[Solved] Highlight the difference in the approach of Subhash Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi in the struggle for freedom

[Solved] Highlight the difference in the approach of Subhash Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi in the struggle for freedom.

Although Subhash Chandra was a follower of Gandhi during the initial days, the later part of the

1930s witnessed a growing radicalization of his thoughts and Bose became increasingly frustrated

with the lack of momentum in the independence movement. This caused increasing differences in

their approaches.

• Differences are as follows:

a) Basic Ideology:

o Bose was a nationalist who believed in the tradition of Tilak and Aurobindo (Extremists). Gandhi,

on the contrary, was a nationalist who belonged to the tradition of his mentor Gokhale (Moderates)

and Tagore.

o Bose’s strong revolutionary urge for the emancipation of his motherland made him critical of many

of Gandhiji’s techniques.

b) Strategy to achieve independence:

o Netaji’s demand for complete freedom of India from the British in contrast to Gandhi’s want for

independence in phases through dominion status.

o Bose has also been unambiguous that he would seek political emancipation through the most

efficacious means which could involve armed conflict or even a total war.

c) Future of India post independence:

o Gandhi was hostile to industrialization, while Bose saw it as the only route to making India strong

and self-sufficient.

o Gandhi advocated a back to the roots vision comprising of spinning, khadi and local self-sufficiency

at village level while Bose held steadfast to a futuristic vision of large scale industrialization and

a politics devoid of irrationality and religiosity.

o Bose was influenced by the success of the five-year plans in the Soviet Union and he advocated

for a socialist nation with an industrialized economy.

o Bose wanted to develop free India as a modern, industrialized nation with focus on advances in

science, livelihood, and education for the masses.

d) Idea about freedom:

o Bose believed that freedom is never given; it is taken, while Gandhi on the other hand sought to

attain his Swaraj through loyalty to the empire and a change of heart on their part.

e) Non cooperation movement:

o Gandhi wanted a mass non-violent movement. Putting pressure on British raj by non-violent means

such as fasting .However when Chauri Chaura incident occurred Gandhi ended the non cooperation

movement abruptly but Bose thought that was the right time for mass movement against British.

f) Second World War:

o Bose wanted to strike down the enemy when it was vulnerable. During the second world war Bose

wanted to take action against British which was opposed by Gandhi as he thought it was not

ethically right

g) Military:

o Bose wanted a organized military campaign and he dint mind being included in a lot of international politics. Bose’s Azad Hind force joined axis powers in WW2 against British.

Both played crucial roles in the freedom movement. They were both internationalists and humanists as well as secular in their approach and anti-social in their outlook. In spite of their common thought process, there were glaring differences in their approach. They are as follows:

  • Subhash Chandra Bose was a radical socialist meaning that he wanted to change the existing socio-economic situation whereas Gandhi was a conservative.
  • The young members, of INC including Bose demanded complete self-rule without any compromise while the senior members were okay with dominion status for India within British rule.
  • Bose had a strong revolutionary urge to achieve freedom while Gandhi believed in passive resistance.
  • Bose proposed the idea of complete Independence from the British rule. He wanted Swaraj based on all out struggle. Gandhi on the other hand believed in the concept of Struggle-Truce-Struggle. Gandhi was in favour of trusteeship theory and aspired village to be self-sustained economy.
  • Bose was a strong supporter of Fascism which was obvious in his strong belief that India needed a political system which was a mix of fascism and communism. Gandhi on the other hand was an anti fascist who did not propagate any such extreme political system.
  • Bose was open to the idea of taking foreign assistance to achieve freedom as seen in the formation of Indian national Association while Gandhi was completely against any such idea.

Despite their ideological defferences both Gandhi and Bose spoke highly of each other. There were occasions when Bose praised Gandhi for his success in involvement of women in freedom struggle. Even Gandhi while differing from Bose’s extreme methods had utmost admiration for his unique effort for India’s freedom, mainly his struggle for freedom from outside India. Cue must be taken from these two great leaders’ tolerance and respect towards each other even after serious difference of opinion.

Both Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose were stalwarts of Indian freedom struggle. Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose differed in their approach and had different understanding of political reality:

  • Subhash Chandra Bose adopted violent means for liberation of India and thus led Indian National Army. Gandhi on the other hand was a firm believer of non-violence and led peaceful mass protests.
  • Ideologically Gandhi subscribed to socialist pattern of society where fruits of labour were evenly distributed and favoured trusteeship pattern of relation between Capitalist and labourers. Subhash Chandra was a keen follower of radical leftist ideology and organized trade unions.
  • SCB wanted to grab the opportunity provided by second world war for India’s freedom, thus approached Germany, Japan while Gandhi saw facism and Nazism a greater danger to Indian polity and society thus co-operated with British. Thus they had a different understanding of same event
  • Religious teachings had great importance in the life of Gandhi while Subhash Chandra Bose was a leftist and rationalist.
  • Gandhi’s idea of freedom was based on self rule and rule over self. Bose viewed freedom not only in terms of political self rule but also freedom from socio-economic inequalities, casteism, intolerance etc.

Gandhi and Bose both enjoyed immense popular support and displayed immense respect for each other.

Differences between approach of Gandhi and Bose

  • Method of their struggle
    Gandhi believed in peaceful means of struggle, which was outside the constitutional boundaries but use of arms or violence was strictly prohibited. Bose’s method was exact opposite with more emphasis on using arms and violence for obtaining freedom. He believed that India needed an armed struggle to get rid of the British.
  • Participants and supporters
    Gandhi commanded obedience from large section of common citizens regardless of their profession or residency, making his approach universal. Bose believed in Socialist ideology of armed struggle by peasants and workers, who would fight the British bourgeois and get rid of them.
  • Timing of struggle
    Gandhi felt that British had to be supported during the war so that they can defeat the fascist Axial forces led by Germany, Italy and Japan. So he avoided conflict with British during the war. Subhash in contrast believed that the war was a perfect opportunity to strike the weakened British by taking help from their enemies. He felt that the war was a struggle between imperial powers and no one could be trusted. Instead he joined hands with Japan to attack British colonies in Asia.
    Thus, Gandhi and Bose both followed their way of struggle for freedom movement. Eventhough India won freedom under the leadership of Gandhi, Bose’s contribution in weakening British empire in subcontinent cannot be ignored.

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