chandra Bose.
This is the best way by the Brahmanical elite to make mystery of every icon and cleverly side step their ideas. They did it with Dr Ambedkar and then Bhagat Singh but somehow failed because the ideological legacy of both of them has been very powerful and fascinating to ignore.
Secondly, it was not the government but people who got those ideas published.
In relation to Subhash Chandra Bose, there is an irony and perhaps the historians felt a bit shy of his association with the fascists in Germany and Japan. After the defeat of these powers in the second world war, it would have been difficult for any leader having any association with them.
The legacy of Fascist power in Germany remains in the minds of the people and the ugly head of them continues to haunt Europe and America.
There is no doubt that Subhash Chandra Bose’s efforts to mobilise support from Germany and Japan that time was purely on the basis of liberating India as he felt strongly about the British exploitation in India. His differences with Congress leadership or even the communist leader M N Roy became evident when he opposed their support for the war efforts against Fascists as he felt these parties and leaders were compromising. His book ‘The Indian Struggle 1920-1934 is a great representation of his ideas about India. He asked Savarkar and Jinnah to leave their association and praise with the British and join hand with him but both declined.
Even when Netaji took support from the Japanese to get India liberated and to counter British power, it is important to understand his idea about India and a party which will think new about India will have legitimacy. He felt that Congress has not spoken about the honourable release of those Indians who have been incarcerating in the jail for their act of ‘militancy’. Among them, he mentions the heroic of the Garhwalis (the legends of Garhwal Rifles) who did not fire upon their own fellow countrymen simply because they happen to be Muslims. It is strange that Congress leadership including Gandhi did nothing on this front.
But the most interesting part of Subhash Babu’s idea of India is that ‘ all privileges, distinctions and vested interests will have to be abolished to bring social, economic and political equality. He further emphasises, free India will not be a land of capitalists, landlords, and castes. Free India will be social, economic and political democracy. He also speaks about depressed classes and their representation.
Today’s rulers must-read Subhas Chandra Bose through is an ideological viewpoint and not to worship his military uniform.
The problem with them is that they are dead against socialism and equality and worship ‘weaponization’ and ‘militarism’. How would Subhash Chandra Bose proud when people are being divided and segmented further? How would he see a community being targeted just because of its identity? How would he be proud to see farmers committing suicide and being termed as anti-national?
Azad Hind Radio reflected India’s diversity as it used to broadcast its messages in Hindi, English, Bangla, Telugu, Tamil and Pashto. Will the rulers of today stop imposing Hindi and respect diversity of languages in India?
It is amusing to see Hindutva grabbing Subhas Chandra Bose in Bengal while completely ignoring Shyama Prasad Mukherjee.
Let the BJP seek a vote in the name of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee in Bengal and find out how much support will they get. It is important because Netaji is an icon of inclusive India and you can’t use him for your divisive ideas and actions. His ‘ Jai Hind’ was the salutation of an ideal modern India which consist of all communities, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and many more. Those who speak about unilateralism and older thoughts can’t really claim the legacy of the man who was completely modern and felt India will only be strengthened by encouraging scientific thinking, a fair representation of all including peasants, depressed classes, trade unions etc and of course intellectual discourse.
It is time to study and disseminate the ideological legacy of Subhash Chandra Bose to common people to understand what kind of India he wanted and only then the attempt to capture the legacy by those who were opposed to his ideas won’t be able to do so.
Vidya Bhushan Rawat
January 24th, 2021