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June 20, 2008 by vinayras

The Indian Struggle, 1920-1942, is Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose\\'s major political study of the movement for independence in which he himself was a leading participant. The book gives a lucid, analytical narrative of the freedom struggle from the time of the non-co-operation and Khilafat movements to the Quit India and the Azad Hind movements.

Netaji\\'s reflections of the key themes in Indian history and a finely etched assessment of Mahatma Gandhi\\'s role in it, enrich the story of the political upheavals of the inter-war period.

Bose wrote the first part of the narrative, 1920-1934, as an exile in Europe. He wrote it in about a year when he was seriously ailing. Moreover, as he himself mentioned in his original preface, while writing what was essentially a historical narrative, he had to draw largely from memory in the absence of adequate reference materials at his disposal in Vienna.

Lawrence and Wishart published the book in London on 17 January 1935. It was particularly well reviewed in the British Press and welcomed in European literary and political circles. The British Government in India, however, with the approval of the Secretary of State for India in London, lost no time in banning it in India. Samuel Hoare, the secretary of State for India, alleged in the House of Commons that the action had been taken because the book tended to encourage terrorism and direct action.

As the book did not reach the Indian reading public for more than a decade after its first publication, we can only guess the nature of reaction and response it might have evoked.