When Netajee Stepped into the Shoes of Rishi Aurobindo.

You are currently viewing When Netajee Stepped into the Shoes of Rishi Aurobindo.

How the volatility of times and vicissitudes of fluctuating fortunes remarkably brought Netajee stepping into the shoes of Sri Aurobindo, especially when, decades ago, smitten by the biting betrayals of his own lieutenants, in sheer despondency and disillusionment, he sought to embrace the life divine of Rishi Aurobindo, yet refrained from the same. However, he seldom had the foggiest of an idea then, what the providence had in store for him in the later part of his life.

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Subhas Chandra Bose Jayanti: Today being the birth anniversary of one of India’s greatest freedom fighters in 20th Century, the question once again will gain currency: Was Gumnami Baba the mysterious avatar of Netajee Subhas Chandra Bose?

Until a couple of years ago, Gumnami Baba was a mysterious phenomenon, who was an object of speculations from all sides; whereas a particular version of opinion supported his being Netajee Subhas Chandra Bose in disguise; another version, no less poignant, debunked any such hypothesis on the ground that, the bravery personified, an intrepid freedom fighter, if Netajee at all escaped the injury purportedly suffered in the wake of his escape from the air crash, would he at all have embraced the life incognito, for the man who feared none, to live a life away from limelight, into solitude, was simply outlandish, indubitably preposterous?

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Unequivocally, the nation ever remained in the state of ambivalence, oscillating between one end of the pendulum to the other, where gossips and speculations galore constituted the national discourse on India’s inarguably the greatest freedom fighter.

Anuj Dhar, the journalist – author, in fact, the man who deserves national salutations for the work done by him: his lifelong devotion for Netajee had resulted in a comprehensive investigation leading to an irrefutable conclusion: Gumnami Baba was Netajee Subhas Chandra Bose in disguise, for the evidence adduced by Anuj Dhar in his book What happened to Netajee and scores of his books and public demonstrations, irreversibly establishes the facts that, irrespective of doubts and suspicions evinced, Gumnami Baba was Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in disguise; the man who died as late as 16th September, 1985.

Moreover, the evidence furnished by the eye witnesses who had the glimpse of Netajee or heard him speak, although from behind the curtain, corroborates the hypothesis that Gumnami Baba was none other than Subhas Chandra Bose. Also, the belongings which stay buried inside the room of Faizabad Court, near Ayodhya, irrefutably establishes Gumnami Baba as Netajee Subhas Chandra Bose.

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Significantly, Anuj Dhar had taken up the investigation from the point Samar Guha had left: The latter’s book Netajee dead or alive, conclusively leaves behind his own sense of scepticism on the different types of fake and sham investigations conducted by the government of India through its various commissions, namely, Shahnawaz Commission, Khosla Commission, Mukherjee Commission, Cabinet Commissions etc.– they all contradicted themselves.

Added to this, is the most intriguing revelation: how Jawaharlal Nehru had ordered for surveilance of Netajee’s family for almost one and half decade beggars the belief of Netajee dying in air crash. Small wonder then, even Nehru knew that Netajee Subhas Chandra Bose had never died in air crash.

But now, the moot question: why would a man who feared none; who considered Chittaranjan Das as his political guru and Swami Vivekananda as his spiritual guru, would be frightened of anyone, so much so, that he embraced a life of solitude, a life incognito? Interestingly, one of the theories doing rounds is this: The government of India, under Jawaharlal Nehru, had signed a treaty with the government of Clement Atlee that, in view of Netajee Subhas Chandra Bose found alive, he should be outright handed over to the British government, could have been the deterrent for Netajee’s remaining underground after India’s independence.

The other theory doing round, conveys, Netajee’s fear of his public appearance was fraught with severe consequences: His probable assassination by the then rulers who, frightened of him, while being enamoured of power, would have taken recourse to any step to eliminate him. Prima facie the latter theory appears untenable, for the man who knew no fear, to be frightened of lesser mortals, was tantamount to expressing a sense of tentativeness in the man whose sense of decisiveness and the degree of chutzpah defies all such hypothesis.

In the wake of being chosen as the Congress President in the year 1938, Subhas had to resign from the post in Tripuri session, on account of the coterie of Mahatma Gandhi resisting his attempts to appoint the members of the Congress Working Committee as per his own discretion. This fierce exhibition of independence met with a robust challenge from the loyalists of Gandhi, thereby triggering his resignation and eventual ouster from the Congress party.

It would be apt here to mention the fact that in 1938, he won the presidential contest against Pattabhi Sitaramayya despite Gandhi’s extension of an avowed support for the former, ‘ Sitaramayya’s defeat is my defeat’, Mahatma had announced, yet his candidate had lost by a considerable margin.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and sir Aurobindo

However, in the wake of his resignation from the Congress Party, Subhas Chandra Bose had gone into depression; the sabotages orchestrated by his own colleagues, especially Jawaharlal, had deeply disconcerted him into the state of despondency. He seriously began to think: whether he should embrace the life divine of Rishi Aurobindo and consequently seek solitude in Himalaya. However, he had a second thought: the betrayal of few people did not mean the rejection of his vision by the nation.

He renewed his commitment to the nation and went on floating the Forward Block. Later he left for Japan, even went to Germany and had one to one meeting with Adolf Hitler. No wonder, it was this meeting with Hitler, which was the trigger for the Indian Communists to designate him as ‘ burjua’, a burguoise, unless one fine morning, Jyoti Basu, the then chief minister of West Bengal and Communist patriarch, had the mind metamorphosis: he sought public apology for calling Netajee as ‘ burjua’.

Paradoxically, the very nature of the life divine which Netajee had rejected after his exit from the Congress Party, inexorably visited him in the later part of his life as Gumnami Baba. Significantly, Netajee Subhas Chandra Bose, much like Sri Aurobindo, finally embarked on a journey towards knowing himself, unraveling his own Self. Sri Aurobindo, despite being in the thick of national movement, relinquished his burning passion for the nation, when the call from divine beckoned him towards discovering the inner world. In one stroke, Sri Aurobindo jettisoned all his hitherto burning nationalistic passion at altar of discovering his self.

Much like Sri Aurobindo, Netajee Subhas Chandra Bose finally felt that his purpose of nationalistic vision had attained fruition in the wake of India’s Independence and, therefore, his solitary path beckoned him towards embracing the life divine, for unless the self is not realised, everything boils down to nothing. Small wonder then, the volatility of life and vicissitudes of fluctuating fortune had brought Netajee face to face with embracing the life divine, the sunlit path Rishi Aurobindo had trudged once divine beckoned him towards it, giving a go by to his other obsessive preoccupation.

Vivekanand Jha had written a mass petition to Prime Minister for de-classifying the files pertaining to the mysterious disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. He is an Author, Academician and a Public Intellectual. He is the Convener of Education pe Charcha.

Vivekanand Jha

Vivekanand Jha is the author of The People's Leader based on the life of Sri Saryu Roy. He is an acclaimed Author, Academician, and Public Intellectual. He is also the Convener of Education pe Charcha.