Fact Check: Did Gandhiji ask Subhash Chandra Bose to resign at the behest of the British government?
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose is often the subject of discussion on social media sites. Various claims are made about Netaji. One of them is that on the behest of the British government, Gandhiji had asked Subhash Chandra Bose to resign.
A user named We_Support_Pushpendra_Kulshrestha posted an almost 11-minute video of Pushpendra Kulshreshtha on Facebook, claiming – “#Gandhi had asked #SubhashChandra Bose to resign at the behest of Christian power in Rae Bareli #pushpendra #pushpendrakulshreshtha #pushpendrakulshretha #कुलश्रेष्ठ #स्पीच.”
Similarly, the same claim has been made on other social media platforms.
About Netaji Subash Chandra Bose:
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was born on 23 January 1897 in Cuttack, Odisha. His father Janakinath Bose was a famous lawyer of Cuttack city, he worked for a long time in the Municipal Corporation of Cuttack and he was also a member of the Bengal Legislative Assembly. The British government gave him the title of Rai Bahadur.
Subhash Chandra Bose joined the Congress in Kolkata under the inspiration of Congress leader Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das. He considered Chittaranjan Das as his political guru. Within days Netaji was seen as a firebrand youth icon. In 1923, he was elected the President of the Indian Youth Congress, as well as the Secretary of the Bengal Congress. Very soon Subhash Chandra Bose started being included among the leading and big leaders of India’s freedom struggle.
To check the viral claim, we searched the internet with the help of certain keywords. As a result we got many articles published by different media houses.
On February 20-21, 1939, the Congress Working Committee met at Wardha. Due to health reasons, Netaji could not reach it. He asked Sardar Patel to postpone the meeting till the annual session. Gandhiji was also requested to set up a working committee as per his wish, but Gandhiji did not accept it.
A report by Publish Aaj Tak, quoting Raj Khanna’s book ‘Before Azadi, After Independence’, states that
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was elected unopposed as the President of the Congress in the Haripura session in 1938. In 1939, Subhash Babu staked claim for the post of President for the second time. Gandhiji sent a telegram to Sarat Chandra Bose, brother of Subhash Babu through Sardar Patel, urging him to persuade Subhash Babu not to contest the election, but Netaji, presenting his claim for the post of president, said, “False pretense of humility.” Be omitted, because there is nothing private in it. The election should be fought keeping in mind the definite programs and problems among the candidates.
The pro-Gandhi members of the Working Committee, including Vallabhbhai Patel and Rajendra Prasad, retaliated, saying, “Ideology, policies, programs have nothing to do with the election of the President. Policies are not decided by the program president. There are various committees and working committees of Congress for that. The position of the Speaker is only that of the constitutional head, who symbolizes and represents the unity-firmness of the country.
Netaji, as a member of the Working Committee, termed the organized interference between the election of two candidates of these members as unfair. Refused to treat the Speaker as the only constitutional head. He was said to be like the Prime Minister and the President of America whom himself constitutes his own cabinet.
According to a report published by Times Now Hindi, the next president was to be elected in the Tripuri Congress session in 1939. Mahatma Gandhi was not satisfied with Subhash Chandra Bose. Actually the world was standing on the verge of the second world war. Where Subhas Chandra Bose wanted to fight against the British. At the same time, one group wanted to compromise with the British.
Before the Tripuri election, Jawaharlal Nehru refused to fight against Subhas Chandra Bose. At the same time, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad also withdrew his claim. In such a situation, Gandhiji put Pattabhi Sitaramayya as his candidate against Subhash Chandra Bose.
In the election where Subhash Chandra Bose got 1580 votes. At the same time, Sitaramayya got 1377 votes. Gandhiji called this defeat his defeat. Gandhiji told the Congress workers that if they were not happy with Bose’s work, they could leave the Congress.
After this appeal of Gandhiji, 12 out of 14 members of the Congress Working Committee resigned. Eventually, Subhash Chandra Bose broke away from the Congress. Later Subhash Chandra Bose formed his own separate Forward Bloc party. Later, through the Indian National Army, Netaji took part in the freedom struggle.
According to the Navbharat Times report, Gandhiji said, "I am happy with his (Subhash Chandra Bose's) victory and since I had asked Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya not to back down from the election after the withdrawal of Maulan Azad Sahib's name. So his defeat is more my defeat than him."
After the election, there was a fierce verbal war between Gandhi and Bose supporters. Gandhi supporters questioned Bose’s leadership ability. His leadership was termed as a ‘boat with holes’. He demanded an apology from him for an earlier statement of his. In fact, Subhash Chandra Bose once described Gandhi’s followers as having a low intellectual level. On the other hand, 13 members including Patel, Nehru had resigned from the working committee accusing Subhash Babu of dictatorship.
In April 1939, the very next month of the Tripuri session, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose resigned not only from the post of Congress President but also from the primary membership of the party. On 3 May 1939, he announced the establishment of the Forward Bloc at a rally in Calcutta and thus his path was separated from the Congress.
It is clear from this fact check of DFRAC that Gandhi did not ask for resignation from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, but had requested him to stop contesting for the post of Congress President for the second consecutive time, but Netaji did not agree and registered success in the election, Hence the claim being made by social media users is misleading.
Claim: Gandhiji had asked Subhash Chandra Bose to resign at the behest of the British government
Claimant: Social Media Users
Fact Check: Misleading