Netaji’s brother – under house arrest in Coonoor

A brother’s anguish at Bose’s death

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Sarat Chandra Bose, the illustrious elder brother of Netaji was under house arrest in Coonoor in the Nilgiris when the latter died in an air crash in August 1945. Sarat Bose had been under arrest since December 1941 in various places for joining hands with Subhas Boses. It was from the newspapers that he came to know the devastating news of the death of his brother. The anguished entry in his prison diary on the fateful day read, ‘Divine Mother, how many sacrifices have we to offer at your altar! Terrible Mother, your blows are too hard to bear! Your last blow was the heaviest and cruelest of all.”

The two brothers, though temperamentally different, had a special bond.

The diary continued, ‘Four or five nights back I dreamt that Subhas had come to see me. He was standing on the verandah of this bungalow and appeared to have become very tall in stature. I jumped up to see his face. Almost immediately thereafter, he disappeared. I did not attach any meaning to the dream then’ But now’.

In a letter he wrote to his niece the same day, Sarat Bose lamented, ‘How shall I console you all , how shall I console myself’.

The district administration should consider erecting a plaque at the  Coonoor-Kotagiri road, near Sim’s Park, where he was imprisoned in a bungalow, mentioning Sarat Chandra Bose’s association with Coonoor at an eventful time in Indian history.

Dharmalingam Venugopal

[Nilgiri Documentation Centre,Kotagiri, 9444365360]
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