Of Surjo Sens and Netra Sens – the Anatomy of an Intellectual Collusion with the British Invaders

Coauthored by Saswati Sarkar, Shanmukh, and Dikgaj

The Hindu Bengalis had constituted the sword arm of India during the freedom fight against the British [10], [18], [43], [44]. In the words of Subhas Chandra Bose, “Bengal, of which Calcutta is both the heart and the brain, has for a very long time been one of the strongholds of the nationalist movement’’ pp. 98-99, [6], and “With the dawn of the present century there was a national awakening in India on a large scale, and Bengal, which had suffered longest from the British yoke, was the pioneer in the new movement’’ p. 13, [6]. He has squarely attributed the nationalist movement in Bengal to the Hindus therein, describing them as “the backbone of nationalism in this country’’ p. 90, [2]. He explicitly stated that “Nobody will deny that Bengal has been the cradle of Indian Nationalism since the dawn of British rule in this country. Hindu Bengal, in particular, has throughout these decades thought and striven in terms of nationalism’’ p. 169, [2].

But no tale of heroism for a cause is complete without an account of the traitors to the cause, if only for a contrast. Hindu Bengal had an abundant supply of the latter, too, like everywhere else. There was a Masterda Surjo Sen, who challenged the mighty Raj for three years through an armed revolt from the banks of the river Karnaphuli in the tiny Chattogram. There was also a Netra Sen, who shared the hero’s last name, but not his values, to the extent that he informed the British about Surjo Sen’s whereabouts leading to his arrest and execution, for a sumptuous reward from the invaders. The Chattogram revolutionaries meted out the penalty appropriate for treason to the particular Netra Sen in question. But, neither Surjo Sen nor Netra Sen were individuals. One symbolizes a valiant defense of an ancient civilization, braving great odds, against occupying invaders. The other is an epitome of collusion with the same invaders. Their essence had multiplied and permeated other human forms during their lifetimes. Both constitute class-identifiers, one of the subliminal cultural identity that the Bengal revolutionary ethos stood for, another of a Hindu Bengali who betrays other Hindu Bengalis, or an Indian who betrays other Indians fighting for the nation, much more than a Mirzafar, who was neither an Indian nor a Bengali.

We now embark on the tale of another Netra Sen, who could not have been a literal reincarnation of his namesake, for their lives coincided. Just as Netra Sen shared his last name with Surjo Sen, the other Netra Sen shared his birth-year with the other Surjo Sen, Subhas Chandra Bose, among the greatest of the Indian revolutionaries. And, of course, the Surjo and Netra Sens in question shared their birth-ethnicity and religion. The other Netra Sen was a small man, who colluded with the British through his pen, or at least provably so. His writing shows his deep attachment to a mass-murderer colonial regime, which was particularly brutal on his birth-ethnicity. His writing was crass, replete with sexually explicit innuendoes and objectification of the feminine, grossly factually and logically off, reeked of hatred against his birth-ethnicity, birth-country and his co-religionists. And, he ran a slander campaign against the heroes of Bengal and India, the Bengal revolutionaries in general, and Subhas Chandra Bose in particular. He is hardly read by commoners (middle-class and below) of his birth-ethnicity and birth-nationality. Yet, he has been lionized by the intelligentsia of the economic right wing, most of whom belong to the BJP-RSS ecosystem, and some to the Congress. This is exactly why the sordid tale of this intellectual collusion needs to be told, to expose the deep-rooted stinking rot in the Indian intelligentsia.

The name is Nirad C. Chaudhuri. Citing his own writings, we first show how his core-values were anti-national, as the term is classically defined, and polar opposite of those of the heroes he vilified. He was an advocate for continuation of the genocidal British rule that killed 40 million Indians in various famines between 1757-1947 as per a conservative estimate [53], and drained a humongous amount of wealth from India, which has been estimated as 45 trillion US dollars by Prof. Utsa Patnaik [12] (the famine casualty would be multiplied many times over if we apply a standard growth rate on those terminated – Prof. Patnaik has estimated a casualty of 1.8 billion Indians through deprivation [12]) (Section A). Identification with an invader need not be the only motivation for his slander of Subhas Chandra Bose. Chaudhuri’s own writings show that he was obsessed with physical appearances, more for women but also for men, and attributed vilification of some other icons to having inferiority complexes on that count. Through that he may well have been subconsciously revealing why his animosity against Subhas Chandra Bose took a particularly perverted personal turn – because, as a twist of fate, in physical appearance, Bose was far closer than the slanderer to the “master race’’ that the slanderer cheer-led. Be that as it may, we move on to the actual documentation of the slander, the sexual innundoes, the normalization of what would be considered then and now, sexual crimes, the objectification of the feminine in it, above and beyond the egregious historical, factual and logical fallacies in them (Section B). In an earlier piece, we had documented his visceral hatred against Indians and Hindus [49]. The comprehensive slander coincides with being rewarded with prestigious awards the British establishment controls, and some more decidedly inferior ones (in Chaudhuri’s perception, in all likelihood) by the Indian state the British founded. Thankfully, he did not get a single award in the province he was born in – Bengal – to their credit the long-standing Communist and the earlier regimes in Bengal must have read the contents of his memorable compositions. Yet, Chaudhuri remains the toast of the intelligentsia-town, of the economic right wing variety and we document the adulation for him in that crowd (Section C).

What is remarkable is that Chaudhuri’s opprobrium on Subhas Chandra Bose blended in with his mindless hate against the Bengalis, and Bose’s supposed vices were associated with his ethnicity. But then this is also expected, as Subhas Chandra Bose, is an embodiment of Bengali identity, the flowering of the Bengal revolutionary ethos and the Bhadralok culture [43], [44]. Consider for example an eminent intellectual of his times, Sajani Kanta Das (whose sarcastic pen harshly lampooned the then communists and thus sharing a standard feature with self-styled right wing) who was by no means an admirer of Bose and had published caricatures of Bose and groups Bose had organized for some memorable occasionsin 1929 pp. 316-317, [7]. Even Das had noted in the 1930s that Subhas Chandra Bose, Mohun Bagan and New Theatres were the three personifiers of the colonial Bengali identity. Das was the editor of Shanibarer chithi, a well-known literary journal of pre-independence Bengal [40] (@shasangko kindly brought this information to our attention). It is therefore not surprising either that most of the admirers of Chaudhuri have also liberally expressed their ethnic hatred against the Bengalis. Thus, ethnic hatred for Bengal is coterminous with opposition to Subhas Chandra Bose.

On the face of it, it would be remarkable if members of a group that calls itself “Mission Netaji’’, would admire Nirad C. Chaudhuri, and quote his opinions (mind you, not facts), thereby revealing that they deem him credible. We show that this is exactly what the group that is seeking to establish a certain Gumnami Baba as Subhas Chandra Bose, does. But there is a pattern there too. Not merely, Nirad C. Chaudhuri, they have expressed their admiration for British racists who had abused their academic positions to assault Indian students, guided by perceptions of racist hierarchy, and had caused Bose’s academic career to be halted by an year. Simultaneously, through falsehood and Suppresio Veri, Suggestio Falsi, the same group has been assiduously pushing the theory that Bengalis had disowned Bose; reality being that Bengali masses have sustained Bose through thick and thin through their affection, admiration and unqualified support [43], [44] – a phenomenon that continues till date as we will show in the next piece in this series. In turn, Bose also loved Bengalis, unconditionally [44]. Yet, they admire the one Bengali who has perpetrated the worst possible slander on their stated hero, Subhas Chandra Bose. Thus, “Mission Netaji’’ or rather the Gumnami group, reveals acute symptoms of a disease called inverted morality by which a group that uses Bose’s name would stand against his cherished people and values, and would lionize those who vilified and damaged him. Not surprisingly then the gang doesn’t believe in answering questions, but accuses those who refuse to engage with them as fascists (Section D).

That brings us to the last question. The economic right wing, as also the large parts of the rest of the BJP-RSS base, often vilifies Hindu Bengalis as a whole, and Hindu Bengali intellectuals in particular. Hindu Bengali icons such as Rammohan Roy, Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore, Subhas Chandra Bose, Satyajit Ray are objects of their `special affection’, in the form of ad hominem pejoratives and derisions (rather than substantiated issue-based critics). But, the utterly loathsome Bengali-born, who answered to the name of Nirad C. Chaudhuri, is usually glorified, or at least never targeted. Is it because he is nowhere close to being a Bengali icon as he is a non-entity among common Bengalis, let alone being widely read? Or because a Bengali becomes a good Bengali only if has abused his fellow ethnics, or even more sinisterly, is it the case that this abusers feels threatened by some qualities they associate with Hindu Bengalis in general – genuine intellect, valour, selflessness, enlightened Hinduism, patriotism, refusal to compromise – which threaten them? Whereas the Bengali-borns who have colluded with the invaders, and do not possess any redeeming qualities, are the birds of their feather?

Section A: The root of an intellectual collusion – identification with a genocidal invader

Most of the Bengali intellectuals had strongly supported Bose [43]. But there was however a small section of the lesser known (in Bengal) among the Bengali intelligentsia who had been aligned with the British. They left no stone unturned to vilify Bose, and may be classified as Netra Sens, as a class identifier of Hindu Bengalis who betray other Hindu Bengalis, or more generally, Indians who betray other Indians in favour of the invaders. Nirad C. Chaudhuri has contributed to the worst slander among them.

Chaudhuri’s autobiographies clearly show that England has always been his only fatherland. His first book, and a supposed masterpiece, The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian, has been dedicated thus: “ To the memory of the British Empire in India, which conferred subjecthood upon us, but withheld citizenship: to which yet everyone of us threw out the challenge “Civis Britannicus sum” [Citizen of Britannia I am] because all that was living within us was made, shaped, and quickened, by British rule’’, p. 18, [8]. He rejected the principle of Indian nationalism, and had strongly opposed the Indian nationalist movement seeking freedom from the British. Quoting him from the second volume of his autobiography, “[From 1930s onwards] I became more of an imperialist than a nationalist.’’ p. 775, [7], and the [Indian] nationalist movement [seeking to free India from British rule] was driven wholly by passion, and from 1920 by one single passion, which was wholly negative, viz. pure and simple hatred of British rule’’ p. 253, [7]. He calls Winston Churchill an “inflexible opponent of Indian nationalism”, and says he “had always been an admirer of Churchill” and “hung up a large portrait of him” in his sitting room p. 566, 573, [7]. He has described his emotions on hearing about the electoral loss of Churchill: “I heard the news on the 27th (July 1945) that Churchill had resigned and was to be succeeded by Attlee. I was shocked, because I could never imagine that the British people would so unceremoniously reject the man who had led them to victory from an almost hopeless situation’’ p. 755, [7]. Nirad further reinforced his personal sense of belonging with the British: “There was, first, my historical view of the British rule in India, which I regarded as the best political regime which had ever been seen in India, in spite of its shortcomings and positive evils. Next, I had to reckon with my loyalty to English life and civilization and through that to the larger phenomenon of European culture, by both of which my own personality was formed. Last of all, there was my identification with British greatness, which was the natural result of the two previous factors’’ p. 27, [7].

He was even opposed to the transfer of power from the British to the Indians: I did not abandon the idea of a theoretical opposition to the idea of a transfer of power. This I thought I would present in a full-length book to be entitled The Real Indian Revolution. In it I would first set down what consequences a transfer of power per se was likely to have, then plead the case for a revolution, and finally argue that it could not come from any group of Indians, because of their moral and intellectual shortcomings….The needed Indian revolution could come only from a collaboration between those Indians who had still some idealism left in them and elements of Britain who would be enlightened enough to see the need for a revolution in India and offer their experience and ability in the political field to us’’ p. 396, [7].  In a remarkable inversion of morality in which colonials are deemed victims of the enslaved, he has written, “In my book, The Continent of Circe, which describes the deadly capacity of India to make swine of every race of humans coming to India, I have called the British in India her “worst victims” p. 783, [7].

He attributed the transfer of power to India to Hitler, and the scavenging tendencies of the Indian nationalist movement: It is he (Hitler) who has destroyed British greatness. On the eve of the war he offered to guarantee the continuance of the British Empire for all time with the power of the Wehrmacht, and when the offer was not accepted he destroyed not only the British Empire but also British greatness at home. What Gandhi or the Indian nationalist movement did was only to take the hyena’s share of the lion)’s kill’’ p. 883, [7]. Summarizing, for him Hitler was a lion, and Indian nationalists were hyenas.

In 1946, while India was a British colony, he had argued for British domination of Indians for the “common good’’ of the latter, and that the urgent function of the British was to suppress the dissenting Indians, primarily the Bengalis pp. 775-779, [7]: “I emphatically rejected the idea that empires were opposed to human dignity, because I held that it really sustained the dignity. I said that, while the fashionable modern democracies – the dictatorships being as democratic as parliamentary governments – got their opponents killed, history records that even autocratic emperors acted according to the idea of a commonwealth based on equity and freedom of speech, which, above all, cherished the freedom of the subject … The true antithesis was between imperialism and nationalism, which latter, if both were evil, is now seen to be the greater evil of the two. …..Imperialism, far from being the enemy of subject peoples, has always protected them. This was first shown by the creators of true imperialism, the Achaemenid Persians, and the British in India only continued in the same tradition. Let me give one example. On 17 May 1766, when British rule in Bengal had not even been consolidated, the Directors of the East India Company, supposed to be a body of rapacious traders, wrote to their agents in Calcutta:`It is now more immediately our interest and duty to protect and cherish the inhabitants, and to give no occasion to look on every Englishman as their natural enemy.’ This was written to explain their refusal to permit monopoly of certain trades to their factors in Bengal’’ ..human communities which were left behind in the march of civilizations acquired a violent hatred of the forward movement. They threatened it with three weapons: inertia, malevolence, and self-pity. The have-nots of the world today are calling themselves the Third World and demanding charity on the strength of their inertia and self-pity. But this aspect of their behavior is passive whereas their malevolence is active. I became aware of the existence of this baleful passion through my experiences in Bengal.’’ pp. 778-780, [7]. So he had written in 1946, “In order to feel the full impact of the malevolence of the backward, you have to live among them. You have to see how you are hated by these have-nots for a little extra efficiency, extra power of thinking, extra ability to make life worth living; in short for a little extra quality in life. You have to register hourly mementos which tell you that as soon as they have the power to do so the Yahoos will fall upon you and tear you to pieces. You have to be steeped in the premonition of inevitable debasement’’ p. 780, [7]. In 1946, he had described this animosity as ‘the rancor of the futureless’, and that “the urgent function of imperialism to defend civilization by suppressing this vile revolt’’ p. 780, [7].

In a stark contrast to Nirad C. Chaudhuri, Subhas Chandra Bose was as staunch an Indian nationalist as one can be, would live and die for Indian nationalism, and was implacably opposed to the British rule in India. In fact, his close political aide in Germany, M. R. Vyas, has described him as: he was vehemently distrustful of the British, and not a mere opponent of their rule over India. He had suffered a great deal  at their hands. He had been there enemy no. 1. During the freedom movement, even when other Indian leaders were either not arrested or were set free, the British had kept him in prison. For two years he was kept in Mandalay jail (where Lokmanya Tilak  had also been kept a decade and a half earlier), which as a jail was reported to be only a small degree less tortuous  than the Andamans.’’ pp. 308-309, [27]. On June 10, 1933, in his Presidential Speech at the third Indian political conference held in London, Bose said: “1)There is no social kinship between the two countries. 2) There is hardly anything in common between the cultures of India and of Britain.’’ p. 249, [29]. With a remarkable clarity of thought, he went on, “ It is sometimes urged by our British friends that the British public have an open mind on the Indian question and that we would gain much if we could win their sympathy by means of our propaganda. I do not, however, think that the British Public have an open mind on the Indian question—it is not humanly possible. In India, administration and exploitation go hand in hand, and it is not exploitation by a group of British capitalists and financiers, but the exploitation of India by Great Britain as a whole. The British capital that has been invested in India has not come from the upper classes alone, but also from the middle classes, and probably to some extent from the poorer classes as well. Further, even the working classes of Great Britain cannot afford to see the Indian textile industry thrive at the expense of Lancashire. That is why India has not been made a party question by the great political parties in Great Britain. That is why the policy of brutal repression and persecution was continued in India even when there was a Labour Government in power in London. I know that there are individual members in the Labour Party who rise above selfish consideration and who are sincere in their desire to do justice to India. But however much we may admire them and however cordial our personal relations with them may be, the fact remains that they are not in a position to influence party decisions. And, judging from our past experience, we may say that we cannot expect any improvement in the Indian situation through a change of Government in Downing Street.’’ pp. 256-257, [29]. British intelligence described Bose as a “long standing extreme nationalist’’ p. 27, [28], “a bitterly and irremediably anti-British politician,’’ p. 27, [28] (note prepared by M. J. Clauson on 15. December, 1932) and an “implacable foe of British rule in India’’ p. 49, [28]. On Bose, the Marquess of Zetland stated on December 1, 1936 in the House of Lords: “Unhappily, Mr. Bose, a man of great ability, a man possibly of genius, is a man who, whether by his own fault or by misfortune, has directed almost all his abilities to destructive rather than constructive purposes.’’ p. 126, [28]. M. R. Vyas has described Bose as being particularly opposed to Churchill: “Subhas Bose’s immense distrust of the Britain was coupled with a powerful hatred created in his mind by the experiences of arrogance of the British in India, right from his school days in his birth place of Cuttack. His repeated incarcerations added fuel to the fire. But whatever little confidence he had in the British was lost, when in May 1940 Mr. Churchill became the British Prime Minister, and Mr. Amery, the Secretary of State for India. For him they were no different from Hitler and Mussolini, and if, then only more sophisticated in their viciousness’’ p. 278, [27]. Thus, in core beliefs and values, Subhas Chandra Bose was an antithesis to Nirad C. Chaudhuri. It is therefore no coincidence that Chaudhuri would deeply resent Bose.

Section B: The nuts and bolts of an intellectual collusion – slander campaign against Subhas Chandra Bose

Section B.1: The psychology of a collusion – the envy, the crudity, the sexual perversion, the normalization of a sexual crime

Nirad C. Chaudhuri invoked disturbing imageries concerning “desirable’’ feminine connections that could have materialized for Subhas Chandra Bose, that are replete with crass objectification of women, sexual perversion, sexual violence, and fall squarely within the realm of pornography:

  • In the version of an unnamed “intimate” friend of Subhas Chandra Bose he writes (with the standard disclaimer that he did not agree with this friend): “The madcap is becoming more and more mad every day. Is there no frenzied beautiful hussy in Calcutta who could shut herself up with him in a room and rape him, so that he would feel in honour bound to marry her? Then the madcap would become normal.” p. 476, [7].

  • I have already recorded what I thought about his [Bose’s] sexual inclinations, and had enough proof of his suppression of them in obedience to his patriotic duty, in which he was an outstanding example of an established Bengali type. That view of mine was no longer tenable. It was destroyed by a banal act of the stalest kind. There were beautiful Bengali girls who, if only he would look at them, would have worshipped him as a divinity and loved him as Heloise loved Abelard. And the plain ones would have become devadasis, dancing girls dedicated to a God, for his sake. From that, to the marriage in Germany, was a descent indeed. He had shaped himself, to my thinking, in the image of the warrior ascetics delineated as ideal patriots in a famous Bengali novel, which was the bible of Bengali revolutionaries at the turn of the century. These Bengali Knights Templars had to take a vow not only to eschew woman sexually, but not even to sit on the same seat with them, and the atonement for any failure to keep that vow was to seek death in the battlefield. I have no doubt that Subhas Bose thought of himself in that way, and I cannot explain how he became different’’ pp. 797-798, [7]. An explicit classification of women based on the sole attribute of physical appearance has been invoked here to imply that the “plain’’ ones would need to work harder to net a partner of their choice.

The above statements also provide yet another psychological element to Nirad C. Chaudhuri’s hatred of Bose. The former was obsessed with physical appearance, but lacked specifically in that domain, at least as per the prevalent perceptions of male virility. In Chaudhuri’s own words, “First, as to my physical unfitness, I was a seven-months’ child of an ailing mother, who became worse after my birth, and could not feed me after my third month. I had to be fed on cow’s milk, which was always contaminated. So, from that time to almost my sixtieth year, I suffered from stomach troubles which weakened my heart. I never really enjoyed passably good health until I came to England in 1970, and that was at best making a derelict cottage fit to live in for the time being. Furthermore, from my fourteenth year I had to live away from home for my education, and never got the food I needed. So I suffered from malnutrition, and never grew into a healthy and strong young man. Thus, born plain, I became even worse, scraggy and pinched in my limbs and features. I remained just over five feet tall, and only six stone in weight until over seventy. There was no question at any time of my life of my being physically impressive.’’ pp. xxi-xxii [7]. His body was “frail’’ p, 357, [7], and more explicitly, “I was scraggy in body, pinched in the face, and had deep wrinkles between my brows. I thought I looked pensive, but many thought I was peevish.’’ p. 187, [7]. Before his marriage his future brother-in-law had inspected him, without his knowledge, and his report to his future parents-in-law was “unfavourable as to looks and stature.’’ p. 345, [7]. He writes that his forearms showed like “pea sticks’’, but his future parents-in-law overlooked “the reported physical insignificance.’’ p. 346, [7]. He has also written, “I had begun to lose my teeth from the age of twenty-seven. My teeth were bad, and two front ones were false. By 1932 I had lost two more, and the gaps showed if I smiled.’’ p. 348, [7]. He later got false teeth. He describes the first words he exchanged with his wife on the bridal bed: “She took up one of my arms, felt it and said: `You are so thin. I shall take good care of you.’ I did not thank her, and I do not remember that beyond noting the words I even felt touched.’’ p. 351, [7]. He describes himself in 1937, “I was short to the point of being puny, very thin, and pinched in the face, besides having two deep wrinkles between my eyebrows. By that time I had lost two more teeth, and had not been able to get false teeth. So, two gaps showed when I spoke.’’ p. 408, [7]. Subhas Chandra Bose, who was born in the same year as Nirad C. Chaudhuri, was an antithesis to the latter even in physical appearance. Mohammad Zaman Kiani, INA Commander and Chief of General Staff, has described him as follows: Mr. Subhas Chander Bose, a tall, fair and handsome Bengali, was undoubtedly one of the most illustrious sons of pre-independence India and an outstanding fighter for the freedom of his country. He was a giant of a man by any standards. He had a strong will, a clear head, great patience and tremendous courage, both moral and physical. He had a winning smile and was easily approachable.’’ p. 215, [30]. M. R. Vyas has described him as “tall, handsome’’ p. 135, [27]. Chaudhuri himself has described Bose as, “He was also physically impressive, being both tall, well-built and handsome. Perhaps his face was too chubby for Western taste, but in India where embonpoint is as much a masculine as a feminine grace, his putto-like face added to his attraction. Besides, he was very fair, and without a fair complexion nobody is regarded as handsome in India. Except for certain dour traits in his character, he could be likened to Bonnie Prince Charlie. But he was less like the feckless Stuart than another dazzling Scot, Claverhouse, Bonnie Dundee.’’ p. 473, [7]. In yet, another contrast, in his voluminous writings Bose has not commented on either his or someone else’s physical appearance – he may not have laid much stock on that. Granted that Chaudhuri candidly described his physical limitations, but that was only at a ripe old age. Could being overshadowed by a contemporary in attributes he could do nothing about, been easy for him? We get a glimpse from his writings. He has described why Tagore’s contemporary Bengali writers slandered him: “ Most Bengali writers come from the lower middle class. In looks they are normally unprepossessing, and in their manners extremely crude and prone to fancy injuries and insults. On the other hand, their literary gifts, in which they find compensation for their other deprivations, make them capable of settling their scores with a good deal of low virtuosity, sometimes even with undisguised scurrility. In Tagore’s case, their jealousy reached a special malignancy because, finding him a competitor as a fellow-writer, these men thought that since birth had given him social position, wealth, and good looks he had no business to poach their preserves.’’ p. 607, [7]. Eerily, it seems he is describing the “most Bengali writers’’ in his own image, and Subhas Chandra Bose in that of Rabindranath Tagore’s.

We move on to facts from conjectures. Some descendants of Bose have alleged that Nirad C. Chaudhuri had spied on Subhas and Sarat Chandra Boses, in service of the British empire, utilizing his access to them as the latter’s private secretary [4]. While it is impossible to ascertain the veracity of these claims based on the evidence available in public domain thus far, it may however be said that the above statements indicate a psyche vested in honey-trapping a high profile target and frustration in failure thereof, as also the perceived success of others in the same mission. Honey-trapping is one of the most common devices employed by all states. There are also some curious coincidences in that he worked as Sarat Bose’s Secretary from 1937 to late 1941, until Sarat Bose’s arrest. This was the period in which Subhas Chandra Bose ascended to Congress Presidency, resigned, formed his own party, left for Germany, and kept in touch with Sarat Bose from Germany. Thus, the Bose residence would be the prime target for British espionage during this period.

We end this section with further evidence of Nirad C. Chaudhuri’s voyeurism, sexual depravity bordering on pornography, obsession with physical appearances, rumor-mongering, misogyny pertaining to Bengali women in general and Bengali women revolutionaries in particular:

  • By the Thirties another sinister development had taken place. Bengali girls began to come into the movement, and they became even more hysterical in their hatred’’ p. 292, [7].

  • He describes a woman revolutionary, Bimala Prativa Devi, as an “egregious and absurd political woman of Bengal” p. 300, [7]. “She belonged to a wealthy family, was the wife of a doctor, and in all her photographs published in the Press was shown as a young woman with some pretension to looks and wearing a diamond tiara. But I heard all sorts of reports about her revolutionary as well as amatory propensity, and myself once saw a demonstration. I met her in her house more than once, and she seemed to be very high-strung, although always smiling. Gopal Babu, who took me to meet her somehow developed a sort of infatuation for her, which made me grumble that I saw no merit in becoming Jude the Obscure. Her extremely neurotic temperament helped her in getting released from prison, for detention invariably made her ill and she showed clear symptoms of tuberculosis by vomiting blood. These disappeared as soon as she became free. The letters which she was allowed to send from prisons to her young friends provided considerable amusement to the police officers who had to censor them, by their frankness. Some were addressed to Gopal Babu and I heard some very explicit passages quoted’’ p. 300, [7].

  • One day suddenly, three girls arrived at our house, and asked to see the young man [the brother of a Chattogram Armory raider who had taken shelter there]. …She (one of the girls) looked a dour and fanatical little doll. When I asked her if she knew of the death of the brother of the young man, she said quite calmly that she did. I asked her not to mention it, but I think she did, for she was not the sort of person to regret such a death. Another girl was the daughter of one of the leading advocates of Calcutta High Court, who was also a popular novelist. From the giggles I heard behind closed doors I wondered how much of the discussion was revolutionary and how much flirtatious’’ p. 296, [7].

  • In his obsession with the appearance of women, Chaudhuri regularly diminished their educational and professional achievements, and even obstructed through subterfuge their professional progress if their appearances and sartorial tastes did not secure his approval: The cult of woman to which he [Ramananda Babu, Chaudhuri’s chief at the magazines he worked at] subscribed made him publish the educational or professional achievements of all Indian women in his two magazines, with photographs of the heroines. I was in charge of the sections in both the Bengali and the English magazine, and it was a sore trial for me because most of the women, young or elderly, were plain and at times even ugly. I used to describe this fad of Ramananda Babu as his ‘sublimated debauchery’ . On one occasion this landed me in a very uncomfortable situation. I once received the photograph of a Bengali young woman who was very ugly to my thinking and who had made matters worse by overdressing and wearing very ornate jewellery. Her achievement was that she had become enrolled as a lawyer in a district court. I thought we had reached the limit of publishing feminine unloveliness, and yet I knew that Ramananda Babu was sure to publish that photograph. So I decided to suppress this young lady and threw her photograph into my wastepaper basket. After a few days a second copy of the same photograph arrived, and I consigned that as well to the same receptacle. pp. 246-247, [7].

Section B.2: The mechanism of intellectual collusion – ethnic hatred and distortion of history through falsehood

We reproduce Chaudhuri’s comments on Bose, which show how his contempt for the latter seamlessly blends with his acrimony for the Bengali revolutionaries and Bose’s Bengali ethnicity (which Chaudhuri shared through an accident of birth). Other characteristics that stand out in his hyperboles – 1) acute factual and logical flaws in historical specifics, wherever he ventures into those, which we expose, 2) even worse, by and large, he steers clear of even attempts to substantiate his claims about historically significant events, with contemporary records. Both of these may be correlated to his insufficient formal education and academic training.

Section B.2.1: On Calcutta Congress, 1928

In Calcutta Congress, 1928, Subhas Chandra Bose had organized an army of volunteers, the Bengal Volunteers, and marched with them in military attire as their G.O.C. (General Officer in Command) to ceremoniously welcome then Congress President Motilal Nehru. This had a strong impact on the young grassroots cadres of the Congress, many of whom were budding revolutionaries, and stimulated the eruption of the revolutionary movement all over Bengal starting with the Chattogram Armory raid in April 1930. M. R. Vyas, close political aide of Subhas Chandra Bose in Germany has written, “To crown it all, Subhas Bose  had given a great demonstration of his organizational capacity at the annual Calcutta Congress session in 1928, at which Pandit Matilal Nehru presided. Subhas Bose as the G.O.C. of the Congress Volunteers Corps, fittingly attired, tall, handsome as he was, had made a terrific impact. His smartly turned out Volunteer Corps resembled a paramilitary formation, and was the cynosure of all eyes’’ p. 135, [27]. Jawaharlal Nehru emulated Bose in the succeeding Lahore Congress in 1929. Vyas has noted, “In 1928, at Calcutta, Subhas Bose had impressed the public with his military uniform and horse-riding. At Lahore, Jawaharlal Nehru mounted a horse in public’’ p. 137, [27].

Emulating Bose, similar volunteer forces were organized in many districts and they started marching in military attire in different Congress events. In an article titled Subhas Chandra and the revolutionaries of Bengal, Chattogram revolutionary and young Congress worker, Ananta Singh wrote , “ ….before this [Calcutta Congress, 1928] I had no direct acquaintance with Subhaschandra – I had never seen him face to face. I saw his various pictures in newspapers. This was the first time I saw Subhas as G.O.C. [General Officer in Command] at the head of a large army. In his military attire I witnessed with my whole heart the extraordinary personality and brave soldier in Subhas – my heart was filled with pride imagining him as the overall leader of independent India. I felt revolutionary stirrings in my mind seeing the extraordinary fearless personality of the commander in chief of the future revolutionary soldiers seeking freedom. Subhas in military attire on horseback. The sun had lit his face, his eyes. His proud eyes were glowing. The General of revolutionary Bengal was determined to declare the full fledged independence war at this Congress assembly” p. 271, [26]. Ananta Singh also wrote, “…there is no doubt that following the Bengal Volunteers even we constituted in Chattogram an organized and decorated volunteer force. Quoting from the verdict against us, “In December, 1928, the All India session of the Congress was held in Calcutta which was attended by Ambika Chakraborty, Surya Sen, Nirmal Sen, Anantalal Singh, Harigopal Bal and Tarakeshwar Dastidar (another absconding). At this Congress numerous volunteers were in obedience wearing Khaki Military uniforms and commanded by Subhas Bose and Jatin Das wearing the uniforms of military officers. The prosecution suggestion is the those Chittagong visitors after witnessing the display of pseudo militarism returned home filled with a spirit of emulation which was soon to be translated into practice” p. 271, [26]. Thus, the revolutionary base in Bengal Congress emulated Subhas Chandra Bose. Police report has described the May 1929 District Congress meet in Chattogram: “That day (12th May, 1929) the Presidential speech was delivered by Mr. Subhas Bose, it’s tenor being that he had faith in Mahatma Gandhi but he could not see how the country could be saved by non-violence. The volunteers were present in force at the conference under the command of Ganesh Ghosh who was stayed as G.O.C. and wore military uniform similar to that worn by Subhas Bose at the Calcutta Congress” p. 272, [26]. In less than a year, the Chattogram group embarked on the daring Chattogram Armory raid.

In Nirad C. Chaudhuri’s pen, the memorable military exhibition in Calcutta Congress, 1928, becomes, In it [Calcutta Congress, December 1928] Subhas Bose gave a theatrical exhibition of militarism. He organized a volunteer corps, put the volunteers in military uniform, and even provided steel-chain epaulettes for the men of the simulated cavalry of the volunteers. His own uniform was made by a firm of British tailors, Harmans, with English material. He called himself its GOC, and a telegram addressed to him as such was sent to the General commanding the Presidency and Assam District of the Indian Army in Fort William. It was redirected to the proper addressee from there, and naturally that caused great amusement among the British in Calcutta. The volunteer corps had its women’s contingent, in which my future wife also served, but the girls were not put in any kind of uniform. Sajani Das published caricatures of both Subhas Bose as GOC and of the girls, which I disliked although I was not a very ardent nationalist then. All this was an expression of the vicarious military inclinations of the Bengali middle class, which Subhas Bose shared. I saw an infantry training manual of the British army annotated in his own hand. Mahatma Gandhi called all this show Bertram Mills’ circus, and gave great offense to Bengalis’’ pp. 316-317, [7].

Section B.2.2: “Critical observations’’ or slander through rhetorics and hyperboles?

Without further ado, we now reproduce another gem of an opinion from Nirad C. Chaudhuri, which he does not seek to substantiate, as is his wont: “He [Bose] did not frighten that order by being too far above or in advance of them in his ideas. Yet he could give new force, plausibility and animation to widely held ideas. He had the popular political leader’s supreme qualification, as pointed out by Tocqueville with incisive clarity, of being able to mingle with his followers and adversaries, to rise and fall to the level of all intelligences, to discuss and argue without repose, to say the same things in different forms, and to get animated without end in the face of the same object. Nonetheless, the commonness of it all was raised by the mere fanaticism with which he preached it to the level of revolutionary originality. To be an embodiment of all the thoughts, emotions and aspirations of the Indian middle class and yet to seem to be far above its level, indeed to appear to be different in kind when only differing in degree, was his forte, as indeed it is the essential endowment of any popular hero. But the true hero, though he is that, also adds something of his own which is novel, and wheedles his followers into following him by seeming to be all their own. ‘Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfil’, said Jesus. Subhas Bose could never rise to that level of leadership. But, at all events, he should have been able to lead his followers to some purpose as Hitler did the Germans. If he could not do that, there must have been serious shortcomings in himself, as indeed there were. These were behind his failure, of which, too, there can be no doubt. The first of these shortcomings was his closed mind, which made him incapable of seeing any situation for what it was. But in this, too, he was a typical Bengali intellectual. Traditionally, Bengali intellectuals have been extremely sensitive to abstract concepts and equally skillful in spinning webs of words around them. This propensity of the Bengali mind was very much strengthened when the Bengalis came in contact with a welter of new ideas from Europe. But such was their enthusiasm on one hand and abundance of the supply on the other that they began to fall in calf-love with ideas, and the special, if not self-defeating, characteristic of this ideological calf-love was its constancy or rather tyranny. Thus, once he had accepted an idea, the Bengali intellectual closed his mind to all else, and employed all his mental ingenuity to confirm his slavery to it. Their minds compelled Bengali intellectuals to live in their ideological Procrustean beds, even if that made them cut off their growing mental limbs. Subhas Bose was a supreme Bengali in this sort of unreceptivity. This was seen in his incapacity to perceive that with the emergence of Gandhism his brand of nationalism had no chance….I shall only add that his unadaptability was also seen in his association with the Bengali revolutionary movement, which had become totally obsolete’’ pp. 474-475, [7].

Given that the comment is an opinion, devoid of substantiation, it does not merit further discussion.

 

Section B.2.3: The Great Escape from Calcutta – Frustration at being bested?

In 1941 January Subhas Chandra Bose escaped house arrest in his Elgin road residence, and British surveillance, to traverse across India to the North West Frontier Provinces, Afghanistan, Russia into Germany. The daring of this act stimulated public imagination in India and has been viewed as a romance of history.

Nirad C. Chaudhuri has described this episode as: “That was Subhas Bose’s departure from India to go to Germany in the previous January [1941]. Thus he literally went west from Calcutta. As it turned out, it also became ‘going west’ for him in the colloquial sense. It ended in total failure for him, and, finally, in his death…..What is most tragic about this episode is its glorification by the Bengali intelligentsia and its exploitation by the surviving relatives for promoting their political interest. Even today there is no admission of its deplorable futility. The sincerely stupid part of the glorifying myth has its origin in the emotional compulsion for the Bengali middle class to believe that through Subhas Bose they played a decisive role in gaining political independence for India, and to deprecate Gandhi’s role as far as possible. Actually, Bengal ceased to play an important role in the nationalist movement from 1937 and Bose himself was pushed out of the main stream of the nationalist movement in 1939. By leaving India he ceased to matter so far as the movement was concerned’’ p. 646, [7]. Brilliant writer that Chaudhuri is, within a page, he would contradict his contention on the supposed irrelevance of Bose in 1939. Let us for the moment continue with his brilliant testimony.

“The so-called escape has been represented as a clever feat of outwitting the British administration in India by adroit planning and daring execution, somewhat similar to the rescue of Mussolini by Hitler. Certainly, it would have been clever if Subhas Bose had been under house arrest and surveillance. But he was not. When questions were raised after his departure, it was definitely established that the political police of Bengal had no instructions to keep him under surveillance or to prevent his movements. Thus he could go anywhere he liked by day or by night’’ pp. 646-647, [7]. Once again, Chaudhuri reveals his fatal shortcoming as a researcher by not establishing his contention through specifics obtained from primary sources such as the police archives or newspaper reports of the time. On November 10, 1941, The Statesman, which Chaudhuri held in high esteem, had asked, `` Proceedings …..on a charge against him [Bose] were, we believe, pending at the time and he was under police surveillance. How came it that he was allowed to disappear?’’ p. 437, [3].

 

Chaudhuri has continued: “But from what I knew about the efficiency of the political police in Bengal in those days, I would say that if the police had been watching Bose, the kind of planning his immature nephews were capable of, could not have prevented his arrest before he reached any of the bridges over the river Hooghly’’ p. 647, [7].

Historian Leonard Gordon’s documentations squarely debunk Chaudhuri’s valued opinion. Gordon has written, It has been suggested by some writers that Bose’s plans or whereabouts later in Kabul were known to the authorities and that they left him alone because they were happy to see him go. However, the Home Department file dealing with his disappearance and the subsequent Bengal Governor’s Report for the following few months show internal confusion and lack of any concrete information…. communications were exchanged between the Home Department in Delhi and the Special Branch office in Calcutta, sorting out the rumors about Bose’s whereabouts. …..Officials in Delhi were unhappy with the sloppy work done in Calcutta and one Delhi officer noted on February 13 [1941], `When Bose was unconditionally released (with the idea of putting him back again when his health permitted) it was decided not to guard his residence with police, but to keep a watch on it by agents from within. How he arranged to escape and where he now is, is still a mystery. (The government)….wanted to prevent Bose from doing harm within India or abroad. Bose hoodwinked the police and the governor was by no means proud of the performance. From the mutual criticisms of Delhi and Calcutta intelligence officials, it seems clear that Bose had fooled them.’’ pp. 424-426, [3] [Gordon has quoted and summarized several police files on the topic]. Hauner has noted how the correspondence between the office of the Secretary to the Government of Bengal had received a letter from the commissioner of police, with the following conclusion, “Neither I, nor any of my officers, accept the slightest responsibility for this [i.e., Bose’s escape]’’ p. 240, [50].

 

Note the comment of the British officer in the Home Department in Delhi that the British had decided to keep a watch on Bose’s residence by agents from within. Chaudhuri was working as Sarat Bose’s Secretary exactly at that time. So, if he were one of the British agents, his espionage record would be fatally tainted by his subject’s escape from under his surveillance. One can only speculate whether underplaying the significance of this escape may well be a product of a guilty mind.

We continue with Chaudhuri’s rhetorics only to show how he contradicts his own contention made in the previous page of his book: “What again is not realized by those who glorify the so-called escape is that the British administration, so far from being made anxious by it, had every reason to feel relieved. Remaining in India, Bose would have given cause for anxiety, but by going to Berlin he rendered himself harmless. The British officials in India in those days were given to be unnecessarily nervous about internal conditions, as they also were in 1915 and 1916, and for which they were criticized by the Mesopotamia Commission. In 1941, however, they would have had more than their normal share of nervousness if they believed that Subhas Bose could make any difference to the course of the war by his presence in Germany, and that was the only thing that mattered. I feel quite sure that if the Government of India had taken a serious view of Bose’s departure for Germany, Sarat Bose and certain other members of the family would have been arrested at once’’ p. 647, [7] The question that would naturally arise in a logical mind is that if Subhas Bose was pushed out of the mainstream of the nationalist movement in 1939 why would he have given cause for anxiety to the British by remaining in India? But then logic is usually the first casualty of hate.

Section B.2.4: Yet another escape, yet another fraud

In another winter, the February of 1943, Subhas Chandra Bose embarked on yet another landmark voyage, from Germany to South East Asia in a submarine, crossing waters that were then playgrounds of the Allies. It was in South East Asia that he assumed command of the Indian National Army formed by former officer of the British Indian army and prisoner of war of the Japanese, Mohan Singh and nurtured and reconstituted by revolutionary in exile Rashbehari Bose. He led the INA to India, but was forced to retreat because of the reversal of Japanese fortunes in the war. And then he disappeared into the unknown in August, 1945, never to be definitively seen again. But, when the exploits of the INA and its `Netaji’, revered leader, reached India, Indians, including those of the British Indian Military, rebelled. This was the last nail in the coffin of the Raj in India, who were subsequently forced to transfer power to Indians in 1947.

Nirad C. Chaudhuri has described Bose’s sojourn in Germany and his second escape thus: “He [Subhas] had been used as a mere propaganda agent by the Nazis. With my strong feelings about the war and some residue of respect which I still had for the Indian nationalist movement, I was bound to feel derisive, and even to be scandalized, when I heard in Delhi that Bose was broadcasting anti-British propaganda from Berlin. For Subhas Bose to have become an Indian Lord Haw Haw was a descent beyond my comprehension. However, the Germans had no further use for him and sent him away to Japan. A Czech scholar, Milan Hauner, has described at some length what happened to Bose in Germany, and it is a pitiful tale’’ p. 797, [7]

During the second world war, Nirad C. Chaudhuri worked as a political commentator at the All India Radio, and therefore by definition a British propagandist, exactly during the period in which he accuses Bose of becoming a Nazi propagandist.. He started with the Calcutta Branch and then moved to the Delhi branch in 1941. Subhas Chandra Bose has repeatedly spoken about how the Indian hirelings at the All India Radio had targeted him and the INA through their vile and fraudulent propaganda:

  • On 4 July, 1944, Bose said at a mass rally in Rangoon in Burma, that the All-India Radio, which he mocked as the Anti-India-Radio, had described the Azad Hind Fouj as puppet army, and the enemy and its hired mercenaries have been indulging on undiluted abuse. Bose noted that, “our work has proved to be so effective that we – and we alone – have been singled out for abuse by our enemies. It is an honor that we should fully appreciate’’ p. 210, [11].

  • On 12 July 1944, Bose said, “What surprises and hurts me, however, is that some of our countrymen in the British service volunteer to do all the dirty work, which British imperialists should have taken upon themselves. Why should our countrymen sell themselves so abjectly for a few hundred rupees a month ? The methods of British propaganda during the last war have been recorded in black and white by Englishmen themselves. One has only to read such books as ‘Secrets of Crewe House’ and ‘Wartime Falsehoods’ by Posenby to realize what British propagandists are capable of. It was an English General, Brigadier Charteris, who started the rumour in the last war that the Germans were extracting fat from the bodies of dead soldiers. He knew that it was a deliberate falsehood and after the war, he confessed that he had not hoped that this propaganda would strike roots. But the unsophisticated section of the world public thought that a British General could not lie and the trick, therefore worked. Since then things have changed. The world public is no longer unsophisticated and thanks to the wireless and radio, propaganda from both sides can reach every corner of the world. That is one of the chief reasons why British propaganda in this war had proved to be ineffective. Nevertheless, a leopard cannot change its spots. The liar cannot stop lying, even if he knows that he is no longer trusted. He hopes against hope that there are still enough fools in this world who could be taken in. Consequently, I am not surprised that the British are continuing their game of lying and bluffing. But what is regrettable is that their hirelings in India do this dirty work for them. I know that there is a great economic distress in India and people are starving. But that is no reason why educated Indians – not only men, but sometimes also women – should come forward and sell themselves at a cheap price. On certain occasions, I have even heard men holding high degrees – lecturers of universities – doing lying propaganda from the transmitting rooms of the Anti-India Radio ‘’ p. 255, [11]. (Bose was probably not specifically referring to Nirad C. Chaudhuri as having not held a masters, he could not be described as one with a high degree, nor was he a University lecturer. But he was definitely describing a broad category that included the likes of Chaudhuri.) He continued, “That the British should like to abuse me to their heart’s content – call me Quisling, puppet and what not – is but natural. But why should they be able to find Mir Jafars and Umichands to do the lying propaganda for them ?” p. 257, [11].

  • On 12 July 1944, Bose enumerated the propaganda against him and the Azad Hind Fouj, conducted from All India Radio: (1) He was so unpopular at home that he was removed from the Congress Presidency and was forced to leave India (2) he had to leave Europe in 1943 because of his differences with Germany (3) Japan was miffed with him because there was no uprising in India after the Azad Hind Fouj entered India pp. 255-256, [11]. The Indian mercenaries have been spreading propaganda about Japanese atrocities, particularly those on Indians p. 257, [11].

We may forgive Chaudhuri’s proclivity to project his self-perception as a propagandist of an invader, on Bose. But, note how one of the propaganda items of All India Radio Bose identifies recurs in then their political commentator, i.e., propagandist, Chaudhuri’s writings: he had to leave Europe in 1943 because of his differences with Germany. Chaudhuri has expressed the same more crudely: However, the Germans had no further use for him and sent him away to Japan.’’ And, examination of historical documents, eg, Imperial Japanese Army Lt. General Kawabe’ memoirs, Japanese attache in Berlin, Syn Higuti’s writings, Burmese political leader Ba Maw’s memoirs, documents reproduced by scholars like Hauner [50], Jan Kuhlmann [39], Joyce Lebra [45], Hayes [46] – all reveal the blatant falsehood of the above contention as we show next.

Bose had initiated steps to move to Japan long before the trip materialized, the delay owed to German reluctance to let him go given his political utility and finalization of the logistics of the travel given concerns of both the German and Japanese leadership about Bose’s safety (at the start of this process, Japan had misgivings about how Bose would fit in their scheme of things, but they assented in principle not too long after). Hauner, whom Chaudhuri cites as his source, has written that: The Japanese interest in getting Bose to work with them for Indian independence was noted as early as early 1941. About three months after the disappearance of Bose from Bengal, the Japanese Consul-General in Calcutta, Soreji Okazaki, suggested to his Foreign Minister, “We should secretly transport large quantities of weapons and substantially increase the actual strength of the Forward Bloc. But even so, the long awaited time of independence and expulsion of the British imperialism surging among their own soldiers … must take the form of a genuine popular movement. At the same time from our side, we must at least contact Bose and his party.’’ p. 407, [50]. Indeed, both Hauner and Ba Maw have mentioned how Bose had been in contact with the Japanese much before he left the country for Germany. Hauner has quoted Ba Maw, whom we shall quote verbatim. “I met Kuga, the Japanese consul, and Dr. Suzuki several times during the dizzy weeks that followed. For the first time, I told them that we were ready to organise an uprising within a year if the Japanese would give us active support. I think it was Kuga who told me that Subhas Chandra Bose had asked for the same thing for India, saying that if Japan did not give the help he needed, he would turn to Russia for it, because he was determined to get it from somewhere. Bose, he said, had asked for ten million rupees and ten thousand rifles to begin with. `We want half that amount in Burma to begin with.’ I replied. `We shall also want Japanese instructors.’ They promised to communicate my plan and request to Tokyo.’’ pp. 114-115, [51].

Historian Joyce Lebra, who has studied Japanese documents and the memoirs of Colonel Yamamoto Bin, Japanese military attaché in Berlin, reports that within a few months of his arrival in Berlin after an arduous escape from India, Bose had himself been trying to contact the Japanese Embassy Loc. 2687-2692, [45]. Toward the end of October [1941], he could finally meet Japanese ambassador in Germany, Oshima and Yamamoto p. 61, [23], Loc. 2692, [45]: “Toward the end of October Bose met Oshima and Yamamoto and talked to them for an hour of India’s desire for independence and his hopes for Japanese aid. Bose had read Okakura Tenshin and it was Okakura’s writings which first turned his thoughts toward Japan. Both Oshima and Yamamoto were impressed by the passion of Bose’s appeal. This was the first of Bose’s frequent visits to the Japanese Embassy.’’ Loc. 2692, [45]. In December 1941, Japan joined the second world war, and started to rapidly displace the British from its colonies in South East Asia. And, by the end of 1941, we note that Bose was seeking to move to Japan to lead an onslaught against the British-Indian state from there. Japanese attache in Berlin, Syn Higuti, writes: In the end of the year (1941), he [Bose] came to see Mr. Ohsima, the Ambassador, and required facilities to go to Tokyo.’’ p. 61, [23]. Joyce Lebra writes “When the Pacific War exploded and Japan overran Malaya and Singapore, Bose expressed his elation to Oshima and Yamamoto. Japan would soon be in Burma, pressing on the India border. India’s hour was imminent. Bose wanted to go immediately to East Asia and fight beside Japan for India’s liberation. Would Oshima use his good offices to secure Bose’s passage to Asia ?’’ Loc. 2692-2698 [45]. Hauner [50], Hayes, [46], Jan Kuhlmann [39], had all documented that Bose had announced his desire to move to Japan as soon Singapore collapsed.

By the end of January, 1942, Bose was also already pondering about the appropriate front to enter India from: “The question of selecting an appropriate front for penetrating into India preoccupied Bose very much, ever since he reached Berlin. After the fall of Singapore, Bose visited the Japanese ambassador Oshima in Berlin and conveyed his expectation that the Japanese forces would occupy Chittagong after occupying Burma, which was the next objective of the Japanese forces. He wanted the Imperial Headquarters be informed that a great confusion would start in India in case Chittagong was occupied by the Japanese army. Bengal was the cradle of revolution in India, and Chittagong was its vital spot. He had this firm conviction all through his stay in the East.’’ (Imperial Japanese Army Lt. General Kawabe’ memoirs) p. 339, [21]. In February, 1942, he expressed his urgent desire to fly to Rangoon pp. 132-133, [39]. But, Germany had reservations about letting him go from fairly early on. Japanese intelligence officer Lt General Fujiwara Iwaichi has reported: “ At this time [December 1941], the German armies were sweeping across the Near East and the German government was reluctant to release Bose from Berlin to go to Asia.’’ p. 89 [5]. Joyce Lebra has reported that “He [Oshima] and Yamamoto had the feeling that the German Foreign Ministry would not let Bose go in any case. They were guarding Bose like a tiger cub….. In Tokyo too there was doubt about whether Germany would release Bose.’’ Loc 2695-2709 [45]. In February, 1942, German foreign minister Ribbentrop refused Bose’s departure. Only after the Cripps mission in India was scuttled, in part due to Bose’s propaganda against it from Berlin, did Ribbentrop agree to his departure.  Keppler still opposed his departure, but Woermann and Goebbels were in favour p. 134, [39].

Bose was originally supposed to leave for Japan in April 1942, ferried by an Italian aircraft directly to Japanese territory. This plan was vetoed by the Germans, after one of the long distance flights crash landed after its experimental attempt. In a meeting between Bose and the German top echelon like Hitler, Ribbentrop, Keppler (Secretary of State) and Walter Hewel, on 27/05/1942, at the Reich Chancellery at Hitler’s headquarters in Berlin pp. 267-269, [9], Ribbentrop told Bose that he was not against the journey but thought that travelling by plane was too dangerous. He offered transportation by submarine directly from Germany to Rangoon p. 133, [39]. Per the following report of the meeting: “under the circumstances prevailing at the moment he (the Fuhrer) could only advise Bose to bank on the Japanese to project the revolutionary war from the Indian borders into the country itself. As an old revolutionary he could only give Bose the advice to quickly exploit the chance of an internal revolution in India with the enemy pressure from outside. ….British power could be smashed only if the Indian nation rebelled simultaneously with an external attack. Such an upheaval could be best organized from as close a position to the country concerned as possible. Hence it would be best for Bose to take up his position at such a point which would be nearest to India and from where the strongest military pressure could be exerted on the Britishers. …..However the Fuhrer warned Bose against an air journey which could compel him to a forced landing in British territory. He (Bose) was too important a personality to let his life be endangered by such an experiment. One had to chalk out a safer path or him. A Japanese submarine had at that time arrived in Europe and could take Bose along in case it was returning soon. Otherwise, he (the Fuhrer) would place a German submarine at his disposal, which would take him to Bangkok. With the help of a map the Fuhrer then explained to Bose the probable route of the journey round the Cape of Good Hope and put the duration of the journey at approximately six weeks.’’ pp. 268-269 [9]. The subsequent delay in Bose’s departure to Japan was incurred in Germany and Japan agreeing on the modalities of his transport. Desperate attempts were made by Bose to move to Japan throughout the middle of 1942 from Germany, and his numerous meetings with Count Oshima testify to it. Finally, it was a combined German and Japanese submarine effort that successfully brought Bose to Penang.

Given Chaudhuri’s statement that “A Czech scholar, Milan Hauner, has described at some length what happened to Bose in Germany, and it is a pitiful tale’’, we review what Hauner wrote about the stature of Bose in Germany, which ought to be read in the context that Hauner is quite biased towards the allied side and his book, while scholarly, has left a deliberately very flattering account of the Allies.:

  • Tokyo was well aware of its weak bargaining position in the Indian question and went on inviting Berlin and Rome to co-sponsor a declaration of Indian independence in early April 1942, thereby respecting the alleged rights of Germany and Italy to have a say in the Indian question. For several months on end, Berlin would still hold the supreme trump card in the person of S. C. Bose, undisputably the most attractive and influential among the Indian nationalists abroad’’ p. 389, [50].

  • When Bose dropped his incognito and published a statement on Azad Hind radio in Germany for the first time, his statement was repeated several times through Axis radio stations in and outside Europe, it was reported from Bangkok that it was Tokyo that was most assiduous, translating and publishing his speech several times in several languages. pp. 427-428, [50].

  • Hauner has quoted from the diary of Goebbels verbatim to show how they viewed Bose: “The Indian crisis is on the upgrade. We have succeeded in prevailing upon the Indian nationalist leader, Bose, to issue an imposing declaration of war against England. It will be published most prominently in the German press and commented upon. In that way, we shall begin our political fight on behalf of India, even though we don’t as yet admit it openly … We have held back for a long time, for the simple reason that things had not advanced far enough as yet in India, and that one must not waste one’s power as long as the enemy is near’’ (1 March, 1942) “… Bose’s appeal has made a deep impact on world public opinion. The crisis in India can no longer be denied. ‘’ (2 March, 1942). “In London, there is boundless wrath about the appeal of Bose, whose present abode is fortunately not known.’’ (3 March, 1942) “… They still don’t know in London where Bose really is. I shall see to it that he continues to remain camouflaged. He is to be uncovered only after he has been received by the Fuhrer (5 March, 1942)’’ p. 428, [50]. (Incidentally, Boses close political aide in Germany, M. R. Vyas, has noted that Goebbels had held a special get together of leading German and foreign journalists to meet some from Bose’s personal staff. It was an unusual gesture. In that meet, he suggested to Thea von Harbou that she could make a film about Bose. He would make a fine hero p. 358, [27]. Goebbels had also followed up seriously to ensure that the German papers and periodicals did not unwittingly publish the usual exotic and misleading stories concerning India. He gradually developed a friendly attitude towards Bose’s group pp. 381-382, [27]).

  • Hauner has reproduced the following remark from Hitler, “The man of compromise, Nehru, has been eclipsed by Bose’’ (27/03/1942) p. 436, [50].

  • Bose’s broadcasts against the Cripps missions were broadcast by Axis radio stations in both Europe and Asia, and his prestige increased vastly as a result. Even Hauner, with his clear sympathies with the Allies, remarks that the effects were such that the All India Radio was forced to react to his broadcasts almost daily without mentioning his name, while those in Britain and America had mentioned his name too, but admitted that they were unaware of his current location. p. 475, [50].

  • We obtain from Hauner the following account of Bose’s popularity among the soldiers of the Indian legion in Europe, “the majority of the Legionaries [Indian Legion] looked upon their Netaji as someone who would always protect their interests and listen to their complaints … The Legionaries naturally mistrusted the German intentions and were irritated by the absence of Bose. Wild rumours spread to the effect that he had been imprisoned by the Germans. When the soldiers’ delegation went to Nambiar in Berlin, he could not provide a satisfactory answer since Bose’s departure to the Far East had to be kept secret. Thereafter, the dissatisfaction grew and led to open mutiny.’’ pp. 586-587, [50].

Interestingly, Hauner has specifically criticised Chaudhuri in his book stating, “The presence of Bose in Asia and the power of his inspiration and leadership was, of course, of crucial importance for the reconstruction of the INA after Mohan Singh had been imprisoned. Even such sceptical authors as Nirad Chaudhuri cannot deny the irresistible attraction of his charisma.’’ p. 611, [50].

Our analysis of Nirad C. Chaudhuri’s writings show that his claims defy basic facts and logic, and egregiously so – worse, he does not even seek to substantiate his opinions with even an iota of evidence. The difference between opinions and facts comes across as blurry in his psyche as revealed through his writings – a trait that is correlated with limited education as his (he could not even complete his masters of arts from Calcutta University). The quality of his writings may be comparable to the quality of his espionage, if he had been a spy. Beauty is of course in the eye of the beholder, and some may indeed find the sexual perversion and normalization of heinous sexual violence such as rape aesthetically appealing. But, negatively stereotyping ethnicities, without supporting evidence, is usually understood to constitute ethnic hatred. Chaudhuri’s writings reek of ethnic hatred, primarily against Bengalis, but extends to include some other ethnicities too. A rejection of nationalism, and defense of the genocidal British colonial rule that robbed India of a humongous amount of financial wealth and human lives renders him a text-book anti-national (as the term was originally defined), considering his birth-nationality. By the above, it is unclear how he may be described as an intellectual, i.e., a person possessing a highly developed intellect. Thus, his awards were likely for other services he offered through his esteemed faculties, which may include utility of his pen for his imperialist masters (here utility must be distinguished from quality).

His discourse on Subhas Chandra Bose is remarkable for its visceral hatred, but not only for that, but for his repeated references to his subject as the embodiment of the characteristics of his ethnicity. Thus, the complete identification of Subhas Chandra Bose with his Bengali identity is inescapable to even those who possess nothing but guttural hatred for him.

Section C: The rot in the current Indian intelligentsia – the Netra Sens multiply – রক্তবীজের বংশধর

The Netra Sens like Nirad C. Chaudhuri are much more renowned outside Bengal than in Bengal. His slander against Bose was authored while he was living outside Bengal (Delhi and London). He has received several literary awards, most of which are controlled by the British establishment, eg, the Duff Cooper Memorial Award, Honorary degree in letters in Oxford University. He has also been made an honorary commander of the order of the British Empire. He has also received the national level Sahitya Academy Award in 1975. Interestingly and thankfully, he has not received any award in Bengal. He has only a limited readership among common Indians including Bengalis, his name barely resonates in middle class and lower strata of these.

Surprisingly, or perhaps expectedly, Chaudhuri has many admirers in the Indian intelligentsia. His admirers are concentrated in the economic right wing, many, but not all, of whom belong to the BJP-RSS ecosystem. Referring to his autobiography [7] that we heavily quoted from, and which thereby reeks of hatred for Bengalis and slander of Subhas Chandra Bose, an MP nominated by BJP-RSS to the Rajya Sabha, Swapan Dasgupta, has described him as a “proud Bengali, Hindu and Indian’’ and a “towering intellectual’’ [49]. He went to the extent of editing a birth-centenary volume celebrating the life and achievements of his icon [59], which might seem par for the course for a scholar, but by no means so for a budding politician. He often uses Nirad C. Chaudhuri’s articles as reference points in his pithy three-paragraph erudite discourses:

swapan_nirad_article

Consider Kachan Gupta, a journalist by profession and a BJP-RSS ecosystem member possibly by vocation. In the Vajpayee era, he had become a director at the PMO under the then all-powerful principal Secretary Brajesh Misra [60]; after BJP-RSS lost power, he ran Niti-central, a web-portal popularly referred as Modi-central; after BJP-RSS regained power he is often seen on Republic TV, a venture primarily funded by BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar. He has recently been appointed by the current BJP-RSS government of India as the Chairman of the Raja Rammohan Roy Library Foundation. He had advocated that the Modi Government announce an academic chair in Nirad C. Chaudhuri’s honor [49]. Like his colleague Dasgupta, he has specifically applauded the offensive autobiography [7] in question:

kanchan_gupta_nirad_3

Another journalist close to the BJP-RSS, Sreemoy Talukdar, considers Nirad C. Chaudhuri as one of “two of the most brilliant writers the world has produced’’ and has pilloried the left for vilifying him. Amar Govindarajan, the chief digital officer of Swarajya Magazine, which comes across as an unofficial mouthpiece of the BJP-RSS, had wanted to start a “Nirad C. Chaudhuri award for intellectuals who gives two hoots for prevailing fashions’’ [49]. A Governor appointed by the BJP-RSS, Tathagata Roy, and a high profile author and a member of the BJP-RSS ecosystem, Rajiv Malhotra, have quoted Chaudhuri’s views approvingly. In addition, Ram Guha who belongs to the economic right wing, but is in the Congress ecosystem, have expressed strong admiration for Chaudhuri. Guha has received Padma Bhushan and Sahitya Akademi Award in the Congress regime, and a prestigious academic chair at the prestigious Indian Institute of Science, without any qualification in science in the BJP regime. What is remarkable is that none of these gentlemen are in the habit of quoting and applauding those Hindus and Indians who have exhibited philosophical depth and nationalist values, such as Swami Vivekananda, Aurobindo Ghose, Subhas Chandra Bose, etc. Promoting an intellectual colluder, whose claim to fame constitute glorification of a genocidal regime, ethnic hatred, sexual perversion in writing and undermining of a national icon should also constitute intellectual collusion. Thus, the Netra Sens have multiplied, indicative of a veritable rot in the Indian intelligentsia – a downright degradation, to standards lower than mediocrity – in the current intellectual ecosystem in India, regardless of political affiliations.

It is interesting to note that many of these eminent citizens have exhibited visceral ethnic hatred, of the scale of Nirad C. Chaudhuri, against Bengalis. We have documented the ethnic hatred against Bengalis of Tathagata Roy, Swarajya and its office bearers, and Swapan Dasgupta [13], [14], [15]. We add more pointers on the ethnic hatred of Swapan Dasgupta against Bengalis. But, first we list his additional political credentials, if only to show how intellectual collusion is patronized in the current polity. He is an ideologue [54] and one of the public faces of BJP in the main stream media, and is frequently introduced there as a right-leaning journalist. He was nominated to Rajya Sabha by the BJP government and was also decorated with Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award, in 2015, during the BJP regime. He is a close friend and a close associate of the previous finance minister, Mr. Arun Jaitley [54] [56] [57] (they have a long-standing friendship since their college-days [55]). He is closely associated with the functioning of BJP in West Bengal, and was present in the BJP headquarters to welcome Mukul Roy, the second in command of Mamata Banerjee of TMC, when he moved over to BJP [58], and was heavily involved in campaigning in the 2019 LS polls. We now document the ethnic hatred of Swapan Dasgupta. In the Joint Parliamentary Committee, Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta, had gone to the extent of recommending that the Hindu refugees of Bangladesh be kept outside the purview of the Citizenship Amendment Bill [19]. Dasgupta has totally ignored the plight of the Hindus who have been disenfranchised by the NRC. Even the knowledge that anywhere between 14 lakhs [20] and 30 lakhs [22] of the disenfranchised are Hindus (who would be primarily Bengalis) leave him unmoved, for at no time has he ever spoken of the plight of these people. Recently TMC MP Derek O’ Brien has flagged in the Rajya Sabha that 23 lakh Hindu Bengalis have been excluded through NRC [24], and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor in the Lok Sabha that majority of those who committed suicide in Assam because of exclusion from NRC are Hindus (they would be Hindu Bengalis) [25]; but not Dasgupta who is Hindu Bengali by birth. His interventions in the Rajya Sabha could be mistaken for those of a representative of an Assamese racist lobby. Speaking on the NRC in Rajya Sabha, he spoke about how the `foreigner’ issue was important for Assam and even the 40 lakh disenfranchised was an underestimate. In a Rajya Sabha speech, he utilised the cold blooded slaughter of the five Bengali Hindus of Upper Assam to call for more protection for the Assamese, rather than for the Bengalis who have lived in the state [17]. He claims that the Assamese have been relegated to a position of minority by the Bengali migrants. The truth is that the Assamese did not have a linguistic majority even in the Brahmaputra valley in 1931 [18]. They had artificially created an Assamese majority in Assam between 1951 and 1991 by persuading the Muslims of Assam to return their mother tongue as Assamese, instead of Bengali, by creating the `Na Asomiya’ category for these Muslim settlers. However, the percentage of Assamese fell from 58% to 48% between 1991 and 2001, not due to the immigration of the Hindu Bengalis, who have not immigrated in any appreciable numbers after 1991, but due to Muslim immigration from Bangladesh and the predilection of the tribals to return their tribal mother tongues rather than Assamese as their mother tongue. It is here that the problem for the Assamese lies, not in the immigration of the Hindu Bengalis after 1971, who, when all is said and done, do not constitute more than 3-4% of the total population of Assam. In two interventions in his twitter timeline, one directly from the honourable MP and the latter has been retweeted by him (the tweet was of Upamanyu Hazarika, January 3), there have been calls for exclusive privileges for the Assamese in Assam, to the detriment of other ethnicities, on the ground that they have taken in migrants for 23 years. But, if there is a call for exclusive benefits for the Assamese because they have had about 20 lakh Hindu migrants into Assam, then there is a greater case for exclusive benefits for Hindus of West Bengal, which has not only taken in over 75 lakh Hindus from Bangladesh, but also over 25 lakhs from other states, specially from the neighbouring states of Bihar and Jharkhand [18], which the MP has not mentioned.

Next, Ramachandra Guha has categorized economists based on their ethnicities and suggested that Gujarati economists and policymakers have served India more than Bengali economists [16]. He has also approvingly quoted ethnic hate statements of Nirad Chaudhuri:

guha_nirad_2

Citing Chaudhuri’s valuable opinion in question, Kanchan Gupta had vilified Bengalis by falsely accusing them of casteism, when the malaise is limited in Bengal, at least relatively speaking:

kanchan_gupta_nirad_1

kanchan_gupta_nirad_2

In contrast, Subhas Chandra Bose had explicitly stated that caste-discrimination in minimal in Bengal – specifically, “the depressed classes problem hardly existed there’’ p. 275, [6]. On 18 October, 1944, Bose said in a broadcast on the ‘Army Day’, “The caste system means that a community is divided into certain groups on a professional or vocational basis and marriage takes place within each group. In modern India there is no such caste distinction. A member of one caste is free to take up any other profession. So, caste in that sense does not exist today. Then there remains the question of marriage. In the old time, it was the custom to marry within each caste. Nowadays, inter-marriage between the different castes takes place freely. Hence caste is fast disappearing. As a matter of fact, in the nationalist movement we never inquire as to what caste a man belongs to and we do not even know the caste of some of our closest collaborators, which shows that in our generation we do not think at all about caste.” p. 296, [11]. Bose was describing the Indic society he knew best in this speech – the Hindu Bengali society – for clearly this is not true of all of India even today.

Kanchan Gupta has vilified Hindu Bengalis in general and refugees from East Bengal in particular, and indirectly justified physical violence against Bengalis outside Bengal exactly when Bengalis were being subjected to such atrocities in the North East.

kanchan_gupta_bheto_bangalis

kanchan_gupta_marichjhapi

In an earlier piece we have shown that West Bengal had taken in more than 76% of the overall Hindu Bengali refugees, numbering 60-80 lakhs per various estimates, while “MP, a Hindi speaking state’’ had taken only 2% at most [18]. In addition, the Hindu Bengali refugees did not find “shelter’’ in the“MP, a Hindi speaking state’’ either, they found it hostile, and fled back to their own people in West Bengal as early as they could pp. 137-138, [1] !! Since partition, and in the PL-480 decades, the Hindu Bengali refugees were persistently discriminated against, in comparison to the refugees from West Punjab pp. 128-130, [1]. Several meticulous documentations show that West Bengal has been economically exploited by New Delhi and resources have been directed to the Hindi belt instead [1], [38]. As is wont with those who seek patronage, through sycophancy, to compensate for their mediocrity, Kanchan Gupta did not provide any substantiation for his claim. While Hindu Bengalis have been subjected to ethnic prejudice, discrimination and violence, Kanchan Gupta has justified the same, calling them colonials, for the unforgivable crime of playing songs composed by nobel-laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore on All India Radio. He has also supported the Gorkhaland agitation, calling Bengalis colonials and supremacists [42], oblivious to the fact that it has been fuelled by the Nepali population in Darjeeling who constitute one of the fastest growing economic migrants to several regions of India, including Darjeeling.

kanchan_gupta_assam_1

kanchan_gupta_bengali_colonialism

kanchan_gupta_darjeeling

In the wake of NRC in mid-2018, when Hindu Bengalis were being subjected to ethnic violence in the North east, he had justified the violence against Hindu Bengalis outside West Bengal, citing utterances by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banarjee:

kanchan_gupta_sujoy

This is a remarkable defense in that Hindu Bengalis outside West Bengal have no locus in deciding the chief minister of West Bengal, and even if they had done so, justifying violence on one’s birth ethnicity owing to their voting preference, reveals an obnoxious mindset that would perhaps make a Netra Sen proud. He would not however have similar anxiety about the fate of Assamese outside Assam when Assamese gun men executed five Hindu Bengalis, mostly Dalits, in Assam, just for being Hindu Bengalis. In some level, this is perfectly understandable, as until recently, one of his major sources of livelihood was gainful employment as a panelist in the Republic TV partly owned and fully managed by Assamese journalist Arnab Goswami. Subsequent to this ethnic tirade against Bengalis, Mr. Gupta’s long spell of unemployment has been happily ended with successive appointments as a distinguished fellow at the Reliance industries funded ORF and Chairman of Raja Ram Mohun Roy Library Foundation (the latter appointment has been bestowed by Government of India).

Incidentally, some time back, he had acknowledged that Hindu Bengalis were driven out of Assam due to the nativist movement there [41]. The article has got some basic facts wrong, in that, very few Bengalis now live in Assam, unless Mr. Gupta’s words take precedence over Census. That apart, it seems to be relatively recently that he has embarked on a mission to justify the “dislike’’ against Hindu Bengalis in the North East. We can only hope that the patronage of Republic TV, which was launched after Mr. Gupta authored [41] has been worth the change in stance.

Mr. Gupta has however been steadfast on one opinion, that Hindu Bengalis have been discriminated against in Bihar on ethnic ground [41]. One doesn’t need to dig very deep to ascertain why. As an one time resident of Bihar, he had himself been the victim of such ethnic discrimination [41], or so he claims. He doesn’t clarify which law barred him from medical education in Bihar; given his fondness for facts, as becomes evident from the veracity of his claims on Hindu Bengali refugees, on the number of Hindu Bengalis still residing in Assam, the firmness of his opinion on discrimination against Hindu Bengalis in Assam, he may well have been disqualified on other more legitimate considerations such as merit, scientific ability, etc. Given his recent lucrative appointments, one can only hope that patronage by big business and Government of India has obliterated his disappointment at not being able to join the lowly medical profession. Given that historically big business and Government of India have been hostile to the Hindu Bengalis, propaganda against his birth-ethnicity may have constituted the professional prerequisites he had to provide. Didn’t Netra Sen after all have to deliver Masterda Surjo Sen to the British to secure his remuneration?

kanchan_gupta_bihar_biharis

The pattern that permeates through all the above instances is that the hatred of Bengalis largely coexists with admiration for Nirad C. Chaudhuri.

Section D: The case of inverted morality – the Gumnami group

Some purported researchers, namely of a group called Mission Netaji, have been seeking to establish that Subhas Chandra Bose had lived in Faizabad for several decades incognito as a certain Gumnami Baba after he had disappeared in 1945 August. In the process, through falsehoods, selective factoids and Suppresio Veri Suggestio Veri, they have been trying also to show that most Bengalis have disowned Subhas Chandra Bose, they never thought highly of him and forgot him the day he left India. Our series is showing that this is as far from truth as possible [43], [44]. We had debunked some of their specific claims in a previous article [44].

It is however remarkable that towards establishing their thesis on Bengalis vis a vis Subhas Chandra Bose, the group has chosen not to utilize the slander perpetrated on Bose by Nirad C. Chaudhuri. The surprise is compounded by the facts that Chaudhuri is a Bengali and it is hard to imagine that any one else could have poured more vitriol on him. Even more, they have quoted him to undermine the Bose family in their book and articles p. 115, [47], [48]: “….Sugata Bose’s mother Krishna’s famous uncle, writer Nirad C. Chaudhury, had told The Asian age that Subhas had become `a good business proposition’ for a section of his family. `The likes of Sisir Bose cannot shed new light on Netaji’s life’, he had said, mentioning Sugata’s father. `All that they can do is encash on their Rangakaka (uncle Subhas)’. ‘’ p. 115, [47] (also [48]). The vilification campaign that Chaudhuri himself ran against Bose has entirely been omitted in this quote. Clearly, facts unearthed by any individual can legitimately be utilized, regardless of the world views of the individual in question. But, in the above, it is only Chaudhuri’s opinion that is being cited, that too, an opinion without substantiation, and to undermine Sisir and Sugata Boses, who have arguably served their illustrious ancestor’s legacy by collecting and publishing his writings and speeches in twelve volume Netaji collected works, which constitute an invaluable primary source for any researcher of modern history of India. Opinions are usually considered supporting evidence only if the individual in question is credible. It is therefore logical to infer that the Gumnami group considers Chaudhury credible.

Even more, once when the authors of the current article have been tweeting about the obnoxious ethnic-hate that Chaudhury has poured on Bengalis, Dhar’s co-author, and partner in Gumnami Co. Ltd sprang to Chaudhuri’s defense as follows:

chandrachud_nirad

The direct quotes that we have provided from Chaudhuri show that far from being a proud Bengali, if at all he loathed his fellow-ethnics. We leave the reader to judge if Chaudhuri’s writings constitute “critical observations’’ or slander and ethnic hatred replete with crude objectification of women and sexual perversion. It is also pertinent to ask if a “proud Bengali’’ can be equally proud to have been civilised by the British that starved to death about 4 million Bengalis in just two years – the Bengal famine of 1942-44. The analogous question then is can a proud Israeli be equally proud of his profitable association with Nazi Germany? Bengal had a thriving civilization more than thousand years before the British set their foot in India, dating from Gangaridais (326-320 BC) pp. 41-46, [52], Sasanka (seventh century AD), pp. 59-68, [52], the Pala dynasty (eg, Dharmapala, 770-810 AD, Devapala 810-850 AD) pp. 104-122, [52], [14]. Subhas Chandra Bose has repeatedly written about the civilization in India long predating the British. And, not only him, but most proud Bengalis would be offended at the thought of British civilising the Bengalis (as the term proud has been classically defined). We are here witnessing a textbook case of inverted morality. And this is not the only instance.

dhar_oaten

For the uninitiated, the “noble’’ Prof. Oaten had repeatedly manhandled Indian students he taught at Presidency College, and allegedly on a racial basis. Subhas Chandra Bose who was then studying at the Presidency College had stood up for the honor of his fellow students. We reproduce excerpts from Bose’s own writings: “One morning in January, 1916, when I was in the College library I heard that a certain English professor had manhandled some students belonging to our year. On enquiry it appeared that some of our class-mates were walking along the corridor adjoining Mr. O.’s lecture-room, when Mr. O., feeling annoyed at the disturbance, rushed out of the room and violently pushed back a number of students who were in the front row. …I immediately took the matter up with the Principal and suggested among other things that Mr O. should apologise to the students whom he had insulted. The Principal said that since Mr. O. was a member of the Indian Educational Service, he could not coerce him into doing that. ….We were naturally not surprised and the next day there was a general strike of all the students. ….However, at the end of the second day’s strike pressure was brought to bear on Mr. O. He sent for the students’ representatives and settled the dispute amicably with them, a formula honourable to both parties having been devised in the meantime……About a month later a similar incident came like a bolt from the blue. The report went out that Mr O. had again manhandled a student….Some students therefore decided to take the law into their own hands. The result was that Mr. O. was subjected to the argument of force and in the process was beaten black and blue…. Mr. O. did receive one solitary stroke from behind….His assailants- those who felled him – were all in front of him and on the same level with him. Being an eye witness myself I can assert this without fear of contradiction’’ pp. 76-77, [31]. The Principal sent for all the students who were in his blacklist, including Bose, and snarled, `Bose, you are the most troublesome man in the College. I suspend you.’ p. 78, [31]. He was expelled from the Presidency College and was virtually rusticated from Calcutta University. He could resume his studies only after a year – at Scottish Church College.

We notice the pattern here. The Gumnami group glorifies or defends exactly those who had sought to cause damage Bose and vilified him, those whom he fought against all his life, those whose values constitute an anththesis of all he stood for. The same gang accuses of disowning him, those who sustained, supported and preserved his legacy – the Bengalis in particular [44] and Indians in general. We have also seen how in the current intelligentsia the hatred of Bengalis is coterminous with the adulation for Nirad C. Chowdhuri. The Gumnami group’s vilification of Bengalis through the claim that they have disowned the icon who constitutes a symbol of their identity is consistent with this pattern as well.

It is interesting that Chaudhuri’s works were much appreciated by Churchill [61], [62] and that the mutual admiration between the man who oversaw the holocaust of millions of Bengalis and the man who found much to admire in the one who overaw the holocaust of his own kith and kin is indeed remarkable.  Indeed, in this, the Gumnami group, which purports to defend Bose, but only defends people like Oaten and quotes Nirad, while badmouthing Bengalis, and Chruchill, who despised Bengalis, have a curious admiration of the same literature which excoriates Bengalis and belittles them.

Typical of propagandists, the Gumnami group never answers any substantive questions, but continues their propaganda, while accusing others who refuse to answer them of `running away’’. In [44] we had shown, citing their statements as also Subhas Chandra Bose’s statements, that if the gang is right then Bose was either a liar or delusional. A member of the gang has subsequently blocked us on twitter, after convincingly rebutting us as follows:

chandrachur_saswati

Director of a movie on a book authored by the gang has also blocked us on Twitter. Anuj Dhar has assured, on Facebook, an unquestioning follower that he has ignored us as responding to us serves no purpose. But, then they are following in the footsteps of Gumnami who supposedly refused to claim his Subhas Chandra Bose identity as `it was not in national interest’.

Remarkably however they deem refusal to debate against them and blocking them on Twitter as “fascism’’:

chandrachur_chandra_bose

chandrachur_dhar

Incidentally, after we found the propaganda of the Gumnami group on Bengalis disowning Subhas Chandra Bose, we had asked them to share their arguments in a coherent blog or provide us links of their relevant Facebook posts. The specifics were never shared, though the propaganda continued:

chandrachur_gandhi_2

chandrachur_gandhi_3

References:

[1] Joya Chatterji, “The Spoils of Partition’’

[2] `The Alternative Leadership, Speeches, Articles, Statements and Letters’, June 1939-1941 Subhas Chandra Bose, Netaji Collected Works, Volume 10, Edited by Sisir K. Bose and Sugata Bose

[3] Leonard Gordon, “Brothers against the Raj’’

[4] Dola Mitra, “So, Thy Hand? ‘’ https://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/so-thy-hand/284686

[5] Iwaichi Fujiwara, “ F. Kikan, Japanese Army Intelligence Operations in Southeast Asia during World War II’’

[6] Subhas Chandra Bose, “The Indian Struggle’’, Netaji Collected Works, Volume 10, Edited by Sisir K. Bose and Sugata Bose

[7] Nirad C. Chaudhuri, “Thy Hand, Great Anarch !’’

[8] Tamal Guha, “ A Postcolonial Critique of Nirad C. Chaudhuri’s writings’’, Thesis Submitted for The Degree of Doctor of Philosphy in English, Under the Guidance of Prof. K. Sripad Bhat, Head, Department of English & Dean, Faculty of Languages and Literature, Department of English, Goa University, http://irgu.unigoa.ac.in/drs/bitstream/handle/unigoa/3685/guha_t_2009.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

[9] T. R. Sareen “Subhas Chandra Bose and Nazi Germany’’ , German Foreign Office Records No. 350084-85.

[10] Saswati Sarkar, Shanmukh, Dikgaj, “A Historical Defense for the Citizenship Amendment Bill- Hindu Bengal’s contribution to India’’,

https://sringeribelur.wordpress.com/a-historical-defense-for-the-citizenship-amendment-bill-hindu-bengals-contribution-to-india/

[11] Subhas Chandra Bose, “Writings and Speeches, Chalo Delhi, 1943-1945’’, Netaji Collected Works: Volume 12, Edited by Sisisr K. Bose and Sugata Bose

[12] “Britain robbed India of $45 trillion & Thence 1.8 billion Indians died from deprivation’’, January 15, 2019,

https://mronline.org/2019/01/15/britain-robbed-india-of-45-trillion-thence-1-8-billion-indians-died-from-deprivation/

[13] Saswati Sarkar, Shanmukh, Dikgaj, “Bengalis, the Enemy within – Ethnic Contempt from constitutional and statutory body appointees of the BJP government of India’’ https://sringeribelur.wordpress.com/2017/12/10/bengalis-the-enemy-within-ethnic-contempt-from-constitutional-and-statutory-body-appointees-of-the-bjp-government-of-india/

[14] Saswati Sarkar, Shanmukh, Dikgaj, “ Bengal, the enemy territory: Racist contempt of Media Organizations, Personnel and Public Intellectuals in BJP-RSS Ecosystem ‘’

https://sringeribelur.wordpress.com/2017/12/19/bengal-the-enemy-territory-racist-contempt-of-media-organizations-personnel-and-public-intellectuals-in-bjp-rss-ecosystem/

[15] Saswati Sarkar, Shanmukh, Dikgaj,“The Cowardly Bengalis and the Deleted Tweets’’ https://sringeribelur.wordpress.com/2017/12/25/the-cowardly-bengalis-and-the-deleted-tweets/

[16] Ramachandra Guha, “IN HIGH DISDAIN – Why Indian intellectuals and activists are hostile to the market’’

https://www.telegraphindia.com/opinion/in-high-disdain-why-indian-intellectuals-and-activists-are-hostile-to-the-market/cid/1016919

[17] MP Swapan Dasgupta raises issue of Asamese identity in Rajya Sabha, 4 January, 2019,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtxsOND0LWg

[18] Shanmukh, Saswati Sarkar, Dikgaj, “The Citizenship Amendment Bill – A civilizational, historical and demographic necessity’’ https://sringeribelur.wordpress.com/the-citizenship-amendment-bill-a-civilizational-historical-and-demographic-necessity/

[19] Significant development of Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill :Suggest CAB Minus Bangladesh, finalise report on Nov 20, November 17, 2018

https://www.apnnews.com/significant-development-of-joint-parliamentary-committee-jpc-on-citizenship-amendment-bill-suggest-cab-minus-bangladesh-finalise-report-on-nov-20/

[20] Many Hindus Who Voted for BJP Excluded From NRC Draft Too’: Assam Minister Hits Back at Mamata, July 31, 2018,

https://www.news18.com/news/politics/many-hindus-who-voted-for-bjp-excluded-from-nrc-too-himanta-biswa-sarma-hits-back-at-mamata-for-gameplan-remark-1828565.html

[21] T. R. Sareen, “Indian National Army – A documentary study,’’ Volume 4, 1944-45

[22] এনআরসি থেকে বাদ পড়া ৪০ লক্ষের মধ্যে ৩০ লক্ষই হিন্দু, আসামকে ইসলামী রাজ্য বানানোর চক্রান্ত : রেল প্রতিমন্ত্রী, October 27, 2018

https://www.tdnbangla.com/news/national/out-of-40-lakhs-excluded-from-nrc-hindus-plot-to-make-assam-state-islamic-says-railway-minister/amp/?fbclid=IwAR2jhdIE-6mmls4vYqT4_F4s46CiVz5L2Lgl2agO1QDSI_K7Pga85_pEjjM&__twitter_impression=true

[23] Rash Behari Basu – His Struggle for India’s Independence, Editor in chief, Radhanath Rath, Editor Sabitri Prasanna Chatterjee, Biplabi Mahanayak Rash Behari Basu Smarak Samiti

[24] Will provide citizenship to Hindus: Shah, July 1, 2019

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/will-provide-citizenship-to-hindus-shah/article28254094.ece

[25] 57 people in Assam committed suicide because NRC excluded them, says Tharoor in LS, 19 July, 2019

https://www.business-standard.com/multimedia/video-gallery/general/57-people-in-assam-committed-suicide-because-nrc-excluded-them-says-tharoor-in-ls-87690.htm

[26] Satishchandra Maikap, Swadhinotar Homanal e tirisher dashak: prasanga Masterda-Netaji, স্বাধীনতার হোমানলে তিরিশের দশক: প্রসঙ্গ মাস্টারদানেতাজি, Bharoter Swadhinota Sangram, Chattogram Bidroha o Biplabi Mahanayak Surjo Sen, ভারতের স্বাধীনতা সংগ্রাম, চট্টগ্রাম বিদ্রোহ বিপ্লবী মহানায়ক সূর্য সেন Edited by Sharif Shamshir

[27] M. R. Vyas, “Passage Through a Turbulent Era’’

[28] Nanda Mookherjee: Subhas Chandra Bose: The British Press, Intelligence and Parliament, Jayasree Prakashan, Calcutta 700026, 1981

[29] Subhas Chandra Bose, India’s Spokesman Abroad, Netaji Collected Works, Volume 8, Letters, Articles, Speeches and Statements, 1933-1937, Edited by Sisir K. Bose and Sugata Bose

[30] Mohammad Zaman Kiani, “India’s Freedom Struggle and the Great I.N.A.’’

[31] Subhas Chandra Bose, “An Indian Pilgrim-An Unfinished Autobiography’’ , Netaji Collected Works, Volume 1, Edited by Sisir K. Bose and Sugata Bose

[38] Ranajit Roy, “The Agony of West Bengal’’

[39] Jan Kuhlmann, “Netaji in Europe”

[40] Kausik Bandyopadhyay and  Boria Majumdar, A Social History of Indian Football: Striving to Score (Sport in the Global Society)

[41] Kanchan Gupta, “Lalu wants Bihar for Biharis – what do left liberals say” https://www.dailypioneer.com/2016/columnists/lalu-wants-bihar-for-biharis-what-do-left-liberals-say.html

[42] https://www.orfonline.org/research/fire-in-hills-as-darjeeling-burns-bad-news-india/

[43] Saswati Sarkar, Shanmukh, Dikgaj, The Hindu Bengali support for Subhas Chandra Bose বাংলার সুভাষ, বাঙালির সুভাষ

https://sringeribelur.wordpress.com/the-hindu-bengali-support-for-subhas-chandra-bose-%e0%a6%ac%e0%a6%be%e0%a6%82%e0%a6%b2%e0%a6%be%e0%a6%b0-%e0%a6%b8%e0%a7%81%e0%a6%ad%e0%a6%be%e0%a6%b7-%e0%a6%ac%e0%a6%be%e0%a6%99%e0%a6%be%e0%a6%b2/

[44] Saswati Sarkar, Shanmukh, Dikgaj, The organic connection between Subhas Chandra Bose and the Hindu Bengali masses – ঘরের ছেলে সুভাষ’’ https://sringeribelur.wordpress.com/the-organic-connection-between-subhas-chandra-bose-and-the-hindu-bengali-masses-%E0%A6%98%E0%A6%B0%E0%A7%87%E0%A6%B0-%E0%A6%9B%E0%A7%87%E0%A6%B2%E0%A7%87-%E0%A6%B8%E0%A7%81%E0%A6%AD%E0%A6%BE/

[45] Joyce Lebra, “The Indian National Army and Japan’’

[46]  Romain Hayes, “Subhas Chandra Bose In Nazi Germany: Politics, Intelligence, and Propaganda 1941-43’’

[47] Anuj Dhar, “What Happened to Netaji?’’

[48] Anuj Dhar, Chandrachur Ghose, “What Bose Family doesn’t want you to know about Netaji mystery Bose family doesn’t want you family doesn’t want you to https://www.dailyo.in/politics/netaji-files-subhas-bose-gumnami-baba-sarat-bose-sisir-bose-mukherjee-commission-azad-hind-fauj/story/1/11352.html

[49] Shanmukh, Saswati Sarkar, Dikgaj,Are the Different Political Parties of India really different? https://sringeribelur.wordpress.com/2018/11/05/are-the-different-political-parties-of-india-really-different/

[50] Milan Hauner, “India in Axis Strategy’’

[51] Ba Maw, “Breakthrough in Burma’’

[52] The History of Bengal, Vol. 1, The Hindu Period, edited by R. C. Majumdar

[53] Tapan Raychaudhury, Dharma Kumar, Irfan Habib and Meghnad Desai, “Cambridge Economic History of India’’, Volume 2

[54] https://scroll.in/article/808998/the-latest-congress-nominations-to-the-rajya-sabha-will-ensure-fireworks-in-the-upper-house

[55] https://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/ties-that-bind/291379

[56] http://www.business-standard.com/article/beyond-business/how-to-win-friends-and-influence-journalists-115050801404_1.html

[57] https://thewire.in/174542/gauri-lankesh-assassination-right-wing/

[58] http://www.firstpost.com/politics/mukul-roy-crosses-over-to-bjp-from-tmc-says-it-is-his-proud-privilege-to-work-for-the-party-4191609.html

[59] “Nirad C. Chaudhuri, The First Hundred Years, A Celebration (1997)’’, edited by Swapan Dasgupta

[60] Saba Naqvi, “Mr. Indispensable?’’ https://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/mr-indispensable/211659

[61] http://statweb.stanford.edu/~naras/ncc/engbooks.html

[62] https://www.nybooks.com/articles/1999/09/23/the-last-of-his-kind/