Netaji:Looking Back

Much abused. Much misunderstood. Much revered.

Someone said, it is, yet, too early to understand the lessons of the French revolution. So I think is also true about Netaji.His United Front Tactics of having joined hands with Nazi Germany and Japan much like Mao and Chang Kai Shek,Stalin and Hitler and many others to believe : my enemy’s enemy is my Friend was very tactically sound and also radical. He correctly assessed colonial India’s weakness and saw in the Second Great War an immense opportunity and not as a threat as most incorrectly judged . The Communists, got confused, kowtowed the Soviet Line of joining the Allies and supporting them while the Indian National Congress, on its part, followed a policy of appeasement.RSS, the backbone of the present day BJP was quite happy abusing and spoiling with the Muslim brothers while cosying up to the British.

Please do not liken the present day mad rush for shaking hands and political alignments in a similar vein.At best it would be a disservice and at worst blasphemy-which it shall be !Netaji loved his India, his people and died fighting.Not many would know ( it is being grumblingly conceded, today, by historians) that the sacrificial role of the Indian National Army and the Royal Indian Navy Rating’s Mutiny of 1946 hastened the handing over and transfer of power to India by the English.

That Gandhi and Nehru were not quite his friends is little matter.Netaji’s daughter Ms Anita Pfaff remembers and very fondly, that both he and Nehru , were secular and non-communal and extremely tolerant.She ventures however, to suggest, if not anything else, India and Pakistan would have been friendlier;had he been alive.

I shall ,however,always, in a very silly way feel proud to have studied in the same school as he did.And I am not in a bit embarrassed for trying to bask or steal some of that blazing bright !

May you inspire all for justice, freedom and dignity forever !

Happy Birthday !

“Netaji” Subash Chandra Bose and Stewart School, Cuttack

Easily the most illustrious alumni of Stewart School, Cuttack, Netaji Subash Chandra Bose was admitted to the school on 8th January 1902, when he was about 5 years old. As per authentic records in possession of school, he was born on 23rd January 1897. Stewart School was the place where Netaji began his elementary education and spent his early formative childhood.

Netaji received six years of elementary education in this institution, which was, then, known as the Protestant European School. Interestingly, the school, which started as an Orphanage School in November 1882, came to be known as Protestant European School in 1891 and in the same year, it opened its doors to Indian students. It was re-christened Stewart School, in 1919, after its founder, civil surgeon William Day Stewart.

Besides Netaji, his brother Sailesh Chandra Bose, other brothers and sisters also attended the school.

The school records indicate that “he had attended no other school” and in his case “exemption from religious instruction” was “not claimed”. He continued his education till he was promoted to Class VII.

When Netaji left the school after completing the academic session in Class VI on 31st December 1908, his character was certified as “very good”, as per authentic school records. Mr. J. Young was the principal of the school when he was undergoing his stint at Stewart School.