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August 25 , 2009

Subhas Chandra Bose: A Biography


Subhas Chandra Bose continues to be a well-known figure in India more than fifty years after his death, but in the West remains a shadowy figure unknown to many. He made headlines worldwide as the extremist leader of the Provisional Government of Free India after its establishment by the Axis powers during World War II and was viewed as sort of an Asian Hitler or Quisling, but when the Allies crushed Bose's Indian National army, the world seemed quickly to forget him. This work is a biography of Bose, the self-proclaimed Netaji, or "revered leader," who sought to bring down the British Raj by making alliances with Rome, Berlin, and Tokyo during World War II and by helping India thrive economically and politically as a free socialist nation. It details his political activities, including radio broadcasts in which he attempted to sway his countrymen with pro-Axis propaganda and predicted a bloody end to imperialism at the hands of Axis powers, and his commanding of two liberation armies, one under Nazi authority and the other under Tokyo's auspices, made up of rehabilitated and coerced prisoners of war. Bose is noted for having unified his country's multiethnic population and enlisting the support of Indians overseas, all the while incurring the wrath of the Allies, who crushed his armies and his hopes of transforming India into a socialist nation. A discussion of his mysterious death in a plane crash while en route to an unknown location in 1945 concludes the book.
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