The Congress on Saturday criticised National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval for his comments that if Subhas Chandra Bose had been alive, India would not have been partitioned, saying he has joined the tribe of “distorians”.
In a tweet, Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh said: “Ajit Doval, who doesn’t speak much, has now joined the tribe of ‘distorians’. Did Netaji challenge Gandhi? Of course he did. Was Netaji a leftist? Of course he was. Was Netaji secular? Of course, staunchly and stoutly so. Would the Partition not have happened if Netaji was alive then? Who can say, because by 1940 Netaji had formed the Forward Bloc. You can have opinions on this but it is a contrafactual question.”
Targeting the NSA, Ramesh said: “One thing Doval did not say. The man who championed the Partition of Bengal was Syama Prasad Mukherjee in the face of strong opposition from Sarat Chandra Bose, Netaji’s elder brother. I am sending Doval a copy of Rudrangshu Mukherjee’s fine book of 2015, Parallel Lives. He should at least sniff some real history.”
While delivering the first Assocham Subhas Chandra Bose memorial lecture, the NSA said that Netaji showed a lot of audacity at various stages of his life, and he even had the audacity to challenge Mahatma Gandhi.
“But Gandhi was at the prime of his political career and when Bose resigned and came out of the Congress, he started his struggle afresh,” Doval said.
“I am not saying good or bad, but there are very few parallels in Indian history and world history of people who had the audacity to sail against the current,” Doval said, adding that “Netaji was a lonely person and had no country supporting him except Japan”.
The idea that came to his mind was ‘I will fight the British, I will not beg for freedom. It is my right and I will have to get it’, the NSA added.
“India would not have been partitioned if Subhas Bose had been there. Jinnah had said I can accept only one leader and that is Subhas Bose,” Doval said.
NSA Doval said that the qualities of “audacity” and “tenacity” made Bose an outstanding leader. He said that Netaji had the audacity to single-handedly take on the British against all odds. He motivated a defeated army by rallying them behind a larger cause, gave mottos like Jai Hind, “Ittehad, Itmad, Qurbani” (Unity, Trust, Sacrifice) and ensuring that people rise above distinctions of caste, religion and gender to pursue the single-minded goal of complete elimination of colonial rule.
Doval added that Netaji’s second quality was his tenacity – his ability to persevere despite the odds and not dilute his goal. “Subhas Chandra Bose wanted complete freedom for Indians, not merely dominion status. He wanted Indians to feel free like birds and never compromise for anything less than the complete independence of the country. It is such a Mindset that can propel India forward as it moves ahead towards the Centenary in 2047,” Doval said at the memorial lecture.
Whether or not Netaji’s efforts were successful can be gauged by what Former British Prime Minister Clement Attlee, under whom India got Independence, during a subsequent visit to India after leaving office, said in his reply to a question by Chief Justice of Bengal High Court and acting Governor Justice JB Chakraborty.
When asked by his friend Justice Chakraborty about the real reason for the British quitting India in a hurry, Doval said that Attlee cited several reasons, the principal among them being the erosion of loyalty to the British crown among the Indian Army and Navy personnel as a result of the military activities of Netaji.
According to the NSA, Attlee said it was Netaji Bose and his ideas that we were afraid of. The Royal Indian Navy mutiny, Jabalpur protests acted as Straws in the wind that evoked past memories of 1857 for the British. They feared that the 25 lakh Indian soldiers who won the Second World War for the Allies imbued by the spirit of Netaji’s ideas would be a nightmare for the British, therefore their hurried departure.
Doval said at the memorial lecture that “the legacy of Subhash Bose should continue to guide us. History has been unkind to Netaji. Therefore, the creation of a museum in the Red Fort, an island being named after him in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, is part of an effort by the Prime Minister to create a new psyche in the country. The political, economic and social philosophy of Netaji was far beyond his time – his priority after independence would be to create a strong military. We should never undermine our security, otherwise we will crumble without our knowing it.”
“Netaji would have wanted a strong defence industry. His philosophy of economic freedom through planning model had a context – at that time capitalism was seen as synonymous with colonialism – it was perceived as exploitative. Therefore, straitjacket descriptions of Netaji as a Leftist need to be viewed more dispassionately. He was deeply religious considering that he was influenced by Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo. He had read the Vedas but remained staunchly secular. Deep inside he was a devout Hindu,” said Doval.
(Source: IANS, Agencies)