Although many in India, scholars besides, know about Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, we shall include a couple of paragraphs below to put the matter in the context of international geopolitics. In World War II, the case for dropping two bombs on Japan was not an impeccable one, and many reasons are likely to be hidden from the public eye.
Could the equations of the Anglo-British involving a possible defeat in the Indian theater by a Bose-Japan combine have been a part of the decision process? We shall deliberately refrain from going into a detailed documentation of this, for we should leave this as an exercise for the reader.
Bose was able to flee house arrest in Calcutta and go to Germany. Studying the German viewpoint of the international politics gave him an understanding that Gandhi and Nehru may not have had. In a very daring trip he would go further on to Japan, spend a few years there and have an audience with the Premier. He would subsequently land in Burma and take control of the Burmese Indian National Army.
Upon learning that Bose had come to Burma and was raising an army, the Indian soldiers of the British army switched sides in favor of their countryman. Bose was thus able to raise an army of about 40,000 strong, equipped with arms from Japan. In addition, the Emperor of Japan committed about 100,000 Japanese troops and some air squadrons for his assistance.
With this formidable combine, he stood a good chance of marching on to Delhi. The 100,000 Japanese troops would eventually back down, but Bose resolved to continue the fight. He occupied the Andaman and Nicobar islands, Nagaland, Mizoram, Assam and was about to enter Bengal.
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From the vantage of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, the Indian National Army had effectively tied up Mountbatten in Ceylon, and he was unable to move.
Bose had a brilliant strategy. A main force was to march on to Delhi. This would however be aided by three other forces, each of which would have first performed the task of destroying the British hold over three major ports – Calcutta, Vishakapatnam and Chennai as well as the Dutch control of ports at Machilipatnam and Yanam.
The unit landing in Calcutta would join the units from Nagaland and Assam towards Delhi, while the units from Vishakapatnam and Chennai would march towards Bombay. The conquest of these five cities, to be completed in two weeks, would have effectively ended British rule in India, cutting it off from the…
Read about the Heroic Saga of the Escape, Exile and Death of Bose in our archive issues.
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