11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2003
The difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorist is only a question of perspective. The history of most countries begin with revolutions or wars of unification which are led by people considered heroes by one side and traitors and scoundrels by the other. Such a man was India�s Subhas Chandra Bose. While the British were fighting for their lives against the Nazis and the Japanese, Bose exploited Britain�s vulnerability in colonial India by declaring himself �Netaji (or �revered leader�) and allying with Britain�s enemies, Germany and Japan. He raised two �liberation armies,� each under the authority of Tokyo or Berlin, and with their help proclaimed the socialist Provisional Government of Free India. He visited Hitler and made radio broadcasts of pro-Axis speeches. At the same time it must be admitted that Bose helped to unify his nation�s multiethnic population, and perhaps even jump-started the beginning of independence from British imperialism. He was a shadowy figure, generally overlooked by History, whose mysterious death in a 1945 plane crash only perpetuated his elusiveness over the years.
No longer. Getz�s outstanding biography of Subhas Chandra Bose analyses this unique figure in Indian history and the history of World War II. Accurate, engaging, and written with the excitement of a fascinated historian, Marshall Getz has followed the trail of events and examines this self-proclaimed �Revered Leader� of Free India whose actions are still lauded by some Indians, although, in the eyes of the Allies, Bose was treasonous and collaborated with the enemy. It is balanced and objectively written, and any sense of bias reveals more about the reader�s perspective than the author�s.
13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2002
Not worth reading, as the author seems to add his opinions
cleverly weaving imaginary history instead of factual reporting.
Pedagogical and patronizing as some of the western authors
are Mr. Getz went on to belittle Indian aspirations for freedom
and the struggle. It should be remembered here that
George Washington did what Mr Bose did a couple of centuries
later indidentally against the same enemy, .i.e British. How
would he like if the father of his nation is considered a
small fry by history books the world over.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2010
The author is repeating what the British spy George Orwell used to broadcast regularly from the BBC( British Broadcasting Corporation) during the 2nd World War against Subhas Bose, the Hero among the Indian revolutionaries. Of course the British would hate him, as he was the enemy of the British imperialists who had subjugated India, but Indians love him. Every Indian city has his statue and main roads of the major cities are named after him. Thus, the British imperialists would try to malign his name ; it is natural. Getz, The author is one of those who supports the British imperialists.
Bose was not a Facist or Nazi, but a Socialist. He went to Stalin for help to organize the anti-British front, then ended up in Japan along with Sukarno( the first president of Indonesia), Aung San( the freedom fighter from Burma and the father of Sue Kei San), and revolutionary leaders from Malay, Vietnam, Phillipines, and across Asia.
He has formed Free India Government in Exile in Singapore, in 1942, recognized by the Soviet Union, Germany, Italy, Thailand, Imperial China, Japan, among others. He has maintained close collaboration with Molotov, the then the Soviet foreign minister and Jacob Malik, the then Soviet ambassador to Japan. His army Azad Hind Fauz was formed mainly out of the Indians living in South East Asia and some Indian soldiers in the hand of the Japanese Imperial Army, but it had raised Indian flag on any areas it had liberated during the War.
The author Getz has selectively quoted events and lectures without giving the background and rejected all evidences that Bose was the leader of the leftists among the Indian freedom fighter. Thus, this book is just one of the pro-British propaganda.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2010
The book is a typical exotist view of Bose and his life. The author concludes him as a fascist, "self-proclaimed" leader and so many other such descriptors. The book seems to have drawn a little bit of research from existing bio-graphies and a lot from British Intelligence reports and propoganda machine. The Author claims Bose has self titled himself as "Netaji", which is factually incorrect. He also claims Bose to be fringe leader of the Independence movement, despite Free democratic India today uses his national salutation " Jai Hind", selected national anthem " Jana Gana Mana" as its official instruments of Nation State. The writer obviously is unaware of the following of Bose in India where every city has a street named after Bose and a growing following of Bose among the youth who are begining to see the fallacies of the Congress party and Nehruvian power struggles during the nation's budding days.
The British accounts of Bose are meaniningless is the exercise to base facts as the British were the "Nazis" of India. The British propoganda machine effectively project Bose as a fascist to serve their noble cause of fighting Fascism on one side while pillaging and killing Indians in the Subcontinent.
I would not recommend this Book to anyone who would want to know about Bose and what he meant for India.
Please read the following interview with Bose's daughter.
I wonder how this author was provided funding for a voddoo theory project.
5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Chandra Bose is an elusive figure and somewhat difficult to understand in the pantheon of Indian freedom fighters. Bose was beloved by many, mainly Bengalis, for his single minded pursuit of independence from British rule. He is reviled by many as well, for his myopic, and most would say, misguided pursuit of unsavory friends.
Getz has provided a well researched and mostly even handed account of Bose. Bose was an educated Bengali whose two political philosophies were Socialism and Indian Independence. What is so shocking is that Bose courted Hitler and the Fascists during World War II and later Japan in an attempt to use the might of the Axis powers to defeat the British and free India. Imagine, a non-Aryan socialist actually commingling and getting the backing, however tepid, of the racist Hitler and his Fascist regime. Obviously both were using the other as a means to an end. And it is clear that to Bose - the means justified the ends. Did he really believe that had Germany won World War II they would have left India a free and independent country? Or Japan for that matter? One does wonder how naïve this otherwise brilliant man was.
And Bose's Indian National Army created mostly out of Indian prisoners of war - who were indoctrinated and given freedom in return for their allegiance and willingness to fight inside India against the Allies seems almost doomed to failure from the start. It was disaster waiting to happen.
Bose is quite a strange figure in India's history. His mysterious death in an airplane accident after leaving Japan in 1945 leaves one to wonder what his next move would be and what his ultimate fate would have been.