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Netaji Bose wasn’t a ‘Nazi Collaborator’, dear Americans, and accusing Alexandria Ocasio Cortez of being anti-semitic over it is absurd

Regardless of the opinions of the Westerners, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose will always remain a hero for our people. He fought valiantly for the independence of our country and established the INA to serve that purpose.

The Indian populace often tends to believe that Indian politics and politicians are the worst. But if they care to pay enough attention to US politics, they will have a newfound appreciation for the political climate of our country. Since the Democratic and Republican establishment agree with each on nearly every major issue, everyday they discover a new frivolous issue to pick fights on. The latest frivolous issue that has captured the attention of the American political fraternity is a t-shirt worn by Saikat Chakrabarti, Chief of Staff of firebrand leftist Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. The t-shirt carried the image of Indian hero Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

It is symbolic of the cesspits American politics has fallen to that they are labeling Bose as a Nazi Collaborator and a Nazi.

It is important to understand that their beef is not with Bose, they didn’t even know who he was two days ago. Their primary concern is taking Alexandria Ocasio Cortez down, whatever it takes. It also reveals that Americans and Europeans often find it difficult to appreciate that every country in the world has its own history and their own heritage due to the rabid Eurocentrism that permeates through every facet of their worldview.

As is obvious, Bose wasn’t a Nazi collaborator or a Nazi sympathizer, much less a Nazi himself. He had no part in the crimes that Hitler committed. At that point of time, the primary concern of Indian nationalists was to win independence from the tyranny of the British. It was by circumstances of fate that Bose found himself on the same side as Hitler. A collaboration was pursued specifically with the goal of fighting the British, not a genocide.

Americans should have a better understanding of such matters since their country allied with one genocidal maniac at the time and glorifies another genocidal maniac to this date. I am, of course, referring to Soviet Russia under Stalin and Winston Churchill. What moral authority does the American establishment have to demonize Bose when their own leaders collaborate with Stalin? They still glorify Churchill, a man responsible for the death of 3 million Indians, Bengalis to be more specific.

Sporting a t-shirt with Bose’s face on it, it appears, is a sign of anti-semitism. This is the latest instance where Democrats have been accused of anti-semitism. I am unaware of the minute details of the past allegations, therefore, I cannot comment on it. But to accuse Saikat Chakrabarti, Chief of Staff of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, of being anti-semitic because he admires Bose is patently absurd.

Consider this, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel is great buddies with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The bilateral relationship between India and Israel has progressed tremendously ever since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister of India. The leaders have made no effort to hide the great personal bond they share with each other. At the same time, Narendra Modi has glorified Netaji Bose throughout the course of his political career.

During his tenure as Prime Minister, he has made a dedicated effort to give due to credit to Bose’s cherished legacy. Is Modi anti-semitic? Is Benjamin Netanyahu great friends with an anti-semitic person? Their own President has praised Modi in glowing terms on several occasions. If Modi isn’t, then how is Saikat Chakrabarti anti-semitic? How is Chakrabarti’s t-shirt indicative of the anti-semitic inclinations of the Democratic party? It’s utterly absurd.

Americans and Europeans believe that they are the center of the universe and that the whole world revolves around them. Everyone should hate the same people they, everyone should idolize the same people they do and if they do not, then they consider it to be evidence of the moral inferiority of the people concerned and further testament of their own superiority.

Western media outlets, both Conservative and Liberal, have regularly made attempts to portray Indians as Hitler lovers. They interpret the distinct absence of emotional involvement that Indians have with the events of the Second World War as evidence of India’s fascination with fascism. Hitler is widely known in India and you could even find shops and local stalls named after him but it’s not because they support the genocide he committed. It’s merely because he is perceived as a strong leader and Indians have a natural preference for strong leaders.

There’s nothing wrong with the general apathy of Indians toward the second World War. It’s not our history, it was not our war although hundreds and thousands of Indians did die fighting for the British. There’s no reason why Westerners should expect Indians to have a visceral hatred toward Hitler when we had Churchill and the British committing a genocide of our countrymen. Moreover, World War 2 coincided with a critical period of our history. It was during this phase that the movement for Indian Independence really gained steam.

At a much more fundamental level, India suffered a partition in the 1940s. Hindus suffered a genocide. It’s no wonder then the history that Indian are taught during that period doesn’t focus on the second World War but on our own Independence, as it should. Therefore, to expect Indians to attach similar importance to the World War and Indian Independence is sheer lunacy.

On the other hand, it makes perfect sense for us to hate Churchill intensely. Churchill is responsible for the death of 3 million Indians. What Hitler is to the West, Churchill is to us. Does any Indian accuse Westerners of being genocide sympathizers merely because they praise Churchill? There are one or two loonies, sure, but Indians by and large don’t unlike the mainstream Western establishment which seeks to brand everyone anti-semitic merely because they idolize someone who was willing to collaborate with Hitler for his country’s independence.

While Americans are busy demonizing the heroes of other countries, their own leaders have gone around killing hundreds and thousands of people. George Bush is still widely respected among the Republican establishment despite the fact that he destabilized the entire Middle-East with his War on Iraq. Barack Obama is still the hero of the Democrat party despite the fact that he started a war with Libya and Syria as a consequence of which innumerable number of people died and slavery is back in fashion in the 21st century. The entire political establishment cheered for these wars.

Not merely that, the Western establishment has supported Jihadis worldwide and played a huge role in strengthening global jihad. Pakistan is still their ally, the country which shares the same beliefs as ISIS. Despite all of this, the political fraternity has the gumption to slander our national hero while making absolutely no effort to hold those who committed war crimes responsible for their actions.

To be clear, I am not fond of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. She is basically Rahul Gandhi on steroids. But to accuse her of being anti-semitic because her Chief of Staff idolizes Bose is wrong. If Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is anti-semitic, then so is Benjamin Netanyahu. And we all know how crazy that sounds. We are a different people, we have different histories, a different recollection of past events and that’s perfectly alright. We can still get along with each other just fine.

Regardless of the opinions of the Westerners, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose will always remain a hero for our people. He fought valiantly for the independence of our country and established the INA to serve that purpose. And as long as India exists, and it will for a long time rest assured, there will always be Indians who will celebrate and cherish the great legacy of the national hero.

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K Bhattacharjee
Black Coffee Enthusiast. Post Graduate in Psychology. Bengali.

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