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Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

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Anita Bose Pfaff, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's only child, in an exclusive interview.
Anita Bose Pfaff, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's only child, in an exclusive interview.

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Published by: दिब्यम प्रभात् on Nov 16, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 A forgotten Story of Neta Ji
Young Guns Of India Against Corruption
India has not Behaved Honorably
Anita Bose Pfaff,Netaji Subhas ChandraBose's only child, inan exclusive interview.
How old were you whenyour father saw you last?
 I was only four weeks oldwhen he saw me last. I was born in 1942 and he left Germany by submarine for Southeast Asia in early 1943. So hesaw me when I was very little. When he most likely died in an air-crash in what is now Taiwan -- in August 1945 -- Iwas about two and three quarters (
years old 
How did your parents meet?
 It was in 1934 when my father was in Vienna to seek medical treatment (
he had been in jail in Mandalay, Burma,because of his struggle for India's independence 
). He was sick and getting quite weak and was released on conditionthat he would leave the country to get medical treatment.Vienna at that time was quite a famous centre for medicine. So he came there during the period when he had histreatment. At the same time he was working on a book. He looked for a secretary to type his manuscripts andapproached an Indian student to ask if he knew a lady who might do this for him.The student was running a discussion course in which my mother was a member. So he recommended her and thisis how they met.
After that, was your father in and out of Europe between 1934 and 1943?
 You could extend that period that far; in and out during the 1930s. Then he had more extensive stays in India. First ofall, he was Congress (
) president in 1938 and got re-elected in 1939 against the wishes of Mahatma Gandhi whohad set up another candidate. After that, the Second World War started in Europe and during that period there wasnot that much traveling back and forth.In 1941 my father returned to Germany by an adventurous route. He had been interned at home in Kolkata (
by the British 
) but made an escape from there, traveling in disguise as a Pathan from northern India to the North West
Young Guns Of India Against Corruption
Frontier Province (
now in Pakistan 
), and up to Kabul. There he had the support of the German and Italian embassiesto give him an Italian passport. Accompanied by a German diplomat he traveled across the Soviet Union, which hadnot entered the war and allowed him to pass through to Berlin.
What do you know of your father's role in forming the Indian National Army that fought the British?
 Actually, the INA had existed before his reaching Southeast Asia, but it had not picked up so well. One of the personsactively involved in it -- Ras Behari Bose -- wanted my father to take over. Ras Behari had lived in the region for sometime and was married to a Japanese lady.The INA wasn't just made up of former prisoners of war released by the Japanese. There were also many Indianplantation workers in Malaya who joined up; some of the recruits were prisoners of war and the Japanese handedthem over to the INA. Quite a few joined up because they wanted to do something for their country.What was unusual for those days was that the INA had a women's corps. My father was quite modern in his viewsand he had always felt that India had under-utilised resources. One was women and the other was the downtrodden,the workers, who were not recognised as a human resource.So the INA had a women's corps of 1,000 women; its commander was Dr (
later Colonel 
) Lakshmi Sehgal. At that timeshe was Dr Swaminathan from south India who had gone to Southeast Asia. She is still alive. In fact, she was one ofthe contenders for the Presidency of India (
Colonel Sehgal was the Communist parties' candidate for President against A P J Abdul Kalam in July 2002. She lost the election 
The INA then saw action on the Burma Front.
 The INA reached Indian soil in what is now called the Northeast provinces. There was a battle of Kohima and Imphalwhere they were defeated (
by the British 
) and had to retreat. Quite a few died. Politically they were more successfulas subsequently released documents have shown.In post-Independent India the INA's role was played down. The official evaluation was that its activities had littleeffect. Militarily speaking that was true because the army was not that well equipped, but the British made a greatpolitical mistake by putting three INA officers on trial at the Red Fort (
in Delhi 
), expecting that people would look downon them as traitors. The opposite happened and the trial publicized the efforts of the INA, which had previously beencensored.Until the trial little had been known of the INA or the Government of India in exile in 1943 when they tried to send foodto Bengal during the Great Famine. All of a sudden this trial made everything known and it revived the struggle forindependence in India, which had been lagging because the leadership of the Congress party and other groupsmostly had been imprisoned. Their efforts like the Quit India movement had not been successful and so this gave anew dawn to the movement.As a consequence of the INA's efforts, large numbers within the British Indian Army -- which was not just British butfor the most part Indian -- became unreliable. There was a mutiny in Bombay (
by the Royal Indian Navy 
), whichshowed the armed forces could not be depended on. The administrative system was what had controlled India and

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