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.”

6 thoughts on “Jan 23rd: Subhas Chandra Bose’s Birthday

  1. SG Friday January 23, 2009 / 7:18 pm

    I agree Atanu. Swami Vivekananda’s birthday which falls on January 12 was similarly ignored by our pseudosecular English language media. Compare this to the jubilations that still erupt when celebrating the birthday of cha-cha or the “father of our nation!”.


  2. ashwin Friday January 23, 2009 / 9:05 pm

    Atanu: I think your title should reflect Jan 23rd instead of Jan 13th.



  3. sagarone Friday January 23, 2009 / 9:58 pm

    OK, I guess this is working for me now. 🙂
    Just wanted to remind you that it is the 23rd and not the 13th of January. You need to change the title of the post.


  4. rahushar Saturday January 24, 2009 / 11:08 am

    Minor correction or typo. In Sanskrit, it is Satyam Eva Jayatey rather than Satya Meva Jayatey – ‘Eva’ meaning ‘alone’.


  5. rahushar Saturday January 24, 2009 / 12:07 pm

    Also Atanu, if you have an interest can you please elaborate on your thoughts re. Netaji. He was obviously a very courageous patriot who was sidelined by Gandhi and Nehru. The Hindustan Times had a series of articles on his mysterious death and how they believed that he was in fact the hermit ‘Bhagawanji’ who died in Ayodhya in 1985. Searching your blog, I read this fascinating note, thank you! http://www.deeshaa.org/netajis-ghost-the-freedom-struggle-by-n-s-rajaram/

    Do you have any updates or thoughts beyond this?


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