Ignored by Congress, not by India


4.jpgModern Indian Politics : President Netaji — Modern Novels

                    Reblogged by UnstoppableAfterSeventy.WordPress.com

The Course of Modern Indian Politics : ‘President Netaji’

by   Soumayan Dutta

In this final installment about Netaji exclusively, I will try to briefly cover the deeds, failures and dreams that Netaji had dreamt only to see them never coming true in his lifetime as the President of Indian National Congress. And of course, I shall try to touch all possible consecutive situations that led to his forceful resignation.

Consolidating Party base :

Here he was, back from a long exile. The first stint of Subhas Chandra Bose’s Presidency was spanned across 1938-1939. It certainly was not very happy time for the world. Europe, the epicenter of modern culture and civilization was being threatened of its very existence in the form of Adolf Hitler. The Imperialist aggression of Japan had led the newly formed Republic of China to a great extent of territory loss as well as complete annexation of Korea, Manchuria. Let alone the loss of lives due to such aggressive state policies, the world had not yet fully recovered from the dreary days of the great depression. The largest economy, US, was still limping in implementing reformative measures suggested by Roosevelt. The world was on the brink of an unprecedented war. It is understandable that the time was testing for India as a nation. The first world itself was struggling, needless to say about the colonies like India, Myanmar.

At the time when Subhas Bose was elected as the President of INC, the need of the hour was to unify the country again on the question of “purna Swaraj” (complete independence). The furious infighting within the Congress top brass was leaving the mob frustrated as never before. Simultaneously, leftist extremism was growing to fill up the vacancy as a quick-fix. There was also the menace of various sectarian politics gathering considerable ground on the basis of communal division. Netaji, as a man of honour had created his own nation-wide acceptability as an uncompromising leader of the freedom struggle. Besides his intelligence and oratory skills, his ability as an organizer was unquestionable. He and only he had the capability to unify the nation which was utterly disappointed at the sudden loss of adequate momentum in the quest for freedom. And they are not to be blamed, as the leaders themselves were either puzzled or busy in fighting among themselves for seemingly ordinary party posts, which eventually pushed the question of freedom in the back-burner. He had initiated a socialist wing named “Forward Bloc” within the party itself. Through this wing, he could gather adequate number of youth workers and followers for both Congress and the socialist movement. His election as President was seen by the people, irrespective of cast, creed and religion as Congress, unquestionably establishing itself as the premiere organization, fighting for the cause of India’s independence. This, in fact led to huge expansion of party base across whole of India.

Projecting India on a Socialist path :

Not only Subhas, but younger generation of the Congress leadership such as Jawaharlal Nehru was impressed about the new social structure of the then USSR. The way the class struggle of working people had overthrown the ageold monarchy of Russia, was somehow very familiar to India’s handful of failed but important peasant movements. Subhas Chandra Bose, popularly called as “The President of India”, took measures to keep the working class into the foray. The dreams he used to dream about during his early days in the party or in exile, were calling out to be successfully augmented to the social structure of India. His vision of Socialist India later has led to empowering the working class in India, even after independence. He wanted every Indian to believe in the identity of the motherland first. A society, free from the reservation of caste and creed, made of humanity, and not religion. These words are being iterated for perhaps more than a billion times. But given the tensed time we are living in, it is to be thought and understood why stalwarts like Netaji, Pt. Nehru kept faith in socialism rather than adopting the widely accepted capitalism or the then popular imperialism.

On Hindu-Muslim Unity :

Jinnah. A household name by then in every Muhallah of India. Angel for some, demon, for others. From resurrecting the almost dead All India Muslim League to establishing himself as the lone spokesperson of the Indian Muslim, Jinnah was progressing fast towards promising a piece of homeland, independent from the Indian Union for the Indian Muslims. Subhas Chandra Bose, as the President of Congress met him twice on the burning issue of Hindu-Muslim eroding unity. But Jinnah turned down any sort of agreement between the two conflicting political parties or even proposal of joint statements.  Perhaps the bitterness caused by Congress’s prompt reaction to form collaborative government with other parties in states where Muslim League had won more seats than others, was not to be forgotten by Jinnah. He termed this as an act of treachery and eventually denied Subhas to pay for what the latter’s predecessors had done. The result was evident. More violence. Even more disbelief. Cracking India from its core within.

Leftist-affinity :

Perhaps he was going at too great a speed to contain the Babus’ discontent about social uprising of the “suppressed” class. The “Forward Bloc” was doing really well to register new members for Congress as well as itself. He did not ask for special privileges for them. Neither he betrayed his country in a high-end conference. He wanted them to be self sufficient. Not by dishonest way of reservations and caste certificates, but by empowerment. He understood the cunning British people’s strategy to divide India on the basis of caste and religion, and hence, the path of socialism was the way out to him. But at other parts of India, the violence caused by the leftist movement had enough blood on its hands to be asked for an abandoned way. Besides, Congress has been a party of the “rich”, the “aristocrats” on face. The direct uprising of leftism in the forefront of Congress was not going to go down well with them. The party again started to get divided, now in the name of ideology.

Resignation :

“The defeat of Pattabhi Sitaramaiya is the defeat of mine.” At times, even great souls like Gandhiji also cannot get over the feeling of “self”. Like we see Trump these days threatening that he won’t accept the result of election if defeated, Gandhiji actually did the same after Subhas Bose was elected the President of Indian National Congress for second consecutive term in 1939. Gandhji’s filthy politics led to a constitutional crisis of the party as all the members of Congress Working Committee resigned at once. And Subhas was forced to resign. Yet after all these bitterness, the personal relationship between Subhas Chandra Bose and Gandhiji had never deteriorated. Same was the case for his socialist friend J.L.Nehru, who suddenly had turned cold shoulder when ll these dramatics were unfolding.

Later, he resigned from Congress and established “Forward Bloc” as an independent political outfit. The legendary escape from the British intelligence vigil and surprising the country one fine morning with a war-cry against the British Empire would make him a mythical character of Indian history. It is indeed a shame that the erstwhile governments did not take efforts to reach out to the countrymen about this great (if not The Greatest) contributor to the cause of motherland’s freedom. Pages after pages of history books are allotted to the who’s who of Congress. It’s principally the Congress party’s history, that takes all the highlight away. People like Subhas Chandra Bose remain the “forgotten Hero” only.

The Course of Modern Indian Politics : The next one will be on the leftists’ role in Indian Politics.

Published by

B. Someswar Rao

60 years of journalism, from the age of 16, and two books later, life has so much more to offer, there is no looking back. Not yet. Unstoppable after 70 is a simple expression of my thoughts, my triumphs, my failures and everything that makes this journey incredible. My books: - A TOWN CALLED PENURY- the changing culture of Indian journalism - JOURNALISM - Ethics, Codes, Laws Working on: - 'THE OUTHOUSE ON THE FIRST FLOOR - Coming of (Old)Age in India'

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