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Netaji as Leader of Congress

The exile in Burma from 1924 to 1927 was the first major turning point In Subhas's public career in that it saw the transformation of a lieutenant to a leader. In the late twenties, Subhas Chandra Bose and Jawaharlal Nehru, despite fundamental differences in mental constitution and ideological foundations, emerged as the two ambassadors of youth and the spokesmen of the rising Left in national politics. Bose's appearance at the Calcutta Congress in 1928 in resplendent military uniform was not so much a spectacle as a vision of the future. His sponsoring the Independence resolution at that historic meeting in opposition to Mahatma Gandhi was the first demonstration of his being ahead of his times and of his contemporaries. He went a step further at Lahore in 1929 by his call for a parallel government and mobilization of peasants and workers.

The second major turning point in his public career and development came during his enforced exile in Europe from 1933 to 1936. It was the transformation of the leader into a statesman who parleyed with world leaders on equal terms and who judged his country's prospects and interests in terms of the interplay of world forces in peace or at war. What is more, Subhas Chandra Bose, by his work in Europe in the thirties and his battlesacross the world during World War II, marked out the guidelines and principles on which foreign relations of Free India should be based. By the time Bose returned to active public life in 1937 after the sojourn in Europe and a spell in prison, he had admittedly attained full political maturity and was ready with his political ideology, programs and plan of action. He marched ahead of the national leadership by his call for national planning and socialist reconstruction of India at Haripura in 1938, for an ultimatum to British imperialism to quit India at Tripuri in 1939, and for left consolidation at Ramgarh in 1940. He sounded the final battle cry of 'all power to the people' at Nagpur the same year. History thus records that since 1928 Subhas Chandra Bose represented the only distinctive, independent and alternative current in India's national politics competing with the major current led by Mahatma Gandhi.

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