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'India Wouldn't Have Been Partitioned If Netaji Was There': Ajit Doval

Ajit Doval was delivering the first Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose memorial lecture.

New Delhi:

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had the audacity to fearlessly challenge the British and India would not have been partitioned if he was there at that time, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval said on Saturday.

Mr Doval said Bose was determined to fight the British for India’s Independence and never wanted to beg for freedom, adding he not only wanted to end political subjugation but felt that the political, social, economic and cultural mindset of the people has to be changed and “they should feel like free birds in the sky”.

The National Security Advisor (NSA) said this while delivering the first Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose memorial lecture organised by the industry chamber ASSOCHAM.

In the course of his address, Mr Doval delved into various aspects of Bose’s life and noted that he even had the audacity to challenge Mahatma Gandhi. But at the same time, Mr Doval noted that Bose had a deep respect for Gandhi.

“The seed, the idea that came to his mind was ‘I will fight the British, I will not beg for freedom. It is my right and I will have to get it’,” Doval said.

“India would not have been partitioned if Subhas Bose was there. Jinnah said I can accept only one leader and that is Subhas Bose,” he added.

Mr Doval said Bose’s contribution to India is exemplary.

“In Indian history, there are very few parallels or in global history where people had the audacity to sail against the current — and not an easy current. It was the current of the mighty British empire,” he said.

“Netaji said I will not compromise for anything less than full independence and freedom,” Mr Doval said.

Netaji said “I want to free this country not only from political subjugation” but felt that the political, social, economic and cultural mindset of the people has to be changed, and “they should feel like free birds in the sky”, the NSA added.

“Bose possessed audacity like no other. He had the courage to challenge the prevailing powers, regardless of the consequences. His audacity was evident throughout his life, from his journey to London for the ICS to his escape from India during detention. He displayed unparalleled bravery and determination,” Mr Doval said.

Highlighting the legacy of Bose, Mr Doval spoke about Netaji’s ability to unite people from diverse backgrounds and how he envisioned a unified and strong India.

“Bose’s leadership was exceptional. He recognised India as a reality, transcending divisions of caste, religion, and ethnicity. His vision of a united India is encapsulated in his famous slogan ‘Kadam Kadam Badhaye Ja’.

“It resonated with people across all walks of life. He inspired them to fight for their country, united in their pursuit of freedom,” Mr Doval said.

The NSA said Bose was a secular person and that he was deeply religious.

Mr Doval said Bose’s efforts were driven by his passion for patriotism and his unwavering dream of a great India.

The NSA said Bose was a highly religious man.

“Bose’s efforts were monumental, fuelled by his romantic ideals of patriotism and his unwavering hope for a great India.

“History may have been unkind to him, but his impact and nationalism continued even after his passing. He left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of countless Indians who were inspired by his extraordinary journey,” he said.

Reacting to his remarks, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh accused Mr Doval of distorting history.

“Mr. Ajit Doval who doesn’t speak much has now joined the tribe of Distorians. 1. Did Netaji challenge Gandhi? Of course he did. 2. Was Netaji a leftist? Of course he was. 3. Was Netaji secular? Of course staunchly and stoutly so. 4. Would Partition not have happened if Netaji was alive then? Who can say because by 1940 Netaji had formed the Forward Bloc. You can have opinions on this but it is a contrafactual question,” he tweeted.

“One thing Mr. Doval did not say. The man who championed Partition of Bengal was Shyama Prasad Mukerjee in the face of strong opposition from Sarat Chandra Bose, Netaji’s elder brother. I am sending Mr. Doval a copy of Rudrangshu Mukherjee’s fine book of 2015, Parallel Lives. He should at least sniff some REAL history.” he added.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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