Some had posted this very interesting BBC article on their blog. I forget who it and apologies for not giving that individual the due credit here. It points to a very fascinating aspect, that at least I had never thought of till now. The article talks about the famous political leader of united India, Subhash Chander Bose and his collaboration with Hitler for the purpose of seeking independence from the British Raj.
As the article points out, Hitlers purpose for supporting Bose were at a tangent from Bose's aspirations. It may have been possible that Hitler undermined Bose's capability to influence and instigate a revolution of the magnitude that would shake the foundations of British rule in India. At the same time, I am left wondering that had Bose carried out his plans what would have been the shape of the sub-continent right now.
Would there have been the possibility of government with fascist influences? If so, would the muslims of India have faced the same fate as the Jews of Europre? In case of a South Asian holocaust would the hypothetically subjugated muslims be meted out the same treatment by the west as did the Jews? Unfortunately I feel that the answer to most of these questions would have been negative. Muslims never had the popular backing of the west, if there isnt much response to Muslim genocide in African countries in the world of today, then back in 40s and 50s it may not even have been an issue.
However, the point we must consider is the political inclinations of Netaji a common moniker for Bose in his home state of Orissa and the surrounding areas of Bengal. Us Pakistanis, who have never studied the Indian side of the history may recollect Bose as the man behind the famous line "Give me blood and I will give you freedom". His Indian National Army (INA) is supposedly still active in parts of India. His political approach was exact opposite to Ghandis vision of a non-violent revolution. At the same time, in my brief research over the internet in the past two days did not reveal any aspect of his personality that could be considered fascist. In fact he was more left-winged and anti-imperialist than fascist.
The biggest mystery surrounding Bose was his death. It was said that he died in a plane crash in August 1945 over Taiwan. The account is seriously disputed. One theory that has received some credibility is that Jawahal Lal Nehru along with the British had him exiled at an undisclosed location and eventually executed. This would makes a certain bit of sense as a political gambit that Nehru may have used. He did manage to succeed to power through being a Gandhi supporter as opposed to Bose who was opposed to the Gandhi approach. It is said that in eastern and southern India, Bose commanded immense popularity, and was an evident threat to Nehrus post-partition succession. At the same time the British feared that he would create unrest through violent means which would engage their thinning resources (the after effects of WW2) into an unwanted uprising. Hence it may have made complete sense to rid of Bose.
The truth, if we ever find it out, would take quite a while. In either case, it seems that with demise of Bose, South Asia lost a great political campaigner. He may have been the Che Guevera of India, but now unfortunately makes the list of great mind lost to global politics.