Why and how Subhas Chandra was ousted from Congress leadership


New Delhi: How many people know why was Subhas Chandra compelled to resign from the post of Congress President and how was he finally suspended from the Congress which was termed by him as expulsion?

House of Subhas Chandra

Recently, it suddenly came in the media that Pandit Nehru during his tenure as the country’s Prime Minister kept the house of Subhas Chandra under surveillance. Immediately, a commotion ensued and the leaders jumped into the field to reap petty political mileage. But nobody uttered a single word about all the aforesaid important facts. Many of you also are not aware of all these facts. Because, in the official history of the country’s freedom movement, there is no mention of all these so as to keep people in the dark.

First time, Netaji was elected Congress President unopposed on the eve of the Haripura conference. Because, till that time, the Gandhites could not understand the danger he posed to them. But when Netaji in his speech in the Haripura Congress (i) reposed faith on the struggle of Soviet socialism against imperialism and declared socialism as the goal, (ii) raised the demand of total freedom as against autonomous rule, (iii) wanted abolition of the zamindari (feudal) system and (iv) stressed on the necessity of involving the peasants and workers in the freedom movement, the Indian capitalism, British imperialism and Gandhite leadership sensed a terrible danger. Though Netaji was not a Marxist, but as a nationalist revolutionary, he expressed his respect to Marxism and Soviet Union.

Pattavi Sitaramaiah

For all these reasons, the Gandhites pitted Pattavi Sitaramaiah against Netaji in the next presidential election of the Congress. But despite wide propaganda in the media owned by British imperialism and Indian bourgeoisie and extensive campaign by Nehru-Patel leadership in favour of Pattavi, Netaji could not be defeated. Mainly based on the support of the revolutionary student and youth forces, Netaji became victorious. Enraged at this result, the rightists decided that by no means, they would allow Netaji to function. When Netaji became seriously ill and was confined to bed, they called a Congress conference ignoring his objection. In the Tripuri conference, the rightist leaders mooted a proposal through Govind Ballav Pant, a hard core Gandhite, the cardinal points of which were that (i) The Congress President would not be able to form the Working Committee without the approval of Gandhiji and (ii) Congress President would not be able to take any decision without the consent of Gandhiji. In the voting on the proposal, Netaji was defeated. Why was he defeated was stated by Netaji himself in the following words: “Tripuri was frankly a defeat for us…it was a case of one sick man lying in bed (Netaji was lying on dais with high fever) fighting 12 stalwarts of the Old Guard Congress, …seven provincial ministers … and the name, influence and prestige of Mahatma Gandhi. Our defeat was due further to the betrayal of the Congress Socialist Party (CSP) leadership… The Communist Party was also sailing with the CSP” (Crossroads). In compliance with the Pant proposal, Netaji was compelled to seek Gandhiji’s permission on more than one occasion in regard to formation of the Working Committee. But every time, Gandhiji declined to give consent and feigned ignorance about the Pant proposal. Without forming the Working Committee, Netaji was unable to work. On this episode, Michael Edwards, British historian, wrote: “Gandhiji applied the weapon of non-cooperation against Netaji.” There was a stalemate in the functioning of the Congress. Nehru and others held Netaji responsible for that. Being helpless, Netaji ultimately convened a meet of the AICC in 1939 at Wellington Square, Kolkata, and tendered his resignation there. Thus, Indian capitalism, British imperialism and rightist group in the Congress forced him to resign.

Movement against British imperialism

After some days, Netaji gave a call of movement against British imperialism and for that, he was suspended from the Congress. Netaji termed this suspension as nothing but ‘expulsion’. Undivided CPI of which CPI (M) was a part then did not oppose this suspension. Thereafter, in order to unite all the leftists of the country as an alternative to the rightists, Netaji organized a conference in Ramgarh in the then Bihar. Inviting the CPI to this conference, he said: “only in this way, the attack of the rightist forces could be thwarted and the base could be created for developing a Marxist party.” (Crossroads) But instead of responding to the call of Netaji, undivided CPI cooperated with the rightist Gandhites.

Part of the speech delivered by Sri Provash Ghosh, General Secretary, SUCI (C)

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