Jan 23rd: Subhas Chandra Bose’s Birthday

Netaji Bose was born on this day in 1897. When and where he died is a mystery. The airbrushing of his image from the consciousness of Indians bears testimony to M K Gandhi’s success in crushing his opponents. Gandhi appointed Nehru as his successor and the rest is, as they say, history.

Gandhi cast a very long shadow on India. Mao is supposed to have replied, when asked about his opinion of the French revolution, “It is too early to tell.” The official line in India — and therefore the line parroted by the vast majority of ‘educated’ Indians — is that Gandhi was a prime factor in India gaining political independence. I think it is too early to tell whether Gandhi was good for India or not. But give it a few more decades and I am confident that Gandhi’s image will undergo a radical transformation. Satyam eva, as the old Sanskrit saying (which is India’s motto) goes, jayatey. Truth alone prevails. Eventually.

Update: Thanks to all those who pointed out that the title of the post was incorrect. I have changed the “Jan 13th” to “Jan 23rd.”

Thanks to rahushar for correcting my incorrect transcription of “satyam eva jayate.”