Counter stroke - Netaji An Ode - Prelude to Tribute - I
Shri Modi is an exceptional salesman. What better platform than ritual tribute to Netaji during recent remembrance with eye on elections. Missing any point that would tie him down to delivering on ground on what he says or call him to notice by his political constituency and adversaries alike. So he says nothing especially of what Netaji actually stood for even if he knew. Which could drop his guise compromise his position at home and draw wrath of his friends abroad Netaji’ s sworn enemies. He proves this for hardly had echoes of tributes died down makes sweeping shift marking start of one year homage to Gandhi a diversion unworthy at cost of people's resources and their disambiguation when we have already had enough of Gandhi . His statues are all over Anglo-Saxon world their hero. An Cynical downsizing of Netaji as PM did lining him up for Bharat Ratna even behind corrupt cricketers. For Netaji’ s thoughts were antithesis to those of his enemies who laid foundation for our make believe parliament where one can buy ones way into Sanctus Santorum even with ill gotten gains and scoot with the booty at will pluck into arms of the “mother” in London. A system that feeds on deception and wealth presiding over destiny of the people. He rejected very political system of which the PM himself is a beneficiary. Cautioning Gandhi that this was not the route to freedom. A system modelled by colonial master in his school for divide and rule with which Netaji was all too conversant himself. He had his own vision of democracy not lip service to it but preparing people. Not as its subjects rather its masters to steer their destiny with. His philosophy placed self esteem on highest pedestal upholding dignity of national identities espousing socialism and an uncompromising nationalist who can pale those who claim to be so . Netaji's model was Ataturk , his example setting leadership cast in discipline, order and virtues dismissing religious obscurantism. Which struck chord with his own belief in dynamic spiritualism of Swami Vivekananda which exhorted taking to Kshattriya character . A progressive intellectual, modernist, man beyond his times looking forward, not expected to look back. Focussed on youth and science admired German social model and its strength. Attributed India's downfall to "...inordinate belief in fate and supernatural ,indifference to modern scientific development , backwardness in science of modern warfare ,the peaceful contentment engendered by her latter day philosophy and adherence to Ahimsa carried to absurd length" ( from his speech )
Defying cultural clash and prevailing climate he gave up Congress attire shocked Gandhi and British by trotting along in full military regalia mounted on horse to take salute of Congress volunteers on his election as Congress President ( contrast PM in makeshift hybrid guise sporting a side cap to impress when he brandishes million rupee jacket donated by tycoons ) . Netaji dismissed Gandhi’s quit India movement as suppliant and passive not a route to Purna Swaraj which he maintained could come only with sacrifice. He was guided by two cardinal principles in quest for free India that there could be no compromise with British such as a negotiated freedom and on no account the country would be partitioned . Freedom cannot be stepped into but snatched else it ceases to be so . His dissent and popularity turned Gandhi and Nehru against him who closed ranks with British in plotting to get rid of him when he made good his escape feigning illness. None of Hindu organisations even RSS came to his support but aligned with Congress in its goal of partitioning India, Muslim only too happy , in concord with British design . Landing in Germany he raised the Indian Legion from POWs held by Rommel gave us our salute Jai Hind. Undaunted by physical deprivation and hostile action made a dramatic journey in 1942 by German submarine U 180 to transfer him to Japan from where he could take his liberation movement forward from closer home with bulk of Indian Army fighting Japanese.
Much groundwork had already been done by Capt Mohan Singh in Singapore and Rasbihari Bose in Japan for raising INA. Netaji’s echoing clarion call "on to Delhi "and "give me blood I will give you freedom" the martial songs and march " Kadam Kadam Barhaye Ja " became stirring inspiration across every household. Growing into a formidable force of over 50000 INA advanced along with Japanese 15th Army fought right up to Kohima. INA's Special Services Group, redesignated Bahadur Group led by Col Shaukat Malik operated as pathfinders in opening stages of Japanese offensive, infiltrated and broke through British lines . Capturing Moirang in Manipur Col Shaukat Malik hoisted the Tricolour for the first time on free Indian territory on 29th March 1944 and with help from Manipuris established an Azad Hind government a milestone in Netaji’ s dream . INA then battled up to Kohima but unfortunate turn of WW2 prevented Netaji from marching on to Delhi at its head what he remarkably came to very nearly. It is this that cast ominous foreboding on a wobbling Empire what sent the British packing up in haste and handing over to their nominees the Congress and Muslim League . Not because INA which was by then on trial in Red Fort would resurrect from dead. But that this trial itself had lit the fuse for another uprising with ghost of 1857 appeared to resurrect. Soldiers of two antagonist religions had united in common cause of land rights of landed peasantry Rajputs , Pathans, Bhumihar Brahmins , later Marathas , the Indian soldier was the same stock. Contrary to expectations of British that trials would have sobering effect on morale " it succeeded only in creating unease in making the soldier feel slightly ashamed that they themselves have supported the British . If Bose and his men had been on the right side - and all India confirmed that they were - then Indians in the Indian Army must have been on the wrong side. It slowly dawned on Government of India that the backbone of the British rule the Indian Army (officered by British) might now no longer be trust worthy. In February 1946, while the trials were still going on, a general strike by ratings of Royal Indian Navy rapidly deteriorated into a mutiny on 29th March 1944 incorporating ships and shore establishments of the RIN throughout India. The mutineers raised slogans invoking Subhas Bose and the INA, demanding an end to the trials. The mutiny received widespread public support except from Gandhi . In some places in the British-Indian Army, non-commissioned Officers started ignoring orders from British superiors, British garrisons faced revolts from within the ranks. These were suppressed by force.
Germany in declaring war against Britain provided the tinder box to light the fuse of freedom struggle and bastion for raising first fighting unit the Indian Legion affiliated to Waffen SS . Badly mauled , back broken unable to clear war debts to US , Britain became incapacitated to pay for its Jewel in the Crown . Now unable to maintain even its already mutinous colonial soldiers demonstrating their will and capacity to rise again, Britain just gave up .
Did the PM not equip himself with historical truth then he should have confessed so. Yet with what he did confess least what he could have promised in his speech should have been :-
· Acknowledge Netaji as father of Independence . He would shudder to acknowledge him as father of nation since country is so shackled to vestiges of colonialism in mindset and our very psyche and methods . Having merely stepped into what they handed over. And through Commonwealth and other cabal Netaji would detest .
· Undertake fresh unmitigated engagement with Russia and Britain to access all secret documents pertaining to Netaji in their war archives . At same time release all files held with us not in driblets to draw political capital and set mystery of his disappearance at rest
Ban all and any unsubstantiated speculation and doctored investigation with ulterior motive of marketing his memory or blocking it with motive. Painting him in dim or mystical light appealing to popular and embedded beliefs which was not his self or he would not be exceptional raisng an army with a sadhu inside him . Smearing him so would be slanderous adduction of his character. Any amount of spurious evidence can be collected by vested interests.
· Order an official history of INA which must become companion to official history of Indian Army .
· Collect ,collate and record complete roll of INA and its personnel data hold this in digital archives .
· Display official photograph of Netaji as supreme commander of INA in office of Raksha Mantri in place of Mahatma Gandhi's portrait.
· Release 100 rupee note bearing portrait of Netaji in time with his birth anniversary.
Release one postage stamp every year depicting inspirational INA scenes and action such as his UBoat voyage , his appearance in uniform in Singapore , the planting of INA flag in Imphal etc
Introduce obligatory school chapter on Netaji in appropriate audio visual form to be adjunct to history lessons .
· Diplomatic missions in Germany , Austria and Japan to display Netaji's portrait appropriately embellished in office of the ambassador .
· Cease attending Commonwealth Victory parade marking imperial legacy in honour of Netaji’s enemies. Salvage some national pride even if we have only slipped into independence .
Note : This is not doctrinaire snippet. But validation and disambiguation .
The second part covers ‘Hypothesising what could be Netaji's reaction were he to reappear today in midst of political swamp that drains our democracy ( on yardstick of his personality , character and thoughts expressed or documented manner of leadership)’ We haven’t completed this yet following developments as elections draw close .
Thank you for giving time