Anita Pfaff, the only child of Subhas chandra bose Bose -now living in Germany now

                            The lost leader


Netaji's brother, Sarat, was taken aback by a six-year-old Anita's resemblance with her father.

Emilie Schenkl (Austrian wife of Subhash Chandra Bose)
Emilie Schenkl Bose

Emilie Schenkl with Subhas Chandra Bose
Born Emilie Schenkl
December 26, 1910
Died March, 1996
Spouse Subhas Chandra Bose 


Bose with wife, brother

Bose with his Austrian wife married in 1930


    Last Saturday, at the ancient university city of Augsburg in the prosperous German belt of Bavaria, around 50 people trooped in to an Italian restaurant to celebrate a birthday. It was lunch time;the ground outside was blanketed by snow. Those assembled - academics, political activists and relatives - were, predictably, mostly in western woollies.

The person being felicitated, though, was wrapped in a traditional Indian cream-coloured silk sari with a gold and red border. She looked European, yet she had the unmistakable facial features of her father. She was Anita Pfaff, the only child of Subhas Bose, twice president of the Indian National Congress and leader the Indian National Army, which valiantly but in vain attempted to liberate India in the mid-1940s.

MAHATMA GANDHI WITH Subhash Chandra Bose
Pfaff was born and brought up in Vienna. Her mother Emilie Schenkl was Austrian. Bose and Schenkl fell in love in the 1930s when the former had been forced into exile in Europe by the British.
- A rare pic of subhash chandra bose with adolf hitler

Indian nationalist Subhas Chandra Bose (front row, Left) with the crew of the japanese submarine I-29 after the rendevous with the german submarine U-180 300 sm southeast from Madagaskar - 28 April 1943-ON THE WAY FROM GERMANY TO JAPAN ,UNDER THE SEA, BY SUBMARINE

Military parade of the INA at the Padang  on 5 July 1943.

 Original photo of Nethaji Subash Chandra Bose, surrounded with higher INA (Indian National Army) authorize officers. Taken in between 1940's to 1945's. Believed taken in Singapore

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Reviewing the Troops of Azad Hind Fauj - 1940's


 Women Regiment - 1943

A Sikh Soldier of the Azad Hind Fauj at a function in BERLIN 1942-FASCIST SALUTE BY GERMAN SOLDIER
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose inspects the notorious Cellular Jail on Andaman Island - 1944-AFTER THE DEFEAT OF  BRITISH SOLDIERS IN ANDAMAN ISLAND ,BY INDIAN SOLDIERS - OF AZAD HIND FAUJ

File:INA Jubilation.jpg




Netaji's most debated "Death certificate" :

Indian National Army
INA Jubilation.jpg
Active August 1942 – September 1945
Country India
Allegiance Azad Hind
Branch Infantry
Role Guerrilla Infantry, Special Operations.
Size 43,000 (approx)
Motto Ittehad , Itmad aur Qurbani
(Unity, Faith and Sacrifice in Urdu)
March Kadam Kadam Badaye Ja
Engagements World War II
Ceremonial chief Subhas Chandra Bose
General Mohan Singh Deb
Major General M.Z Kiani
Major General S.N. Khan
Colonel P.K. Sahgal
Colonel S.H. Malik
Colonel Ganpat Ram Nagar

Memories that live on

Ranchi, Jan. 22: Tomorrow is a special day for the Aikat family of Lalpur and they have big plans for the day.
Calling themselves “Netaji’s disciples”, they celebrate the patriot’s birthday by preparing vegetarian food and garlanding a picture of Subhas Chandra Bose, which they have treasured since 1940.
The guestroom, chairs and the bed that were used by Netaji in late 1939 are reminiscent of his visit to their house.
Subhas Chandra Bose visited the city in December 1939 and stayed for 15 days with the Aikat family when Fanindra Nath Aikat donated Rs 40,000 to the leader for the Ramgarh convention held later in March 1940.
Fanindra Nath Aikat’s grandson, B.K. Aikat, fondly recalls: “My grandfather was the only civil contractor at that time who was awarded the title of Rai Bahadur by the governor.” Aikat’s grandfather was given a sword, bearing an emblem of 1857, when he was conferred the title.
B.K. Aikat, who is into family business of construction, said the title of Rai Bahadur was revoked after his grandfather protected Netaji who was hiding at their house as he had a body warrant.
Aikat said: “My grandmother Gauri Rani Aikat used to tell us that every day he used to go to Ramgarh and had used a 1928 model Fiat car. The car is still in the city with R. Chatterjee, who resides in Shivangi Apartment.”
Aikat further added that Netaji’s hairbrush and the pair of chappals he used in their house are preserved in Purulia museum. “He held a meeting at Union Club and Library along with my grandfather,” said Aikat.

The 1937 Wanderer W24. This is the car in which Sisir Kumar Bose drove Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose from Elgin Road residence in Calcutta on the night of 16th-17th January 1941 to Gomoh on the first leg of Netaji’s great escape. This car is on display at the Netaji Bhavan in Elgin Road, Kolkata.

In the late hours of January 16, 1941, one of the most enigmatic leaders of Indian freedom struggle Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose conned the British intelligence and escaped from his Elgin Road residence in Calcutta to wage a war on the Raj. And it was in a car called the Wanderer that the great escape was made possible. turns the pages of history to uncover the chain of events on that historic night that led to “The Great Escape”.  

The external appearance of Netaji Bhavan with its traditional pillars and porticos is that of a typical early 20th century Bengali residential house of Calcutta. A marble plaque bearing the name of J. N. Bose, Netaji’s father decorates the front entrance. As you enter this historical edifice, the Wanderer bearing registration number “BLA 7169” enclosed in see-through glass case will surely grab your attention. And as you draw near, you will notice the marble tablet on the wall beside the glass case that reads, “This is the car in which Sisir Kumar Bose drove Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose from this house in Calcutta on the night of 16th-17th January 1941 to Gomoh on the first leg of Netaji’s great escape.”

The rear view of the 1937 Wanderer W24 bearing registration number BLA 7169.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s nephew Sisir Kumar Bose in his book “The Great Escape” narrates the beginning of the escape: “As I saw the front-gate opening up in front of me, I started the car and making a hell of a noise, drove out without losing much time. According to his instructions, I took at first a southerly direction although our destination was to the North. We did not find anything within any dangerously short distance from us. The CID people were comfortably settled under blankets on a makeshift wooden bed at the junction of Elgin Road and Woodburn Road. They had chosen this strategic site in order to be able to keep watch on the two Bose houses simultaneously and in case of necessity get to the front of either house without losing time. While we drove out, they were clearly not awake.”

On the night of 16th-17th January 1941, Sisir Kumar Bose drove Netaji to Gomoh. Sisir Bose was passionate about cars since his childhood. His father, Sarat Chandra Bose purchased the Wanderer in 1937. The car was registered in Sisir Bose’s name. At that point in time, Bose was a student at the Calcutta Medical College located in College Street. He used to personally drive this car to the college every day. When he got married in 1955, the car was still being used regularly. Sisir Bose and his wife Krishna Bose would often drive down to various places in the Wanderer, although the car has bluffed them on a few occasions. Old timers living in the Elgin Road vicinity fondly recall a few occasions when they had spotted Bose and his wife pushing the car back home, possibly after encountering a technical snag.

Sisir Kumar Bose founded the Netaji Research Bureau in 1957 and the following year, he donated the Wanderer to the museum. Since then it has been put on display at the Netaji Bhavan on Elgin Road.

A rare photograph of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Adolf Hitler taken in Germany on May 29,1942.

Wanderer was a German manufacturer of bicycles, motorcycles, automobiles, vans and other machinery. Established as Winklhofer & Jaenicke in 1896, the company used the Wanderer brand name from 1911, making civilian automobiles until 1941 and military vehicles until 1945.

The Wanderer W24 was a middle market car introduced by Wanderer in 1937. The car was powered by a four-cylinder four-stroke 1767 cc engine driving the rear wheels via a four-speed gear box. The W24 claimed maximum power output of 42 PS achieved at 3,400 rpm.

The W24’s structural basis was a box frame chassis. At the back it employed a swing axle arrangement copied from the popular small cars produced by sister company DKW. At a time when some of the manufacturer’s larger models featured a twelve-volt electrical system, the W24 still made do with a six-volt arrangement.

The car was offered as a four-seater saloon with two or four doors. In addition, approximately 300 cabriolet versions were produced. Seventy-five years later few of these cabriolet version survive: those that do are much prized by collectors.

By 1940 when the increasing intensity of the war enforced an end to passenger car production, approximately 23,000 Wanderer W24s had been produced.

Subhas Chandra Bose's Car

Those jealous of Netaji have denied him his due, says daughter

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  • Anita Pfaff
    Anita PfaffHero’s abode: The ancestral home of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose at Kodalia, 35 km from Kolkata, in the South 24 Parganas district. Netaji’s family reportedly migrated from Mahinagar, located in the same district, to Kodalia in 1760. On Tuesday, a day before Netaji’s 116th birth anniversary on January 23, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee paid a visit and promised to turn it into a “heritage building”. — Photo: A. Roy Chowdhury
  • Business LineHero’s abode: The ancestral home of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose at Kodalia, 35 km from Kolkata, in the South 24 Parganas district. Netaji’s family reportedly migrated from Mahinagar, located in the same district, to Kodalia in 1760. On Tuesday, a day before Netaji’s 116th birth anniversary on January 23, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee paid a visit and promised to turn it into a “heritage building”. — Photo: A. Roy Chowdhury
  • Piece of history: A caretaker — Santosh Ghosh — seen inside Netaji's room.
Santosh’s great-grandfather migrated with the Bose family and served the
household, a tradition that continues to this day. Subhash Chandra Bose’s greatgrandfather constructed the house amidst lush greenery with a sprawling
courtyard, thakurdalaan (home for puja celebration), pond, and granary.
According to octogenarian Debidas Chowdhury of Bosepara in Kodalia, who has
seen the revolutionary leader, Netaji used to visit his home for Durga Puja
celebrations each year. — Photo: A. Roy Chowdhury
    Business LinePiece of history: A caretaker — Santosh Ghosh — seen inside Netaji's room. Santosh’s great-grandfather migrated with the Bose family and served the household, a tradition that continues to this day. Subhash Chandra Bose’s greatgrandfather constructed the house amidst lush greenery with a sprawling courtyard, thakurdalaan (home for puja celebration), pond, and granary. According to octogenarian Debidas Chowdhury of Bosepara in Kodalia, who has seen the revolutionary leader, Netaji used to visit his home for Durga Puja celebrations each year. — Photo: A. Roy Chowdhury
  • New beginning: In this file photo, a view of the balcony of Netaji Bhawan (in Kolkata), which the patriot used to make good his escape from police who kept vigil at the main door of the house on the night of January 16, 1941.
    New beginning: In this file photo, a view of the balcony of Netaji Bhawan (in Kolkata), which the patriot used to make good his escape from police who kept vigil at the main door of the house on the night of January 16, 1941.
I always wanted to be my own person; have my own career; my own achievements. Always being compared to Netaji would not have been very acceptable to me.
“Bose was a man of great charisma, dedication and ability to sacrifice for a cause – the Independence of his country and improvement of his countrymen”… is how Anita Pfaff, the only daughter of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Emilie Schenkl, describes her father.
A professor of economics at Augsburg, in Germany, Pfaff feels Netaji has not been given his due . Excerpts from an interview :
How do you handle the responsibility that comes with being Netaji’s daughter? Do these expectations weigh you down?
If I were to live in India then these (responsibilities) certainly would have. There would have been the pressure of being pushed into the role of playing an icon to this or that movement. But since I live in Europe, it does not affect my life. I am free of the benefits and disadvantages of being my father’s daughter.
Any plans of settling down here ?
Many years ago, I was considering that. Unless you are a very tough person like many of the active politicians here, it’s not easy to pick up and start living in a totally different environment. I think it is not really feasible that I settle here. If I had started when I was younger it would have been possible to work in the social and environmental fields. I must say one thing — I would not have been satisfied with playing Netaji’s daughter and nothing more than that. I always wanted to be my own person; have my own career; my own achievements. Always being compared to Netaji would not have been very acceptable to me.
Do you feel a sense of pain over the controversies that still surround Netaji?
You mean about his death, my being his daughter or not?
All these issues…
There’s a slight pain. But on the other hand, there are some things that I feel are quite futile. I wonder why people get so worried about (it) when there are other more relevant problems facing them and the society at large. But I guess one has to put up with people’s preoccupations.
Do you think Bose has been accorded the right place in Indian history?
I think to some extent there are a variety of people who do not grant him the right place in history; partly those who were jealous of him or (those who questioned) his way of addressing India’s struggle for Independence. I think there might be personal jealousies. For a long time, the mainstream Indian position was that India’s independence was largely because of non-violence and civil disobedience movements.
One should attempt to set things right and attribute achievements to people who deserve it.
Obviously, there was not always a fair treatment of Netaji in that way. But the most gratifying thing outside the formal recognition in history books — he is admired and loved by many commoners who may not be terribly knowledgeable about his life. How many leaders today can lay claim this form of immortality?
Do you plan to write a book on him ?
No, I don’t. I may write a book on my mother (Emilie Schenkl) but I’m not sure. I have written a small article on her so far. But, certainly, I won’t write a book on Netaji because I’m not a historian. Also, I do not have any personal recollections. My life did not overlap with his and what would I contribute?
Corruption seems to be a rampant problem in the Indian politics now. Your thoughts .
Corruption is like cancer and you have it across all societies. But the degree of corruption that you have in many of the upcoming or third-world countries is to an extent that stifles most of the positives. I must say this would have been one aspect that would have deterred me from going into any public office in India. I personally do not see a feasible way out, but I see how it is pulling down the country to a very serious level.

Anita Bose Pfaff also Anita Bose-Pfaff, Anita B. Pfaff) (born 1942 in Vienna) is the daughter of Indian nationalist leader Subhas Chandra Bose (Netaji) and his Austrian wife,Emilie Schenkl.
Anita Bose Pfaff, Netaji's only child, was born in Vienna where her father visited in 1934 for medical treatment. During his stay Netaji asked an Indian friend to locate an English-speaking secretary to help him with a book he was planning to author.
The friend, who ran an English conversation course, introduced him to Emilie Schenkl in June 1934. Emilie was the daughter of a prominent veterinary surgeon. They soon fell in love and married in 1942 in Bad Gastein as per Hindu customs to avoid Nazi conjugal law.

Academic career

Anita was a Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Economics in the University of Augsburg.[1]

[edit]Marriage and Family

Anita, who was born in 1942, is married to Professor Martin Pfaff, formerly a German Social Democratic Party member of the Bundestag, the German parliament. They have three children: Peter Arun, Thomas Krishna and Maya Carina.[2]
Anita Bose was brought up by her mother as her father, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, was engulfed in the struggle for India's independence.

When East and West coalesce…

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INTERVIEW Peter Arun Pfaff is a man of many shades but the deepest of them is he is the grandson ofNetaji Subhash Chandra Bose. NITA VIDYARTHI
ON MANY A LEGACYPeter Arun Pfaffphoto: nita vidyarthi
ON MANY A LEGACYPeter Arun Pfaffphoto: nita vidyarthi
Theatre-director, musician, researcher and documentary filmmaker, Netaji's 
grandson Peter Arun 

Pfaff from Munich was in the city to stage a technically fascinating and extraordinary dance production “Tagore on Vinyl-Traveling with Thakur”, choreographed and performed by Sandra Chatterjee. Peter and Sandra got fascinated by the philosophical and political ideas of the world-traveller Tagore, who saw the encounters between the East and the West. His thoughts, philosophy and nationalism and a very personal dialogue with Tagore's work emerges as dance, text and videos woven into a trilingual format, German, English and Bengali directed by Peter. To Peter, “Tagore was a world voyager, one of the first Indian global player in Modern Art”. Peter wanted to connect to this tradition. Not being in the centre of a fairly young national tradition of Tagore interpretation, it was easier for him to find a new approach. “Tagore's understanding saw the meeting of the East and the West as a major achievement for our times. Both Sandra and me are children of the East and the West…a fact that shapes our whole feelings and mind. As global nomad, I seemed attracted to Bauls' and Fakirs' philosophy through Tagore's work. Their culture seems very contemporary and subversive of religion over other identities. Imagine a Baul singing national anthems! That seems quite absurd to me!” He shares, ”In the final song of our piece we just took the popular recording of “Ekla Cholo Re” and had it re-mixed to dub-step style (a popular dance-floor style from London) by Friedel Lelonek, a German former member of London based Asian underground collective Anokha. But how much did his Bengali connection help him in directing this intense piece? “Without being partly-Bengali, it seems difficult to understand Tagore fully.
However, Tagore on vinyl talks about the “international Tagore”. A lot of his lectures for Western audiences (e.g. on Nationalism) helped me to understand him better. But more important than that, his philosophical poetry and spirituality based political understanding are very close to my thoughts. I had an academic training in philosophy, history and politics. As an artist I am an autodidact, like him. I learned a lot during the work with his texts in the last one and a half years. This experience has changed my thoughts about the world we live in. Tagore was and still is a deep artist and thinker, ahead of his time and still essential for understanding an emerging global culture.”
Speaking of his brilliant application of technological art, videos, lights and sound design, simple innovative props and superb melodic ideas, he reveals that “the piece is old school and new school at the same time, same as Tagore is. His poetry is music and his songs are literature. They keep floating back and forth without boundaries in arts. That's why we composed a radio-play-like montage of music and environmental field recordings along with quite traditional song interpretation. My cousin Sarmila Bose in London had recorded them for us using a harmonium only or sometimes without it and then sent them to us electronically.”
It was a highly digital production technology, including software developed for production of electronic dance music, but used with the idea to create a simple and clear aesthetics. In this way our style might be seen as a kind of “digital Baul style”.
So while developing the piece, having a lot of Tagore's poems and songs in mind, we kept on looking for props that would link to images Tagore had created in his poems. While our dramaturge, Anirban Ghosh from Kolkata and I were walking through Munich streets we bumped into an old Indian cage. As this is an image used frequently in baul and Rabindrasangeet we just decided to stage it as part of the choreography.”
How much does Netaji influence him? “Ei monihar amar nahi shaje! (Which I wear on a T-shirt with pride.)
But of course Tagore has been quite close to the family and been a frequent guest at my great-grandparents house in Elgin road, now Netaji Bhawan. Aunties who grew up there told me stories of him. That helps me to overcome a fear of Tagore's genius which often is misunderstood as respect.” Peter started going to theatre with his grandmother Emilie Schenkel. “She loved seeing Viennese Operettas by Franz Lehár and Emmerich Kálmán, with “exotic Hungarians” and Gypsies. They are known today as the beginning of European pop culture but also for their cheesy storylines. However, now I know they were quite subversive and anarchistic at their time.”
Later, coming from documentary films and fiction movies, I discovered theatre again, about 10 years ago. A friend of mine working at the Münchner Kammerspiele then asked me if I could play the film director Rainer Werner Fassbinder in a performance. I said yes and got hooked.” He eagerly looks forward to working here more often in future. How much of a Bengali is he? “When it comes to food 150 per cent!”

Netaji connection ‘evokes sense of duty’

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Peter Arun Pfaff, son of Anita Bose Pfaff and grandson of Emilie and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, with his family members Piali Ray (right), the grand niece, and Roma Ray (second from right), niece of the patriot, at his 115th birthday celebration at the Netaji Bhavan in Kolkata on Monday. Sandra Chatterjee, danseuse friend of Arun from Germany, is on the left. — Photo: A. Roy Chowdhury
Business LinePeter Arun Pfaff, son of Anita Bose Pfaff and grandson of Emilie and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, with his family members Piali Ray (right), the grand niece, and Roma Ray (second from right), niece of the patriot, at his 115th birthday celebration at the Netaji Bhavan in Kolkata on Monday. Sandra Chatterjee, danseuse friend of Arun from Germany, is on the left. — Photo: A. Roy Chowdhury
For Mr Peter Arun Pfaff – a Munich based choreographer, documentary film maker and theatre artist – January 23, 2012 was a special day. For the first time, he was attending the birthday celebration of his grandfather, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, in India.
The apparently routine speeches by political personalities, songs or plaudits – he was watching the proceedings with rapt attention. “It's the first birthday celebration of my grandfather that I am attending and, I am very happy to see how much the people of Bengal and India love him,” he said.
The son of Anita Bose Pfaff, the only daughter of Emilie and Subhas Chandra Bose, Peter Arun was going around the ancestral house (Netaji Bhavan) with the family members, busy freezing moments in his camera.
“For me, this celebration is a big family gathering,” he said with his friend Sandra Chatterjee alongside.
“Relation with Netaji evokes a sense of duty, not a privilege in our family. My mother learnt from her mother (Late Emilie Schenkl) that we have to follow his (Netaji's) principles to serve mankind. He is an example for me as how to dedicate one's life for the people,” he said.


When Nehru and Bose split over Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi hoped the most from two people of the younger generation -- Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas Chandra Bose. While their lives crisscrossed often, Gandhi and the Congress were a converging point. Rudrangshu Mukherjee understands why Bose felt betrayed by Nehru in his book Nehru & Bose: Parallel Lives
Future on Bose-Nehru’s shoulders
The bonds between the two had grown stronger and they could see themselves as confrères in the left wing of the Congress. The British government in India noted this; the home secretary observed on 21 February 1929: ‘If the experience of the Calcutta Congress is any guide, the decision of future policy appears to be almost entirely with the younger men notably Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Babu Subhas Chandra Bose, and on their intentions and activities future developments may be expected largely to depend.’
An undated archival image of Netaji Bose (top left) and Pandit Nehru (standing on the steps in a jacket)
An undated archival image of Netaji Bose (top left) and Pandit Nehru (standing on the steps in a jacket)
Signing off with love
Letters from Subhas to Jawaharlal from this phase of their lives have two features worth noting. For one thing, many of them have personal queries. For example, in one letter he asks, ‘Do you hear from Indu regularly? How is she? It must be very trying for her being all alone in Switzerland.’ The other aspect is even more revealing. In the letter he wrote on 30 June 1936, his sign-off to Jawaharlal is not merely the previously used and more conventional ‘Yours affectionately’, but the word ‘Love’ is added. This continues till February 1939, when the word ‘Love’ at the end disappears. There were genuine expressions of camaraderie between the two. On 19 October 1938, he told Jawaharlal, ‘You cannot imagine how I have missed you all these months.’
Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru
Photo from 1946 of Mahatma Gandhi (right) talking with Jawaharlal Nehru (left)
Why Subhas Bose became bitter
While Subhas was trying to sort out his differences with Gandhi, he wrote a long letter — twenty-seven typed pages — to Jawaharlal at the end of March. This missive is crucial for understanding how fast their relationship was deteriorating. In the first paragraph of this letter, Subhas wrote, ‘I find that for some time past you have developed tremendous dislike for me. I say this because I find that you take up enthusiastically every possible point against me; what could be said in my favour you ignore.’ What followed in the rest of the letter were illustrations of this point. Subhas said that since he had come out of prison in 1937, he had treated Jawaharlal with ‘the utmost regard and consideration, in private life and in public’. He had looked upon Jawaharlal as ‘politically an elder brother and leader and have often sought your advice’. But Jawaharlal’s response to such advice-seeking had been ‘vague and non-committal’. The letter went on to become a tirade against Jawaharlal, picking on various recent incidents or statements in the course of which Subhas felt he had been treated badly or misrepresented or ignored by his political elder brother. The tone was distinctly personal and bitter.
Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi speaks with Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose
Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi speaks with Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, president of the Indian National Congress, in Haripura, during a political meeting. The two men were the most prominent leaders of the Indian Independence movement against the British rule.  Pics/AFP
Nehru’s rebuttal
The temperamental differences between Subhas and Jawaharlal was nowhere better revealed than in the two books they wrote during 1935–36 — The Indian Struggle and An Autobiography. One strident, sure and assertive; the other low-key, understated and perhaps more gracious. Subhas’s stridency occasionally appeared to Jawaharlal to be tasteless. Subhas’s campaign to get himself re-elected he could not accept from his heart. He informed Subhas of this in the most gracious of terms: ‘I felt all along that you were far too keen on re-election. Politically there was nothing wrong in it and you were perfectly entitled to desire re-election and to work for it. But it did distress me for I felt that you had a big enough position to be above this kind of thing.’
Nehru & Bose
Excerpted with permission from Nehru & Bose: Parallel Lives by Rudrangshu Mukherjee (Penguin Books India, Rs 599) Available at leading bookstores.
The broken friendship
In the immediate aftermath of Tripuri and while he was in the midst of his intense exchange of letters and telegrams with Gandhi, Subhas had written to one of his nephews, ‘[N]obody has done more harm to me personally, and to our cause in this crisis, than Pandit Nehru. If he had been with us, we would have had a majority. Even his neutrality would have probably given us a majority. But he was with the Old Guard at Tripuri. His open propaganda against me also has done me more harm than the activities of the twelve stalwarts.’
Loyalty to Gandhi
It was Jawaharlal’s personal devotion to Gandhi that Subhas did not understand or did not appreciate. Subhas did not allow any sentiment or personal feelings to come between him and his aspiration to make his country free. Even the news of his mother’s death did not make him stop his work when he was preparing for battle in Southeast Asia.He did not hesitate to leave behind his wife and his daughter in Europe knowing that he may not see them ever again. The personal was secondary to him: the political was paramount.Thus, it was exasperating for Subhas to see again and again Jawaharlal differing with Gandhi but pulling back at the last moment from an open break. This made him lash out at Jawaharlal on occasion. Subhas believed that he and Jawaharlal could make history together. But Jawaharlal could not see his destiny without Gandhi. This was the limiting point of their relationship.

When Bose could have been the PM
In the lore that surrounds the Indian national movement and its cast of characters, it is common, especially in Bengal, to pit Subhas and Jawaharlal against each other. Their relationship is seen as the great rivalry in which Jawaharlal emerged triumphant only because an accidental death removed Subhas. A more extreme view is that Subhas, had he been alive, would have been a contender for the prime ministership of independent India and would have fashioned India along different lines than what actually happened under Jawaharlal.

Nehru and Bose: Tension-fraught and passing friendship

New Delhi, Dec 9, 2014 (IANS):

Subhash Chandra Bose, a revolutionary; Jawaharlal Nehru, the quintessential democrat. Could the twain ever meet?  DH file photo
Subhash Chandra Bose, a revolutionary; Jawaharlal Nehru, the quintessential democrat. Could the twain ever meet? Sadly not says a new book by historian and educationist Rudrangshu Mukherjee on the parallel lives of two stalwarts of India's freedom movement.

"Subhas believed that he and Jawaharlal could make history together. But Jawaharlal could not see his destiny without Gandhi. This was the limiting point of their relationship: one man who was certain that nothing mattered to him more than the freedom of India; and another individual who also cherished his country's freedom but tried valiantly to link it to his other and often conflicting loyalties," Mukherjee, currently Vice Chancellor of Ashoka University, writes in "Nehru & Bose, Parallel Lives" (Penguin-Viking, pp265, Rs.599).

"In the crevasse of this rivalry of aims fell the tension-fraught and passing friendship of Subhas and Jawaharlal. Their lives could have no tryst," says Mukherjee, who has earlier taught at Calcutta University and has held visiting appointments at Princeton and the University of California-Santa Cruz.

Both the leaders came from a highly educated background, with Bose being slightly ahead of Nehru but with their different political ideologies, Bose and Nehru drifted away from each other.

The author writes about the potential friendship that failed to blossom against the turbulent backdrop of  India's struggle for independence, and on how their individual decisions left an impact on each other, drifting away and yet remaining parallel.

When talking of Nehru and Bose in the context of India's freedom struggle, Mahatma Gandhi's name cannot be missed out. Thus, the book sums up the biography of not two but three towering figures of the freedom movement.

The book was launched on Monday in the presence of former West Bengal governor and Mahatma Gandhi's grandson, Gopal Krishna Gandhi.

Asked what inspired him to pen this book, Mukherjee told IANS: "I read biographies of Nehru by Sarvapalli Gopal and Bose by Sugata Bose (TMC MP and grandnephew of Bose). Inspired would be a wrong word, I would rather was influenced to go for a detail study on the lives of these two leaders."

Mukherjee, who has several books to his credit, some focusing on the First War of Independence in 1857, also sought to dispel the perception of enmity that Bose and Nehru shared.

"People, particularly the Bengali community, think that Nehru and Bose are arch rivals. But that is not true. There were things beyond the bitterness," Mukherjee said.

For instance, the letters between them clearly indicated closeness from Bose's part.
"They were extremely fond of each other. But Nehru never supported fascism which was favoured by Bose. Nehru could not accept of Bose joining hands with Hitler. And there the line was drawn," said Mukherjee, who also writes for the English daily, The Telegraph.

Asked why he chose to write about the two leaders, Mukherjee said that it was more of an intellectual challenge for him to come out of his comfort zone. Clubbing their lives were not an easy task, but that did not deter him.

"The book could be controversial but I am not scared of controversies. Let there be some debate," he said.

"There was a gap between Nehru and Bose and I wanted to fill this. I wanted to break the myth than Nehru was not fond of Bose," said Mukherjee.
The author was also scared of his bias towards Nehru.

"Nehru had a great impact on me, more so because my family was inclined towards the Nehru family. But Bose attracted me more. It is up to the readers to decide if I am biased or not," Mukherjee added.

December 26, 1937 Subhas Chandra, Emilie with the writer’s father, Amiyanath
Emilie Schenkl, Mrs Subhas Chandra Bose
“Nehru and Patel were spreading calumny about Netaji,” says his grand-niece.
August 1947. Calcutta. Only a few more days before India is to become a free nation. Sarat Chandra Bose, elder brother of Subhas Chandra Bose, is very angry. He has just heard from Congress leaders, Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardarbhai Patel, that his beloved younger brother had lived with a woman in Germany since his dramatic escape from British house arrest in India, and that he had had a lovechild. Neither Sarat Bose nor the rest of the family in India knew anything about this. And there was no way he could contact Subhas on the matter. He was missing. Killed in an air crash reportedly, in Taiwan in 1945. Though his own investigations had convinced him that Subhas was still alive, somewhere, he had no clue where he was.
“The truth is that Netaji was married to the woman in question, a fact Nehru and Patel did not disclose to Sarat Bose because it served their purpose,” Madhuri Bose, Netaji’s grand-niece, told Outlook. Daughter of Sarat Bose’s son Amiyanath, Madhuri belongs to a part of the family which has decided to “expose a long-kept secret about a vilification campaign against Netaji”, perpetrated reportedly by imp­ortant Congress leaders. “Nehru and Patel were spreading calumny about Netaji,” Madhuri says. She claims they tried to project him as some sort of a debauched womaniser “who got a girl in trouble”.
The Bose family attributes this vilification campaign to “Nehru’s jealousy about Subhas’s huge popularity”. As Madhuri Bose points out, “If you notice the timing of the campaign—it was around the time of Independence, when there were a lot of uncertainties about who would lead the nation and who would become India’s first prime minister. Nehru, Patel and other Congress leaders may have been afraid that if Subhas returned, the people of India would want him.”
Meanwhile, as Sarat Bose was expressing anguish about the campaign to malign his brother, in ano­ther part of the world—Berlin—a German woman, Emilie Schenkl, was just beginning to realise that the news of her husband missing was not the only bad news. Vicious rumours were doing the rounds in India about her and her husband, whom she had married after a brief courtship when she worked for him as his private secretary in Vienna, Austria. Though she refused to believe without proof that he had died in a plane crash in Taiwan, as was reported, it was traumatic enough for her that she knew nothing about his whereabouts. She was desperate to reach out to Subhas’s family in India and write to them, clarifying things about their marriage. In an article written exclusively for Outlook, Madhuri Bose—who had lived with her grand-aunt Emilie for a number of years—shares some heretofore unseen confidential letters between Sarat Bose, Subhas and Emilie that she’s in posses­sion of.
—Dola Mitra
In a letter dated March 12, 1946, Emilie Schenkl wrote to Sarat Chandra Bose, beloved elder brother of Subhas:
“Your brother asked me when I was in Berlin if I would accept his proposal to marry him. Knowing him since years as a man of good character and since there was a mutual understanding and we were very fond of each other, I agreed. The only difficulty was to get the necessary marriage permission from the German Government...we decided to settle it between ourselves and got, therefore, married according to Hindu fashion in January 1942.... On November 29, 1942, a daughter was born to us.”*
Sarat Bose did not receive this letter from Emilie until two years later. It must have been intercepted and withheld by the then British authorities. In the same letter, Emilie had further written:
“The day before he (Subhas) left for the East he wrote a letter to you which he asked me to have photo-copied and sent to you in case anything should happen to him. This letter is written in Bengali and he informed you about his marriage and the birth of his daughter.”**
In the meantime, unknown to Emilie, one Indian resident in Vienna took it upon himself to inform Jawaharlal Nehru and Vallabhbhai Patel about her and daughter Anita sometime in June 1947. Nehru and Patel did not communicate the information to Sarat Bose until August 1947 on the eve of Indian independence day. Understandably, Sarat was displeased.
These were tense times. For Sarat, independence had come with the partition of India on communal lines and independence itself was only partial as it meant acceptance of Dominion Status. On August 1, 1947, Sarat Bose left the Congress after 40 years—in his words, it had “lost its moorings” and was rapidly becoming only a ‘Hindu’ organisation. Congress was also being besieged by “corruption and nepotism”.
With all sorts of unpleasant rumours about Subhas circulating in political circles, Sarat finally decided to write to Emilie Schenkl, whom both his sons Asoke and Amiya had met in Europe during the 1930s through their Uncle Subhas.  In that letter dated April 10, 1948, Sarat wrote:
Dear Madame Schenkl, This letter will probably come upon you as a surprise. We have never met but, I am sure, we are not complete strangers to each other....
I have a desire to come to Europe some time towards the end of this year and if I am able to come, I shall certainly come to Vienna and meet you. In the meantime, if there is anything you would like to let me know, or if there is anything I can do at this end, please write to me.
It is difficult these days to trust many people here. Most of the eminent Congress leaders were political enemies of my brother and tried their best to run him down. Their attitude does not seem to have changed much, even after all that has happened since 1941.... I would, therefore, prefer to correspond directly with you.” Sarat Chandra Bose
Sarat, his wife Bivabati and their three children, Sisir, Roma and Chitra, travelled to Vienna in the autumn of 1948 to meet Emilie and Anita. An emotional family meeting took place in Vienna when Sarat and Bivabati embraced Emilie and Anita into the Bose family. Sarat wanted Emilie and Anita to come to Calcutta to stay but since Emilie was the sole carer for her aging mother, she could not leave Vienna.

Exchange mechanism A copy of the letter Emilie wrote to Sarat Bose discussing her doubts about Subhas’s death 
Subhas and Emilie had first met in Vienna in June 1934 when Subhas had begun to write his book The Indian Struggle, a contemporary history of India drawn largely from memory during his exile in Europe. I first met my ‘Auntie’ Emilie in Vienna in March 1978, when I left Calcutta to study in Europe. I was to live with her for protracted periods until she passed away in March 1996.
In long fireside chats during my times with her, she told me that she had been recommended to work with Subhas bec­ause of her excellent English-language skills, a comparative rarity in Austria in those days. She was, of course, fluent in her mother-tongue German, spoke some French, and when I knew her remembered even a few words in Bengali. She used to refer to me affectionately as ‘dushtu’ (naughty) and said that she regarded me like a ‘second daughter’.

Emilie told me she was in the kitchen with her mother and Anita when she heard the broadcast about Subhas dying in an air crash.

In her reminiscences of bygone days, she spoke of the difficult years of Nazi occupation, the uncertainties and privations in the aftermath of the allied forces’ victory in the Second World War, and a temporary Russian occupation when incidentally she and her family experienced kindness and compassion from the Russian soldiers. In discussions about Subhas, she told me that over the eight or so years that they knew each other, less than three were spent in each other’s company, including their one year of marriage together from January 1942 until just before he boarded a German Navy U-Boat in early February 1943 heading for his historic mission in the Asia/Pacific theatre of war. They were not to see each other again.
When I asked Auntie if she had ever considered marrying again, she said quite simply that that was out of the question, that no other man could match the one she had married. She knew too and readily acknowledged to me that the first love of Subhas was India, and that the imperative of removing the binding chains of British colonialism was an overriding commitment for him. She herself would only have come to India in the company of Subhas.

Dividing a family Patel-Nehru (middle) told Sarat (left) about Subhas-Emilie, but not that they were married; Madhuri with Emilie 
Emilie was a woman of strong convictions and principles, shunned any opportunities for ‘reflected glory’, and never took advantage of her position as the ‘sahadharmini’ of Subhas. She was the primary carer for her aged mother who lived with her, a doting single parent for daughter Anita, and breadwinner for the family.
Auntie told me that she was in the kitchen with her mother and Anita on a terrible day in August 1945 when she learned from a radio broadcast that Subhas had died in an air crash in what is now modern-day Taiwan on August 18, 1945. From an immediate reaction of intense pain, grief and anguish, over the following years she began to harbour strong doubts about the air crash story and her husband’s death, doubts which she shared with her brother-in-law and my grandfather, Sarat Bose.
Indeed, to her last day Auntie did not accept the air crash story and never gave her consent to various determined attempts to bring to India the so-called ‘ashes’ purported to be those of her beloved Subhas, kept in an urn in Renkoji Temple in Japan.
* Original copies of related correspondence, including this letter, are preserved in the Private Collection of Amiyanath and Jyotsna Bose
** Emilie handed over the original handwritten letter of Subhas in Bengali when she met Sarat and wife Bivabati in Vienna in the autumn of 1948. This letter is now preserved in the museum at Netaji Bhavan, Calcutta.

(Madhuri Bose, a human rights defender, is the daughter of Amiyanath Bose, barrister-at-law who was a son of Sarat Chandra Bose and a nephew of Netaji Subhas.)

Nehru and Bose (Parallel Lives)

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 de
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published November 2014 by Penguin Books Ltd

Inside - The truth about Subhash Chandra Bose - Full Episode



Nehru Brigade - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Nehru Brigade or 4th Guerrilla Regiment was a unit of the Indian National ... later part of the 1st Division after the INA's revival under Subhas Chandra Bose.Image result for 1st Division of  the Indian national army

Nehru Bose Jinnah correspondence 1937 -38 - Google Sites
... 1937 -38. Extra(4B) Nehru, Bose, Jinnah correspondence 1937-1938 ... Letter from Mr. M. A. Jinnah to Mr. Subhas Chandra Bose, 2 August 1938 (full text).