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Nehru & Bose Parallel Lives

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Item Code: HAP264
Author: Rudrangshu Mukherjee
Publisher: Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2015
ISBN: 9780143425656
Pages: 263
Other Details 8x5.5 inch
Weight 220 gm
Book Description
About the Book

Nobody has done more harm to me... than Jawaharlal Nehru, wrote Subhas Chandra Bose in 1939. Had relations between the two great nationalist leaders soured to the extent that Bose had begun to view Nehru as his enemy? But then, why did he name one of the regiments of the Indian National Army after Jawaharlal? And what prompted Nehru to weep when he heard of Bose's untimely death in 1945, and to recount soon after, 'I used to treat him as my younger brother'?

Rudrangshu Mukherjee's fascinating book traces the contours of a friendship that did not quite blossom as political ideologies diverged, and delineates the shadow that fell between them-for, Gandhi saw Nehru as his chosen heir and Bose as a prodigal son.

About the Author

Rudrangshu Mukherjee is vice chancellor and professor of history at Ashoka University. Earlier, he taught at Calcutta University; he has held visiting appointments at Princeton University, Manchester University and the University of California, Santa Cruz. He was the editor of the editorial pages of the Telegraph, Calcutta, and continues in that role as a consultant. He is the author and editor of several books which include Awadh in Revolt, 1857-58: A Study of Popular Resistance and Spectre of Violence: The 1857 Kanpur Massacres, as well as The Penguin Gandhi Reader.


Born in Calcutta five years after India's independence, I was brought up in the shadow of Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas Chandra Bose. One was the first prime minister of India, and during my childhood the most important public figure in the country. The other was the most revered icon in Bengal's political pantheon. In public discourse and in informal conversations the two figures were often seen as rivals, and many Bengalis were convinced that Subhas, by far the greater man as many Bengalis believed, was deliberately eclipsed in national politics by Jawaharlal who always acted at the behest of Gandhi. But it was Subhas, his admirers averred, who ultimately brought freedom to India. As a child and as an adolescent, I was taught to disregard these views that glorified Subhas at the expense of Jawaharlal and Gandhi. I use the word 'taught' advisedly since this was an important component of the non-formal history lessons that my father imparted to me. My father-the most important intellectual influence on my life till I went to college was not an admirer of Subhas. He recognized the latter's patriotism but saw him as being misguided because he had sought an alliance with Hitler and the Axis powers in the 1940s. My father had pronounced anti- fascist and anti-Stalinist views and saw himself as an unabashed Nehruvian. Jawaharlal, according to him, had the right ideas and attitudes. My 'history lessons' at home were thus slanted in favour of Jawaharlal; Subhas was rather neglected.

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