I hold Bengalis in high respect. They are a highly intelligent, highly cultured people, with great contributions in literature, science, philosophy,social reforms, etc
Unfortunately, many of them have some blind spots. It is diifficult to talk rationally with most Bengalis about some personalities whom they have converted into icons or holy cows, e.g. Tagore or Subhas Chandra Bose. Even the slightest criticism of these persons invokes a torrent or barrage of abuse, invectives and vituperations.
I remember when I was a Judge of Allahabad High Court I was sitting with some other Judges, one of whom was a Bengali, at the house of one of my colleagues. I mentioned my view that Subhas Chandra Bose was objectively a Japanese agent. This so infuriated the Bengali Judge that he started shouting and raving almost like a madman, and so I quickly apologized so as not to break up the party.
But why should Bengalis go crazy if someone rationally criticizes Tagore and Bose ? Are they the private property of Bengalis.?
I have given my reasons for criticizing Bose, whom I regard as objectively a Japanese agent, and Tagore, whom I regard as objectively a British stooge. I do not claim that my reasoning is necessarily correct, but then if one disagrees with it he should politely and coolly point out the flaws in my reasoning, and give his counter reasoning. Mere abuse is neither here nor there. In fact abuse is the refuge of a person when reasoning fails.
I have already mentioned my view about Tagore on my blog justicekatju.blogspot.in in which I have said that Tagore was objectively a British stooge, who had been built up by the British ( through their agent Yeats ) so as to divert literature from the revolutionary direction Sharad Chandra Chattopadhyaya was taking it ( see his Pather Dabi ) towards harmless and nonsensical spiritualism and mysticism ( see his poems Gitanjali, Klanti, Agni Beena Bajao Tumi, etc and that nonsensical novel ' Gora ') so as not to harm British interests.
I had also called Bose objectively a Japanese agent, in one of my blogs.
Mamata Banerjee threw open the state government's files on ' Netaji '.,and so will the Central Govt., as was announced after the Prime Minister's meeting with Bose's relatives in Delhi.
Mamata Banerji's move was just a diversionary populist measure to divert attention from the real problems of Bengalis ( and other Indians ) of poverty, unemployment, healthcare, price rise, malnourishment, etc.and gain popularity for the coming Bengal elections.
But, it is high time for Bengalis ( and other Indians ) to make a rational assessment of this ' national icon ' ( as Mamata described him ).
1. To assess Bose we have to see the historical background. That background was this :
Japan had rapidly industrialized in the late 19th and early 20th century, and then, like other imperialist powers wanted colonies, i.e. markets and raw materials for her growing industries..
2. The problem for Japan was that most of East and South Asia was at that time already colonized or dominated by European powers. So to oust them Japan embarked on an aggressive programme of militant expansionism and conquest of east and south Asia, calling it euphemistically ' The Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere'.
3. By this militant expansionism Japan conquered Korea, Manchuria, parts of north and east China, and their armies went as far south as Burma and Singapore
4. Did the Japanese come so far from Japan for a picnic, or to conquer colonies ?
5. Having reached Burma the Japanese were obviously eyeing the huge Indian market and enormous raw materials, which were then under British control. So they fought against the British to capture these.
6. If the Japanese had defeated the British would they have given freedom to India, or made it a Japanese colony and looted it ?.Anyone having slightest commonsense can give the correct answer to this question. They would have colonized and looted India, not given us freedom.
In my opinion Bose was a highly ambitious person, and he became a Japanese agent because neither Gandhi nor Hitler had given him any ' bhaav ', so he thought that the only alternative left was to ally with Japan.
The Japanese fascists used Bose in their fight against the British, but the moment his utility was over they would probably have bumped him off, or made him a puppet ruler like the last Chinese Emperor Pu Yi, who was made head of 'Manchukuo'.
Does anybody think that the Japanese fascist imperialists would have given freedom to India if they had defeated the British ? No, they would have made India their colony ( as they made Korea, Manchuria and other parts of China, Vietnam,etc ) and looted us. If we resisted, the Japanese, who were fascists, would assuredly have massacred our people, as they did to the people of Shanghai, Nanking, etc ( see on Youtube visual accounts of these massacres ).
If Bose was a great freedom fighter, why did he give up the fight against the British the moment the Japanese surrendered in 1945 ? He should have carried on a guerilla war against the British, the way the Chinese Eighth Route Army fought against the Japanese. In guerilla war you fight with the weapons of the enemy, by first snatching them from him. The fact that he did not do so shows that there was nothing in the man. First he tried to become an agent of the Nazis, but they rebuffed him. Then he became an agent of the Japanese, who accepted him as their loyal lackey.
Some people support Bose's alliance with the Japanese by saying that an enemy's enemy is one's friend. In the real, practical, world, this maxim cannot be of universal application. One can understand alliance with Japan if there was a possibility that such an alliance could have given us real freedom. But there was no such possibilty. Even if the Japanese, with I.N.A. support had defeated the British, they would never have given us freedom, but converted India into their colony. The very nature of the then fascism and imperialism prevailing in Japan makes this evident. Only a fool will talk like Anuj Dhar that Japan would have treated India differently from the other countries it had conquered because it was the land of Buddha. As if fascists care for Buddha
In 1941 Bose went to Germany, and not only hobnobbed with Hitler but even with Himmler, two of the most evil men in history, ( their photographs can be seen on the internet ) responsible for terrible atrocities on the Jews, which had started in 1933 when Hitler came to power, and which the whole world knew of. So Bose could not have been ignorant of Kristalnacht of 1938 etc, even if he did not know of gas chambers..
Bose wanted to organize the Indian soldiers captured by the Germans, to fight along with the Nazis. But when Hitler showed no interest, Bose went to Japan and raised his ragtag 'Azad Hind Fauj ' to fight with Japanese support against the British army.
The INA was totally dependant on the Japanese for weapons, supplies, etc. So Bose never objected to Japanese atrocities on the local people of Andaman Islands. And the moment Japan surrendered the ragtag 'Azad Hind Fauj ' disappeared like empty gas.
My assessment of Bose is that while in his youth he was patriotic, having resigned from the I.C.S. to serve the nation, he was a confused person, who later became over ambitious, and to satisfy his ambition and ego was prepared even to ally with the devil. Like a Faust who sold his soul to a Mephistopheles, Bose sold his soul to fascists.In fact he sold it twice, first to the Nazis, and then to the Japanese fascists
It is high time Bengalis ( and others ) realize this