Chennai | The military activities of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose that led to a rebellion in the armed forces made India win her freedom from British rule, Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi said on Tuesday.
He claimed that the non-cooperation movement of the Indian National Congress "fizzled out" and the national freedom movement led by Mahatma Gandhi after 1942 was "a non-event."
"The influence of Mahatma Gandhi's freedom movement on the British was 'minimal.' This was acknowledged by Atlee (former British Prime Minister Clement Atlee who signed on the decision to grant Independence to India)," Ravi said while speaking at the 127th birth anniversary of Bose observed as Parakram Diwas, at Anna University, here.
The Governor, who felicitated Indian National Army (INA) veterans on the occasion, called for exhaustive research on Netaji in national interest, as he was not adequately projected nor adequately understood. The findings should be disseminated to a larger audience, Ravi emphasised.
Though it took seven decades and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to induct women in the Indian armed forces, especially train women to be deployed in combat positions, Bose had a vision to have a woman battalion then. And Lakshmi Krishnan (section commander in the Rani Jhansi Regiment, part of INA) was a living testimony, he said.
"I would say that if Netaji was not there, then India would not have become free in 1947 because the non-cooperation movement of the Indian National Congress fizzled out while the national freedom movement led by Mahatma Gandhi after 1942 was a non-event," the Governor said at the event.
On the other hand, the Muslim League under Muhammad Ali Jinnah was fighting for a separate homeland. "We were divided and the British were enjoying it as there was no worthwhile resistance to British rule in India after 1942," he said.
The British had no problem remaining in India but for the military resistance provided by Bose, Ravi added.
Meanwhile, Congress president K S Alagiri and the left parties flayed the Governor for belittling Gandhi's role in the freedom struggle.
Earlier in the day, Ravi paid floral tributes to a portrait of Bose at the Raj Bhavan here and hailed him as a great visionary revolutionary leader who challenged the mighty British by forming a government of independent India in exile.
He said Netaji provided outstanding leadership to the INA, militarily fighting against the British and inspired thousands of Indian men and women in uniform for independence.
"This led to the Naval Revolt of February 1946 with cascading rebellions in the Air Force and other Indians in the armed forces of the British, compelling them to leave India," the Governor said in a social media post on X.
"A grateful nation pays humble tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose....He will ever remain an inspiration for all the youth of our country in building an Atmanirbhar Bharat," he said.