Subhas Chandra Bose, one of the most fascinating figures of the twentieth century was an Indian nationalist allied himself with the Nazis during World War II in the hopes of toppling British rule in India. Bose is considered on par with Gandhi as one of the key figures of India’s struggle against the British. He is also the subject of Romain Hayes’s new book Subhas Chandra Bose In Nazi Germany: Politics, Intelligence, and Propaganda 1941-43.
On the website of Random House India, the book’s Indian publisher, Romain Hayes discusses his interest in Bose and his decision to write the book. Hayes first learned of Bose while reading Paul Scott’s The Raj Quartet and was struck how Bose’s path challenged the view of Indian passive resistance to British rule.
Hayes describes his rationale for writing Subhas Chandra Bose in Nazi Germany:
I eventually concluded that Bose was a subject deserving of more research particularly in regard to his interactions with the Germans during the Second World War. The questions that intrigued me were centred around the nature of these interactions. Were they sincere or purely opportunistic? Were the two sides able to achieve their aims? Were the Nazis forced to compromise their racial ideology or was this merely political posturing? What of the moral implications of such an alliance? It cannot be denied that it was one of the more controversial associations of the Second World War.