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Krishna Kumar Singh, also known among friend circles KK and among close relative Krishna; Matriculation from Mithila High School Balour, Darbhanga in 1959, Graduated in Political Science Honours from C M College, Darbhanga, Bihar University in 1963; Joined post-graduate in Political Science the same year but dropped; joined Naxal movement under Charu Mazumdar, Kanu Sanyal, Satya Narayan Singh and Umadhar Singh in between but circumstances compelled to join literary work, clerk, proof readers etc in different publishing houses for livelihood; Finally joined journalism as career in different English newspapers and before my retirement from active journalism, I worked in The Times of India for about 19 years and retired as Chief Reporter  a few years back; continuing in journalism-reading more and more, writing more and more and praying to Almighty more and more-currently writing for different national English and Hindi dailies and magazines..

Sunday, 20 January 2013

MAHATMA GANDHI AND SUBHAS BOSE VIS-A-VIS PRESENT DAY INDIA !

If one makes objective appraisal of things or events historically , History definitely highlights 'truth' in shaping the destiny of a country like India !  In these aspects, the' thoughts and philosophy ' of Mahatma Gandhi and Subhas Chandra Bose during freedom struggle remained  diametrically opposite. Gandhi wanted emancipation of the country from the grip of British Raj through 'obsolete, orthodox and conservative manners' while Subhash wanted scientific solution through 'revolution' coupled with the 'modern development approaches'.

Although India's road to Independence had started from Ram Manohar Roy (1722-1833), the first comprehensive man that India had produced. Roy was called' Father of Indian Renaissance'. Since than , so many developments had taken place and this road to independence had run through an intricate, chequered and often painful route. Gandhi did not work for India's independence in isolation. There were galaxy of his contempories whio had nursed the trends in different ways. Many of  Gandhi's contemporaries and close followers had fundamental differences with him over 'ideology, methods and strategy and as to concrete results'.

To begin with, Gandhi was great, very great, but he was not free from enigma and had his limitations. At least on two momentous occasions, Gandhi failed to take 'quick decisions' and 'failed India'. Many political thinkers and historians feel or think if C R Das had continued living for some more years he could have isolated Gandhi and with the help of Abul Kalam Azad and others won India's independence much sooner. Many are of the opinion that if Gandhi had not thrown a wedge between Subhash Chandra Bose and Pundit Jawahar Lal Nehru, when they came closer, India's destiny might have been fulfilled much earlier. Home Rule was almost within reach in 1920. Gandhi has taken up Home Rule Movement from the hands of Annie Besant and had scuttled it. Lord Birkenhead had promised Home Rule in 1930 before his death But Gandhi sponsored the 'salt satyagrah' and set back the hands of the clock. Was Gandhi anxious to steal the thunder always and remain in the limelight?

More over Gandhi could also be impetus. He had described Ram Mohan Roy as a 'pigmy' in a meeting on the sands of Kathajuri river in Cuttack. Of all, Nehru was once much disillusioned and wrote to Gandhi, disapproving his  'style of functioning' ! There were many things where Gandhi erred. When Subhash Bose won the presidential elections of the Congress, Gandhi at once smelt corruption in the election and isolated Subhas ultimately making him quit India. An ardent Congressmen Jinnah had to leave Congress in 1921 because he was not given proper place in the party. And because of that Jinnah, who was great nationalist and seasoned member of the Indian National Congress , had to change his track and became propounder of two-nation theory, ultimately resulting into division of the Country-India and Pakistan.

Not only that Gandhi described Subhas Babu as a 'misguided patriot' in a letter to Amrita Kaur on the death of Subhas. Referring to Pakistan, Srinivas Shastri had mentioned that Gandhi had 'sold' India but that Gandhi would not admit it and describe in some other way, In spite of great regards  for him,  Gopal Krishna Gokhale turned down Gandhi's application for the membership of the Servant Of India Society. Many such instances had found places in the now defunct ,The Sunday Standard, a national English daily, published from seven cities In India, The Hindu (Madras), now defunct Anand Bazar Patrika (Calcutta) , Hindustan Standard defunct  (Calcutta) and many other newspapers. At that time, almost all newspapers had highlighted for probe as to what had happened to the money and jewels Gandhi used to collect on tours !.

Before analysing the facts, one must give honest appraisal about Subhash Babu and his backgrounds as well as Mahatma's thinking about India during war of independence. After a brilliant career in Cuttack and Calcutta, which was marked by certain amount of tumult, Subhash Chandra Bose went to England and competed in the ICS examination in 1920, standing fourth in the order of merit. However, the heaven-born service had no charm for him and he came back to India in 1921 to take a plunge in in the struggle of freedom. Bose met Gandhiji in Bombay. "Love at first sight may not be always true but mutual allergy at first meeting is possible. Bose had himself written that the meeting somehow did not hit and neither took to each other. This mutual allergy was a national tragedy," an eminent scholar and historian P C Roy Chaudhary had commented. On the advice of Gandhi Bose himself reported to C R Das in Calcutta and found Das as his political guide. From 1921 to 1925, Bose was the right hand man of C R Das., organising the Congress Party. Subhash Babu's dynamic personality put him on the all India canvas as a born fighter, a man of steel but with an extremely soft heart. Bose crisscrossed the Indian sky as long as  he was here and then became a legend abroad, fighting for India's cause according his concept.. Bose had wonderful combination of idealism, dedication and realism.

It was Subhas's ideology that brought him a rift first and a chasm afterwards with Gandhiji. Bose had always high regards for Gandhiji, evident from his broadcasts from abroad on Gandhiji's birth day and Kasturba's death during his many exhortions to the Indian people to revolt and await the arrival of ' Indian army' But Subhas babu thought very poorly about Gandhiji's as a politician and statesman.. Bose never believed in Gandhiji's creed of non-violence. "give me blood and I will give you independence" Bose thundered from abroad.. While contradicting Gandhiji's teachings of fighting for independence through a non-violence approach, Bose used to crank a joke that Gandhiji was more surrounded by "cranks and crooks". Bose was for complete revolutions and was in close touch with revolutionaries in India and abroad.
Before that Subhas was released from  Burma jail in 1927. Jawahar Lal Nehru also returned from Russia full of advance socialist ideas verging on communism. Both joined hand to to form leftist group within Congress under the m name of "Independence League". Subhash-Jawahar leadership gradually alienated the Congress old guards including Gandhi as the youth all over India flocked under its banner. At that time, taking into account the development in India, Bose had  told the All India Youth Congress conference in Calcutta, decrying Gandhiji's philosophy ".............. a feeling and impression that modernism is bad, large -scale production is an evil, wants should not be increased and the standard of living should not be raised......that the soul is so important that physical culture and  military training can be ignored". He further said,"....Mystics would always hold honoured place in India but it is not their lead, at once free, happy and great....we have to live in the present."

Subhah Babu has also a grudge against Gandhij that C R Das was being kept in Bengal while Gandhi ji has had pushed up Motilal Nehru more. The differences between Subhas and Gandhiji crystallised with the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress in 1928. In the session Bose refused to toe the line of the  Gandhiji in favour of his principled stand. Intresting development took place in the session. Bengal wanted Moti Lal Nehru as president. But both Moti Lal and Gandhiji wanted Jawahar to become next president. From that point of time, it was made open that Gandhiji had wanted to create rift between both Jawahar and Subhash. Gandhiji succeeded in winning back Jawahar in his favour. by making him next president of the party. Gandhiji had always soft-corner towards Nehru family. Subhash never forgot the surrender of JawaharLal to Gandhiji.

On his return  from forced stay in Europe after continuous arrests and imprisonments from 1933 to 1936, while studying , contacting and pondering over the world problems and India's foreign relations, Subhas returned to India in 1936 and imprisoned under Regulation-three of 1818 but released in March 1937. In 1938, Subhash Babu was elected president of the Indian National Congress and presided Haripura Congress session. In the session, Subhash Bose, while giving "blue print"of " poorn Swaraj" Interestingly , for the first time in the history of India, Subhas Babu underlined the importance of phased planning for India. As president of the INC, Bose did not try to hide his allergy to many of Gandhi's ideas about how swaraj was to be won. He held that the adoption of village life and what he took to be watery type of politics and negation of scientific method of production would only help to perpetuate the conditions of servitude of the people. In a speech at the Indian Science News Association, Calcutta on August 21, 1938, Bose had said National reconstruction will be possible only with the aid of science and scientists and far reaching cooperation between science and politics was absolute necessary if India was to take its place with the advanced countries of the world., Such statements of Subhash Babu was open defiance of Gandhiji's philosophy and politics.

The dynamic personality of Subhash Bose and his pronounced socialist views were viewed with great deal of alarm by some of the ultra rightists like Vallabhbhai Patel, Rajendra Prasad, Rajgopalacari and others. Main thrust of Subhash Babu to pull out the Congress from what he thought was "Gandhian obscurantism and fascism." He  was also of the opinion that capitalists had grip over the Congress. When Subhas Bose term of president ship was to expire, Gandhiji selected Dr Pattabhi Sitaramayya for next president ship. Bose decided to contest election opposing Gandhiji's nominee and won the election. Two days later, Gandhiji said, "Mr Subhas Chandra Bose has achieved a decisive victory over his opponent Dr Pattabhi Sitaramayya..........I am glad of his victory.........the defeat is more mine than his (pattabhi)........" Both Gandhiji and Subhas Bose differed on ideological ground..Subhas made no secret of the fact that he thought Gandhiji was was' old-fashioned, orthodox and probably autocrat.' It is quite clear with developments Gandhiji worked for the ousting of Subhas from the Congress and Gandhiji's coterie fully supported Gandhiji. Subhas was practically driven to resign the president ship of the Congress.. Later Subhas was expelled from the Congress.

In a letter , written to his brother Sarat Bose, Subhash Babu observed ".................If power goes into the hands of such mean, vindictive and unscrupulous persons when Swaraj is won what will happen in the country? If we do not fight them now, we shall not be able to prevent power passing passing into their hands. Another reason  why we should fight them now is that they have no idea of national reconstruction. Gandhiasm will land Free India in a ditch---if free India is sought to be rebuilt on Gandhian non-violent principles. India will then be offering a standing invitation to all predatory powers.....The latest phase of Gandhism with its sanctimonious hypocrisy-----------its outrage on democracy and its queer and under-standable formula for political ills.....is \sickening degree. One is forced to wonder which is a greater menace to India's future--the British bureaucracy or Gandhian hierarchy.. After such last pronouncements, Subhas Babu disappeared from India in the middle of 1941.

There can be no doubt that the work of Subhas abroad and the marching of his soldiers to to Indian soil indirectly hastened India's freedom. Bose's voices  through foreign radio was listened by lakhs in India and the progress of the march of Bose's Liberation Army was followed closely. It will be pertinent to refer to some of Bose's broadcast from abroad so far his relationship with Gandhiji is concerned. In his message to Gandhiji after the death of Kasturba, Bose, for the first time , addressed Gandhiji as "Father of our Nation" and wanted his blessings and good wishes in his 'holy war of India's liberation' He concluded his broadcast by saying, " the armed struggle will go on until the Britishers is thrown out of India and until our tricolour national flag proudly flies over Viceroy's House in New India." It may be mentioned here that It was Subhas , who named Gandhiji as "Father of The Nation", which is yet to be conferred formally by successive union governments after independence

India achieved independence. And to some how, Pundit Jawahar Lal Nehru carried the leadership and under his stewardship, concept of "Modern India" on the line of Subhas's vision were taken up to some extend. In my opinion, Gandhiji's 'truth and non-violence as well as his philosophy of cottage and village industries' does not appear to have clicked . And only after adopting advanced scientific approaches, the concept of 'Modern India' as developed nation in the cosmos is gaining momentum. It is very difficult to understand the "real politics and philosophy' of Mahatma Gandhi and his 'cold attitude' towards revolutionaries like Subhash Babu and others under his (Gandhiji's self-styled leadership). His truth and non-valences might have succeeded in South Africa but as 'Leader' in India, Gandhi ji has failed! In one aspect, I strongly feel Gandhi and his philosophy and doctrines have become mascot of present days political classes to shield their 'deeds and misdeeds' in the name of 'truth and non-valences and other philosophies ' of Gandhiji and thereby  creating political anarchy in India on almost all the fronts!

Sources:-National Archives, New Delhi, Sarpru House Library, New Delhi, Gandhi National Museum and Library, Rajghat, New Delhi,, Sinha Library, Patna,, National Library, Calcutta,, Various books n Gandhi including Gandhi And His Contemporaries by  P C Roy Chaudhary !

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