Sunday, November 30, 2014

Clash Between Gandhi and Bose and Role of Nehru

Gandhi, Nehru and Subhas Bose are 3 towering figures of Indian politics and the freedom movement. The basic difference between Bose and Gandhi was ideology. Gandhi believed in the creed of non violence and Bose talked of revolution. Nehru without much of a base of his own sided with Gandhi and became the anointed heir apparent. In late thirties Bose put forward his theory with vehemence. The net result was that it alarmed Gandhi and Nehru. The mass of Indian population also were galvanized by Bose's call for freedom at any price. This again was not to the liking of Gandhi and he saw his support base shrinking. Matters came to an head in the Lahore session of the Congress party in 1938. Gandhi went public in his opposition to Bose. Above all he opposed the candidature of Bose for the President of the Congress party.
Gandhi in a public speech made it clear that Bose must be defeated and his candidate Sitaramiah be elected. Both Gandhi and Nehru thought that in the election Bose would be defeated. The election result shocked Gandhi. Nehru sulked at the result which brought out that Gandhi's nominee had been defeated by a wide margin. Gandhi's prestige took a nose dive, but he resolved to oust Bose. Gandhi now resorted to his favorite ruse non-cooperation. He refused to meet Bose and also did not meet him. He started a policy of noncooperation with Bose. At this time Subhas Bose wrote a long letter to Nehru requesting support to run the party. It is on record that Nehru ignored the letter and later sent a cursory reply, skirting all the issues raised by Bose. Thus a situation was created by Gandhi and Nehru, where Bose could not function as Congress Party President. The situation was clear to Bose that Gandhi wanted him out of the party. Bose took the extreme step and resigned as Congress President. He parted ways with Gandhi. The exit of Bose was a relief to Gandhi and Nehru. The rest is history as Bose charted his separate course of action and raised the Azad Hind Army to fight the British Raj.