Mar 10, 2018
Orissa Review * January - 2004
Subhas Chandra Bose, as an outstanding leaderof the Indian National Movement became alegendary figure to be almost worshipped as agreat hero and a charismatic leader. A study ofhis biography unfolds before us his unflaggingzeal, as an empiricist, in gaining a theoreticalfoundation for a plan of action, in his ownpersonal life and in Indian freedom movementand in this respect he was influenced by hisown parents, Beni Madhab Das, Headmaster,Revenshaw Collegiate School, teachings ofRamakrishna, Vivekananda and AurobindoGhosh, C.R. Das, Lenin, Mustapha KemalPasha, De Valera, Joseph Mezzini, CountCavour, Garibaldi, and the impact of freedommovements in other countries such as AmericanWar of Independence, Italian struggle forliberation and unification, liberation strugglein Czechoslovakia and Irish struggle forfreedom. In this background his social,economic and political concepts wereempirically formulated for an objectiveobservance and ramification with the soleobjective of emancipation of Mother Indiafrom the British rule of exploitation andoppression and reconstruction of Free India.
The credential of Subhas Chandra Boseas a socio-political thinker will be well tracedon a careful study of his activities, letters,
writings and speeches at different phases ofthe freedom struggle, indicating a process ofevolution of his social, economic and politicalconcepts connected with the development ofhis own mind responding to the shiftingenvironment in India and the World outside.The sum of his ideas and convictions constituteshis philosophy, though he was more of anactionist.
1. Social Concept:
(a) Views on religion, communalism etc.
It was under the influence of his parentsthat Subhas Chandra Bose developed aprofoundly religious and spiritual frame ofmind, and love for Hindu scriptures from hisearly life to the last days of his glorious careerin the battlefields of South East Asia in 1945.His religious and spiritual propensity wasfurther elevated and broadened in contact withthe teachings of Ramkrishna Paramahansa andVivekananda. He always had a small copy ofBhagavat Gita in the breast pocket of his fielduniform. He would plunge into deep meditationat dead hours of night even in the battlefieldsof South East Asia. While in Singapore he usedto drive to Ramakrishna Mission late at night,change into a priestly silk dhoti, shut himselfup in the prayer room with rosary in hand and
Social, Economic and PoliticalPhilosophy of Netaji Subhas
Dr. R.C. Roy
Orissa Review * January - 2004
spent a couple of hours in meditation. He woulddisplay his deep devotion to God in the hoursof sorrows and sufferings, weal and woe ofhis life.
At the time of the proclamation of theProvisional Government of Azad Hind, he tookthe oath, "In the name of God, I take this sacredoath that to liberate India and the thirty-eightcrores of my countrymen. I, Subhas ChandraBose, will continue the sacred war of freedomtill the last breath of my life." Again, on theday of taking over direct command of the I.N.A.on 26 August 1943, he said "I pray that Godmay give me the necessary strength to fulfil myduty to Indians, under all circumstances,however difficult or trying they may be." Againin his address to Indian National Army atSingapore, he said, "May God now bless ourArmy and grant us victory in the coming fight."
Subhas Chandra Bose acceptedUpanishadic concept of 'Tyaga' and imbibedthe ideal of renunciation for self-realisationand became determined to work ceaselesslyfor the benefit of the country and its toilingmasses.
Subhas Chandra Bose, being aSecularist, had an attitude of impartialitytowards all religions. According to him, theGovernment of Free India must have anabsolutely neutral and impartial attitudetowards all religions and leave it to the choiceof every individual to profess or follow aparticular religion of his faith; Religion is aprivate affair, it cannot be made an affair ofthe State.
It was the shrewd and subtle diplomacyof the British that the communal problems independent India assumed such a dangerousproportion. According to Subhas Chandra
Bose, a nation-wide freedom struggle wouldresult in psychological metamorphosis onpolitical front. Bose was of the firm opinionthat economic issues cut across communaldivisions and barriers. The problems ofpoverty and unemployment, of illiteracy anddisease, of taxation and indebtedness affectedthe Hindus and Muslims and other sections ofthe people as a whole. That the remedy lies inthe solution of the political problem on theestablishment of a national, popular anddemocratic government in which people willhave direct right to participate and indirectright to criticise. Scientific propaganda wasprescribed by him on the above lines to combatcommunalism. Shah Nawaz Khan said that, forSubhas there were no religious or provincialdifferences. Hindu, Muslim and Sikh soldiersin the Indian National Army were made torealise that they were sons of the samemotherland. That most of ardent supporters andadmirers of Netaji were found to be Muslims.Another close associate of Netaji, S.A. Ayarsaid that, communal harmony of a high orderprevailed among the ranks.
In his unfinished autobiography, 'AnIndian Pilgrim', we find, Subhas to quote "Iwas lucky, however, that the environment inwhich I grew up was on the whole conduciveto the broadening of my mind. "The atmospherewas on the whole liberalising. His paternalhouse in Oriya bazar, Cuttack was in apredominantly Muslim locality and theirneighbours were mostly Muslims amongstwhom his father Janakinath Bose was like aPatriarch. Janaki Babu had Muslim servantsand cooks. The Bose family took part in Muslimfestivals like Moharrum, Bose writes in hisautobiography, "In fact I cannot remember evento have looked upon Muslims as different from
Orissa Review * January - 2004
ourselves in any way except that they go topray in Mosque."
In his public speech Subhas advocatedemphatically the abolition of caste system inIndia and introduced observance of Anti-touchability Week from April 6th to 13th. Hesupported intercaste marriage in India. As atrue disciple of Swami Vivekananda, Boseunderstood that the progress of India would bepossible with uplift of the down-trodden andthe so-called untouchables who constitute thevery essence of our society.
All Indians living in South East Asiawere united in the Indian National Armyirrespective of caste, race, sex and creed underthe stirring leadership of Subhas Chandra Bosein a spirit of Unity, Faith and Sacrifice withthe sole objective of emancipation of MotherIndia.
(b) Emancipation of Women :
Subhas Chandra Bose imbibed theideals of his political mentor, DeshabandhuChitta Ranjan and spiritual mentor, SwamiVivekananda in regard to female education andfemale emancipation and used to cite theexamples of noble and scholarly women ofancient India like Maitreyee, Gargee, Khanaand Lilabatee. Bose wanted that women shouldbe given a very elevated position in the familyand society, and believed in femaleemancipation in the true sense of the term andin liberating women from all shackles andartificial disabilities - social, economic andpolitical. According to him, in the Free India,there must not be any discrimination on groundof caste, race, sex, creed or wealth.
The glorified role played by women inour national struggle, especially during theCivil Disobedience Movement, with undaunted
bravery and exemplary spirit of sacrifice,shaped his attitude towards women. The loveand affection and help he received from fewwomen, especially his own mother PrabhabatiDevi, C.R. Das's ideal consort Basanti Deviand Sarat Chandra Bose's wife Bibhabati Devihad enormous influence in shaping his viewsabout women.
Subhas Chandra Bose rightly diagnosedthat illiteracy and economic dependence werethe root cause of serfdom of women. Bosespoke firmly in favour of removing allobstacles in the way of women's emancipation.He spoke in favour of all-round education forwomen for which he formulated a recipewhich included literacy, physical andvocational education or training on lightCottage Industries. He was a supporter ofwidow remarriage and abolition of Purdahsystem.
When Subhas Bose in his firy speecheswas advocating for all round emancipation ofwomen, movement for women's advancementbegan to gather momentum, the first womenorganisation in India, Women's IndianAssociation being established in Madras in1917. The National Council of Women in Indiaformed in1925 began to co-ordinate the workof Provincial Women's Council and othersocieties with the objectives of women'sadvancement and welfare and to connect Indiawith international movement.
Subhas Chandra Bose in the later yearscommended the glorified role played by Indianwomen in the freedom movement notably inthe Congress movement and Civildisobedience struggle led by Mahatma Gandhiin which they had been equal to men inaddressing public meetings, conducting
Orissa Review * January - 2004
election campaign, taking out processions inthe face of lathi charges by the brutal BritishPolice and undergoing privation of prison life,torture and humiliation. Netaji's firm belief wasthat no country could really be free if herwomen did not enter the arena in the fight forfreedom in various capacities like serving inhospitals as nurses, looking after woundedsoldiers and such other auxilliary roles and theycan also take up arms against enemies. So hecreated the Rani Jhansi Regiment and that tooas it did not satisfy his faith in completeequality of women with men; he, in theProvisional Government of Azad Hindappointed one woman Cabinet Minister, givingher a position after him in the order ofpreference.
(c) Education :