Subhash Chandra Bose and Congress Tripuri Session 1939

The British Government was keen on Bose taking interest in the Axis Powers and the developing Gandhi Bose strife. In December 1938, Bose had a meeting with two representatives of the German Nazi Party. Here, Bose told the Nazis that the Hitler regime must stop insulting the Indians. In India, Nazis were not liked because of their deeds of extinguishing the democracy, eliminating the socialist ideas.

For the 1939 elections of the President of Congress, Subhash announced his candidature knowing that he would be opposed. By this time, Nehru was on a long holiday in Europe. When he returned in 1938, Gandhi suggested him to announce his name as a candidate. But he declined and suggested the name of Maulana Azad. But Maulana Azad withdrew his name and then new name came up was of Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya, an Andhra leader. But Subhash was not sure of his win. The result was declared on January 29, 1939 and Subhash secured 1580 Votes. Sitaramaya got 1377 votes, thus Subhash winning by a narrow but clear margin.

  • But the defeat of Sitaramayya was taken by Gandhi as a personal blow. He said “

    … I am glad of his (Subhash’s) victory….and since I was instrumental in inducing Dr. Pattabhi not to withdraw his name after Maulana Azad Sahib done so, the defeat is more mine than his….”.

    Gandhi said that Bose was president in his own right. He should form his own working committee and run the congress. Gandhi said that

    “…after all Subhash Babu is not the enemy of our country…he has suffered for it”. In His opinion, his is the most forward and boldest policy and programme….the minority can only wish him all the best”..

    The constitution of Congress did not provide for the removal of the President and the delegates vote was something which could not be reversed. The Congress Working committee was still controlled by the followers of Gandhi. Thus , Subhash might reign but could not rule.

    In March 1939, Congress met at annual session at Tripuri near Jabalpur.

    Prior to this session, Bose fell ill (which may be a psychological reaction to the stress) just before February 20-21, when a meeting of Congress Working Committee was held in Wardha. Subhash was unable to reach and so sent a telegram to Patel to postpone the meeting of working committee till the annual session. He had also sent a telegram to Gandhi to nominate the working committee as his wish, but strangely Gandhi DID NOT SUGGEST any name.

    But this telegram hurt the congressmen. They said that this demonstrates Subhash’s dictatorial ambition, who does not want the congress to do the normal business in his absence. The result was that Patel and other 11 members resigned from the Working Committee. Earlier, Bose had described the followers of Gandhi as of low intellectual level. The members of Congress wanted Subhash to apologize for the slur. He refused.

    In this session, when Subhash was brought to the dais on stretcher, one of the congressmen fanned “Why don’t you check whether he has any onions under his armpits” (Onions when kept under armpits raise the temperature of the body).

    Such was the disastrous division between Subhash and Gandhi & his followers. Next Month, Subhash resigned from Congress and now he was on an entirely different path. The place was filled by Dr. Rajendra Prasad.

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  • An Indian

    Shocking to know this history.I dont understand why gandhi whom i believed saintly was such an inferior person.Saddened.

    • Sammy

      If you want know more about the vices of Gandhi, read Jad Adam’s “Gandhi’s naked ambition”

  • Sammy

    If you want know more about the vices of Gandhi, read Jad Adam’s “Gandhi’s naked ambition”

  • S Rama

    biased information stop this


      Which information is untrue ? And where is the bias ?

    • malvika nair

      Sir, Gandhi, just like any other politician had his own vices. From being indecisive to being mildly selfish, he had his own vices. Even the greatest freedom fighters had their vices. But the right way to go about it would be accepting their flaws and admiring them for their efforts and not call the information “biased” and insult the very own people who’ve written this just to satisfy your own beliefs. He is “the father of this nation” and respected for his good deeds; but sir, he certainly was human, and hence was not flawless.

  • Rizwan

    Please don’t draw any rash conclusions. This is just one instance. Both leaders played an important and crucial role in the struggle though with different ideologies. Though at this instance i also believe it was against the democratic principle for Gandhi to go against Bose and use his influence. You can also refer to a movie “the forgotten hero-sc bose”


    I think Subhas should have run the show by himself recruiting members from the leftist sections of the Congress to the various committees. But he did not have that courage or inclination at that time and resigned. But he started another party soon after – was that needed?

  • somugtha

    only when the truth behind the ambition of gandhi comes out, we would know our true history of freedom struggle. as a citizen, it is our duty to find it out

  • avik

    Can anyone say who were the voters in tripuri election?why only 2957 vote were polled?why only 2957voters decides who will be
    the president?????

  • Saurav

    Doesn’t seem like a gktoday article….
    Both had different ideologies, so differences were sure to come out. What about Bose’s invitation to Japanese to invade India? Japanese were no less imperialist @#$&ers

  • RohanSharmaDelhi

    First of all I would like to state the facts and tell my opinion separately, because this article has right facts and utter crap opinion :

    1. Mahatma Gandhi was a highly secular person who had always taken a decision which had least adverse impact on Indians and was most nationalistic in nature… For Example calling off of Non Coop Movt, which was criticized by many was ultimately a right decision since those who continued increased violence and ultimately became victims of bigger violence by British. He was very foresighted and very intelligent man and yet since 1893 in South Africa till his death he only worked to see people happy and united Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Christians… He didn’t have any personal motive. He was even criticized by INC and also left it when there was no consensus for him in 1934 session… But Gandhi’s absence was felt as a hollowness… Gandhi is role model to most and big giants like Barrack Obama… He kicked out Britishers on non violent terms and may be one of the reasons of present day relations with british which could have been worse nearing towards those with Pakistan, I mean who knows ? (opinion) For me personally he was more than a god… Way more than a god… He was Of the People, By the people and For the people… He spent his time with the poorest of the poor and gave respect to life and wanted harmony… He transcends anything or anyone…

    2. Coming to Bose : You forgot to mention that during Tripuri Session, he called Congress as party of Compromise party of Rightist and questioned their nationalism because of which leaders resigned… Those people who elected you are anti national???… Why did you even join then Congress, why didn’t you make another party before… Having fun are we ? Anyway… He stated that if someone slaps you once you should slap him back twice… So you know what would be his ideology.

    3. Now above facts are not exhaustive but atleast they can outline both personality… I can conclude one thing that one is Mahatma and one is a Fascist in the making… Giving which title to whom I leave upto you…

    PS : The comment by Sammy, books are written without facts also, and can also be by people like Nathu Ram Godse or his abominable lineage… If you do not like the Mahatma, then probably durng partition Pakistan forgot to take you…

    • Roy

      No one is questioning the dedication of the Mahatma, but the fact that M.K Gandhi kicked out the British, is utter non sense. After the end of the 2nd World War the U.K was severely weakened, it was also facing severe hardships at home, mainly from the Irish Republican Army, coupled with that, The Soviet Union which was a great proponent of Ant-Colonialism, and USA which was once a colony of the British empire put huge pressures on the British to Free India and all colonies that UK possessed, also the Labour Party, a left wing party came to power in Britain after the 2nd World War, and the left even in the UK was always against imperialism. All of these factors culminated into one, and granted Independence to not only India but also nearly every other colony in the World. The Mahatma tried, but it was not due to the begging of Congress that India was granted Independence. Coming to Netaji: First of all you have never read History in your life, Netaji did form an Independent party, known as The Forward Block.Yes he was a Facist, a Facist who was willing to Fight for his country, A Facist who defeated The favoured Candidate of Mahatma Gandhi, A Facist who believed in the Tried and Tested method of Freedom through Arms, like in Vietnam, A Facist who died for his Country, A Facist who was 100 times better than Neheru. Maybe for you the Mahatma was the greatest leader of the World, but for us Bengalis no one is better that Netaji. WHAT THE MAHATMA IS TO GUJRAT, IS WHAT NETAJI IS TO BENGAL.

  • Bhanu Prakash

    its disgusting how people with half knowledge are writing these articles.Along with the action mood of a person should be understood to decide upon the intent of the action.Gandhi was never a person after position or power.Subash chandra bose might be brave and sacrificing but his meeting with the Nazis is a stupid move.It shows his short sightedness and willingness to leave behind,the principles ,if he wants to achieve anything.His plan of invading india with japaneese forces was also very condemnable .the japaneese forces treated INA forces so badly that they lost the zeal to fight against british due to japaneese treatment of them.Subash sacrificed his life and remained an inspiration and nothing more .Movement was led by Gandhi.

  • A. Upendra Patro

    There wass no such ideological differences between Gandhiji & Netaji. The difference was only the age. Netaji fled to other country to seek help of other country to liberate India and Gandhiji gathered Indians to liberate this country.Both the leaders chose to liberate this country through Violence. One said”Give me blood……….), another said” Karo ya Maro”.

    • Sagnik Dam

      One was asking for Complete independence… And another was begging dominion home rule. That’s the difference my dear 🙂

  • donramon

    Please keep articles free from bias.You cant write answer like this in State PCS/UPSC

  • Munna Kumar

    I am very impressed this deep knowledge.

    Thanks GK Today.🙏

  • pankaj

    History is all about perspectives. pre-declaimer to be given is that one who starts learning about history should shed his own prejudices character and pre conceived notions. while coming to the point here, Gandhi is after all is a human with both positives and negatives. He admits them openly many times in his writings(source: my experiments with truth). what makes him god among human is his adherence to what he believes in, the ethic and above all his faith in humanity.

    Had he didn’t stop the non cooperation coz of chauri chaura incident, today most of the politicians could’ve easily taken the point as a reference to defend their actions in such incidents, calling it as a collateral damage. it is the far sight of Gandhi which left no such blots left in ethical fight for Indian independence against British. we often hear about self made godmen but Gandhiji is one “god made self man”.

  • esesem

    What was the vice of Gandhi, as the above comments suggest? He accepted his defeat in elections. And Bose had also insulted Gandhi’s followers, so Gandhi’s followers paid it back. And u might have noticed Nehru, Maulana Azad never opposed Bose.

    Subhas Bose was a radical leftist, which wasn’t liked by Gandhi’s followers. Nehru was similar Bose, but he listened Gandhi. Btw, even after the split, Bose maintained a high opinion of Gandhi(u can refer to Bose’s books written in 1940s), praising his ‘Strength of character’ and ‘political cunningness to mobilize people’. Similarly Gandhi had called Bose the “Prince of Patriots”.

    Bose and Gandhi were statesmen of high calibre, and each had their political opinion. It’s not a human flaw to oppose other’s ideas in a democratic system.
    We as UPSC CSE aspirants must analyze this deeply, and respect the ideas and contributions of both.
    But many are there in the comments who don’t even know basic history. One guy here is even saying Gandhi in 1938 was demanding “dominion status”.