Bose, beyond the ‘Mystery’

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  • July 2016

    Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose has featured prominently in the news—and hence the public consciousness—only from time to time. As was often the case earlier, the recent prominence he has been given has been confined largely to the classified files concerning him and the mystery surrounding his death—reported or real. Although public and media activism can be credited for the pressure built up which led to the partial declassification of files, it is time now to go beyond these limited aspects of the life and times of a personality as great as that of Bose. It is time now to start looking at other, greater aspects and perspectives that bring out the dynamic and multi-faceted life he led. Particularly the larger-than-life persona of Bose—Bose the philosopher, the leader, the statesman and then of course Bose the diplomat par excellence. All these aspects of his personality are clearly evident in his tryst with the Indian National Army (INA), the formation of the Provisional Government of Free India and his engagement with expatriate Indians/the Indian diaspora in Southeast Asia, which is exactly what this article attempts to bring out.