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Remembering Subhash Chandra Bose for his stand for religious harmony

By Harasankar Adhikari 

Subhas Chandra Bose, a great hero, a charismatic leader, a ‘patriot of patriots’ of mother India, and also a great socio-political thinker, developed a deeply religious and spiritual frame of mind. He was deeply in love with Hindu scriptures from his early childhood. His religious and spiritual tendencies were modified and strengthened by the teachings of Ramkrishna Paramahansa and Vivekananda. 
He was a believer in God. At the time of the declaration of the Provisional Government of Azad Hind, he took the oath, "In the name of God, I take this sacred oath to liberate India and the thirty-eight crores of my countrymen. I, Subhas Chandra Bose, will continue the sacred war of freedom till the last breath of my life." When he was taken over the direct command of the I.N.A. on August 26, 1943, he said, "I pray that God may give me the necessary strength to fulfill my duty to Indians, under all circumstances, however difficult or trying they may be." In his address to the Indian National Army in Singapore, he said, "May God now bless our army and grant us victory in the coming fight."
Subhas Chandra Bose accepted the Upanishadic concept of 'Tyaga' and applied the ideal of renunciation for self-realization to work eternally for the benefit of the country and its toiling masses. Further, he was a secularist with an attitude of impartiality towards all religions. He thought that the government of Free India must have an absolutely neutral and impartial attitude towards all religions. It would be the choice of every individual to profess or follow a particular religion of his faith. According to him, religion is a private affair; it cannot be made an affair of the state. He opined that economic issues are the cause of communal divisions and barriers because nation-wide freedom struggles resulted in psychological metamorphism on the political front. The Hindus, Muslims, and other sections of India were affected by multifarious deformities of poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, and so forth. A democratic government would have a direct right to participate and an indirect right to criticize to solve the political problem.
Shah Nawaz Khan commented that there were no religious or provincial differences among Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh soldiers in the Indian National Army. They were united enough to realize that they were sons of the same motherland. In his unfinished autobiography, 'An Indian Pilgrim', he remarked, "I was lucky, however, that the environment in which I grew up was on the whole conducive to the broadening of my mind." From his autobiography, we might quote, " In fact, I cannot remember even having looked upon Muslims as different from ourselves in any way except that they go to pray in mosques." As a true disciple of Swami Vivekananda, he realized that the progress of India would be possible with the uplift of the downtrodden and the so-called untouchables, who constitute the very essence of our society. The leadership of Subhas Chandra Bose was an example of the spirit of unity, faith, and sacrifice, with the sole objective of liberating Mother India.
After seven and a half decades of independence, this nation has been suffering from communal divisions because of political politics. Religion has become a tramp card for hate politics.
Will our political leaders rectify themselves on the 127th birth day, just after the day of “Pran Pratistha” at the Rama Temple in Ayodhya? It would be a great tribute to Bose, the unforgotten leader of India.

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