In an unusual exposure that is likely to create ripples among the Left supporters of Subhas Chandra Bose, a top right-wing journal has declared that Netaji considered Hinduism “as an essential part of Indianness”, insisting he was “thoroughly influenced by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the founder-president of Hindu Mahasabha.”
Quoting from a meeting on June 21, 1940 between Subhas Bose and Savarkar, the Swarajya magazine says, the two met at Savarkar’s residence in Dadar to “explore the possibilities of co-operation between Forward Block and Hindu Mahasabha”, adding, “The meeting was said to have changed Netaji’s course of action.”
The All-India Forward Bloc, notably, is an ally of the CPI-M-led Left Front in Bengal.
Authored by Saswat Panigrahi, a “cultural nationalist”, the article says, “It was Savarkar who had advised Subhas 'not to waste time organising protests for the removal of British statues like Holwell Monument in Calcutta'.”
Instead, Savarkar suggested, says the article, Bose should “smuggle himself out of the country, reach out to the Axis powers (fascist Germany, Italy and Japanduring the World War-II) and raise an Indian Army of liberation out of Prisoner of War (PoWs).”
The journal further quotes Bose as saying on June 25, 1944, Bose in his speech on Azad Hind Radio: “When due to misguided political whims and lack of vision, almost all the leaders of Congress party have been decrying all the soldiers in Indian Army as mercenaries, it is heartening to know that Veer Savarkar is fearlessly exhorting the youths of India to enlist in armed forces.”
Not without reason, the journal notes, in May, 1952, Savarkar paid his tribute to Bose saying, “Long live deathless Subhas. Victory to the Goddess of freedom.” These words came from the man who is considered the “godfather of modern Hindutva”, it adds.
Claiming that the Bose considered “Vedanta and Bhagavad Gita as his sources of inspiration in the fight against the British.”, the journal criticizes “Indian historiographers” for “deliberately” brushing aside “a significant chapter on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.”
Written to mark the 120th birth anniversary of “the most admired nationalist-revolutionary”, the article says, “A careful study of the life and times of Netaji clearly suggests that the great patriot championed the cause of Hindutva and cultural nationalism.”
Calling Bose “a quintessential Hindu”, the article says, “Subhas Chandra Bose considered Vedanta and Srimad Bhagavad Gita as his sources of inspiration in the fight against the British”, adding, even when he was young, Bose was “moved by Swami Vivekananda’s teachings on universalism and his fresh interpretation of Indian scriptures.”
Similarly, it adds, “The writings of Sri Aurobindo had a lasting impression on his mind. In addition, Bose drew influences from Bankim Chandra Chatterjee’s teachings. All those together helped shape up his social-political activism, loaded with a nationalistic fervour and driven by a religious fascination ever since his young days. ”