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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose had a deep respect for one another despite their hugely differing ideologies.Comment (250 words)

    12 Jul, 2021 GS Paper 1 History


    • Introduce by writing a few lines showing deep respect for one another.
    • Discuss the ideological differences of Gandhi and Bose.
    • Conclude suitably.


    In 1942, Gandhi ji called Bose the “Prince among the Patriots”. Gandhi ji said that Netaji’s “patriotism is second to none. His bravery shines through all his actions. He aimed high and failed. But who has not failed.” On another occasion Gandhi said, “Netaji will remain immortal for all time to come for his service to India.”

    While Bose believed Gandhiji as a symbol of Indian nationalism and called him “The Father of Our Nation”.


    Similarities in their ideologies:

    • Both personalities considered socialism to be the way forward in Independent India.
    • They both were religious men and disliked communism.
    • They worked against untouchability and spoke for women’s emancipation.


    • Non-Violence versus Militant Approach:
      • Gandhi was a firm believer in ahimsa and satyagraha while, for Bose Gandhi’s strategy based on non-violence would be inadequate for securing India’s independence. For Bose, violent resistance alone could oust the alien imperialist rule from India.
    • Means and Ends:
      • Bose had his eye on the result of the action. He had no moral issue in taking the help of the Nazis, Fascists or later of Imperial Japan.
      • But for Gandhiji one could not just use any means to achieve an end however desirable that end may be
    • Form of Government:
      • In early writings Bose expressed the opinion that democracy was the acceptable political system for India. But later, he seemed to have veered towards the idea that, at least in the beginning, a democratic system would not be adequate for the process of nation rebuilding and the eradication of poverty and social inequality
      • Gandhi’s idealised state, Ramrajya did not need a representative government, a constitution, an army or a police force. Gandhi was opposed to centralisation.
    • Militarism:
      • Subhas Bose was deeply attracted to military discipline while Gandhiji was against the military on the whole. His Ramrajya was built on the concept of truth and non-violence and self-regulation
    • Ideas on Economy:
      • Gandhi’s concept of Swaraj had its own brand of economic vision. He wanted a decentralised economy without state control while Bose was in favour of large industrialisation for India.
    • Education:
      • Gandhi was against the English system of education as also against the use of English as a medium of instruction.
      • Subhash Bose was for higher education, especially in the technical and scientific fields, as he wanted an industrial India.


    • Gandhi and Subhash Bose had a deep respect for one another despite their hugely differing ideologies. However, each appreciated the work done by the other in the national struggle for freedom and played a very important role in the freedom struggle of India.

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