the role of a super-agent of the German espionage."1* He was determined not to yield to the Germau pressure till such time he was assured of a German guarantee to India's freed jm. Then Bose decided to go to East Asia, and his decision was well supported by Hitler.
Any impartial observer will agree that Bose's association with the war-time Germany was realistic in character. He was only motivated by the desire to exploit the international situation in favour of India. He was never inspired by Nazi philosophy. Walter Schellen-berg, the Chief of AMT-VI (Foreign Political Information Service), noted in his memoirs: "One day in March 1942 Jahnke came to see
me The Japanese were trying to ingratiate themselves with Bose,
so of course I was interested in getting Jaimke's opinion on the
situation .. ..Jahnke said he knew that Bojs had lived and studied in
Moscow for considerable time and that he has established close rela-
tions with Cominform ..... At the request of the Japanese, Bose was
taken to Japan in 1943 by a German U-bpat "**
The above account clearly shows that Bose always remained a suspect in the eyes of the Nazis. The Counter Intelligence reports on Bose prove beyond any shadow of doubts that Bose was never influenced by Nazi ideas and teachings. The German envoy in Afghanistan, Hans Pigler, considered Bose "a provocator of the British Intelligence." The Nazis also never regarded Bose as a Nazi.
No doubt, Bose's hatred for British imperialism and his agres-sive nationalism certainly harmonized with Nazi philosophy, but it is not enough to prove that he had in any wav liked Nazi philosophy. He hated British imperialism and he was most uncompromising in his hostility towards the British Empire, but he never hated or disliked the British nation. Recognising the contribution mads by England to
the progress of human civilization, he said : " In the seventeenth
century, England made remarkable contribution to world civilization through his ideas of constitutional and democratic government." He also admitted : "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.Boss believed that it was not humanly possible for the British public to have open mind on the Indian question.
ibid,p. 95 (quoted from).
Ibid., pp. 104-05.
The Indian Struggle, p. 66.
As a socialist, Bose argued that dismemberment of the British empire would weaken the British capitalists and thus strengthen the socialist forces ia Britain. Had he been inspired by the cult of hatred, he would have then desired the annihilation of the entire English race. Hitler and his followers made extreme attempt to annihilate the Jews, but Bose never expressed any such desire to destroy the English race. If he had hatred for the white race, he would not have acknowledged the contribution made by France, the U.S.A. and Russia towards the progress of human culture and civilization. He was an aggressive
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nationalist, but his nationalism never led him to dream of world domination by India. His only aim was to free India from the clutches of British imperialism.
Bose, no doubt, was attracted by the constructive achievement of Soviet Russia. Rapid industrialization, solution of the problems of minorities and educational reconstruction in that country earned praise not only from Bose but from Nehru as well. But Bose, while admitting "that the basic ideology of communism and its scientific interpretation of history is sound," said, "in regard to the methods and approach to this ideal, I may not agree with everything that the orthodox communists have done. I think these methods will have to adapt themselves to changing conditions and may vary in different countries."57 And he concluded that "while it would be safe to predict that India will not become a nrw edition of Soviet Russia, one may say with equal strength that all the modern socio-political movements and experiments in Europe and in America will have considerable influence on India's development."18
Subhas Bose, as a thinker and humanist, was seeking a new philosophy—a new ethical conception in human affairs. A rare personality in contemporary world history, he was deeply involved in the great spiritual heritage of India and also actively concerned with modern social and technological advances anywhere in the world. His sense of mission did not admit of any compromise or any reservations. Criticising those who denigrate Bose, Dr. Weidemann says : "In some quarters attempts had been made in the past to make out that Subhas Bose was a collaborator of the Axis Bloc. But it must have been proved by now that such statements could only be based on misrepresentations of facts and on concocted stories."'* Weidemann regards Bose as "one of the most outstanding figures of the Indian national movement who wanted to see India free by the efforts of his countrymen, notwithstanding the fact that he had contacts with Hitler and some other Axis leaders".80 Paying tribute to Bose's towering personality, Dr. Werth, a high official of Special India Division and a close colleague of Trott (German interpreter for Bose), says : "One who has stood for national self-respect and honour all his life and has suffered considerably in vindicating it, would be the last person in this world to give in to any other foreign power."*1
27 Ibid. (\920-42), p. 313.
2* Ibid.,'p. 315.
29 & 30. Mookerji, Nanda, Netaji Through German Lens, p. 109.
31 Ibid., p. 110.
Subhas Bose or Netaji, as he was popularly known by this appellation, was a great personality. In statesmanship, administrative ability, and catholicity of views he was like Akbar the Great ; in leadership and as a mili'ary genius he was like Shivaji; and morally, spiritually and intellectually he was a giant like Swami Vivekananda. If you combine these three personalities into one, you may get a near approach to Subhas Bose.
GOPABANDHU DAS (1877-1928)
Pandit Gopabandhu Das pioneered Modern politics in Orissa. He was primarily a social service-oriented man. He entered politics for social service. He was a product of the movement of amalgamation of Orissa. He was a member of Congress organisation in India. While a student of Calcutta University in Law faculty, he was moved with the misery of the Oriya people who were earning their livelihood by working primarily as porters (kulis). When Cuttack district was affected by flood havoc, Gopabandhu collected money and materials to rescue the flood-affected people.
After completion of his education, Gopabandhu returned to Orissa. Now he associated himself with Barrister Madhu Babu, the veteran leader of the then Orissa. After the death of his parents, wife and son, he detached himself completely from the family life and resolved to dedicai e himself for the cause of service to the society. His two young daughters were left under the care of his elder brother. Gopabandhu performed two types of social service—first, constructive, like helping the distressed people, and second, reformatory such as reform by means of education. He knew that long term reform oould^e^realiseeLonly through education. In the year 1906, he established a High School at Nilgiri and became its Headmaster. In the due course under certain circumstances, he shifted over to the practice of Law at the court of Cuttack under Madhusudan Das. In 1919, he started Satyabadi National School in Puri district with only nineteen students. He organised "Vlsvasiksha Parishad" to spread education throughout Orissa.
"Amalgamation of Oriya Speaking Areas" Movement started in 1903 under the stewardship of Madhusudan Das by Utkal Sammelan. In 1909, British Parliament passed Indian Councils Act. It started the cleavage of Morley-Minto Reform. According to this Act, some members were to be elected indirectly into the Provincial Councils by the people. Bihar-Orissa was constituted as a separate province in 1912. In it Orissa was to be represented by only one member who was to be elected by the local bodies of the Orissa division. For this membership Madhu Babu persuaded Gopabandhu Das to stand for the election in 1917. Gopabandhu
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was elected and continued in the Council till 1921. "During this short period", writes Dr. Sadashiv Mishra, "in a council dominated by an official bloc and steadfastly supported by nominated members, he (Gopabandhu) made an indelible mark as a legislator and earned respect and admiration from all, including those who were opposed to his presentations. He had absolute identity between his philosophy of life, work and activities on the one hand and his writings, speeches and deliberations on the other....His speeches fascinated even the staunch custodians of British
imperialism in India He prepared his speeches with utmost care, personal
investigation and extensive studies....His facts were unimpeachable, his references were uncontrovertible, his style was unassailable, with winning manners and emotional appeals, he made presentations effective. Though his speeches were turned to in deaf ears, it left deep impression and has a lasting value as finest example of legislative deliberation."
In 1919, Puri district was affected by draught. Under the leadership of Gopabandhu, Satyabadi School turned into a relief centre.
On October 4, 1919, the day of Vijaya Dasami, "The Samaja", an Oriya weekly was inaugurated under the editorship of Gopabandhu himself. In his first editorial, Gopabandhu appealed for communal peace and harmony and to mark the day as national day. He ventilated people's grievances and exposed the lapses of the government through 'Samaj'. He was very much successful in his mission.
In 1920, a special session of the Indian National Congress was held at Calcutta. Gopabandhu participated in it. He accepted the Gandhian ideology and programme of non-violent non-cooperation movement through boycott of foreign goods, non-consumption of liquor, etc. He returned to Orissa and accepted the responsibility as the President of Utkal Pradesh Congress Committee. Twenty-seven delegates attended the Nagpur session of the Congress same year under his leadership.
A session of Utkal Union Conference was organised at Chakradharpur by Gopabandhu and his associates on December 29, 1920. Madhusudan declined to preside over the conference since Gopabandhu intended to turn it into a nationalist party under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. Madhusudan, however, remained silent. Gopabandhu got the following resolution passed in the Conference.
"Resolved that the aims and objects of the Indian National Congress be accepted as the objectives of the Conference." He said, "When India marches ahead in the nationalist movement, it was unwise for Orissa to stand aloof. For by such dissociation from the main-stream ,of national struggle, Orissa stood to lose very much." Thus the stream of regional patriotism merged with Indian nationalism. For the first time in the history of the nationalist movement in Orissa, "The Utkal Pradesh Congress Committee", a sister-association of the Indian National Congress was created under the Presidentship of Gopabandhu Das. Now Congress organisation in Orissa abandoned its regional character and developed
national outlook. Gopabandhu appealed to the people to join the nationalist movement and to materialise Gandhian programme and ideology. Thus through the unfailing effort of Gopabandhu, Gandhian era began in Orissa politics. Gopabandhu Chaudhury, Nilkanta Das, Rama Devi, Harekrishna Mehtab — all joined Congress and non-cooperation movement gained momentum in Orissa. At the invitation of Gopabandhu Das, Mahatma Gandhi visited Cuttack on March 23, 1921. He also visited other places of Orissa.
At the request of Lala Lajpat Rai, Gopabandhu became a member of "The Lok Sevak Samaj". Under his chairmanship a branch of Hindu Mahasabha led by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya was also formed in Orissa. He was imprisoned in Hazaribagh jail and then transferred to Berhampur jail from 1922 to 1924. From 1917 to 1928 he was the centre of Orissa politics. Due to his unfailing services for Orissa he was called "Utkalmati" of "Jewel of Utkal".
While a student at Calcutta, Gopabandhu was influenced by the extremists like Bipin Chandra Pal through his publication New India and his "Self-Rule" movement. He was also influenced by "Vande Mataram Movement" and the revolutionaries like Khudiram Bose. These influences infused deep imprint of patriotism inhim and made him a rebel. He developed nationalist outlook. Gradually he ceased to be a revolutionary and extremist, rather he was greatly swayed by the legislative battle and moderate approach of Gopal Krishna Gokhale. He subscribed to the Gandhian philosophy and movement. He was not a political doctrinaire like Rousseau or M. N.Roy. His primary goal was to serve the people. He picked the spirit of Indianness at right time and provided a national character to Orissa politics. Following Gokhale, he used the floor of the Council as the platform for constitutional battle. His liberalism echoed in his budget speech in Bihar Orissa Legislative Council in 1917. He said, "...the Oriyas as a race still hold fast to their faith in the British sense of justice and fair play to which their silence is due, and still endeavouring in their humble way to do all they can for the stability of the Empire. They wait quietly and patiently for a better treatment in future. The spirit which led the Hon'ble Mr. Das to move in the Imperial Legislative Council, his resolution of loyalty calling upon the people of India to sacrifice for the sake of the Empire, also the unlettered peasant of Balasore to risk their lives in the interest of the Crown. This is characteristic Oriya spirit " He declared pleading for the Victory Resolution after World War I (1918). Gopabandhu said in the legislative Council, "the whole (British Empire) is saved...long live our king." These statements reflected the contemporary liberal assessment of British justice, fair play and constitutional approach. Gopabandhu asked for Home Rule while defending the Empire. He condemned Defence of India Act as opposed
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to individual liberty. Jallianawalla Bagh stands as the living witness where this act was applied. WelfareStateandEducation
Gopabandhu was a protagonist of Welfare State in Orissa. Instead of theorising upon it he duly translated it into practice. His first love was education. He considered it as the major instrument of social transformation. He professed it in Legislative Council, and made tangible effort in that direction. The Satyabadi school was his significant and concrete formulation of this objective. His concept of education was !o build up an "integral man."' He found that "open air school" was best suited for the purpose. He made eloquent speeches in the Council with detailed analysis on various aspects of education dealing with primary education down to the University level. In 1918, he demanded free and compulsory education for primary course. The principle worked with success in almost all the civilised countries of the world. He said, "Education of the people is a duty of the state. This is a time-honoured doctrine in India and not a new principle." Due to his pleadings in the Council, M.A. classes in English and Law classes were started in Revenshaw College and Sanskrit College at Puri. An Engineering School was started at Cuttack. FamineRelief
Gopabandhu identified himself with the distressed people. In 1920, he painted a harrowing picture in the Assembly on the severe draught situation of Puri district. He demanded to declare famine in the district. He successfully fought against the misrepresentation of the misery of the people by Mr. Gruting, the then Commissioner of Orissa. In 1921, he said in the Legislative Council that "increase of revenues in an agricultural country like ours depends almost solely upon the success with which devastating force of nature is restricted and controlled."
Due to Gopabandhu's efforts, a Flood Inquiry Committee was appointed in 1922. Another Flood Relief Committee was appointed in 1928, whose report led to the formation of expert committees which led to the construction of Hirakud Dam after independence. AbolitionofPermitonSaltManufacture
Since tune immemorial, Salt manufacture had been an established industry in the coastal district of Orissa. The East India Company prohibited salt manufacture by the people of Orissa. The British Government imposed excise duty on it. Manufacture of salt was not permitted without the permission of the Government. Gopabandhu protested against this restriction and made a forceful issue for free manufacture of a salt. Sir Edward Gait visited the Chilka lake areas. He gave assurance to restore the right of free manufacture of salt in Orissa coast.
industry in Orissa as economic necessity." He pointed out that Orissa had to depend on the imperial grants only for its development and continued progress. He declared self-sufficiency of the province as an important factor for economic growth.
Gopabandhu did a lot for providing the people facilities for drinking water, provision against epidemic diseases like cholera and many such other measures. He said that "It is mere truism which is always admitted but seldom acted upon that our expenditure on Jail and Police would be minimised in proportion is we spend more and more for the diffusion of education which does reak • police the country." Maintenance of law and order was not the only purpose of the state. It should develop not only education, but every aspect of human life.
Gopabandhu Das composed his outstanding poem 'Bandira Atmakatha' (Autobiography of a prisoner) during his stay in Hazaribagh prison. It reveals much of his political ideas on matters like communal harmony, patriotism, nationalism and cosmopolitanism. He said, "Let my body mingle in this land and let the compatriots walk over my back. Let my flesh and bone fill up the holes which exist in the way of self-government." As an idealist he wanted to sacrifice himself for the sake of the nation. He subordinated the individual to the nation. He gave a clarion call to maintain nationhood, and to realise it by self-government. Along with the contemporary nationalists, he supported a government guided by popular will. He maintained that "Will, not the Force is the basis of the state." He had condemned the trend in the Legislative Assembly that the opinion of the people were put down in cold storage. He maintained that India is a nation in every possible definition. She has a definite territory with natural boundaries. She has a definite history of her own. She is inhabited by people with common sentiment for sorrow and pleasure. Orissa is a part of Indian nationhood. Orissa cannot be cut off from the national mainstream since that would subvert the cause of national liberty. Orissa could not progress without the rest of India. Hence Gopabandhu merged Orissa politics into the national movement. He discouraged parochial feeling of any kind. He maintained that there is divinity everywhere in India. This has two political implications, first, Lord Jagan-nath resided every where in India that is to say that the whole country is sacred for him. Some parochialists interpret that Lord Jagannath resides only in Orissa and hence Orissa is sacred for them. Gopabandhu's interpretation was nationalistic. He supported the divine theory of state. The state is the "March of God on Earth." The state is a divine institution.
All religions find place in Gopabandhu's concept of nationalism. Thus he professed a kind of nationalism which was both militant and secular.
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Like Mahatma Gandhi, he was a staunch Hindu. He endeavoured to preserve the values, ideals and point of honour of Hindus. He pleaded for the protection of cows. However, he strove for communal harmony. He contemplated a united India, irrespective of cast, creed, colour and religion. He preached religious tolerance and embraced all sects for national resurgence. Cultural Reawakening
Gopabandhu regretted the then declining state of the country. He reminded the glorious past of India when there was rule of Dharma or rule of law. He gave a positive call to emancipate India from alien rule as well as against oppressive native rulers. Injustice within and without are not different. Both must be fought on equal footing. He exposed the feudal exploitation of the King of Kalinga state. He eulogised Rama and Yudhisthira, who are supposed to be the paragon of righteousness in private as well as public life. He recalled India's glorious past. He had hope of having bright future where there would be peace and prosperity. India would serve as ideal for humanity. Hindu and Indian are mutually convertible terms. Hindus looked after the peace and prosperity of the entire humanity for their salvation. Every Indian nation alist talks of humanity and world peace. Indian culture goes beyond parochialism. Gopabandhu extended parochialism towards nationalism and finally to cosmopolitanism.
Gopabandhu was primarily a social service-oriented man. He entered politics to promote social service. He symbolised the political ideas in vogue in Orissa. He was influenced by the revolutionaries and the extremists, and also the liberals and the moderates. He was influenced by the Hindu nationalism and by the Gandhian idealism. As a staunch Hindu, he professed communal harmony. As a product of Utkal Sammelan, he developed a national and international outlook. He followed the demands of contemporary history and politics and moved accordingly. He was the spokesman of his time. He was not a political ideologue. His political ideas can be deduced from his writings, speeches and activities. He was a democrat, secular, nationalist, internationalist, liberal, idealist and above all a patriot and a rebel. He loved his land and her people and hence launched a crusade against injustice.
Gopabandhu Das was a celebrated social leader. Earlier than Gandhiji's Salt Satyagraha he made the 'salt' a main movement. He stands as the greatest among personalities in Orissa. Therefore the appellation "Utkalmani" seems somewhat local and narrow for him. He was a political leader, a social worker, a veteran legislator, a powerful journalist, a poet, a lawyer, a teacher and an educationist. His services to the flood affected people which cost the life of his only son is yet a household legend in Orissa. At his death, C.F. Andrews said, "his pity for the villagers was a beautiful thing to witness."