Subhas Chandra Bose as a mascot of Hindutva
A quintessential Hindu
Champion of Nationalism
This "fusion of religion and nationalism" and Hinduism with a "pronounced political character" came into play in 1925 when during his incarceration at Mandalay prison, Bose, along with the other Bengali prisoners, organised Durga Puja on the jail premises and demanded that the expenses be borne by the authorities. When the latter refused, Bose converted his spiritual quest into a political campaign by launching a hunger strike. This practice of political Hinduism had an electrifying impact on public opinion and soon the Swarajists lent their voice to the popular demand for the release of all political prisoners who had not been charged with a specific crime.
His faith in Hinduism with "pronounced political character" which formed the core of his Indianness, is not the only reason why the BJP can legitimately stake its claim on Subhash Chandra Bose: His views on governance tally with those of the BJP, as does his definition of nationalism, "There will be a strong Central Government. Without such a Govemment," declared Bose during the War, "order and public security cannot be safeguarded..."
And all those who deride nationalism, more so cultural nationalism, as "narrow, selfish and aggressive", "a hindrance to the promotion of Internationalism", would do well to go through Bose's speech at
Mr. Advani's yatra, however, would be a futile exercise if he fails to draw public attention to this Bose which has remained hidden from public view all these years.
To "shape society and politics according to our own ideals and according to our own needs", to "abolish the entire caste system", to put "the India of the villages where poverty stalks over the land, men die like flies and illiteracy is the prevailing order" firmly back in the national agenda, to safeguard our security with a "strong Central Government", we need to rediscover the champion of cultural nationalism hidden behind the leader of the 'Azad Hind Fauj'.