As our nation today, celebrates ‘Desh Prem Diwas’ and commemorates one of its greatest leaders of all times; the mystery surrounding his ideologies and death are still hotly debatable. Pulled down by Gandhiji and Pandit Nehru from the INC – thanks to his admiration for Mussolini’s governance; Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose devised other methods to fulfil his duty towards his motherland. On his birthday, let us turn the pages of history and analyse what picture of India Netaji would paint, had he returned and led India post-independence.
Let’s start this counter-factual history by discussing what would have happened, had Netaji come back to support his INA officers when they were being put on trial by the British, in 1946. Being an honourable man, he would have held himself accountable for the actions of his sub-ordinates – in this lies no doubts. The ones drawn at sea in this scenario are the British. For the British, it would have been a devilish political problem. Eager to hang their most formidable foe but fearing a great national upsurge, the expressions on our colonial masters’ faces would be an absolute delight to every Indian. Also, given that the hard-core nationalist had returned to benefit from their vulnerable state post World War II, British would have gotten to their heels in winding up with their ‘Raj’.
In the embryonic country of ours, where people were overwhelmed with the long-awaited liberty being granted; Netaji would have brought a bag mix of good and bad news for the masses.
The Good News: His capabilities and views on communalism sweetly coupled with his relationship with Jinnah, makes many people believe that their charming leader would have been able to convince the Muslim League leader to give up the demand for a separate electoral state. Ever imagined how many lives this single event would have saved? India has been spending millions of rupees and its invaluable time – on fighting with Pakistan over the past 65 years. Imagine what could happen had this currency been utilised to speed-kick India’s developmental process! Amazed? So am I.
The Bad News: BREAKING: COMPLETE INDEPENDENCE TO WAIT A FEW MORE YEARS. But, fret not. It’s all for good eventually. Hopes would have been shattered though. At the time of Independence, there was a school of thought that believed that the country needed at least 10 years of what was called “Ataturkism” — after Kemal Ataturk, the legendary autocrat — to enable a process of accelerated national development, which would prepare the country for full democracy. Netaji also believed that the harm done to Indian intellect, culture and society under the grey sky of colonialism, needed to be undone without any obstacles. Driven by admiration for both Swami Vivekananda and Mussolini, Netaji ardently aspired to restore India’s glory envisioned by Swami and for this, he deemed a few years of dictatorship fit to settle the deal.
Added to it, fate would have favoured Netaji this time and Gandhiji’s support to Nehru would quite not have been able to restrain that. For, Netaji’s radical socialist views would have easily split the Congress and a new – but equally powerful party would have been floated. Here surfaces a bigger question: who would win? It seems Netaji’s party would have edged Nehru’s over a course of time, because strong leaders Patel, whom people favoured more than Nehru – would have joined Netaji. Reasons for this being, the pragmatic approach Patel worked in accordance with even whist practising Gandhian principles. Leaders like these always knew which way to get things done. Remember this Iron man integrating 527 princely states into India, single-handedly?
Overall Conclusion: Though Netaji would have incarcerated liberty for 10 years, Indians today would be over head and ears for the same. Remember how Hitler ruled Germany and pulled his nation to the horizon of wealth and strength? Not that cruel, our Netaji would have been considerate for his citizens and far more intolerant to all social evils. A hot-blooded patriot-dictator like him would crush all social evils by every inch of his teeth and shred every last drop of his blood to make India scale heights. The duo of Bose-Patel which many had envisioned to lead post Independence would have been grim in the first 10 years, but it’s fruit would be the sweetest reaped by the country to date.