There’s a problem. I am concerned about this growing trend of hero worshipping in this country. Since childhood I’ve been observing Netaji was not one of the heroes much celebrated across India. I’ve often wondered about the political implications behind that, but now, for better or worse, the whole India seems fixated on making him the poster boy of Indian Independence.
My fellow countrymen have this weird fanaticism about hero worshipping, be it a cinema hero, a historic one or a mythic, when you elevate someone to the levels of divinity it becomes impossible value that person as a human.
We have seen it happen multiple times, with Gandhi, Bhagat Singh and now with Netaji. Members of every political parties are trying to claim Netaji in their niche ideological agenda, taking a certain aspect of his deeds and maximising that while carefully manipulating the masses to forget other things.
This is the reason, we need to consider all historical figures as persons not as some divine holy cow, so that it leaves some room for criticism and understanding the character better.
Blindly worshipping Netaji could be disastrous to this country, and to teach children from young age to blindly make him as a role model is also troubling. Netaji flirted with too many dangerous ideologies, for anyone to carelessly follow him.
For their own agenda, left parties have been trying to appropriate him as a Communist since few decades, which is not true. He had his views on communist revolution but he wasn’t a communist by a long shot.
People often wonder about what would have happened if Netaji was our first prime minister instead, they should know they he would have never become a Prime minister of a democratic India. He wanted a dictatorship in India and many of his “sudden admirers” today secretly wants the same thing so they’re using him to preemptively safeguard their position.
Enemy’s enemy is my friend is a good strategy I bet in a war, however, the frequent statues of Netaji we see on every roadside with him raising his right arm to a Nazi salute with a ‘Heil India’ slogan (which could be traced back to Hitler himself) gives another picture about him, who actually admired Nazism along with bits from Bolshevik movement, a Nazbol to precise.
INA was great for its contribution in raising morals of the whole country in later stages of Freedom movement. A lesser known fact in this regard is a division of Indian legion that fought in europe under the direct command of Waffen-SS. While we may overlook the European division of Indian Legion, the Japanese on the other hand were directly involved in INA’s eastern front. The Japs used to do shooting practice on captured British Indian soldiers, their war crimes alone can fill a book of history, if you think, had the INA been successful in defeating the allied forces, Japs would help establish a free nation in India, you are gravely mistaken. That was never the plan and was never going to happen.
All things considered, things turned out to be favourable to us, it was the end of second world war and the dawn of cold war, the allied forces realised, the colonies could easily fall into Soviet ideologies given how the oppressor and oppressed narrative was easily sold here. The INA led movements and rise of leaders like Netaji, Bhagat Singh just confirmed their suspicions. It was a lose lose scenario for Britain, in the end they gave up on colonisation instead of letting India become another fascist or Bolshevik nation to stand against allied forces.