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>>

Why this site?

 

    A couple of years back, after forming MissionNetaji, we were trying to get hold of a few speeches of Bose, which he made during his early days in Indian politics. We started by checking the most obvious place - his collected works. We thought the 'official' collection had everything. But when we checked various sources, to our shock, we discovered that many speeches were published only in parts; and many were just not there. During the same time I was also making rounds of bookshops in Kolkata and Delhi to find a few books on Bose I wanted to buy - books like Joyce Lebra's Jungle Alliance, S A Ayer's Unto Him a Witness, Tatsuo Hayashida's Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Bose's own Through Congress Eyes and many more. The famed College Street of Kolkata also failed to give any hope. The only books easily available were those published very recently.

    Now, I knew that I could probably get these books from good libraries such as University libraries and the National library. But I did not have the time. A fundamental question kept bothering me and my colleagues at MN - why can't we access speeches given by a person who is hero-worshipped by almost every second person in this country? Where have the books written on him gone?

    Equally important is to find a way for ordinary mortals like us to access the documents on Bose that are kept in archives across the world. But most importantly, what should we do to see the documents held as top secret by the Government of India?

    The team at MN, since then, has painstakingly collected as much information as available on Bose.

    The work for MN is now cut out. No one, who wants to learn about Bose and read his works, should be disappointed. His works are national property, and should be accessible to everyone across the world. What better than a website dedicated to that purpose?

    There is another reason for us to build this site - the present generation, we discover through our interactions, have almost no knowledge of the people who fought to give us the fortune of living in a free country. We are not getting into academic research here - we will be happy if we can remind the coming generations the cost at which we have got the privilege to call ourselves citizens of a free country. So that the sacrifice and the vision of our forefathers act as our guiding light.

    We are making a small but steady start, and we will work hard to make this site a one-stop source of all information on Bose.

    We need your support and encouragement. Do email us.