Netaji Through German Lens- Nanda Mookerjee

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Preface To The Second Edition:-

To remove misconceptions about Bose an international biography has been recently published, but it has failed to
meet the allegations against Bose for his differences with Gandhi and especially for his activities in Nazi Germany.To silence his critics, our Government should publish an authentic biography of Bose after collecting materials particularly from Bonn and Postdam archives.In this revised and enlarged edition, I have incorporated German views-friendly and unfriendly-and analysed them in the light ot available materials to show how far those are
justified. It is for the learned readers to judge whether I have succeeded in my venture. -Nanda Mookerjee
While at Cambridge, Subhas Chandra Bose took the opportunity of studying Modern European History and some of
its original sources like Bismarck’s Autobiography, Metternich’s Memoirs, Cavour’s letters etc. “These original sources”, Bose writes, “more than anything else, I studied at Cambridge,
helped to rouse my political sense and to foster my understanding of the inner currents of international politics”.He
became firmly convinced that a nation could be made only by the uncompromising idealism of Hampden and Cromwell and he came to believe, “it is time for us to wash our hands clean
of any connection with the British Government………The best
way to end a Government is to withdraw from it.”Young Bose made some study of the methods and tactics employed by revolutionaries in other parts of the world.Resorgimento Movement in Italy under the leadership of Mazzini and Garibaldi and the struggle of the Irish people against their British oppressors exercised a strong influence on his youthful mind. Lenin’s success in establishing the first socialist republic in the world demonstrated to him what the
power of the people could accomplish and further strengthened his faith in Vivekananda’s assertion that India’s progress would be achieved only by the peasant, the washerman, the cobbler
and the sweeper.It is interesting to note that Bose travelled in the same boat
with Tagore while coming to India. This short contact helped Bose considerably to form his views on Indian situation as
would be evident from his own words. He writes : “I had occasion to discuss with him the new policy of non-co-operation
adopted by the Congress. He was only anxious that there should be more of constructive activity…What he suggested
was analogous to the constructive side of the Irish Sinn Fein movement and was completely in accord with my views.”
All these go to show that Bose’s mental and intellectual development took place before he joined the Indian freedom
movement and as the Gandhian ideology could exert little influence on him, it was possible for Bose to assess Gandhian
programme of action more or less impartially.The Gandhi era in Congress politics began with the Special
Session in Calcutta in the autumn of 1920 and Bose, being aware of the Mahatma’s unique position, wanted to understand him in the light of ideas he acquired at Cambridge. On arrival
in Bombay on 16 July 1921, Bose met Mahatma Gandhi at Mani Bhavan.
As Bose entered the room, he felt somewhat out of place in his foreign attire, but Gandhiji put him at ease and the conversation started at once. Bose had three points which required
elucidations. “Firstly”, to quote Bose, “how were the different activities conducted by the Congress going to culminate in the last stage of the campaign, namely, the non-payment of taxes?Secondly, how could mere non-payment of taxes or civil disobedience force the government to retire from the field and leave us with our freedom?

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