How We Can Take Gandhi And Bose’s Idea Of A Free India Forward


The idea of civilisation, society, freedom is never uncontested; there are always disputes, debates, principle arguments and the deep discussion on the idea of final result, and when the question is of freedom of a country and its people, these discussions become more complex and interesting.

This society was and never will be ideal and what we are bound to do is to build a society progressing towards it. On our country’s journey to freedom two major ideologies came up and the came from two of the leaders which not only unite the people of the nation but also brought a global perspective for the nation.

Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose were both committed for the freedom of the country but there idea for the freedom struggle was very different, it would be very crude to say that one have the idea for non-violence and other armed struggle but their ideas are much more concentrated in the idea of making a nation which is capable of building future after such long years of slavery.

An archival photo of Gandhi and Bose.

For Gandhi, his ideas are well spread and got world wide recognition as the need for the present world which has already suffered two World Wars. People have always identified him as idealist but many have recognised him (which I also support) as a practical idealist. His methods were in support of uniting people for a cause and disturbing the government processes and inculcating the idea of nationalism where there is no place for violence and armed struggle.

On the other hand, for Bose, his ideology and perception are mostly diluted because of the mysteries of his death. Even now, when you Google search him, articles about his death pop up and other parts of his journey do not get the relevant space. But there comes an interesting twist to the story when we see the claims of General GD Bakshi.

In his book Bose: The Indian Samurai, he claims that the former British prime minister Clement Atlee said the role played by Netaji’s Indian National Army was paramount in India being granted independence, while the non-violent movement led by Gandhi was dismissed as having had minimal effect.

For the British to control India it was very necessary that they have full control on the armed forces and Bose targeted the same. It was reported that some of the regiments of army turned against the officials and started rebel against the officials.

And after long world war, the British empire was not ready for this and got no other way out. It is also believed that when Bose was a member of the Congress, some of the leaders where not in favour of his ideas targeting British rule during the World War. This also leads to the conflict in the ideas of Gandhi and Bose.

But these differences in ideas never led to a difference in their mutual respect and their goal for making a strong and independent nation. Bose wanted to take support from Germany and then from Japan and wanted direct action. But when we give a thought to Hitler’s principles and ideology, it seems that Bose never would have allowed any other country to impose its idea for the nation and he just wanted support to push British army out of nation.

He wanted a nation which is independent, self-reliant and abundant in human resources.

Although we got independence soon in 1947 but the way we got it, is quite unsatisfactory. The documents which were signed never stated independence the way our leaders wanted but was stated as transfer of power. For years, our armed forces were led by British officials.

Today, neither Gandhi nor Bose is alive but what is living on is their idea for building a nation which is free, developed and strong. And it is our duty to carry forward this process of building this nation. we need to have patience and compassion like Gandhi, understand the power of a cooperative movement and to influence ourselves on the path of truth and morality.

But, we also have to learn how to be strong with our views, to nurture this feeling of do or die for the nation and its people, to develop the leader within ourselves, to bring that strong feeling of patriotism, have knowledge of the world affairs and to build our actions accordingly for present and future.


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