September 2, 2009

Gandhi and Bose

I am a great believer of non-violence and I am a great admirer of Mahatma Gandhi. Ever since the school time, I have been mocked for this opinion. And for some unknown reason people simple don’t want to listen my reason. At times I think they have been waiting for someone to say that so that they all can jump on him/her and start telling that person off for such an opinion and declare how great Subhash Chandra Bose was. How did British leave India because of him? And it’s always him as most of others “freedom fighters” as Bhagat Singh or Chandrashekhar Azad died way before India gained independence while Bose mysterious disappearance happened right around that time.

I am not entirely sure if any of them ever opened a history book in their life (at least that’s what I hope). I think it’s more fashionable to admire Bose instead of Gandhi. And please before you start on issue of Gandhi’s affairs or Indian partition, let me state that my admiration of Gandhi is solely based on his political shrewdness and economic sense. I don’t consider him as Mahatama or a spiritual leader of any kind. He was a great politician but he was human and had his own faults. But at least he didn’t make alliances with Nazi unlike Subhash Chandra Bose.

Honestly, all of those people who praise Bose and think that he had the right ideas, do they know that Bose made an alliance with Nazi (as in Hitler) during World War II? Just imagine if the outcome of the war wasn’t the way it turned out to be. Do they really think India would have been independent? Do they remember Hitler? The one who created all those concentration camps and imprisoned men, women and children? Do they really think that he would have treated Indians as equals? Honestly?

Despite all his flaws (including his partiality towards Nehru), at least Gandhi had a brain on his shoulder and a heart that was in right place. I thank my stars (or rather stars of Indian luck or something like that) that Bose’s plane crashed when it did and Germany was defeated as it did.

But who can tell all this to the fanatics who starts jumping up and down every time they hear that someone actually admires Gandhi and believes in non-violence?


  1. I do admire Gandhi for what he have given us (Freedom), except for that one bit (Partition - which he could have prevented, but he didnt). The view point on Bose, is interesting, as many dont even think of him joining Nazi, as all Bose supporters quote is of Japan and never Nazi.....definitely Hitler wouldnt have treated us on par with them, if things turned other way around in WW2.....While i hate Gandhi, when i think about partition and How it would have been, if there wasnt partition. I cant imagine, what would have happened to us (india), if Hitler won WW2 with Bose winning Indian independence frm English (cant really say how long the freedom would hve lasted or what would have Hitler done to India n us......)

  2. Well Gandhi was partially to blame for the partition but I doubt that he could have stopped it. He was against it ever since its conception. But most of the political parties of India as well as British government insisted on it. I am not sure how much authority did he have on them especially when his own party (congress = Nehru) turned against him on the issue.

    Bose went to Germany initially. He remained in Germany from April 1941 to February 1943 (two years!!). Hitler, however, didn't perceive India as a strong ally. Finally Bose turned to Japanese for help who were interested in oil in Sumatra and thought India to be a strategically placed for its mission.

    Japan, Germany and Italy formed the axis alliance that supported fascism. Bose seek help from the alliance which make historians wonder about his sympathies towards fascist (=Nazi) ideology.

  3. Bose made a pact with Nazi Germany coz he needed some allies to defeat a modern British army. Every military strategist would do the same;the enemy of your enemy is your friend. Bose knew the strengths of both the allies and the axis powers, and probably knew there would be no clear winner, and much like WW1, both the victor and the loser would be severely weakened. Indeed, the British empire crumbled after WW2 despite winning it, Japan, Germany and Italy were finished and only the US and Russia remained as superpowers. Bose realised that if he could get the British out, there would not be enough left in Germany(or indeed Japan) to maintain control over a large(and more importantly, now equipped with an army) country like India.
    The Americans used similar tactics when fighting the British, they befriended the French to combat the military might of the British and then formed their own country.
    Also, Hitler never had a chance of getting past Russia with his tired soldiers in a Russian winter, let alone into Central Asia and then India. The only real credible threat had Bose's plan worked would be the Japanese, who were never going to be able to control a large land mass like India and were more reliant on their naval supremacy, which would do them no good in India.

  4. I think you lack the ability to understand how military strategy works. An enemy's enemy is a friend. Ever heard of that statement? Bose never admired Hitler; in fact, he was a SOCIALIST. His original plan was to ally himself with Russia. But then Russia allied itself with Britain and he had no other option but to seek help from Germany. I think you need to read some books on history. Gandhi's strategies have never worked. Case in point: Quit India Movement. Just 4 years later, the British decided to leave the country. Why? That's because of Bose's INA trials. The Royal navy revolted in their support and the British realised that their time is over. Hence, it was ultimately Bose, and not Gandhi, who delivered freedom, even in death. I condemn you for disrespecting such a great national leader. The British were as undemocratic as the Nazis were. If you're glad that Bose got killed in an air crash, I'm glad that Gandhi got assassinated and I hope the same thing happens to you.