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Biswamoy Pati

AZAD HIND: WRITINGS AND SPEECHES, 1941-1943 NETAJI COLLECTED WORKS VOLUME 11
Edited by Sisir K. Bose and Sugata Bose
Permanent Black, Delhi and Netaji Research Bureau, 2002, pp. 205, Rs. 495.00

THE MAVERICK REPUBLIC: THIRTY YEARS OF COVERAGE
By Jawid Laiq
Roli Books, Delhi, 2002, pp. 240, Rs. 295.00

INDIAN FREEDOM STRUGGLE
By B. Krishna
Manohar, New Delhi, 2002, pp. 232, Rs. 450.00

VOLUME XXVIII NUMBER 2 February 2004

In terms of time-frame, the starting point of this selection converges with Bose’s escape from his Elgin Road house in Calcutta (16-17 January, 1941) and ends with a letter to his brother Sarat Chandra Bose (8 February, 1943), written just before he boarded a submarine at Kiel harbour in Germany to return home.      A fallout of a project of the Netaji Research Bureau, Calcutta, the book demonstrates the trysts of a frontline soldier of the Indian National Movement in a phase that was marked by turbulence. Sugata Bose’s short editorial note contextualizes this collection. The essays cover a host of writings and broadcasts related to the Second World War and its implications for India, Bose’s ire against the German invasion of the USSR, the Anglo-American notions of freedom that was shrouded in hypocrisy, the Japanese connection and aspects associated with the ‘Quit India’ Movement and his support for it.       Alongside, this selection delineates some of Bose’s ideas related to the India of his dreams, in terms of its future. His vision related to uncompromising anti-imperialism and socialism stand out as striking features and also explain his failure to get the Germans to accept a Tripartite declaration of Indian Independence. His dreams for Free India were based on complete religious and cultural freedom for individuals and groups and the principle of decentralization, wherein provincial governments would be given adequate responsibility. Simultaneously he was concerned with aspects of anti-Indian racism raised by Adolf Hitler in the Mein Kampf. Bose had raised it with Hitler, who had managed to evade the issue.       While speaking at Hamburg on September 11, 1942 Bose had taken refuge in the past and had talked about Goethe, Schopenhauer, Ruckert, Schlegel, Max Muller and Deussen and not on politics. As pointed out by the Editor, this was perhaps his attempt to avoid the oppressive German presence. As one reads the pieces, at least one point becomes clear – by 1943 Subhas Bose had understood what Nazi ideology was all about and consequently his departure from Kiel was also perhaps more than just leaving Germany. In this sense, his request to his brother in his last letter in Bengali, where he hoped that his ‘wife and daughter [would] complete and successfully fulfil my unfinished tasks’ needs to be located in terms of the depth of his commitment to the Indian National Movement.         Jawid Laiq’s The Maverick Republic is a collection of several ...


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