Monday, August 15, 2011

Bose with his enemy’s enemy

There is an abundance of literature on Subhas Chandra Bose apart from his collected works edited by Sisir and Sugata Bose. His most recent biography, His Majesty’s Opponent, by Sugata Bose, his grand nephew and Harvard historian, has been acclaimed as the finest so far.

Romain Hayes, an independent researcher, has specialised for several years on German foreign policy during the Second World War.

This is Hayes’ first book — a comparatively short, readable and carefully documented account of the period between April 1941 and February 1943 which charts, almost month by month, the events in the life of Subhas Chandra Bose in Germany. The book’s focus is on Bose’s efforts to seek the assistance of the Axis powers to overthrow the British imperialist regime from his country by military means. That was his singular aim.

Let us go back a couple of months to February 1941. A disillusioned and marginalised Bose, who till recently was the undisputed leader of his party, escapes house arrest in what was then called Calcutta, travels incognito across India, enters Afghanistan disguised as a Pathan, crosses into Soviet Russia and is rebuffed by the country whose support he seeks. He then changes disguise and enters Germany.

Full report here Asian Age

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