The Corner

I Did Not Know That

From a reader:

Hi Jonah,

I don’t know much about Vlasov, but his story sounds similar to that of

Subas Chandra Bose, a rival of Gandhi’s in the Indian freedom movement in

the ’30s. Unlike Gandhi and Nehru, Bose advocated violent resistance

against the British Empire, and so he lost out to them in the leadership

struggle for the Indian National Congress. After the war started, Bose

escaped from India (he was a fugitive from the British), visited Hitler,

trained Indian POWs to fight with the Nazis against the British, and then

trained Indian POWs from the Pacific theater to mount an attack on India

from the Japanese positions in Burma. Many Indians consider Bose a hero,

but many more recognize the evil of his alliance with the fascists.

Needless to say, the British held that all the POWs who had fought with

Bose were traitors, they having already taken an oath to fight for the

crown. Bose was a patriot, and his enemy was the evil colonial

institution, but that does not excuse his even more evil alliance. Unlike

other figures in the Indian freedom movement, Bose equated the evils of

fascism and imperialism and used the one against the other. That remains

his unfortunate legacy.

As for the Yalta discussion, keep it going! It’s a slow news cycle, so we

might as well discuss important events of the past.

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