Monday, April 11, 2022

Sarat Bose: “I Warned My Countrymen”

In a speech that he gave on 13 April 1948, the occasion of the launch of a Hindi newspaper called Netaji, Sarat Chandra Bose (the politician who was the elder brother of Subhas Chandra Bose) called Nehru a “fashionable internationalist.” Sarat’s speech has been published under the title, “I warned my countrymen,” and is included as a chapter in a book published under the same title that contains several of his essays. 

In his speech, Sarat said: “we do not want “fashionable" internationalists but “real" internationalists—internationalists who really know the international situation, who can follow it and judge it from day to day and give us correct advice and guidance. We do not want mere talkers; we want men of action.”  [I Warned My Countrymen; Page 233] He was suspicious of the United Nations, which he felt was a lackey of the American and the Soviet powers. He lambasted Nehru for the decision to refer Indian political issues to the UNO. 

Since the early 1940s, Sarat had been arguing that independent India must keep out of the British led association of countries, the Commonwealth. He believed that a relationship with the Commonwealth would drag India into a de facto relationship with the Anglo-American powers and prevent it from developing a truly independent foreign policy.

He was an early advocate of Asian unity to counter the military power of the Anglo-American sphere. He made the case that instead of joining the Commonwealth, India should campaign for the formation of a UNA type of association (United Nations of Asia). He was much bolder than Nehru in arguing for an Asia that was capable of resisting the Anglo-American powers. But Nehru said that it was not in India’s interest to antagonize the British. He made India a part of the Commonwealth.

No comments: