Skip to main content

Netaji didn't want Gandhiji to write foreword to his book he presented to Mussolini

Counterview Desk 
A former Union ministry of external affairs ministry official, Utpal Aich, who retired on January 31, 2015 after serving for 38 years, and last served as first secretary at the Indian Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is now reportedly engaged in studying India's freedom struggle, the role of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and his Indian National Army (INA). 
Excerpt from an introduction to Netaji's book “The Indian Struggle 1920-1934”, which was later revised into “Indian Struggle 1920-1942”, he posts on his Facebook timeline:
***
Subhas Chandra Bose was on forced exile in Vienna, Austria, in 1934, and he was undergoing medical treatment there when he was approached by M/s. Wishart and Co., a Publishing Company of London, for writing a book on Indian politics. He was happy to receive such an offer and decided to name the book “The Indian Struggle 1920 –1934”. Initially, he was asked to submit the manuscript by August, 1934, and the book was scheduled to be published in October, 1934. He received advance royalty money for writing the book. When he had written a good part of the book, he sought assistance of Rabindranath Tagore, through a letter dated August 3, 1934, requesting the poet to introduce him and request, in turn, either Mr. Bernard Shaw or Mr. H.G. Wells for writing a Foreword of his forthcoming book. Subhas Chandra Bose had informed the Poet that since his book would contain criticism of Mahatma Gandhi, Romain Rolland or Rabindranath would probably be reluctant to write the Foreword. He further said that his book would be “an objective study of the Indian movement from the standpoint of an Indian nationalist.”
However, in his reply dated August 17, 1934, Rabindranath declined to intercede as he thought that it would not be of any help. The poet further stated that though Gandhiji had many drawbacks, he had been able to reach and move the common people of India and Gandhiji exhibited a strong moral force. Rabindranath, however, admitted that Gandhiji had harmed the nation in some matters, but the force he could generate in the country had neutralized all his negativities. He also stated that nobody else could enliven the whole country the way Gandhiji did.
Subhas Chandra Bose then decided that he would write the introduction of his book himself and wrote it on November 29, 1934. In the meantime, on November 26, 1934, he got a telegram from his mother informing him that his father, Janakinath Bose’s, condition was grave and Subhas should return home immediately. His 74-year-old father had suffered a serious heart attack a couple of months earlier and was brought to Calcutta for treatment. Subhas Chandra was himself suffering from gall-bladder-stone related problems. 
During this time, he had actually moved out of his rented flat and had shifted to Hotel de France as he was contemplating to undergo the surgery for removal of his gall-bladder after the work relating to his book was completed. The earliest plane booking he could get was in the Dutch Airlines that would take off from Rome on November 30, 1934, morning. That flight would reach Calcutta on December 4, 1934. At that time, flights used to be slow and night-flying had not been introduced. He had to hurriedly look through the remaining parts of the proofs of his book and had to keep working the whole night on November 28, 1934, completing the proofreading by 6.30 a.m. on November 29, 1934. In the meantime, on his request, his nephew Asoke had come over to Vienna from Munich on November 28 morning. 
Subhas Chandra then boarded a flight on November 29 morning for Rome (via Venice) and stayed overnight in Rome to catch the Dutch Airlines flight on November 30, 1934, at 7.30 a.m. In a letter written from Rome in the early hours of November 30, 1934, he expressed his anxiety to Miss Emilie Schenkl, hoping that she could send all the galleys, preface, etc. with care and without any mistakes. Just before he was leaving to catch his flight at Rome, he received the telegram sent by Miss Schenkl, probably informing him that the proofs, etc. were duly sent to M/s. Wishart as per his instructions. 
The next stop of the Royal Dutch Airlines was Athens, where they had a night-halt on November 30, at Cairo, where they halted overnight on December 1 and Baghdad on the afternoon of December 2 for a night-halt. He reached Karachi on December 3, 1934, and there he came to know that his father had already passed away in the early hours of that day. After customs clearances, etc. at Karachi airport, the Dutch Airlines flew him to Jodhpur for a night-halt. On the last leg of the journey, the Dutch airlines flight took off on December 4, 1934, morning, from Jodhpur and after an hour’s halt at Allahabad, he arrived at Dum Dum Airport in Calcutta at 4 p.m. on December 4, 1934, about forty hours after his father had breathed his last. 

Confiscation of the typed copy of ‘The Indian Struggle’

Subhas Chandra did carry with him a typed copy of his book ‘The Indian Struggle 1920 – 1934’ which was seized at the Karachi Airport by the Customs authorities. This news was published in the newspapers and many people, including George Bernard Shaw, H.G. Wells and Rabindranath Tagore, strongly criticized the colonial government for such treatment.

‘Indian Struggle’ is banned in India

‘The Indian Struggle 1920-34’ was published in London on January 17, 1935. The book was immediately banned in India by the British Indian Government. In reply to a letter from the Publishers, Secretary, Public & Judicial Department of India Office, London, wrote to M/s. Wishart & Co. on February 5, 1935, stating that the Government of India in the exercise of their powers under section 19 of the Sea Customs Act have prohibited the bringing into India the book of Subhas Chandra Bose. This decision, India Office communicated to M/s. Wishart & Co., was taken with the approval of the Secretary of State on the ground that the book as a whole is to encourage methods of terrorism or direct action. It further stated that the Secretary of State does not consider that it would be possible by amendment of certain passages to render the book unobjectionable.
The book, however, received favourable review from all the leading newspapers and periodicals in England.

Copy of ‘The Indian Struggle’ presented to Signor Mussolini

Subhas Chandra Bose returned to Europe by M.V. Victoria sailing from Bombay on January 10, 1935. He reached Naples, Italy, on January 20, 1935. A few copies of the book were sent to him at Naples by the publisher on the instructions from a friend. He stayed in Naples for a few days and then went to Rome. On the evening of January 25, 1935, he met Signor Mussolini and presented him a copy of his Indian Struggle. He then took a train for Vienna on January 28 and reached Vienna on January 29, 1935.

Comments

TRENDING

Top upper caste judges 'biased' towards Dalit colleagues: US Bar Association report

By Rajiv Shah  A high profile report prepared by the influential  American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights , taking note of the fact that “in the 70-year history of the Indian Republic, only six Dalit judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court”, has taken strong exception to what it calls “lack of representation of Dalits” in the legal profession and the judiciary.

Billion vaccine doses? Devil is in details: 70% haven't got 2nd jab; numbers jacked up

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  India has reached the one billion Covid-19 vaccinations milestone. It is indeed a great news and a big salute to the less paid ordinary health-workers in interiors of India for this feat. The government wants all of India's 944 million adults to get vaccinated this year. Around three-quarters of adults in the country of 1.3 billion people have had one shot and around 30 percent are fully vaccinated, the government says.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Failure of 'trickle down theory' behind India's poor Global Hunger Index rating

By Dr Gian Singh*  On October 14, 2021, two organisations, Concern Worldwide (An Irish aid agency) and WeltHungerHilfe (a German organization that researches the problem of global hunger), jointly published the Global Hunger Index (GHI) for 2021. These organizations have included 116 countries in the world hunger rankings.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Nehru legacy? GDP-centric growth has had 'no positive impact' on people's livelihood

By Dr Kamal Nayan Kabra*  Experience has shown that many counties adopt measures to go in for the growth of their GDP, basically in the existing framework, though also going in for, at the same time, new products and technologies and similar other changes. It is believed that by means of this process enough new job opportunities would emerge to meet the economy’s needs both in terms of numbers as also in terms of the requisite remuneration (wages) as also the supplies of the goods and services to maintain the economy on an even keel.

March opposes Sabarmati Ashram renovation: 'Mahatmaji had kept open for access to all'

Counterview Desk A Sevagram to Sabarmati march, which began on October 17 from Wardha (Maharashtra) and will end on October 24 in Ahmedabad (Gujarat), has demanded that the Sabarmati Ashram, the government should not impose "the fashion and glitz of a shallow modernity" at the cost of Rs 1,200 crore, in the name of renovating the Ashram founded by Gandhiji.

Conceived as infrastructure, western approach 'not fit' for building Indian cities

By Arjun Kumar* A recent webinar on Rethinking the City, organized by the Center for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS) at the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi, even as stating that Western concept of city cannot be applied on India, insisted, urban areas were conceived as infrastructure, disregarding the actual inhabitants who live in there. Those who participated in the webinar included Prof Pithamber Rao Polsani, Faculty and Dean, School of Advanced Studies and Research, Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design & Technology, and Tikender Singh Panwar, Former Deputy Mayor, Shimla and Visiting Senior Fellow, IMPRI. The session was initiated by Tikender Singh Panwar providing the context on the current state of city planning in India. He emphasized the need for more sustainable models in order improved urban habitation. Prof Pithamber Rao Polsani focused on two important factors that force us to rethink the city as a construct and a space of habita

As Afghan economy crumbles, West working out emergency plans for 'cash airlifts'

By MK Bhadrakumar*  The Taliban is getting many suitors lately. It is far from the “pariah” that the Biden Administration thought it was destined to be. During the past month alone, the Taliban received six suitors from the region and beyond offering courtship – the foreign minister of Qatar; the special envoys of Russia, China and Pakistan; the High representative of UK Prime Minister; and the foreign minister of Uzbekistan who visited Kabul on Thursday.