The Bose Legacy

Sarat Chandra Bose


Sarat Chandra Bose

Stray Thoughts
Coonoor Detention (1942 - 1945)

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Upon the declarations of war on Japan on 7/8 December 1941 by Britain and the United States, Sarat was arrested a few days later on 11 December 1941 by the British colonial authorities. In doing so, the authorities cited Sarat's alleged close contacts with the Japanese and the threat which he thus posed to British war interests, although the imminent prospect of Sarat as a Minister in a new coalition Ministry in Bengal would have been a headache for the British.

Sarat was removed far from Kolkata and Bengal to the hot and humid south of India, where he spent most of the time in isolated detention in a guarded bungalow in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu. Here he had time on his hands to read (he was a voracious reader), to muse and to write. We are fortunate that his diaries and Stray Thoughts & Notes have been preserved for posterity in the Private Collection of Amiya Nath and Jyostna Bose, and are now available to

In these diary notes and jottings, not subject in any way to the official censor (as for example all out-going letters were), Sarat showed his usual frankness and wit in reflecting upon the tumultuous events of the national freedom struggle, particularly over the period from the late 1930's through to his eventual release in September 1945. Of his contemporary and nationalist political colleague Jawaharlal Nehru (both born in 1889), he observed that if independence could be won by words, "Jawaharlal would have won it a long time ago."

Like his brother Subhas, he admired the unique qualities of Gandhi and joined Subhas in looking to the Mahatma as the 'Father of the Nation'. Also along with his brother, Sarat insisted too that in the long, protracted fight for independence, Gandhi had made costly strategic and political blunders along the way.


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