Subhash Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi were two towering personalities of India’s freedom struggle who had vastly contradictory ideologies and approaches towards attaining independence from the British Raj. While Gandhi advocated non-violence, Bose believed only militant means could overthrow colonial rule.
- Bose believed complete independence could only be achieved through armed revolution against the British by Indian nationalist forces.
- Gandhi staunchly adhered to the ideology of ahimsa (non-violence) and led civil disobedience movements like Non-Cooperation Movement, Salt Satyagraha etc.
- Bose formed the Indian National Army (INA) with Indian POWs and sought help from Nazi Germany and Japan to overthrow the British militarily.
- Gandhi organized non-violent mass movements involving boycotts, strikes, and violation of unjust British laws.
Views on Partition:
- Bose was firmly against the partition of India on communal lines, calling it a British conspiracy.
- Gandhi reluctantly agreed to partition to avoid large-scale Hindu-Muslim riots, though this turned out to be a devastating compromise.
- Bose envisioned a socialist authoritarian model of development for a free India, while Gandhi wanted a decentralized village-based economy supporting cottage industries.
- Gandhi made great efforts to unite Hindus and Muslims to fight colonialism, through platforms like the Khilafat Movement. Bose was focused solely on military conquest of the British.
Despite their diametrically opposite approaches, Subhash Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi both played indispensible roles in India’s hard-won freedom through their patriotism and leadership. Their contributions demonstrate how diverse ideologies can complement each other in achieving a common national goal.