Recollections and reflections

Reminiscences, Rafi Ahmad Kidwai

I first came in contact with Subhas Bose in 1923 at Delhi when the Congress was divided into two groups over the question of what was known as 'Council Entry.'...Subhas Babu, as the favourite lieutenant of Deshabandhu, was playing a prominent part in the controversy. more>>

Broadcast from Berlin Radio

Referring to the recent statement made by the British Journalist Vernon Bartlett, to the effect that he (Bose) had become an instrument of German propaganda, Mr SC Bose stressed that his propaganda was intended to serve the cause of India's freedom. It was gratifying, he declared, that the German Reich had put its transmitters at his disposal. Mr Bose went on to say, “As is well-known, the British Government has never permitted Mahatma Gandhi to talk over the Radio while it is using it as an instrument of lying propaganda against Mahatmaji and the Congress.” In connection with India's present situation, Mr Bose pointed out that only in Britain was it unknown that the whole Indian population — one-fifth of the world's population — was completely unanimous in its claim for immediate freedom. Even Mahatma Gandhi, the most moderate of all Indian leaders, had lost faith in Britain after three years of waiting. As to relations between the Hindus and the Muslims, Mr Bose declared the British seem to have forgotten the struggle for independence in 1857, which was a proof of the unanimity between the two communities. Britain had always pursued a policy of divide and rule. Britain, along with her Allies, were trying even today with all means in their power to keep India in slavery. The more grateful, therefore, had India to be for the helpful hand which the Axis Powers were extending to her. “Today, there is only one alternative facing India - freedom or death. India had either to choose between perpetual slavery or a fight to the finish,” he said. Continuing, Mr Bose recalled that 100,000 Indians had lost their lives for the preservation of the British Empire against their will.

Therefore, he asked, whether India should not voluntarily sacrifice 100,000 people in order to destroy the British Empire and to gain freedom for India. He pointed out that it was now the time to act. Mr Bose appealed to the Indian Police and the soldiers serving with the British Indian as well as to the Indian political leaders still in the Viceroy's Council to decide what to do. Concluding, Mr Bose expressed his conviction that if the Indians all over the world did their utmost and fought with courage and determination and were prepared to lay down their lives if necessary, India's freedom would come sooner than expected,"