His Majesty's Opponent : Subhas Chandra Bose and India's Struggle against Empire
The man whom Indian nationalists perceived as the "George Washington of India" and who was President of the Indian National Congress in 1938-1939 is a legendary figure. Called Netaji ("leader") by his countrymen, Subhas Chandra Bose struggled all his life to liberate his people from British rule and, in pursuit of that goal, raised and led the Indian National Army against Allied Forces during World War II. His patriotism, as Gandhi asserted, was second to none, but his actions aroused controversy in India and condemnation in the West.
Now, in a definitive biography of the revered Indian nationalist, Sugata Bose deftly explores a charismatic personality whose public and private life encapsulated the contradictions of world history in the first half of the twentieth century. He brilliantly evokes Netaji's formation in the intellectual milieu of Calcutta and Cambridge, probes his thoughts and relations during years of exile, and analyzes his ascent to the peak of nationalist politics. Amidst riveting accounts of imprisonment and travels, we glimpse the profundity of his struggle: to unite Hindu and Muslim, men and women, and diverse linguistic groups within a single independent Indian nation. Finally, an authoritative account of his untimely death in a plane crash will put to rest rumors about the fate of this "deathless hero."
This epic of a life larger than its legend is both intimate, based on family archives, and global in significance. His Majesty's Opponent establishes Bose among the giants of Indian and world history.
"Those wishing to learn about the life and times of Netaji will finish the book with their curiosity deeply satisfied."--Ramesh Thakur, The Australian
"[A] lucid and meticulous new biography."--Sudip Bose, Bookforum
"[Bose's] impeccable scholarship is in full view, as indeed is his awed regard for his grand-uncle. The result is a fine biography of a man who is still regarded with some ambivalence in India, not the least because so little is known about him. This book ought to fill that gap."--T.C.A. Srinivasa-Raghavan, Business Line
"This competent biography by Bose's great-nephew, a historian, is the best work to date to clarify some of his paradoxes. With unpublished material from family archives and public records, Sugata Bose supplies a fuller back-story of Netaji's predicaments. The book has illuminated my understanding of a controversial and charismatic Indian militarist who remains inspirational to many in India, despite his questionable status in the global politics of the period."--Krishna Dutty, The Independent
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May 01, 2011
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