The man whom Indian nationalists perceived as the “George Washington of India” and who was President of the Indian National Congress in 1938–1939 is a legendary figure. Called Netaji (“leader”) by his countrymen, Subhas Chandra Bose struggled all his life to liberate his people from British rule and, in pursuit of that goal, raised and led the Indian National Army against Allied Forces during World War II. His patriotism, as Gandhi asserted, was second to none, but his actions aroused controversy in India and condemnation in the West.
Now, in a definitive biography of the revered Indian nationalist, Sugata Bose deftly explores a charismatic personality whose public and private life encapsulated the contradictions of world history in the first half of the twentieth century. He brilliantly evokes Netaji’s formation in the intellectual milieu of Calcutta and Cambridge, probes his thoughts and relations during years of exile, and analyzes his ascent to the peak of nationalist politics. Amidst riveting accounts of imprisonment and travels, we glimpse the profundity of his struggle: to unite Hindu and Muslim, men and women, and diverse linguistic groups within a single independent Indian nation. Finally, an authoritative account of his untimely death in a plane crash will put to rest rumors about the fate of this “deathless hero.”
This epic of a life larger than its legend is both intimate, based on family archives, and global in significance. His Majesty’s Opponent establishes Bose among the giants of Indian and world history.
Sugata Bose is Gardiner Professor of History at Harvard University.
Table of Contents
1 A Flaming Sword Forever Unsheathed 1
2 God's Beloved Land 15
3 Dreams of Youth 45
4 Exile in Europe 85
5 The Warrior and the Saint 135
6 One Man and a World at War 180
7 The Terrible Price of Freedom 201
8 Roads to Delhi 238
9 A Life Immortal 304
What People are Saying About This
Subhas Chandra Bose was perhaps the most enigmatic of the great Indian leaders fighting for independence in the twentieth century. This wonderful book makes a major contribution to the understanding of the political, social and moral commitments of Netaji, the great leader, as he was called by his contemporaries.
Amartya Sen, author of The Idea of Justice
Dr. Tim Harper
This is a definitive biography of Subhas Chandra Bose, written by the person most qualified to do so. It is an epic tale, told in an epic manner.
Dr. Tim Harper, author of Forgotten Wars: Freedom and Revolution in Southeast Asia
This remarkable book places Subhas Chandra Bose fully in the context of Indian and world history. It should be read by everyone interested in the end of the British Empire.
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