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The Indian Struggle 1920–1942

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Item Code: UBJ205
Author: Sisir K. Bose and Sugata Bose
Language: English
Edition: 2022
ISBN: 9789354422799
Pages: 433
Other Details 8.50 X 5.50 inch
Weight 470 gm
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Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
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More than 1M+ customers worldwide
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100% Made in India
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23 years in business
Book Description
About The Book

The Indian Struggle 1920-1942 is Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's major political study of the movement for independence in which he himself was a leading participant. The book provides a lucid, analytical narrative of the freedom struggle, from the gathering clouds of the Non-Co-operation and Khilafat movements to the unleashing of the mighty storm of the Quit India and Azad Hind movements. The story of the political upheavals of the inter-war period is enriched by Netaji's reflections on the key themes in Indian history and a finely etched assessment of Mahatma Gandhi's role in it.

Bose wrote the first part of his narrative, 1920-1934, as an exile in Europe and the second part, 1935-1942, also in Europe eight years later. When the first part was published in 1935 its entry into India was banned by the British government. The book was, however, warmly welcomed in literary and political circles in Europe. The Manchester Guardian described it as 'perhaps the most interesting book which has yet been written by an Indian politician on Indian politics.' Romain Rolland hailed it as an 'indispensable work for the history of the Indian movement.'

About the Author

SISIR KUMAR BOSE (1920-2000) founded the Netaji Research Bureau in 1957 and was its guiding spirit until his death in 2000. A participant in the Indian freedom struggle, he was imprisoned by the British in the Lahore Fort, Red Fort and Lyallpur Jail. A renowned paediatrician in the post-independence period, he played a key role in preserving the best traditions of the anti-colonial movement and making possible the writing of its history.

SUGATA BOSE is the Gardiner Professor of History at Harvard University. His books include A Hundred Horizons: The Indian Ocean in the Age of Global Empire and His Majesty's Opponent Subhas Chandra Bose and India's Struggle against Empire.


Subhas Chandra Bose gave his final touches to the manuscript of the second part of The Indian Struggle on his submarine voyage in February 1943. Abid Hasan, his sole Indian companion on the journey, narrated in a detailed interview given to Sisir Kumar Bose, Krishna Bose and me in March 1976 how Netaji instructed him to get down to work with him on his typewriter as soon as the German U-180 set off from Kiel. The submarine went through Danish waters towards the Norwegian coast and the North Sea and then went round the north of Scotland avoiding British depth charges before moving down the Atlantic. The final manuscript was sent back to Germany by taking advantage of a refueling rendezvous with a German U-tanker near Spain.

Sisir Kumar Bose as editor put together the two parts of the book in the Netaji Research Bureau publication The Indian Struggle, 1920-1942 published in 1964. The first part had been written by Subhas Chandra Bose in Vienna and Karlsbad in 1934 and published by Lawrence and Wishart in January 1935. The second part was composed in Berlin during 1942 and finished on the submarine in February 1943. The Indian Struggle, 1920-1942 was republished as Volume 2 of Netaji's Collected Works in 1981. Sisir Kumar Bose and I jointly wrote an editors' introduction in the centenary edition released in 1997 in which we underscored the key features and reception of the book.

Looking back from 2022, it is worth highlighting a couple of chapters while publishing this new edition on the occasion of Netaji's 125th birth anniversary year and the 75th anniversary of independence. Of special interest from the first part is the chapter entitled 'Deshabandhu C. R. Das in Power (1924-25)'. The 150th birth anniversary of this towering leader of the Indian freedom movement passed virtually unnoticed in 2020.



It is only during the last three decades that attempts have been made to give a true picture of the history of India since the earliest times. Prior to that it was customary for British historians to ignore the pre-British era of Indian history. Since they were the first to interpret political India to modern Europe, it was but natural that modern Europe should think of India as a land where independent ruling chiefs had been fighting perpetually among themselves until the British arrived and after conquering the land, proceeded to establish peace and order and bring the country under one political administration.

In order to understand India, however, it is essential to bear in mind at the outset two important facts. Firstly, the history of India has to be reckoned not in decades or in centuries, but in thousands of years. Secondly, it is only under British rule that India for the first time in her history has begun to feel that she has been conquered. Owing to her long history and to the vastness of her territory, India has passed through various vicissitudes of fortune. Neither for the individual nor for the nation is it possible to have an uninterrupted career of progress and prosperity. Consequently there have been in the course of India's history periods of progress and prosperity followed by intervals of decay and even chaos and the former have been always characterised by a very high level of culture and civilisation. Only through ignorance or through prejudice could one assert that under British rule India began to experience for the first time what political unity was. As a matter of fact, though for reasons of expediency India has been brought under one political administration by Great Britain and English has been enforced on the people everywhere as the state language, no pains have been spared to divide the people more and more. If there is nevertheless a powerful nationalist movement in the country today and a strong sense of unity, it is due entirely to the fact that the people have for the first time in their history begun to feel that they have been conquered and simultaneously they have begun to realise the deplorable effects-both cultural and material-which follow in the wake of political servitude.

Though geographically, ethnologically and historically India presents an endless diversity to any observer-there is none the less a fundamental unity underlying this diversity. But as Mr. Vincent A. Smith has said: 'European writers as a rule have been more conscious of the diversity than of the unity of India.... India beyond all doubt possesses a deep underlying fundamental unity, far more profound than that produced either by geographical isolation or by political suzerainty. That unity transcends the innumerable diversities of blood, colour, language, dress, manners and sect." Geographically, India seems to be cut out from the rest of the world as a self- contained unit. Bounded on the north by the mighty Himalayas and surrounded on both sides by the endless ocean, India affords the best example of a geographical unit. The ethnic diversity of India has never been a problem-for throughout her history she has been able to absorb different races and impose on them one common culture and tradition. The most important cementing factor has been the Hindu religion. North or South, East or West, wherever you may travel, you will find the same religious ideas, the same culture and the same tradition. All Hindus look upon India as the Holy Land. The sacred rivers like the sacred cities are distributed all over the country. If as a pious Hindu you have to complete your round of pilgrimage, you will have to travel to Setubandha- Rameswara in the extreme south and to Badrinath in the bosom of the snow-capped Himalayas in the north.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

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