Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:24 am

by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/15/19



Tibetan name
Tibetan ཟུར་མང་དགོན་པ
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 蘇莽貢巴
Simplified Chinese 苏莽贡巴

Surmang (or Zurmang) refers to a vast alpine nomadic and farming region, historically a duchy under the King of Nangchen, with vast land holdings spreading over what is today the Tibet Autonomous Region and Qinghai Province. In Tibetan King of Nangchen's realm was called the "nyishu dza nga" or the 21 (provinces). Since 1959 it is mainly within the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Qinghai province in China (historically part of Kham, eastern Tibet). Yushu Prefecture is 97% ethnic Tibetan.[1] The Surmang region is one of the poorest regions in China ranking it among the world's highest infant and maternal mortality, almost 100% illiteracy, and personal income of less than US 14¢/day.[1] It is part of the catchment in China of the 30 million ultra-poor.

Surmang also refers to a complex of nine or ten Kagyu monasteries (gompas) in that area. These include: Surmang Namgyal Tse, Surmang Dutsi Til, Surmang Do Gompa, Surmang Doka Gompa, Surmang Kyere Gompa. The lineage held therein, known as the Surmang Kagyu, is a subschool of the Karma Kagyu yet it includes a unique synthesis of Nyingma teachings. They are led historically by the GharTengTrungSum (sum means three), namely the Gharwang tulkus, the Tenga tulkus and Trungpa tülkus.

Surmang Kagyu


Surmang Monastery (Tibetan: ཟུར་མང་དགོན་པ, Wylie: zur mang dgon pa) was founded about 600 years ago by Trungmase, a student of Deshin Shekpa, the 5th Gyalwa Karmapa. The name in Tibetan means "many cornered" referring to the irregularly shaped reed huts used by the first monastics in the area.

The 1st Trungpa Rinpoche, Kunga Gyaltsen, was a principal student of Trungmase (the 1st Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche, also well known as Matiratna, or as Lodro Rinchen, which was given by the 5th Gyalwa Karmapa). Small Surmang is the seat of the Surmang Trungpa tulkus, the line of incarnate lamas particularly associated with the sub-complex Dudtsi-til. The Surmang Trungpa Rinpoches was historically the closest students of Trungmase (1st Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche), along with the eight tongdens (other close students of the founder of the Surmang group). Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche, Zurmang Tenga Rinpoche and Zurmang Trungpa Rinpoche are together considered the "Three Pillars of Surmang (GharTengTrungSum)."

Accounts of Trungmase and the traditional hierarchy of Surmang differ somewhat. In his autobiography, Born in Tibet, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche asserts that Trungmase did not take rebirth, and that the Trungpa tulkus were thereafter traditionally supreme abbots of all of Surmang. However, Trungmase is said to have reincarnated and his line of tulkus is known as the Gharwang tulkus. The Gharwang tulkus have traditionally been the abbots of the main Surmang monastery, Namgyal-tse, and in this role lead the Surmang Kagyu tradition. In 1976 the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa enthroned the 12th Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche as the 12th incarnation of Trungmase and an emanation of Tilopa.[2]

The Surmang monasteries, through their long history, were exposed to violence. Dudtsi-til Monastery was razed twice by the armies of the Central Government of Tibet, the most recent time being in the 1930s, when the Central Government tried to collect taxes in Tibetan areas of Qinghai.

The Surmang monasteries were again largely destroyed during the Chinese invasion of Tibet and the subsequent Cultural Revolution.[3][4][5] In recent years Namgyal-tse has been largely restored under the leadership of the 12th Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche. Dutsi-til Monastery is being steadily reestablished under the leadership of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the spiritual leader of Shambhala Buddhism and son of Chögyam Trungpa, the 11th Surmang Trungpa. The 2010 Yushu earthquake made it necessary to raze the ancient assembly hall, all of whose costs have been borne exclusively by local support: the monastery, local business community and the Yushu Government.[6] The present regent abbot of Dutsi-til is Aten Rinpoche. The titular head of the monastery is Choseng Trungpa Rinpoche, the 12th Trungpa Tulku.

The three famous Tulkus from Zurmang are well known with the name GharTengTrungSum (Gharwang, Tenga, Trungpa Rinpoche). Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche II and Zurmang Tenga Rinpoche II are the grandson of TrungMase / Matiratna (1st Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche).

Surmang Foundation

Surmang Foundation was founded in 1988 by Lee Weingrad following his trip to the region in 1987, making him the first Westerner to visit the region. In 1991, the Foundation went into partnership with the Dutsi Til Monastery and the Qinghai Provincial Government resulting in the construction of a clinic. The agreement, the first one signed by the Chinese Government with a foundation in Qinghai, opened the door for other foundations in Qinghai, most notably the Konchok Foundation. Since 1991 the foundation provides community development and health services to the region, including support of monks, nuns, and visitors to the facilities at the retreat center of Dorje Khyung Dzong. The Foundation was also responsible for the arrangements and logistics of the 2001 visit of Trungpa Tulku XI's son, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.

Gurdjieff connection theory

The Greek-Armenian philosopher and mystic G.I. Gurdjieff claimed that a mysterious Sarmoung monastery was a major source of the teachings he brought to the West. As such, it has never been located, but the Canadian diplomat and Gurdjieffian James George has speculated, on the basis of the similar name and location, that Surmang may be real basis of the Sarmoung monastery.[7]

As I helped Rinpoche up the stairs to bed that night he said, "Johnny, do you know what killing that bird means?"

"No, Sir." I said.

"It means you will get married and your first child will be a boy who will be a tulku. [12] Also it will cause a slight interruption in our living situation."

I was dumbfounded. I had no idea what relationship there was between the events of that morning and my having a son. Rinpoche didn't expand on it, so I let it go and silently put him to bed.

Two days later Rinpoche and Max were in town shopping and got stuck in a heavy snowstorm. They had to stay overnight at an inn. Rinpoche called and told me with a chuckle, "We've been held up by a snowbird." A slight interruption. Interestingly, I have not killed anything since.

Later I did get married and our first child was a daughter whom we called Sophie. Rinpoche announced that she was a reincarnation of G. I. Gurdjieff.

"But Gurdjieff was a man," I said.

"Yes," said Rinpoche, "that's Gurdjieff's joke on us."

-- The Mahasiddha and His Idiot Servant, by John Riley Perks

See also

• Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche
• Chögyam Trungpa
• Surmang Foundation


1. Surmang Foundation web site
2. Documentation from the enthronement of the 12th Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche
3. "The Surmang Project," Konchok Foundation website. Prior to the Chinese take-over, the monasteries owned over 90% of the land in Tibet. One result of the Chinese invasion was the disestablishment of all the monasteries, meaning that they, along with all other monasteries lost their land holdings after 1959 and thus ceased to be an economic or political force. In addition they could no longer be supported by the institution of share cropper nomads and farmers. [1]
4. "Trungpa Rinpoche XII and Surmang Monastery," Rokpa Foundation website
5. Born In Tibet (4th ed.) by Chogyam Trungpa. Shambhala Publications, 2000 ISBN 1-57062-714-2 pg 153-4.
6. Konchok foundation fall 2006 newsletter Konchok foundation fall 2006 newsletter
7. Fordham, Walter (October 2003). "Interview with James George: June 27th, 2003". Chronicles of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Retrieved 1 April 2015. Gurdjieff spent three and a half years in Tibet. He wrote ... that he was taken to a central Asian monastery in Kashmir or Tibet called a monastery of the Sarmoung brotherhood. Now, Surmang, the seat of Trungpa's lineage, is just a transposition of vowels, which I think, may conceal where Gurdjieff received much of his teaching.

External links

• Konchok Foundation dedicated to the well-being of Surmang Dudtsi-til
• Zurmang Kagyud Buddhist Centre founded by 12th Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche
• Surmang Foundation established to alleviate poverty by promoting health
• Zurmang Kagyu Website
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:55 am

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo’s biography
by Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery
Accessed: 3/15/19



Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo was born in England in 1943 and named Diane Perry.

She and her older brother were raised by her mother in the Bethnal Green area of London after her father’s death when Diane was 2 years old. Mrs Perry was a spiritualist who held séances in the family home, and Jetsunma credits this as being a strong and positive influence on her development as a seeker of truth.

Aged 18, she realised she was a Buddhist while reading the book “The Mind Unshaken” by John Walters.

After leaving school she worked as a librarian at the Hackney Public Library and then SOAS (The School of Oriental and African Studies) in London, saving enough money to leave England in 1964, sailing to India to pursue her spiritual path.

Diane Perry (centre) at a family wedding in the 1950s

She headed north to Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh, where she had arranged to work with an expat Englishwoman named Freda Bedi, who had opened a school for young reincarnated lamas among the exiled Tibetan community.

On her 21st birthday in June 1964, the school had a special guest: His Eminence the 8th Khamtrul Rinpoche, a great Drukpa Kagyu lama.

Diane recognised him immediately as her Guru and asked him if she could become a Nun. Aged 21, only 3 months after arriving in India, the newly named Drubgyu Tenzin Palmo became one of the first Westerners to be ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist monastic.

In 1967 she received the sramanerika ordination at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim from H.H. the 16th Karmapa.

Ordained in 1964, aged 21

H.E. 8th Khamtrul Rinpoche

As full ordination is not yet available for women in the Tibetan tradition, in 1973 she travelled to Hong Kong to obtain the bhikshuni ordination at Miu Fat Temple.

Tenzin Palmo was based with Khamtrul Rinpoche and his community first in Dalhousie and later at the monastery of Tashi Jong, near Palampur, Himachal Pradesh for six years until 1970, when he directed her to the Himalayan valley of Lahaul in order to undertake more intensive practice. She stayed in Tayul Gompa, a small Lahauli monastery for the next 6 years, remaining in retreat during the long winter months.

Then in 1976, seeking more seclusion and better conditions for practice, she found a cave a couple of hours hike from Tayul, at 13,200 feet above sea level. The cave was enhanced by building enclosing walls, creating a living space around 6 feet (1.8 metres) square.

Receiving bhikshuni ordination in Hong Kong 1973

In the summer months supplies were delivered from Keylong and she grew turnips and potatoes nearby. She stockpiled for winter, when the cave was snowbound. She slept and meditated upright in a meditation box.

Despite many hardships and life-threatening experiences, Tenzin Palmo thrived in her solitary spiritual practice and lived in the cave for 12 years, from the ages of 33 to 45. For the first 9 years she occasionally had visitors or took trips away from the cave, while the last 3 years were spent in strict retreat.

Her retreat ended in summer 1988 and after 24 years in India, she returned to Europe to stay with friends in Assisi, Italy. There she rediscovered her western roots and started to accept requests to teach.

Tenzin Palmo drying out furniture at her Cave in the early 1980s.

Before H.E. Khamtrul Rinpoche passed away in 1980, he had on several occasions requested Tenzin Palmo to start a nunnery. She understood the importance of this and remembers when in 1993, his reincarnation, H.E. the 9th Khamtrul Rinpoche together with the Lamas of the Khampagar monastery at Tashi Jong again made the request.

This time Tenzin Palmo was ready to take on the formidable task. Legal preparations began, suitable land was found near Tashi Jong and she began slowly raising support worldwide.

After the publication of her biography “Cave in the Snow” by Vicki MacKenzie in 1998, her profile increased exponentially and she began annual international teaching tours to raise funds.

Tenzin Palmo and H.E. the 9th Khamtrul Rinpoche in 2002

In January 2000 the first nuns arrived while Tenzin Palmo was still based at Tashi Jong and in 2001 construction began at the Padhiarkar site. H.E. Khamtrul Rinpoche gave the nunnery the name Dongyu Gatsal Ling, which translates as “Garden of the Authentic Lineage”.

Today, DGL is fully completed and provides educational and spiritual instruction to over 100 nuns.

In February 2008 Tenzin Palmo was given the rare title of Jetsunma, which means Venerable Master, by His Holiness the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa, Head of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage in recognition of her spiritual achievements as a nun and her efforts in promoting the status of female practitioners in Tibetan Buddhism.

Jetsunma at her enthronement in Kathmandu 2008

Tenzin Palmo spends most of the year at Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery and occasionally tours to give teachings and raise funds for the ongoing needs of the DGL nuns and Nunnery.

In addition to her role as Founding Director of Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery, Jetsunma is President of Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women, Founding Director of the Alliance of Non Himalayan Nuns; Honorary Advisor to the International Network of Engaged Buddhists and Founding Member of the Committee for Bhiksuni Ordination.

To find out more about Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo’s life, read Vicki Mackenzie’s biography Cave in the Snow published by Bloomsbury, and see the ‘Cave in the Snow’ DVD directed by Liz Thompson and narrated by Rachel Ward.

Jetsunma with her girls – the nuns of DGL
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:18 am

Interview in Nova Holistic Journal [with Tenzin Palmo]
by Rosamund Burton
June 2008



Rosamund Burton meets an extraordinary woman embodying faith, perseverance and the pursuit of happiness for others.

Tibetan Buddhism does not at this time have full ordination for its nuns and is, despite its highly evolved spiritual practices, still very much a male bastion. Yet Tenzin Palmo has not only earned the admiration of people all over the world, but also the deep respect of many Tibetan Buddhist lamas, not to mention His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Originally from the East End of London, she became a Tibetan Buddhist nun in the 1960s and spent 12 years living alone in a cave high up on a mountain before founding the Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery.

In February this year, Tenzin Palmo was given the title of “Jetsunma”, which means “venerable master” by His Holiness the Twelfth Gualwang Drukpa, the head of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage – the particular form of Tibetan Buddhism to which she belongs.

I have read Vicki MacKenzie’s wonderful book, “Cave in the Snow”, about Tenzin Palmo, and now I find myself face to face with this extraordinary woman who has survived incredible physical hardships in her dedication to her meditative practices. She is currently undertaking a tour of Australia, giving public talks and seminars, and is speaking in Melbourne on 1st, 3rd and 4th May, before going to Sydney for the Happiness Conference on 9th and 10th May.

I wonder what effect so much spiritual practice has had. On the one hand she seems very normal. She smiles and chats, and I feel instantly at ease. Then I feel her brilliant blue eyes pierce and touch me in an indescribably profound way.

She is extremely eloquent and answers my questions in a very systematic and logical way, and as she laughs or emphasises a point, you are aware of a strong underlying serenity.

This is the woman who made a vow to attain Enlightenment in the female form no matter how many lifetimes it takes.

“For many centuries, millenia probably, women have been the overlooked second half of the human race, so that most of the spiritual leaders are male and the texts are written by men from a male perspective,” she explains. “Therefore, it seemed to me obvious that we don’t need more male spiritual leaders; we need more female spiritual leaders, and so it made sense to vow to come back always as a female in order to help women who are so overlooked.”

Theravadan Buddhism, which is practiced in Thailand, Laos, Burma, Cambodia and Sri Lanka, and Tibetan Buddhism do not have fully ordained nuns. Therefore, in these countries the nuns have been ordained by the monks, but that means they are always novices, because full ordination must be given by a nun who herself is fully ordained.

In Tibetan Buddhism, Tenzin Palmo explains, remaining as novices means that there are many texts which nuns are not allowed to study, and also offices and rituals which they can not carry out. His Holiness the Dalai Lama, she continues, is very supportive of the move to enable nuns to receive full ordination, but knows that his geshes are not supportive, and doesn’t want to move on this issue if the rank and file are not really behind him.

“However,” says Tenzin Palmo candidly, “many of us do feel that if he said ‘Okay, I really do want this to happen, this really is my wish: who is behind me?’ most of them would fall into line immediately.”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has suggested that Tibetan Buddhist nuns go to Hong Kong to be ordained, as Tenzin Palmo did herself in 1973 when she was thirty years old, but she explains, the nuns do not want to go outside their own lineage.

Tenzin Palmo, then known as Diane Perry, was born on 30 June 1943. Her father was a fishmonger and died when she was only two, so she was brought up by her mother and older brother, living above their fish shop in Bethnal Green. Her mother was a spiritualist, and the weekly séances held at their home meant that this young girl was used to unusual spiritual experiences. In “Cave in the Snow” there is description of the night the large mahogany table with an 18 stone woman sitting on it lifted off the ground and into the air.

Diane Perry’s realisation that she was a Buddhist occurred when she picked up a book called “The Mind Unshaken”. She started studying Buddhism and discovered that it was the Mahayana branch that interested her, which is practiced primarily by the Tibetans. With further reading she realised that the school she needed to study was Kargyupa and, aged 20, she decided to travel to Dalhousie in Northern India where an English woman called Freda Bedi had started a small nunnery for Kargyupa nuns, and a school for young reincarnated lamas.

1963 was an extraordinary time to be in Dalhousie because it was a major Tibetan refugee centre, and the great monasteries that had been recently destroyed when the Chinese invaded Tibet were being re-established there. She met her guru, His Eminence 8th Khamtrul Rinpoche, and she became the second Westerner to be ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun.

She stayed with Khamtrul Rinpoche and his monks for six years, but became increasingly frustrated and despondent about being unable to learn the teachings which the monks had access to. Finally, one day she told her guru she was leaving. At that point he instructed her to go to Lahaul, a remote region of the Indian Himalayas near the Tibetan border, in order to undertake more intensive practice.

She stayed in a small monastery there for several years and then, wanting more seclusion for her practice, she found a small cave up in the mountains above Lahaul. The cave was only six feet deep and ten feet long, and, because she was training herself to do without sleep, she did not even have a bed, but only a wooden meditation box. Here she lived for the next twelve years, and for the last three years in strict solitary retreat. One winter there was an avalanche and the snow completely blocked her door, so she had to dig herself out. Another time a supply of food she was expecting never arrived, and she had to eke out her minuscule supplies for months.

Tenzin Palmo’s three year retreat came to an abrupt end in 1988 when a policeman knocked on her door saying there was a problem with her visa, and that she would be arrested if she did not report to the local police station the following day. Having been in India for 24 years, and suddenly no longer in retreat Tenzin suddenly felt she needed to return to the West. Friends invited her to stay with them in Assisi, so she went there.

Before HE Khamtrul Rinpoche died in 1980 he had asked Tenzin Palmo several times to start a nunnery. Then in 1993, she attended the first Western Buddhist conference held in Dharamsala, at which she spoken passionately about the plight of women in Buddhism. Shortly after this, she took on the task of starting a nunnery for the women of her order, and began to give talks all around the world to raise funds and interest in the project.

In January 2000, the first nuns arrived and in 2001, the construction of Dongyu Gatsal Ling nunnery began. Today, there are 45 nuns from aged 15 to 25. Some are from Tibet and others from nearby countries such as Bhutan and Ladakh. They undertake an initial six-year program, after which they may choose to do a long retreat and, if they have the necessary qualities, go on to train as Togdenmas, the female equivalent of the highly spiritual Togdens.

Tenzin Palmo is 65 years old this year and admits that after a tour of Europe in 2009 she is not going to do any more traveling. She says that she is always telling the nuns that as soon as they are ready, she would like them to run the nunnery themselves.

“At that time it will certainly be good to go back and do some more strict practice,” she says.

At her public talk in Sydney she will discuss the mind and the control it has over us. Rather than trying to control our minds, she explains in her slightly European sounding accent, which has no trace of her East End roots, most of us try and control our external circumstances. We put a lot of effort into creating what we believe will make us happy, such as acquiring money, relationships, houses and cars, and then find we are still not content.

“We have to start cleansing our minds,” she says, and becoming mindful, and to do that we need to become more present.

When asked her view on Tibetan attempts to raise awareness of the plight of their country via protesting along the route of the Olympic torch relay, she says: “The Tibetans are a symbol of oppressed people around the world, and they know that this is their last chance to get the world to notice their incredible plight.”

Tenzin Palmo adds that it was both admirable and brave of Kevin Rudd to bring up the Tibet question on his recent trip to China. She believes that the best strategy for the West at this time is to try and put a little pressure on China to get them at least to talk with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. She says that Western countries need to have the integrity to say to China that they are not prepared to trade with them unless they have a better code of ethics when it comes to human rights.

Tenzin Palmo’s final words are simple and yet profound: “I think the most important thing is to live in a way which brings the most benefit both to oneself and to others. So you live your day really sincerely trying to bring happiness to as many people as you can find, starting with the people closest to you and around you.”

This is how Tenzin Palmo has lived her life and it would be true to say that she has brought enormous happiness to the many people with whom she has come in contact.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:24 am

Tenzin Palmo: “There is nothing” a woman can’t accomplish
by Dominique Butet and Olivier Adam
February 24, 2017



Dominique Butet and Olivier Adam profile Tenzin Palmo, the nun who is changing the role of women in Tibetan Buddhist traditions. Translated from French by Susan Maneville.


A few days after Losar, the Tibetan New Year, spring seemed to be dawning on the Kangra plain, situated in Northern India in the province of Himachal Pradesh. Bougainvillea and magnolias were in full bloom, brightening up the dominating green of the region. The weather was already hot when our taxi dropped in front of the open gates at Dongyu Gatsal Ling, a community of ninety Buddhist nuns founded by Tenzin Palmo nearly fifteen years ago.

Straight away we wondered what pushed Diane Perry, a young English woman who had grown up in London, to leave everything behind for India, shaving off her lovely chestnut curls to become the second Western nun in the history of Tibetan Buddhism. Now known as Tenzin Palmo, she is over 70 and what she has accomplished has become a living source of inspiration.

We arrived at the convent door. She greeted us with a large smile and a firm, generous handshake. She modestly agreed to talk about herself.

Young Diane was born in 1943 and was a solitary child. She was unusually fascinated by Asia. “I spent hours drawing Japanese women in kimonos,” she recalls, and when the first Asian restaurant opened in London, she wanted to go so she could “see Asian faces” at last. During adolescence, themes on suffering, aging, and death haunted her. She remembers being thirteen, watching a bus pass in front of her, and observing the people in it talking and laughing. Her reaction was quite surprising: “Don’t they realize, don’t they know what’s going to happen to them?”

“Reading my first book on Buddhism at 18 is what changed my life completely,” she’s said. When she was halfway through it, she announced: “I’m a Buddhist” — to which her mother replied, “Finish the book and we’ll talk about it!” But Diane had found her spiritual path and would follow it with all her strength.

Her meeting with Chögyam Trungpa in London guided her towards Tibetan Buddhism and a search for her own master. In February 1964, she embarked on a cargo boat for a two-week journey that took her to Bombay and then went on to Northern India, where she found a position as an English teacher in a school for young lamas. Just at that time, the headmistress of the school received a letter from the eighth Khamtrul Rinpoche, recently exiled to India from Tibet. “Just reading his name,” Palmo recalls, “I knew that he would be my master.”

When he arrived at the school a few weeks later, she hurried to greet him, without daring to look at him directly. She whispered to her headmistress: “Just tell him I want to take refuge with him.” “Of course,” he answered. “I knew immediately,” she says, “that he was my master. And he knew immediately that I was his disciple.” The eighth Khamtrul ordained young Diane as a nun and gave her the name Tenzin Palmo.

She went with him to the Tashi Jong monastery in Himachal Pradesh, where she discovered the existence of the Togden, “beings who have realized the nature of the mind and are able to control it, after a retreat of more than fifteen years.” With their hair in dreadlocks and wearing the white robe inherited from Milarepa, these yogis were said to have unusual spiritual capacities. The young nun learned that while in Tibet, her guru lived among the Togdenma (the female Togden), though they did not survive the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

“I then told my master that I wanted to become a Togdenma. He was so happy. He said he’d been praying I would re-establish this order. However, when the monks heard about the project, they declared, ‘a woman is not going to live with the Togden.’ And so, I had to renounce.” She was the only nun in the middle of about a hundred monks. “I made the vow to be reborn in the feminine form until I attained enlightenment.”

Tenzin Palmo was only twenty-six when the Khamtrul encouraged her to go on a retreat and sent her to Lahaul, near Keylong. “This retreat was a vocation for me, it was what I was called to do in life,” she recalls. The cave she chose for her purpose was situated at an altitude of 4300 meters, difficult to access. She would spend twelve years there.


One winter, after seven days of continuous driving blizzards, Tenzin Palmo discovered that the height of snow had covered the openings of her cave and that she was imprisoned. At first she got herself ready to be buried alive, but then she heard an inner voice telling her, “Dig!” She immediately seized her saucepan lids and started digging. After long, terrifying minutes, she finally reached outside air. However, when she went back into her cave, she “realized that the ambient air was not contaminated but fresh. This was how I discovered that caves and snow breathe and that I wasn’t going to die.”

“Another advantage of the cave,” she says, is that it always gives you the space necessary for perfect concentration. And for me this was a source of great joy. I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else.” Did she have any difficulties? “Of course, certain days were marvelous and there were others of extreme unease when I wished I could do something other than sitting and meditating! But, these highs and lows are natural. Whether it rains or the sun shines is not important. The weather passes and we continue meditating.” Was it more difficult for a woman to live as a hermit in the mountains? “Not at all,” she replies.

Next we asked Tenzin Palmo about the actions she’s led in favor of women. Her enthusiasm was unmissable.

The Dongyu Gatsal Ling project began some time after the end of her retreat. Tenzin Palmo had responded to an old request of her guru: “to found a community for young girls from Himalayan regions [e.g., Ladakh, Bhutan, Spiti, Nepal] who want to become nuns and study according to the traditions of the Drukpa Kagyu.” As her work to reintroduce the Togdenma lineage was beginning to take shape, she praised the commitment of “the nuns who not only seriously study Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, and the founding texts of the tradition, but also practice the rituals with a lot of dedication. At the end of their study program, they can decide to go on a long retreat.”

“Throughout Tibetan history,” she notes, “there have been many great female meditators—yoginis—but little has been written about them, so they are not very well known.” But the tide is turning. “After having been completely neglected, ignored, and underestimated by Tibetan society, the nuns are now starting to become more popular. People are at last aware they exist and are bringing them real support. And there will soon be geshema! [The geshe degree is the monastic equivalent of a Ph.D in Tibetan Buddhist studies, and until recently has granted to men only.] From now on, there is nothing you cannot accomplish in a woman’s body.”

After a pause, her brow immediately darkens. “The ones that haven’t [benefited] are the non-Himalayan nuns. Not just the Western nuns but also those from places such as Taiwan or Vietnam and so on that have joined the Tibetan movement. They receive no financial or moral support from anyone. In most cases, they dedicate themselves to running the Western Buddhist centers and have to pay rent and electricity, without any income. This is why I’ve undertaken the creation of an Alliance of Non-Himalayan Nuns, so they can stay in contact and are no longer isolated. But the first thing to do is to spread the message that they exist so that people become aware. It was the same when I started talking about the Himalayan nuns twenty years ago. First people said “Oh! Are there nuns? I never realized…” And then, they asked: “What can I do to help them?” That was when I was able to raise money to build this nunnery. Now the time has come to look after the non-Himalayan nuns.”

Indeed, in June 2015, she took part in the Sakyadhita Conference, an international gathering of female Buddhists created in 1987 of which she has been chairperson since 2013. Her presentation there concerned the non-Himalayan nuns.


In 2008, when the Gyalwang Drukpa suggested awarding her the title Jetsunma in recognition of her spiritual growth and her work with women, Tenzin Palmo’s first reaction was to refuse such a distinction. “But,” she says, “I received so many e-mails saying how wonderful it was and how it highlighted the status of women that I realized this title had nothing to do with me but concerned women in general. And for this, I could only say thank you.” So she took advantage of talking with Gyalwang Drukpa about the names usually given to the nuns, like Ani (aunt) or Chomo (woman of the house). She then suggested “Tsunma”—a reference to something noble, delicate, pure. The nuns approved the idea and started using this term with each other. “When the Karmapa came to visit Dongyu Gatsal Ling in 2014, I noticed that he also used this term. That was wonderful. The sound of the word immediately gives a positive impression in the Tibetan mind and you know how much we are influenced by language.”
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:41 am

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo: A Brief Biography
by Kate Mattes
Accessed: 3/15/19



Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo is one of the first Western women to be ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun. She is also the most senior Western Tibetan Buddhist nun, being ordained for over 51 years. Palmo is a nontraditional woman’s rights activist and a respected teacher. She has spent years in strict retreat, authored books, opened a nunnery, and vowed enlightenment. A woman dedicated to the dharma and to her fellow nuns, Palmo is an exceptional being.

Diane Perry, now Tenzin Palmo, was born in Hertfordshire, England on June 30, 1943. Growing up in London, she felt wrong. Palmo believed she was in the wrong place and the wrong body, wanting to leave London from an early age. Her mother was a widow of poor health, but a pleasant disposition. Spiritual séances would occur weekly at their home exposing Palmo to an open mindset. She had a kind family and a lovely job as a librarian. She spent a lot of her childhood reading about different religions, though she could not identify with any.

When Palmo was eighteen she was delayed in an airport with her mother and the only book with her was about Buddhism. Palmo declared halfway through the book that she was a Buddhist. Her mother’s remark was how nice that was. A few years later she informed her mom she would be leaving for India for a Buddhist teacher, again her mother was supportive asking when she would depart. Her mother, leading a spiritual life, understood her daughter would follow her own path.

Palmo wrote Freda Bedi, a Western woman teaching English to Tibetan refugees in India. Bedi’s response was simply telling Palmo to come. So at the age of twenty Palmo moved to India to teach English at the Young Lamas Home School and by her twenty-first birthday she met the 8th Khamtrul Rinpoche, her root guru.

An Ordained Nun

Tenzin Palmo was ordained in the Vajrayana tradition in 1964. The name given, Drubgyu Tenzin Palmo means “Glorious Lady who Uphold the Doctrine of the Practice Succession”. She was ordained as a novice nun until in 1973 she was ordained as a full bhiksuni. Palmo lived at Khamtul Rinpoche’s monastery for six years, the sole nun amongst a hundred monks. While the monks did not harass Palmo at all, they would inform her it wasn’t much her fault that she was a female and they prayed she would be reborn a male so she could more readily practice. After a while, Palmo left at the advice of her guru and traveled to the mountain region of Lahaul.

Palmo enjoyed the monastery, but wanted solitude. She discovered there was a cave nearby and wished to go for retreat. Several people discouraged her from this endeavor saying she would be raped or freeze to death. However, after discussing the matter with her guru she was fortified and at the age of thirty-three she moved into the cave.

Caves, Italy, and Nuns

Palmo spent nine years in the cave, going to the monastery to hear teachings and to gather food and supplies. The solitude was lovely, but she decided to enter complete isolation and do a long retreat. At the end of this retreat she was informed she was in India illegally due to visa problems. It was 1988. She moved to Italy and has been active in the fight for equal rights for Buddhist nuns. Palmo traveled and fundraised so that she could open a nunnery, as she had been requested to do by her root guru for several years.

The Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery opened in 2000 for women from Tibet and the Himalayan border. The women receive education and training at the nunnery. Palmo also intends to restart a dead lineage of togdenmas at the nunnery. Palmo is now a member of the “Committee of Western Bhikshunis” which is meant to aid the establishment of bhikshuni ordination in Tibetan traditions. She received the title Jetsunma (reverend lady) in 2008 for her active involvement in encouraging female status in Buddhism.

A True Bodhisattva

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo is revered worldwide for her dedication and work for females in Tibetan Buddhism. She has made a vow to attain enlightenment in the female body no matter how many rebirths it takes. Having spent twelve years in a cave, similar to some of the most dedicated yogis, Palmo has transcended the limits of female accomplishment in Buddhism. Changing the mind of monks one day at a time, Palmo continues to offer opportunities to other women through her growing nunnery. True devotion can as easily be seen in the acts of nuns dedicated to equal chance. Tenzin Palmo is a revolutionary bodhisattva.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:58 am

Gandhi Learned Hinduism from Blavatsky's Occult Theosophy
by Gaia Staff
February 1, 2018



History textbooks will tell you that Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, a.k.a. Mahatma Gandhi, is one of the most revered names in Indian history for his achievements in ending British imperialism through non-violent, civil disobedience. What they won’t tell you is that there is a strong occult connection to his life of social justice, due to the efforts of Madame Helena Blavatsky and Annie Besant of the Theosophical Society.


Theosophy is a collection of mystical and occult philosophies, largely based on ancient Eastern religion and spirituality. Founded by Helena Blavatsky and Henry Steel Olcott, Theosophy is based around the premise that no religion is higher than truth. Though it takes into account aspects of religion considered to be virtuous, it ascribes to none in particular. This sentiment would later be echoed by Gandhi in a famous quote when he said, “there is no God higher than truth.”

When Madame Blavatsky, a Russian author and occultist started the Theosophical Society, she lived in an apartment in New York City with co-founder Henry Steel Olcott. She had migrated to the U.S. after traveling throughout Tibet where she met “Masters of the Ancient Wisdoms,” later to be referred to as “mahatmas,” who supposedly helped her develop psychic abilities, including telepathy, clairvoyance, and astral projection. She claimed to remain telepathically in contact with these masters throughout her life.

One night Olcott was dozing off, when suddenly he had a vision of an ethereal figure wearing a turban. The figure spoke encouraging words to him and told him to travel to India. It said that the country was the cradle of the oldest civilization and Hinduism was being chipped away by Western colonialism. It urged him to initiate a rebirth of traditional Eastern religions, including Buddhism and Hinduism.

Blavatsky and Olcott took heed of this vision and moved to India, where they were welcomed for their embrace of Hinduism and aversion to the British elite. The Indians weren’t used to Westerners encouraging the practice of their native religion, and expected them instead to try to convert them to Christianity, like the Western missionaries in India at the time.

Blavatsky and Olcott soon started a publication expounding on their Theosophical ideologies, much to the chagrin of the British. However, their acceptance by the Indian population led to the creation of a flourishing Theosophical Society and the eventual construction of its headquarters in Adyar. From then on, Theosophy gained significant traction, and the seeds of the Indian Independence Movement were sown.


Blavatsky's health eventually started to fail, forcing her to move to London. There she founded the Blavatsky Lodge and was visited by Mohandas K. Gandhi, who was receiving a Western education and studying to become a lawyer.

He was encouraged by Blavatsky and the Theosophists to read Hinduism’s religious text, the Bhagavad Gita
, though he initially declined, embarrassed by a lack of knowledge of his native religion. He was also ashamed at his lack of comprehension of Sanskrit, but eventually said he was willing to read along with them.

This opened Gandhi’s perception of the religion, having previously cast it off as antiquated and a superstition that his parents shamefully still practiced. But reading the Gita changed his worldview, and it became his guide to life.


This was the first step in breaking down the “civilized” constructs that British imperialist culture had instilled in Gandhi, eventually leading to his non-violent, peaceful protests against that very system. He heard Blavatsky talking about a universal brotherhood and the commonality between all religion and races, inspiring one of the most famous political activists of all time.

It’s well documented that Gandhi attributed much of his inspiration to his time spent with the Theosophical society. He spoke of Blavatsky as being a major catalyst for his ideas, and while he was living in South Africa, Gandhi kept a picture of Annie Besant, Blavatsky’s successor, on his office wall.

Though he was intrigued by the Theosophical Society and its philosophies, he didn’t want to become a member, due to its esoteric, secretive nature. Gandhi believed that secret societies were anathema to democracy and would hinder its success. Besides, Gandhi was a man of the people, though he would eventually join as an associate member, a now defunct title.


Annie Besant was an Irish activist who was involved in political and spiritual movements, which presented alternatives to capitalism and imperialism. She fought for women’s rights, freedom of thought, and secularism.

Besant was a compelling orator, and a speech she gave at Trafalgur Square in London was partially responsible for the Bloody Sunday of 1887, during which police clashed with protesters of the Irish National League and the Socialist Democratic Federation, arresting hundreds and injuring 75.

Eventually she joined the Theosophical Society after writing a review on one of Blavatsky’s books and subsequently interviewing her. She found socialism and economics lacked a spiritual aspect, and found Theosophy filled that void.

With her history in politics and newfound appreciation for Theosophy, she became involved in Indian politics, launching the foundation of the Indian Home Rule Movement in 1916. She became a member of the Indian National Congress and fronted the first political party in India whose goal was to overthrow the imperial British regime.

Obviously, she was met with some resistance and spent time in jail for a few months, but was eventually released and made president of the Indian National Congress for one year. The man who petitioned for her release from prison and who became her successor was none other than Mohandas Gandhi, when he returned home from his time spent in South Africa.

Annie Besant Theosophy

From then on, Gandhi would take over for Besant and develop his satyagraha movement to peacefully protest against British imperialism. And though they grew apart due to ideological differences, Besant continued to campaign for Indian independence.

Though the extent to which the occult Theosophical movement influenced Gandhi and Indian independence is not commonly known, it is well documented. It could also be said that the widespread influence of Eastern spirituality on Western culture that is so prominent today can be attributed largely to Blavatsky and Theosophy. Had she and her followers not taken the steps to influence Indian independence and the revivification of Hinduism, Indian history may have been different.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Mar 16, 2019 8:18 am

Mohandas K. Gandhi
by Theosophy Wiki
Accessed: 3/16/19



Mohandas K. Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (October 2, 1869 - January 30, 1948), widely known as "Mahatma Gandhi," was a leader of the Indian independence movement against British rule whose policy of nonviolent civil disobedience inspired activists around the world. He was well acquainted with the Theosophical Society in England, South Africa, and India, and knew such prominent Theosophists as Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Annie Besant, and Sir S. Subramania Iyer.

Introduction to the Theosophical Society

Gandhi arrived in London on October 28, 1888. In his Autobiography he says:

Towards the end of my second year in England I came across two Theosophists, brothers, and both unmarried. They talked to me about the Gita. They were reading Sir Edwin Arnold's translation – The Song Celestial – and they invited me to read the original with them. I felt ashamed, as I had read the divine poem neither in Samskrit nor in Gujarati. I was constrained to tell them that I had not read the Gita, but that I would gladly read it with them, and that though my knowledge of Samskrit was meagre, still I hoped to be able to understand the original to the extent of telling where the translation failed to bring out the meaning. I began reading the Gita with them . . . the book struck me as one of priceless worth.[1]

He the began to read Theosophical literature and related works, such as The Light of Asia by Edwin Arnold and Blavatsky's The Key to Theosophy.[2]

Gandhi in 1906

In November 1889, he was then introduced to Madame Blavatsky and Annie Besant:

They ['the two brothers'] also took me on one occasion to the Blavatsky Lodge and introduced me to Madame Blavatsky and Mrs. Besant. The latter had just then joined the Theosophical Society, and I was following with great interest the controversy about her conversion. The friends advised me to join the Society, but I politely declined saying, 'With my meagre knowledge of my own religion I do not want to belong to any religious body.' I recall having read, at the brothers' instance, Madame Blavatsky's Key to Theosophy. This book stimulated in me the desire to read books on Hinduism, and disabused me of the notion fostered by the missionaries that Hinduism was rife with superstition.[3]

As Gandhi mentions, Besant's becoming a Theosophist encouraged his abandonment of atheism:

Mrs. Besant, who was then very much in the limelight, had turned to theism from atheism, and that fact also strengthened my aversion to atheism. I had read her book How I became a Theosophist.[4]

Gandhi then became engaged in several organizations that promoted vegetarianism, along with Edwin Arnold and Josiah Oldfield, who shared rooms with Gandhi for a time. He attended the funeral of Charles Bradlaugh, Annie Besant's mentor, on January 30, 1891.

On March 26, 1891, he was enrolled as associate member of London Theosophical Society. His involvement with the Society ended later that year, when he sailed for India on June 12.[5]

When he sailed to South Africa for the second time, he again found comfort within the Theosophical influence:

During my first sojourn in South Africa it was Christian influence that had kept alive in me the religious sense. Now it was theosophical influence that added strength to it. Mr. Ritch was a theosophist and put me in touch with the society at Johannesburg. I never became a member, as I had my differences, but I came in close contact with almost every theosophist. I had religious discussions with them every day. There used to be readings from theosophical books, and sometimes I had occasion to address their meetings. The chief thing about theosophy is to cultivate and promote the idea of brotherhood. We had considerable discussion over this, and I criticized the members where their conduct did not appear to me to square with their ideal. The criticism was not without its wholesome effect on me. It led to introspection.[6]

Gandhi and his wife in Adyar, 1915

Gandhi's Visit to Adyar

Gandhi and his wife visited the Theosophical Society headquarters in Adyar in 1915.

Friends will be interested in the picture of some of the guests at our party in honour of Mr. and Mrs. Gandhi, at the Blavatsky Gardens in Headquarters. The party was under the great Banyan tree so familiar to our readers, and the photograph was taken near the bungalow. Sir S. Subramanian sits in the centre, with Mr. and Mrs. Gandhi on his right and left. Practically all the leading Indians of Madras — Hindus and Musalmans — were present, and we had a very pleasant two hours. Little tables were scattered under the wide-spreading hospitable branches of the great tree, and people ate fruits and cakes and savouries and ices — all Indian — in the friendliest way.[7]

Max Wardall interview with Gandhi

In 1926, Theosophist Max Wardall reported on his visit to Gandhi in Ahmedabad. After a long description of the place and the "Indian Saint" Wardall asked questions related to the Theosophical Society:

MW: "Have you heard the message announced by Annie Besant that a World-Teacher is soon to appear, and will use the body of Krishnamurti, a Brahman youth, as a vehicle?"

MKG: "Yes, I have heard of it," he said with a faint smile and a shake of the heavy head. "But it does not interest me. Teachers and Prophets have come to the world from time to time to give help to men, and I believe They will come again. The idea of the Coming I am prepared to accept, but that the Divine Teacher will use as a vehicle the body of this or that disciple - such a statement I am unable to verify, to affirm, or deny..."

MW: "You were once a Theosophist. Were you not? I asked.

MKG: "Yes," he replied "When in South Africa I worked with Major Peacock in the building-up of the Theosophical Movement. I am still a Theosophist but I am not in sympathy with the Movement. I am not in favor of any institution which fosters secrecy. Any secret training or discipline like that practised in the inner school of Theosophy offends my democratic sympathies. I want everything open and free to all. I have steadily advocated the leveling of all barriers between peoples of all classes."

Additional resources


The Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals lists 123 articles about Gandhi or quoting his words.

• Thacker, Elizabeth Lorelei. "Mahatma Gandhi and the Theosophical Movement (1)" The Canadian Theosophist 64.5 (Nov-Dec 1983), 97-106, 117. This article in two parts is a very thorough and well-researched examination of MKG and his connections with the Theosophical Movement.
• Thacker, Elizabeth Lorelei. "Mahatma Gandhi and the Theosophical Movement (2)" The Canadian Theosophist 64.6 (Jan-Feb 1984), 123-130.
• The Gandhi You May Not Know by Rajmohan Gandhi


1. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahmedabad: Navajivan Publishing House, [1940]), 50.
2. Stanley Wolpert, Gandhi's Passion: The Life and Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi, Oxford University Press, 2002. Excerpt online at[1]
3. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahmedabad: Navajivan Publishing House, [1940]), 50-51.
4. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahmedabad: Navajivan Publishing House, [1940]), 50-51.
5. "Chronology of Mahatma Gandhi's life/England 1888-1891", Wikisource.
6. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahmedabad: Navajivan Publishing House, [1940]), 196-197.
7. Annie Besant, "On the Watch-Tower" The Theosophist 36.9 (June, 1915), 189.
8. Max Wardall, "A Visit to Ghandi [sic]" The Messenger 14.1 (June 1926), 1-3.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:13 am

Part 1 of 2

Subhas Chandra Bose
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/25/19



Subhas Chandra Bose
Head of State and Government (Prime Minister) of the Provisional Government of Free India (Undivided India) (Ārzī Hukūmat-e-Āzād Hind)
In office: 21 October 1943 – 18 August 1945
Preceded by: Office created
Succeeded by: Office abolished
President of the Indian National Congress
In office: 1938–1939
Preceded by: Jawaharlal Nehru
Succeeded by: Rajendra Prasad
Personal details
Born: Subhas Chandra Bose, 23 January 1897, Cuttack, British India
Died: 18 August 1945 (aged 48), Taihoku, Japanese Taiwan (present-day Taipei)
Political party: Indian National Congress; Forward Bloc (1939–1940)
Spouse(s): Emilie Schenkl
Children: Anita Bose Pfaff
Mother: Prabhavati Dutt
Father: Janakinath Bose
Education: Ravenshaw Collegiate; Scottish Church College
Alma mater: University of Calcutta; Fitzwilliam College
Known for: Indian nationalism

Subhas Chandra Bose (23 January 1897 – 18 August 1945)[1][a] was an Indian nationalist whose defiant patriotism made him a hero in India,[2][ b][3][c][4][d] but whose attempt during World War II to rid India of British rule with the help of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan left a troubled legacy.[5][e][6][f][2][g] The honorific Netaji (Hindustani: "Respected Leader"), first applied in early 1942 to Bose in Germany by the Indian soldiers of the Indische Legion and by the German and Indian officials in the Special Bureau for India in Berlin, was later used throughout India.[7][h]

Bose had been a leader of the younger, radical, wing of the Indian National Congress in the late 1920s and 1930s, rising to become Congress President in 1938 and 1939.[8][ i] However, he was ousted from Congress leadership positions in 1939 following differences with Mahatma Gandhi and the Congress high command.[9] He was subsequently placed under house arrest by the British before escaping from India in 1940.[10]

Bose arrived in Germany in April 1941, where the leadership offered unexpected, if sometimes ambivalent, sympathy for the cause of India's independence, contrasting starkly with its attitudes towards other colonised peoples and ethnic communities.[11][12]

Freda married BPL on June 12, 1933, at the Oxford Registrar’s Office. She was twenty-two and he was twenty-six….

Their creative, radical Oxford days were over. Both Freda and BPL received their degrees and a whole new life beckoned. It was not what Freda had imagined. She had successfully lined up a job as a cub reporter on the Derby Telegraph, her first stepping stone to Fleet Street (as she had intended). Instead she went to Germany with her new husband, who had won a Humboldt scholarship at the Friedrich Wilhelm University in Berlin, to research a PHD in Political Science.

“Bedi was concerned about the rise of Hitler, but he thought that as long as he didn’t get a chance to rant in Parliament, it would be all right. He was going to keep a very keen eye on the situation,” she said. She was not to see her homeland again for fourteen years….

By the time Freda reached Berlin, she was pregnant, and delighted with the prospect of motherhood. BPL somewhat protectively decided that she should not work, but instead live quietly in the charming little cottage they had found on the bank of Lake Wannsee. “It was really a lovely place, with a beautiful garden, and we had some very happy months there preparing for the child,” she said. She busied herself with making baby clothes, but could not resist going to Berlin University to study Hindi with a Punjabi professor – a necessary preparation, she thought, for a life on the subcontinent, and to counteract the full-on domesticity she found herself in….

BPL refrained from any political activity in Germany, although he was keeping up-to-date with the Free India movement in India. A frequent visitor to their lakeside cottage was Subhas Chandra Bose, who went on to become one of the most prominent and controversial leaders of the independence movement. Bose was educated at Cambridge and also had a European wife – Emilie Schenkl, an Austrian. He made it a point to visit sympathetic Indian students living in Europe, and the couple had much in common with Freda and BPL Bedi.

“We came to know Bose intimately, and a deep friendship grew,” said BPL. Bose was a hard-core communist, a great admirer of the Soviet Union, who maintained that only an authoritarian state, not democracy, would be able to reshape India. (Later he was forced to resign as present of the Indian National Congress because his platform of violent resistance clashed with Gandhi’s peaceful pathway.)

In Germany, however, Bose, won the young BPL over completely. “Freda and I were both fired up with the patriotic zeal of liberating the motherland from British imperialism,” BPL said. “While we were in Berlin, an eminent journalist asked me what was my agenda for India. ‘Live dangerously,’ I replied. ‘Live dangerously for every form of exploitation of man by man. Live dangerously for every form of injustice. Live dangerously for any violation of human dignity.’”

On May 13, 1934, Freda gave birth to a son after just a four-hour labor….They named him Ranga after the Indian statesman who had defeated the political opposition to their marriage, ten months previously….

BPL had not joined any political club at Berlin University, nor was he taking part in any political activities, but he sensed that tension was mountain. He was friendly with many of the Indian students living in the International Houses, which were being increasingly dominated by Nazi representatives.

In August 1934, Hitler was made fuhrer. The morning the news broke, BPL put down his paper and announced, “Tomorrow we get on the train and go to Geneva. It’s not safe here anymore.”

“He knew that Hitler could swoop down on the Indian students, which was precisely what happened,” said Freda. The life of drama and danger that she pledged to share with Bedi had begun. “You can imagine the state I was in, having to pack up everything in one day, and with BPL having to get the visas for Switzerland. But the next morning we were on the train!” she said

After their hasty exit, they spent a few pleasant weeks staying in accommodations that had been arranged by their old Oxford professor, Alfred Zimmern [Professor Sir Alfred Eckhard Zimmern, whose name is associated with the founding of the League of Nations], who ran a school there. In October 1934, they finally made the decision to go to India and make it their permanent home. They sailed on the SS Conte Verde from northern Italy to Bombay, a journey of three weeks.

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie

In November 1941, with German funds, a Free India Centre was set up in Berlin, and soon a Free India Radio, on which Bose broadcast nightly. A 3,000-strong Free India Legion, comprising Indians captured by Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps, was also formed to aid in a possible future German land invasion of India.[13] By spring 1942, in light of Japanese victories in southeast Asia and changing German priorities, a German invasion of India became untenable, and Bose became keen to move to southeast Asia.[14] Adolf Hitler, during his only meeting with Bose in late May 1942, suggested the same, and offered to arrange for a submarine.[15] During this time Bose also became a father; his wife, [16] or companion,[17][j] Emilie Schenkl, whom he had met in 1934, gave birth to a baby girl in November 1942.[16][11] Identifying strongly with the Axis powers, and no longer apologetically, Bose boarded a German submarine in February 1943.[18][19] In Madagascar, he was transferred to a Japanese submarine from which he disembarked in Japanese-held Sumatra in May 1943.[18]

With Japanese support, Bose revamped the Indian National Army (INA), then composed of Indian soldiers of the British Indian army who had been captured in the Battle of Singapore.[20] To these, after Bose's arrival, were added enlisting Indian civilians in Malaya and Singapore. The Japanese had come to support a number of puppet and provisional governments in the captured regions, such as those in Burma, the Philippines and Manchukuo. Before long the Provisional Government of Free India, presided by Bose, was formed in the Japanese-occupied Andaman and Nicobar Islands.[20][21][k] Bose had great drive and charisma—creating popular Indian slogans, such as "Jai Hind,"—and the INA under Bose was a model of diversity by region, ethnicity, religion, and even gender. However, Bose was regarded by the Japanese as being militarily unskilled,[22][l] and his military effort was short-lived. In late 1944 and early 1945 the British Indian Army first halted and then devastatingly reversed the Japanese attack on India. Almost half the Japanese forces and fully half the participating INA contingent were killed.[23][m] The INA was driven down the Malay Peninsula, and surrendered with the recapture of Singapore. Bose had earlier chosen not to surrender with his forces or with the Japanese, but rather to escape to Manchuria with a view to seeking a future in the Soviet Union which he believed to be turning anti-British. He died from third degree burns received when his plane crashed in Taiwan.[24][n] Some Indians, however, did not believe that the crash had occurred,[4][o] with many among them, especially in Bengal, believing that Bose would return to gain India's independence.[25][p][26][q][27][r]

The Indian National Congress, the main instrument of Indian nationalism, praised Bose's patriotism but distanced itself from his tactics and ideology,[28][s] especially his collaboration with fascism.[29] The British Raj, though never seriously threatened by the INA,[30][t][31][u] charged 300 INA officers with treason in the INA trials, but eventually backtracked in the face both of popular sentiment and of its own end.[32][v][29][2]


1897–1921: Early life

Subhas Bose, standing, extreme right, with his family of 14 siblings in Cuttack, ca. 1905.

Subhas Bose (standing, right) with friends in England, 1920

Subhas Chandra Bose was born on 23 January 1897 (at 12.10 pm) in Cuttack, Orissa Division, Bengal Province, to Prabhavati Dutt Bose and Janakinath Bose, an advocate belonging to a Kayastha[33][w] family.[34] He was the ninth in a family of 14 children. His family was well to do.[33]

He was admitted to the Protestant European School (presently Stewart High School) in Cuttack, like his brothers and sisters, in January 1902. He continued his studies at this school which was run by the Baptist Mission up to 1909 and then shifted to the Ravenshaw Collegiate School. Here, he was ridiculed by his fellow students because he knew very little Bengali. The day Subhas was admitted to this school, Beni Madhab Das, the headmaster, understood how brilliant and scintillating his genius was. After securing the second position in the matriculation examination in 1913, he got admitted to the Presidency College where he studied briefly.[35] He was influenced by the teachings of Swami Vivekananda and Ramakrishna after reading their works at the age of 16. He felt that his religion was more important than his studies.[33]

In those days, the British in Calcutta often made offensive remarks to the Indians in public places and insulted them openly. This behavior of the British as well as the outbreak of World War I began to influence his thinking.[33]

His nationalistic temperament came to light when he was expelled for assaulting Professor Oaten(who had manhandled some Indian students[33]) for the latter's anti-India comments. He was expelled although he appealed that he only witnessed the assault and did not actually participate in it.[33] He later joined the Scottish Church College at the University of Calcutta and passed his B.A. in 1918 in philosophy.[36] Bose left India in 1919 for England with a promise to his father that he would appear in the Indian Civil Services (ICS) examination. He went to study in Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge and matriculated on 19 November 1919. He came fourth in the ICS examination and was selected, but he did not want to work under an alien government which would mean serving the British. As he stood on the verge of taking the plunge by resigning from the Indian Civil Service in 1921, he wrote to his elder brother Sarat Chandra Bose: "Only on the soil of sacrifice and suffering can we raise our national edifice."[37]

He resigned from his civil service job on 23 April 1921 and returned to India.[38]

1921–1932: Indian National Congress

Bose at the inauguration of the India Society in Prague in 1926.

Subhas Bose, General Officer Commanding, Congress Volunteer Corps (in military uniform) with Congress president, Motilal Nehru, taking the salute. Annual meeting, Indian National Congress, December 29, 1928.

He started the newspaper Swaraj and took charge of publicity for the Bengal Provincial Congress Committee.[39] His mentor was Chittaranjan Das who was a spokesman for aggressive nationalism in Bengal. In the year 1923, Bose was elected the President of All India Youth Congress and also the Secretary of Bengal State Congress. He was also the editor of the newspaper "Forward", founded by Chittaranjan Das.[40] Bose worked as the CEO of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation for Das when the latter was elected mayor of Calcutta in 1924.[41] In a roundup of nationalists in 1925, Bose was arrested and sent to prison in Mandalay, where he contracted tuberculosis.[42]

In 1927, after being released from prison, Bose became general secretary of the Congress party and worked with Jawaharlal Nehru for independence. In late December 1928, Bose organised the Annual Meeting of the Indian National Congress in Calcutta.[43] His most memorable role was as General Officer Commanding (GOC) Congress Volunteer Corps.[43] Author Nirad Chaudhuri wrote about the meeting:

Bose organized a volunteer corps in uniform, its officers were even provided with steel-cut epaulettes ... his uniform was made by a firm of British tailors in Calcutta, Harman's. A telegram addressed to him as GOC was delivered to the British General in Fort William and was the subject of a good deal of malicious gossip in the (British Indian) press. Mahatma Gandhi is a sincere pacifist vowed to non-violence, did not like the strutting, clicking of boots, and saluting, and he afterward described the Calcutta session of the Congress as a Bertram Mills circus, which caused a great deal of indignation among the Bengalis.[43]

A little later, Bose was again arrested and jailed for civil disobedience; this time he emerged to become Mayor of Calcutta in 1930.[42]

1933–1937: Illness, Austria, Emilie Schenkl

Bose with Emilie Schenkl, in Bad Gastein, Austria, 1936.

Bose, INC president-elect, center, in Bad Gastein, Austria, December 1937, with (left to right) A. C. N. Nambiar (Bose's second-in-command, Berlin, 1941–1945), Heidi Fulop-Miller, Schenkl, and Amiya Bose.

During the mid-1930s Bose travelled in Europe, visiting Indian students and European politicians, including Benito Mussolini. He observed party organisation and saw communism and fascism in action. In this period, he also researched and wrote the first part of his book The Indian Struggle, which covered the country's independence movement in the years 1920–1934. Although it was published in London in 1935, the British government banned the book in the colony out of fears that it would encourage unrest.[44]

-- Mein Kampf: My Struggle, by Adolf Hitler

1937–1940: Indian National Congress

Bose, president-elect, INC, arrives in Calcutta, 24 January 1938, after two-month vacation in Austria.[x][y]

Bose arriving at the 1939 annual session of the Congress, where he was re-elected, but later had to resign after disagreements with Gandhi and the Congress High Command.

By 1938 Bose had become a leader of national stature and agreed to accept nomination as Congress President.He stood for unqualified Swaraj (self-governance), including the use of force against the British. This meant a confrontation with Mohandas Gandhi, who in fact opposed Bose's presidency,[47] splitting the Indian National Congress party. Bose attempted to maintain unity, but Gandhi advised Bose to form his own cabinet. The rift also divided Bose and Nehru. Bose appeared at the 1939 Congress meeting on a stretcher. He was elected president again over Gandhi's preferred candidate Pattabhi Sitaramayya.[48] U. Muthuramalingam Thevar strongly supported Bose in the intra-Congress dispute. Thevar mobilised all south India votes for Bose.[49] However, due to the manoeuvrings of the Gandhi-led clique in the Congress Working Committee, Bose found himself forced to resign from the Congress presidency.

On 22 June 1939 Bose organised the All India Forward Bloc a faction within the Indian National Congress,[50] aimed at consolidating the political left, but its main strength was in his home state, Bengal. U Muthuramalingam Thevar, who was a staunch supporter of Bose from the beginning, joined the Forward Bloc. When Bose visited Madurai on 6 September, Thevar organised a massive rally as his reception.

When Subash Chandra Bose was heading to Madurai, on an invitation of Muthuramalinga Thevar to amass support for the Forward Bloc, he passed through Madras and spent three days at Gandhi Peak. His correspondence reveals that despite his clear dislike for British subjugation, he was deeply impressed by their methodical and systematic approach and their steadfastly disciplinarian outlook towards life. In England, he exchanged ideas on the future of India with British Labour [Labor] Party leaders and political thinkers like Lord Halifax, George Lansbury, Clement Attlee, Arthur Greenwood, Harold Laski, J.B.S. Haldane, Ivor Jennings, G.D.H. Cole, Gilbert Murray and Sir Stafford Cripps.

He came to believe that an independent India needed socialist authoritarianism, on the lines of Turkey's Kemal Atatürk, for at least two decades. For political reasons Bose was refused permission by the British authorities to meet Atatürk at Ankara. During his sojourn in England Bose tried to schedule appointments with several politicians, but only the Labour [Labor] Party and Liberal politicians agreed to meet with him. Conservative Party officials refused to meet him or show him courtesy because he was a politician coming from a colony. In the 1930s leading figures in the Conservative Party had opposed even Dominion status for India. It was during the Labour [Labor] Party government of 1945–1951, with Attlee as the Prime Minister, that India gained independence.

On the outbreak of war, Bose advocated a campaign of mass civil disobedience to protest against Viceroy Lord Linlithgow's decision to declare war on India's behalf without consulting the Congress leadership. Having failed to persuade Gandhi of the necessity of this, Bose organised mass protests in Calcutta calling for the 'Holwell Monument' commemorating the Black Hole of Calcutta, which then stood at the corner of Dalhousie Square, to be removed.[51] He was thrown in jail by the British, but was released following a seven-day hunger strike. Bose's house in Calcutta was kept under surveillance by the CID.[52]

1941–1943: Nazi Germany

Bose greeting Heinrich Himmler (right), the Nazi Minister of Interior, head of the SS, and the Gestapo, 1942.

Subhas Bose meeting Adolf Hitler

Bose's arrest and subsequent release set the scene for his escape to Germany, via Afghanistan and the Soviet Union. A few days before his escape, he sought solitude and, on this pretext, avoided meeting British guards and grew a beard. Late night 16 January 1941, the night of his escape, he dressed as a Pathan (brown long coat, a black fez-type coat and broad pyjamas) to avoid being identified. Bose escaped from under British surveillance from his Elgin Road house in Calcutta about 01:25AM on 17 January 1941, accompanied by his nephew Sisir Kumar Bose in a German-made Wanderer W24 Sedan car, which would take him to Gomoh Railway Station in then state of Bihar, India. The car (Registration No. BLA 7169) was bought by Subhash Chandra Bose's elder brother Sarat Chandra Bose in 1937. The car is now on display at his Elgin Road home in Calcutta, India.[53][54][55][56]

He journeyed to Peshawar with the help of the Abwehr, where he was met by Akbar Shah, Mohammed Shah and Bhagat Ram Talwar. Bose was taken to the home of Abad Khan, a trusted friend of Akbar Shah's. On 26 January 1941, Bose began his journey to reach Russia through British India's North West frontier with Afghanistan. For this reason, he enlisted the help of Mian Akbar Shah, then a Forward Bloc leader in the North-West Frontier Province. Shah had been out of India en route to the Soviet Union, and suggested a novel disguise for Bose to assume. Since Bose could not speak one word of Pashto, it would make him an easy target of Pashto speakers working for the British. For this reason, Shah suggested that Bose act deaf and dumb, and let his beard grow to mimic those of the tribesmen. Bose's guide Bhagat Ram Talwar, unknown to him, was a Soviet agent.[55][56][57]

Supporters of the Aga Khan III helped him across the border into Afghanistan where he was met by an Abwehr unit posing as a party of road construction engineers from the Organization Todt who then aided his passage across Afghanistan via Kabul to the border with Soviet Russia. After assuming the guise of a Pashtun insurance agent ("Ziaudddin") to reach Afghanistan, Bose changed his guise and travelled to Moscow on the Italian passport of an Italian nobleman "Count Orlando Mazzotta". From Moscow, he reached Rome, and from there he travelled to Germany.[55][56][58] Once in Russia the NKVD transported Bose to Moscow where he hoped that Russia's traditional enmity to British rule in India would result in support for his plans for a popular rising in India. However, Bose found the Soviets' response disappointing and was rapidly passed over to the German Ambassador in Moscow, Count von der Schulenburg. He had Bose flown on to Berlin in a special courier aircraft at the beginning of April where he was to receive a more favourable hearing from Joachim von Ribbentrop and the Foreign Ministry officials at the Wilhelmstrasse.[55][56][59]

In Germany, he was attached to the Special Bureau for India under Adam von Trott zu Solz which was responsible for broadcasting on the German-sponsored Azad Hind Radio.[60] He founded the Free India Center in Berlin, and created the Indian Legion (consisting of some 4500 soldiers) out of Indian prisoners of war who had previously fought for the British in North Africa prior to their capture by Axis forces. The Indian Legion was attached to the Wehrmacht, and later transferred to the Waffen SS. Its members swore the following allegiance to Hitler and Bose: "I swear by God this holy oath that I will obey the leader of the German race and state, Adolf Hitler, as the commander of the German armed forces in the fight for India, whose leader is Subhas Chandra Bose". This oath clearly abrogates control of the Indian legion to the German armed forces whilst stating Bose's overall leadership of India. He was also, however, prepared to envisage an invasion of India via the USSR by Nazi troops, spearheaded by the Azad Hind Legion; many have questioned his judgment here, as it seems unlikely that the Germans could have been easily persuaded to leave after such an invasion, which might also have resulted in an Axis victory in the War.[58]

In all, 3,000 Indian prisoners of war signed up for the Free India Legion. But instead of being delighted, Bose was worried. A left-wing admirer of Russia, he was devastated when Hitler's tanks rolled across the Soviet border. Matters were worsened by the fact that the now-retreating German army would be in no position to offer him help in driving the British from India. When he met Hitler in May 1942, his suspicions were confirmed, and he came to believe that the Nazi leader was more interested in using his men to win propaganda victories than military ones. So, in February 1943, Bose turned his back on his legionnaires and slipped secretly away aboard a submarine bound for Japan. This left the men he had recruited leaderless and demoralised in Germany.[58][61]

Bose lived in Berlin from 1941 until 1943. During his earlier visit to Germany in 1934, he had met Emilie Schenkl, the daughter of an Austrian veterinarian whom he married in 1937. Their daughter is Anita Bose Pfaff.[62] Bose's party, the Forward Bloc, has contested this fact.[63]

1943–1945: Japanese-occupied Asia

The crew of Japanese submarine I-29 after the rendezvous with German submarine U-180 300 sm southeast of Madagascar; Bose is sitting in the front row (28 April 1943).

Bose speaking in Tokyo in 1943.

In 1943, after being disillusioned that Germany could be of any help in gaining India's independence, he left for Japan. He travelled with the German submarine U-180 around the Cape of Good Hope to the southeast of Madagascar, where he was transferred to the I-29 for the rest of the journey to Imperial Japan. This was the only civilian transfer between two submarines of two different navies in World War II.[55][56]

The Indian National Army (INA) was the brainchild of Japanese Major (and post-war Lieutenant-General) Iwaichi Fujiwara, head the Japanese intelligence unit Fujiwara Kikan and had its origins, first in the meetings between Fujiwara and the president of the Bangkok chapter of the Indian Independence League, Pritam Singh Dhillon, and then, through Pritam Singh's network, in the recruitment by Fujiwara of a captured British Indian army captain, Mohan Singh on the western Malayan peninsula in December 1941; Fujiwara's mission was "to raise an army which would fight alongside the Japanese army."[64][65] After the initial proposal by Fujiwara the Indian National Army was formed as a result of discussion between Fujiwara and Mohan Singh in the second half of December 1941, and the name chosen jointly by them in the first week of January 1942.[66]

This was along the concept of—and with support of—what was then known as the Indian Independence League, headed by expatriate nationalist leader Rash Behari Bose. The first INA was however disbanded in December 1942 after disagreements between the Hikari Kikan and Mohan Singh, who came to believe that the Japanese High Command was using the INA as a mere pawn and propaganda tool. Mohan Singh was taken into custody and the troops returned to the prisoner-of-war camp. However, the idea of an independence army was revived with the arrival of Subhas Chandra Bose in the Far East in 1943. In July, at a meeting in Singapore, Rash Behari Bose handed over control of the organisation to Subhas Chandra Bose. Bose was able to reorganise the fledgling army and organise massive support among the expatriate Indian population in south-east Asia, who lent their support by both enlisting in the Indian National Army, as well as financially in response to Bose's calls for sacrifice for the independence cause. INA had a separate women's unit, the Rani of Jhansi Regiment (named after Rani Lakshmi Bai) headed by Capt. Lakshmi Swaminathan, which is seen as a first of its kind in Asia.[67][68]

Even when faced with military reverses, Bose was able to maintain support for the Azad Hind movement. Spoken as a part of a motivational speech for the Indian National Army at a rally of Indians in Burma on 4 July 1944, Bose's most famous quote was "Give me blood, and I shall give you freedom!" In this, he urged the people of India to join him in his fight against the British Raj.[citation needed] Spoken in Hindi, Bose's words are highly evocative. The troops of the INA were under the aegis of a provisional government, the Azad Hind Government, which came to produce its own currency, postage stamps, court and civil code, and was recognised by nine Axis states — Germany, Japan, Italian Social Republic, the Independent State of Croatia, Wang Jingwei regime in Nanjing, China, a provisional government of Burma, Manchukuo and Japanese-controlled Philippines. Recent researches[which?] have shown that the USSR too had diplomatic contact with the "Provisional Government of Free India".[citation needed] Of those countries, five were authorities established under Axis occupation. This government participated in the so-called Greater East Asia Conference as an observer in November 1943.[citation needed]

The INA's first commitment was in the Japanese thrust towards Eastern Indian frontiers of Manipur. INA's special forces, the Bahadur Group, were extensively involved in operations behind enemy lines both during the diversionary attacks in Arakan, as well as the Japanese thrust towards Imphal and Kohima, along with the Burmese National Army led by Ba Maw and Aung San.[citation needed]

The Japanese also took possession of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 1942 and a year later, the Provisional Government and the INA were established in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands with Lt Col. A.D. Loganathan appointed its Governor General. The islands were renamed Shaheed (Martyr) and Swaraj (Independence). However, the Japanese Navy remained in essential control of the island's administration. During Bose's only visit to the islands in early 1944, apparently in the interest of shielding Bose from attaining a full knowledge of ultimate Japanese intentions, Bose's Japanese hosts carefully isolated him from the local population. At that time the island's Japanese administration had been torturing the leader of the island's Indian Independence League, Dr. Diwan Singh, who later died of his injuries in the Cellular Jail. During Bose's visit to the islands several locals attempted to alert Bose to Dr. Singh's plight, but apparently without success. During this time Lt. Col Loganathan became aware of his lack of any genuine administrative control and resigned in protest as Governor General, later returning to the Government's headquarters in Rangoon.[69][70]

On the Indian mainland, an Indian Tricolour, modelled after that of the Indian National Congress, was raised for the first time in the town of Moirang, in Manipur, in north-eastern India. The adjacent towns of Kohima and Imphal were then encircled and placed under siege by divisions of the Japanese Army, working in conjunction with the Burmese National Army, and with Brigades of the INA, known as the Gandhi and Nehru Brigades. This attempt at conquering the Indian mainland had the Axis codename of Operation U-Go.

During this operation, On 6 July 1944, in a speech broadcast by the Azad Hind Radio from Singapore, Bose addressed Mahatma Gandhi as the "Father of the Nation" and asked for his blessings and good wishes for the war he was fighting. This was the first time that Gandhi was referred to by this appellation.[71] The protracted Japanese attempts to take these two towns depleted Japanese resources, with Operation U-Go ultimately proving unsuccessful. Through several months of Japanese onslaught on these two towns, Commonwealth forces remained entrenched in the towns. Commonwealth forces then counter-attacked, inflicting serious losses on the Axis led forces, who were then forced into a retreat back into Burmese territory. After the Japanese defeat at the battles of Kohima and Imphal, Bose's Provisional Government's aim of establishing a base in mainland India was lost forever.

Still the INA fought in key battles against the British Indian Army in Burmese territory, notable in Meiktilla, Mandalay, Pegu, Nyangyu and Mount Popa. However, with the fall of Rangoon, Bose's government ceased to be an effective political entity.[citation needed] A large proportion of the INA troops surrendered under Lt Col Loganathan. The remaining troops retreated with Bose towards Malaya or made for Thailand. Japan's surrender at the end of the war also led to the surrender of the remaining elements of the Indian National Army. The INA prisoners were then repatriated to India and some tried for treason.

18 August 1945: Death

The last aeroplane journeys of Subhas Chandra Bose.

A memorial to Subhas Chandra Bose in the Renkōji Temple, Tokyo. Bose's ashes are stored in the temple in a golden pagoda.

In the consensus of scholarly opinion, Subhas Chandra Bose's death occurred from third-degree burns on 18 August 1945 after his overloaded Japanese plane crashed in Japanese-ruled Formosa (now Taiwan).[1][4] However, many among his supporters, especially in Bengal, refused at the time, and have refused since, to believe either the fact or the circumstances of his death.[1][25][26] Conspiracy theories appeared within hours of his death and have thereafter had a long shelf life,[1][z] keeping alive various martial myths about Bose.[2]

In Taihoku, at around 2:30 pm as the bomber with Bose on board was leaving the standard path taken by aircraft during take-off, the passengers inside heard a loud sound, similar to an engine backfiring.[72][73] The mechanics on the tarmac saw something fall out of the plane.[74] It was the portside engine, or a part of it, and the propeller.[74][72] The plane swung wildly to the right and plummeted, crashing, breaking into two, and exploding into flames.[74][72] Inside, the chief pilot, copilot and Lieutenant-General Tsunamasa Shidei, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Japanese Kwantung Army, who was to have made the negotiations for Bose with the Soviet army in Manchuria,[75] were instantly killed.[74][76] Bose's assistant Habibur Rahman was stunned, passing out briefly, and Bose, although conscious and not fatally hurt, was soaked in gasoline.[74] When Rahman came to, he and Bose attempted to leave by the rear door, but found it blocked by the luggage.[76] They then decided to run through the flames and exit from the front.[76] The ground staff, now approaching the plane, saw two people staggering towards them, one of whom had become a human torch.[74] The human torch turned out to be Bose, whose gasoline-soaked clothes had instantly ignited.[76] Rahman and a few others managed to smother the flames, but also noticed that Bose's face and head appeared badly burned.[76] According to Joyce Chapman Lebra, "A truck which served as ambulance rushed Bose and the other passengers to the Nanmon Military Hospital south of Taihoku."[74] The airport personnel called Dr. Taneyoshi Yoshimi, the surgeon-in-charge at the hospital at around 3 pm.[76] Bose was conscious and mostly coherent when they reached the hospital, and for some time thereafter.[77] Bose was naked, except for a blanket wrapped around him, and Dr. Yoshimi immediately saw evidence of third-degree burns on many parts of the body, especially on his chest, doubting very much that he would live.[77] Dr. Yoshimi promptly began to treat Bose and was assisted by Dr. Tsuruta.[77] According to historian Leonard A. Gordon, who interviewed all the hospital personnel later,

A disinfectant, Rivamol, was put over most of his body and then a white ointment was applied and he was bandaged over most of his body. Dr. Yoshimi gave Bose four injections of Vita Camphor and two of Digitamine for his weakened heart. These were given about every 30 minutes. Since his body had lost fluids quickly upon being burnt, he was also given Ringer solution intravenously. A third doctor, Dr. Ishii gave him a blood transfusion. An orderly, Kazuo Mitsui, an army private, was in the room and several nurses were also assisting. Bose still had a clear head which Dr. Yoshimi found remarkable for someone with such severe injuries.[78]

Soon, in spite of the treatment, Bose went into a coma.[78][74] A few hours later, between 9 and 10 PM (local time) on Saturday 18 August 1945, Bose died aged 48.[78][74]

Bose's body was cremated in the main Taihoku crematorium two days later, 20 August 1945.[79] On 23 August 1945, the Japanese news agency Do Trzei announced the death of Bose and Shidea.[74] On 7 September a Japanese officer, Lieutenant Tatsuo Hayashida, carried Bose's ashes to Tokyo, and the following morning they were handed to the president of the Tokyo Indian Independence League, Rama Murti.[80] On 14 September a memorial service was held for Bose in Tokyo and a few days later the ashes were turned over to the priest of the Renkōji Temple of Nichiren Buddhism in Tokyo.[81][82] There they have remained ever since.[82]

Among the INA personnel, there was widespread disbelief, shock, and trauma. Most affected were the young Tamil Indians from Malaya and Singapore, both men and women, who comprised the bulk of the civilians who had enlisted in the INA.[29] The professional soldiers in the INA, most of whom were Punjabis, faced an uncertain future, with many fatalistically expecting reprisals from the British.[29] In India the Indian National Congress's official line was succinctly expressed in a letter Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi wrote to Rajkumari Amrit Kaur.[29] Said Gandhi, "Subhas Bose has died well. He was undoubtedly a patriot, though misguided."[29] Many congressmen had not forgiven Bose for quarrelling with Gandhi and for collaborating with what they considered was Japanese fascism. The Indian soldiers in the British Indian army, some two and a half million of whom had fought during the Second World War, were conflicted about the INA. Some saw the INA as traitors and wanted them punished; others felt more sympathetic. The British Raj, though never seriously threatened by the INA, tried 300 INA officers for treason in the INA trials, but eventually backtracked.[29]


Bose was featured on the stamps in India from 1964, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2016 and 2018.[83] Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport at Kolkata, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island, formerly Ross Island and many other institutions in India are named after him. On 23 August 2007, Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzō Abe visited the Subhas Chandra Bose memorial hall in Kolkata.[84][85] Abe said to Bose's family "The Japanese are deeply moved by Bose's strong will to have led the Indian independence movement from British rule. Netaji is a much respected name in Japan.[84][85]

The following words are inscribed on a brass shield in front of the chair.

"Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in order to free India from the shackles of British imperialism organized the Azad Hind Government from outside the country on October 21, 1943. Netaji set up the Provisional Government of Independent India (Azad Hind) and transferred its headquarter at Rangoon on January 7, 1944. On the 5th April, 1944, the "Azad Hind Bank" was inaugurated at Rangoon. It was on this occasion that Netaji used this chair for the first time. Later the chair was kept at the residence of Netaji at 51, University Avenue, Rangoon, where the office of the Azad Hind Government was also housed. Afterwards, at the time of leaving Burma, the Britishers handed over the chair to the family of Mr. A.T. Ahuja, the well known business man of Rangoon. The chair was officially handed over to the Government of India in January 1979. It was brought to Calcutta on the 17th July, 1980. It has now been ceremonially installed at the Red Fort on July 7, 1981."

Bose on a 1964 stamp of India

Bose on a 1964 stamp of India
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Bose advocated complete unconditional independence for India, whereas the All-India Congress Committee wanted it in phases, through Dominion status. Finally at the historic Lahore Congress convention, the Congress adopted Purna Swaraj (complete independence) as its motto. Gandhi was given rousing receptions wherever he went after Gandhi-Irwin pact. Subhas Chandra Bose, travelling with Gandhi in these endeavours, later wrote that the great enthusiasm he saw among the people enthused him tremendously and that he doubted if any other leader anywhere in the world received such a reception as Gandhi did during these travels across the country. He was imprisoned and expelled from India. Defying the ban, he came back to India and was imprisoned again.[citation needed]

Bose was elected president of the Indian National Congress for two consecutive terms, but had to resign from the post following ideological conflicts with Mohandas K. Gandhi and after openly attacking the Congress' foreign and internal policies. Bose believed that Gandhi's tactics of non-violence would never be sufficient to secure India's independence, and advocated violent resistance. He established a separate political party, the All India Forward Bloc and continued to call for the full and immediate independence of India from British rule. He was imprisoned by the British authorities eleven times.

His stance did not change with the outbreak of the Second World War, which he saw as an opportunity to take advantage of British weakness. At the outset of the war, he left India, travelling to the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, seeking an alliance with each of them to attack the British government in India. With Imperial Japanese assistance, he re-organised and later led the Azad Hind Fauj or Indian National Army (INA), formed with Indian prisoners-of-war and plantation workers from British Malaya, Singapore, and other parts of Southeast Asia, against British forces. With Japanese monetary, political, diplomatic and military assistance, he formed the Azad Hind Government in exile, and regrouped and led the Indian National Army in failed military campaigns against the allies at Imphal and in Burma.

His political views and the alliances he made with Nazi and other militarist regimes at war with Britain have been the cause of arguments among historians and politicians, with some accusing him of fascist sympathies, while others in India have been more sympathetic towards the realpolitik that guided his social and political choices.

Subhas Chandra Bose believed that the Bhagavad Gita was a great source of inspiration for the struggle against the British.[86] Swami Vivekananda's teachings on universalism, his nationalist thoughts and his emphasis on social service and reform had all inspired Subhas Chandra Bose from his very young days. The fresh interpretation of the India's ancient scriptures had appealed immensely to him.[87] Many scholars believe that Hindu spirituality formed the essential part of his political and social thought throughout his adult life, although there was no sense of bigotry or orthodoxy in it.[88] Subhas who called himself a socialist, believed that socialism in India owed its origins to Swami Vivekananda.[89] As historian Leonard Gordon explains "Inner religious explorations continued to be a part of his adult life. This set him apart from the slowly growing number of atheistic socialists and communists who dotted the Indian landscape.".[90]

Bose first expressed his preference for "a synthesis of what modern Europe calls socialism and fascism" in a 1930 speech in Calcutta.[91] Bose later criticized Nehru's 1933 statement that there is "no middle road" between communism and fascism, describing it as "fundamentally wrong." Bose believed communism would not gain ground in India due to its rejection of nationalism and religion and suggested a "synthesis between communism and fascism" could take hold instead.[92] In 1944, Bose similarly stated, "Our philosophy should be a synthesis between National Socialism and communism."[93]

Bose's correspondence (prior to 1939) reflects his deep disapproval of the racist practices of, and annulment of democratic institutions in Nazi Germany: "Today I regret that I have to return to India with the conviction that the new nationalism of Germany is not only narrow and selfish but arrogant."[94] However, he expressed admiration for the authoritarian methods (though not the racial ideologies) which he saw in Italy and Germany during the 1930s, and thought they could be used in building an independent India.[51]

Bose had clearly expressed his belief that democracy was the best option for India.[95] The pro-Bose thinkers believe that his authoritarian control of the Azad Hind was based on political pragmatism and a post-colonial doctrine rather than any anti-democratic belief.[citation needed] However, during the war (and possibly as early as the 1930s), Bose seems to have decided that no democratic system could be adequate to overcome India's poverty and social inequalities, and he wrote that a socialist state similar to that of Soviet Russia (which he had also seen and admired) would be needed for the process of national re-building.[aa][96] Accordingly, some suggest that Bose's alliance with the Axis during the war was based on more than just pragmatism, and that Bose was a militant nationalist, though not a Nazi nor a Fascist, for he supported empowerment of women, secularism and other liberal ideas; alternatively, others consider he might have been using populist methods of mobilisation common to many post-colonial leaders.[51]

His most famous quote was "Give me blood and I will give you freedom".[97] Another famous quote was Dilli Chalo ("On to Delhi)!" This was the call he used to give the INA armies to motivate them. Jai Hind, or, "Glory to India!" was another slogan used by him and later adopted by the Government of India and the Indian Armed Forces. Another slogan coined by him was "Ittehad, Etemad, Qurbani" (Urdu for "Unity, Agreement, Sacrifice"). INA also used the slogan Inquilab Zindabad, which was coined by Maulana Hasrat Mohani.[98]

In popular media

• In 2004, Shyam Benegal directed the biographical film, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero depicting his life in Nazi Germany (1941–1943), in Japanese-occupied Asia (1943–1945) and the events leading to the formation of Azad Hind Fauj.[99]The film received critical acclaim at the BFI London Film Festival, and has garnered the National Film Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration, and the National Film Award for Best Production Design for that year.[100][101]
• In 2017, ALTBalaji and BIG Synergy Media, released a 9-episode web series, Bose: Dead/Alive, which is a dramatised version of the book India's Biggest Cover-up written by Anuj Dhar, which starred Bollywood actor Rajkummar Rao as Subhas Chandra Bose and Anna Ador as Emilie Schenkl. The series was praised by both audience and critics, for its plot, performance and production design.[102]

See also

• The Indian Struggle
• Indian Independence Movement
• Indian National Army



1. ^ "If all else failed (Bose) wanted to become a prisoner of the Soviets: 'They are the only ones who will resist the British. My fate is with them. But as the Japanese plane took off from Taipei airport its engines faltered and then failed. Bose was badly burned in the crash. According to several witnesses, he died on 18 August in a Japanese military hospital, talking to the very last of India's freedom. British and Indian commissions later established convincingly that Bose had died in Taiwan. These were legendary and apocalyptic times, however. Having witnessed the first Indian leader to fight against the British since the great mutiny of 1857, many in both Southeast Asia and India refused to accept the loss of their hero. Rumours that Bose had survived and was waiting to come out of hiding and begin the final struggle for independence were rampant by the end of 1945.[1]
2. ^ "His romantic saga, coupled with his defiant nationalism, has made Bose a near-mythic figure, not only in his native Bengal, but across India."[2]
3. ^ "Bose's heroic endeavor still fires the imagination of many of his countrymen. But like a meteor which enters the earth's atmosphere, he burned brightly on the horizon for a brief moment only."[3]
4. ^ "Subhas Bose might have been a renegade leader who had challenged the authority of the Congress leadership and their principles. But in death he was a martyred patriot whose memory could be an ideal tool for political mobilization."[4]
5. ^ "The most troubling aspect of Bose's presence in Nazi Germany is not military or political but rather ethical. His alliance with the most genocidal regime in history poses serious dilemmas precisely because of his popularity and his having made a lifelong career of fighting the 'good cause'. How did a man who started his political career at the feet of Gandhi end up with Hitler, Mussolini, and Tojo? Even in the case of Mussolini and Tojo, the gravity of the dilemma pales in comparison to that posed by his association with Hitler and the Nazi leadership. The most disturbing issue, all too often ignored, is that in the many articles, minutes, memorandums, telegrams, letters, plans, and broadcasts Bose left behind in Germany, he did not express the slightest concern or sympathy for the millions who died in the concentration camps. Not one of his Berlin wartime associates or colleagues ever quotes him expressing any indignation. Not even when the horrors of Auschwitz and its satellite camps were exposed to the world upon being liberated by Soviet troops in early 1945, revealing publicly for the first time the genocidal nature of the Nazi regime, did Bose react."[5]
6. ^ "To many (Congress leaders), Bose's programme resembled that of the Japanese fascists, who were in the process of losing their gamble to achieve Asian ascendancy through war. Nevertheless, the success of his soldiers in Burma had stirred as much patriotic sentiment among Indians as the sacrifices of imprisoned Congress leaders.[6]
7. ^ "Marginalized within Congress and a target for British surveillance, Bose chose to embrace the fascist powers as allies against the British and fled India, first to Hitler's Germany, then, on a German submarine, to a Japanese-occupied Singapore. The force that he put together ... known as the Indian National Army (INA) and thus claiming to represent free India, saw action against the British in Burma but accomplished little toward the goal of a march on Delhi. ... Bose himself died in an aeroplane crash trying to reach Japanese-occupied territory in the last months of the war. ... It is this heroic, martial myth that is today remembered, rather than Bose's wartime vision of a free India under the authoritarian rule of someone like himself."[2]
8. ^ "Another small, but immediate, issue for the civilians in Berlin and the soldiers in training was how to address Subhas Bose. Vyas has given his view of how the term was adopted: 'one of our [soldier] boys came forward with "Hamare Neta". We improved upon it: "Netaji"... It must be mentioned, that Subhas Bose strongly disapproved of it. He began to yield only when he saw our military group ... firmly went on calling him "Netaji"' (Alexander) Werth also mentioned adoption of 'Netaji' and observed accurately, that it '... combined a sense both of affection and honour ...' It was not meant to echo 'Fuehrer' or 'Duce', but to give Subhas Bose a special Indian form of reverence and this term has been universally adopted by Indians everywhere in speaking about him."[7]
9. ^ "Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas Bose were among those who, impatient with Gandhi's programmes and methods, looked upon socialism as an alternative for nationalistic policies capable of meeting the country's economic and social needs, as well as a link to potential international support."[8]
10. ^ "Although we must take Emilie Schenkl at her word (about her secret marriage to Bose in 1937), there are a few nagging doubts about an actual marriage ceremony because there is no document that I have seen and no testimony by any other person. ... Other biographers have written that Bose and Miss Schenkl were married in 1942, while Krishna Bose, implying 1941, leaves the date ambiguous. The strangest and most confusing testimony comes from A. C. N. Nambiar, who was with the couple in Badgastein briefly in 1937, and was with them in Berlin during the war as second-in-command to Bose. In an answer to my question about the marriage, he wrote to me in 1978: 'I cannot state anything definite about the marriage of Bose referred to by you, since I came to know of it only a good while after the end of the last world war ... I can imagine the marriage having been a very informal one ...'... So what are we left with? ... We know they had a close passionate relationship and that they had a child, Anita, born November 29, 1942, in Vienna. ... And we have Emilie Schenkl's testimony that they were married secretly in 1937. Whatever the precise dates, the most important thing is the relationship."[17]
11. ^ "Tojo turned over all his Indian POWs to Bose's command, and in October 1943 Bose announced the creation of a Provisional Government of Azad ("Free") India, of which he became head of state, prime minister, minister of war, and minister of foreign affairs. Some two million Indians were living in Southeast Asia when the Japanese seized control of that region, and these emigrees were the first "citizens" of that government, founded under the "protection" of Japan and headquartered on the "liberated" Andaman Islands. Bose declared war on the United States and Great Britain the day after his government was established. In January 1944 he moved his provisional capital to Rangoon and started his Indian National Army on their march north to the battle cry of the Meerut mutineers: "Chalo Delhi!"[21]
12. ^ "At the same time that the Japanese appreciated the firmness with which Bose's forces continued to fight, they were endlessly exasperated with him. A number of Japanese officers, even those like Fujiwara, who were devoted to the Indian cause, saw Bose as a military incompetent as well as an unrealistic and stubborn man who saw only his own needs and problems and could not see the larger picture of the war as the Japanese had to."[22]
13. ^ "Gracey consoled himself that Bose's Indian National Army had also been in action against his Indians and Gurkhas but had been roughly treated and almost annihilated; when the survivors tried to surrender, they tended to fall foul of the Gurkhas' dreaded kukri."[23]
14. ^ "The good news Wavell reported was that the RAF had just recently flown enough of its planes into Manipur's capital of Imphal to smash Netaji ("Leader") Subhas Chandra Bose's Indian National Army (INA) that had advanced to its outskirts before the monsoon began. Bose's INA consisted of about 20,000 of the British Indian soldiers captured by the Japanese in Singapore, who had volunteered to serve under Netaji Bose when he offered them "Freedom" if they were willing to risk their "Blood" to gain Indian independence a year earlier. The British considered Bose and his "army of traitors" no better than their Japanese sponsors, but to most of Bengal's 50 million Indians, Bose was a great national hero and potential "Liberator." The INA was stopped before entering Bengal, first by monsoon rains and then by the RAF, and forced to retreat, back through Burma and down its coast to the Malay peninsula. In May 1945, Bose would fly out of Saigon on an overloaded Japanese plane, headed for Taiwan, which crash-landed and burned. Bose suffered third-degree burns and died in the hospital on Formosa."[24]
15. ^ "The retreat was even more devastating, finally ending the dream of gaining Indian independence through military campaign. But Bose still remained optimistic, thought of regrouping after the Japanese surrender, contemplated seeking help from Soviet Russia. The Japanese agreed to provide him transport up to Manchuria from where he could travel to Russia. But on his way, on 18 August 1945 at Taihoku airport in Taiwan, he died in an air crash, which many Indians still believe never happened."[4]
16. ^ "There are still some in India today who believe that Bose remained alive and in Soviet custody, a once and future king of Indian independence. The legend of 'Netaii' Bose's survival helped bind together the defeated INA. In Bengal it became an assurance of the province's supreme importance in the liberation of the motherland. It sustained the morale of many across India and Southeast Asia who deplored the return of British power or felt alienated from the political settlement finally achieved by Gandhi and Nehru.[25]
17. ^ "On 21 March 1944, Subhas Bose and advanced units of the INA crossed the borders of India, entering Manipur, and by May they had advanced to the outskirts of that state's capital, Imphal. That was the closest Bose came to Bengal, where millions of his devoted followers awaited his army's "liberation." The British garrison at Imphal and its air arm withstood Bose's much larger force long enough for the monsoon rains to defer all possibility of warfare in that jungle region for the three months the British so desperately needed to strengthen their eastern wing. Bose had promised his men freedom in exchange for their blood, but the tide of battle turned against them after the 1944 rains, and in May 1945 the INA surrendered in Rangoon. Bose escaped on the last Japanese plane to leave Saigon, but he died in Formosa after a crash landing there in August. By that time, however, his death had been falsely reported so many times that a myth soon emerged in Bengal that Netaji Subhas Chandra was alive—raising another army in China or Tibet or the Soviet Union—and would return with it to "liberate" India.[26]
18. ^ "Subhas Bose was dead, killed in 1945 in a plane crash in the Far East, even though many of his devotees waited—as Barbarossa's disciples had done in another time and in another country—for their hero's second coming."[27]
19. ^ "The thrust of Sarkar's thought, like that of Chittaranjan Das and Subhas Bose, was to challenge the idea that 'the average Indian is indifferent to life', as R. K. Kumaria put it. India once possessed an energised, Machiavellian political culture. All it needed was a hero (rather than a Gandhi-style saint) to revive the culture and steer India to life and freedom through violent contentions of world forces (vishwa shakti) represented in imperialism, fascism and socialism."[28]
20. ^ "The (Japanese) Fifteenth Army, commanded by ... Maj.-General Mutuguchi Renya consisted of three experienced infantry divisions — 15th, 31st and 33rd — totalling 100,000 combat troops, with the 7,000 strong 1st Indian National Army (INA) Division in support. It was hoped the latter would subvert the Indian Army's loyalty and precipitate a popular rising in British India, but in reality the campaign revealed that it was largely a paper tiger."[30]
21. ^ "The real fault, however, must attach to the Japanese commander-in-chief Kawabe. Dithering, ... prostrated with amoebic dysentery, he periodically reasoned that he must cancel Operation U-Go in its entirety, but every time he summoned the courage to do so, a cable would arrive from Tokyo stressing the paramount necessity of victory in Burma, to compensate for the disasters in the Pacific. ... Even more incredibly, he still hoped for great things from Bose and the INA, despite all the evidence that both were busted flushes."[31]
22. ^ "The claim is even made that without the Japanese-influenced 'Indian National Army' under Subhas Chandra Bose, India would not have achieved independence in 1947; though those who make claim seem unaware of the mood of the British people in 1945 and of the attitude of the newly-elected Labour government to the Indian question."[32]
23. ^ "Janakinath was a lawyer of a Kayastha family and was wealthy enough to educate his children well.He recalls being laughed at by his fellow studentsbecause he knew so little Bengali. At the age of fifteen, he first read the works of Swami Vivekananda and found a goal for his life-spiritual salvation foroneself and service to humanity.[33]
24. ^ "On November 4, 1937, Subhas sent a letter to Emilie in German, saying that he would probably travel to Europe in the middle of November. "Please write to Kurhaus Hochland, Badgastein," he instructed her, "and enquire if I (and you also) can stay there" He asked her to mention this message only to her parents, not to reply, and wait for his next airmail letter or telegram. On November 16, he sent a cable: "Starting aeroplane arriving Badgastein twenty second arrange lodging and meet me. ... He spent a month and a half—from November 22, 1937, to January 8, 1938—with Emilie at his favourite resort of Badgastein."[45]
25. ^ "On December 26, 1937, Subhas Chandra Bose secretly married Emilie Schenkl. Despite the obvious anguish, they chose to keep their relationship and marriage a closely guarded secret."[46]
26. ^ "Rumours that Bose had survived and was waiting to come out of hiding and begin the final struggle for independence were rampant by the end of 1945."[1]
27. ^ "The Fundamental Problems of India" (An address to the Faculty and students of Tokyo University, November 1944): "You cannot have a so-called democratic system, if that system has to put through economic reforms on a socialistic basis. Therefore we must have a political system – a State – of an authoritarian character. We have had some experience of democratic institutions in India and we have also studied the working of democratic institutions in countries like France, England and United States of America. And we have come to the conclusion that with a democratic system we cannot solve the problems of Free India. Therefore, modern progressive thought in India is in favour of a State of an authoritarian character"[96]


1. ^ :a b c d e f Bayly & Harper 2007, p. 2.
2. ^ :a b c d e f Metcalf & Metcalf 2012, p. 210.
3. ^ :a b Kulke & Rothermund 2004, p. 311.
4. ^ :a b c d e Bandyopādhyāẏa 2004, p. 427.
5. ^ :a b Hayes 2011, p. 165.
6. ^ :a b Stein 2010, pp. 345.
7. ^ :a b Gordon 1990, pp. 459–460.
8. ^ :a b Stein 2010, pp. 305,325.
9. ^ Low 2002, p. 297.
10. ^ Low 2002, p. 313.
11. ^ :a b Hayes 2011, pp. 65–67.
12. ^ Hayes 2011, p. 152.
13. ^ Hayes 2011, p. 76.
14. ^ Hayes 2011, pp. 87–88.
15. ^ Hayes 2011, pp. 114–116.
16. ^ :a b Hayes 2011, p. 15.
17. ^ :a b Gordon 1990, pp. 344–345.
18. ^ :a b Hayes 2011, pp. 141–143.
19. ^ Bose 2005, p. 255.
20. ^ :a b Low 1993, pp. 31–31.
21. ^ :a b Wolpert 2000, p. 339.
22. ^ :a b Gordon 1990, p. 517.
23. ^ :a b McLynn 2011, pp. 295–296.
24. ^ :a b Wolpert 2009, p. 69.
25. ^ :a b c Bayly & Harper 2007, p. 22.
26. ^ :a b c Wolpert 2000, pp. 339–340.
27. ^ :a b Chatterji 2007, p. 278.
28. ^ :a b Bayly 2012, p. 283.
29. ^ :a b c d e f g Bayly & Harper 2007, p. 21.
30. ^ :a b Moreman 2013, pp. 124–125.
31. ^ :a b McLynn 2011, p. 429.
32. ^ :a b Allen 2012, p. 179.
33. ^ :a b c d e f g Lebra 2008a, pp. 102—103.
34. ^ Getz 2002, p. 7.
35. ^ Jesudasen 2006, p. 57.
36. ^ Patil 1988.
37. ^ Mercado 2002, p. 73.
38. ^ Vas 2008, p. 27.
39. ^ Toye 2007.
40. ^ Chakraborty & Bhaṭṭācārya 1989.
41. ^ Vas 2008, p. 32.
42. ^ :a b Vipul 2009, p. 116.
43. ^ :a b c Gordon 1990, p. 190.
44. ^ Bose & Bose 1997.
45. ^ Bose 2011, p. 127.
46. ^ Bose 2011, pp. 129–130.
47. ^ Josh 1992.
48. ^ Chattopadhyay 1989.
49. ^ Phadnis 2009, p. 185.
50. ^ Padhy 2011, p. 234.
51. ^ :a b c Sen 1999.
52. ^ Durga Das Pvt. Ltd 1985.
53. ^ Loiwal 2017a.
54. ^ Loiwal 2017b.
55. ^ :a b c d e Talwar 1976.
56. ^ :a b c d e Markandeya 1990.
57. ^ James 1997, p. 554.
58. ^ :a b c Thomson 2004.
59. ^ Majumdar 1997, pp. 10–14.
60. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica 2016.
61. ^ Hauner 1981, pp. 28–29.
62. ^ Ramakrishnan 2001.
63. ^ Bhattacharjee 2012.
64. ^ Fay 1995, pp. 74–75.
65. ^ Lebra 2008a, pp. 21–23.
66. ^ Lebra 2008a, pp. 24–25.
67. ^ Bose 2002.
68. ^ Tarique.
69. ^ Singh, p. 249.
70. ^ Bayly & Harper 2007, p. 325.
71. ^ "Father of Our Nation" (Address to Mahatma Gandhi over the Rangoon Radio on 6 July 1944) Bose & Bose 1997a, pp. 301–2
72. ^ :a b c Gordon 1990, p. 540.
73. ^ Fay 1995, p. 384.
74. ^ :a b c d e f g h i j Lebra 2008a, pp. 196–197.
75. ^ Lebra 2008a, pp. 195–196.
76. ^ :a b c d e f Gordon 1990, p. 541.
77. ^ :a b c Gordon 1990, pp. 541–542.
78. ^ :a b c Gordon 1990, p. 542.
79. ^ Gordon 1990, p. 543.
80. ^ Gordon 1990, p. 544–545.
81. ^ Lebra 2008a, pp. 197–198.
82. ^ :a b Gordon 1990, p. 545.
83. ^ Media related to Subhas Chandra Bose on stamps at Wikimedia Commons
84. ^ :a b Roche 2007.
85. ^ :a b The Hindu 2007.
86. ^ Narangoa & Cribb 2003.
87. ^ Bose et al. 1996.
88. ^ Chaudhuri 1987.
89. ^ Bhuyan 2003.
90. ^ Gordon 1990.
91. ^ Pasricha 2008, pp. 64–65.
92. ^ Bose 2011, p. 98.
93. ^ Shanker Kapoor 2017.
94. ^ Bose to Dr. Thierfelder of the Deutsche Academie, Kurhaus Hochland, Badgastein, 25 March 1936 Bose & Bose 1997a, p. 155
95. ^ Roy 2004, pp. 7–8.
96. ^ :a b Bose & Bose 1997a, pp. 319–20.
97. ^ Kumar 2010b.
98. ^ Roy 1996, pp. 51ff.
99. ^ Salam 2005.
100. ^ Pandohar 2005.
101. ^ The Guardian 2005.
102. ^ Gauri 2017.


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Further reading
• Aldrich, Richard J. (2000), Intelligence and the War Against Japan: Britain, America and the Politics of Secret Service, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-64186-9
• Bayly, Christopher; Harper, Timothy (2005), Forgotten Armies: The Fall of British Asia, 1941–1945, Harvard University Press, ISBN 978-0-674-01748-1
• Brown, Judith Margaret (1994), Modern India: the origins of an Asian democracy, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-873112-2
• Chauhan, Abnish Singh (2006), Speeches of Swami Vivekananda and Subhash Chandra Bose: A Comparative Study, Prakash Book Depot, ISBN 9788179771495
• Copland, Ian (2001), India, 1885–1947: the unmaking of an empire, Longman, ISBN 978-0-582-38173-5
• Gordon, Leonard A. (2006), "Legend and Legacy: Subhas Chandra Bose", India International Centre Quarterly, 33 (1): 103–12, JSTOR 23005940
• Lebra, Joyce Chapman (2008b), Women Against the Raj: The Rani of Jhansi Regiment, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, ISBN 978-981-230-809-2
• Marston, Daniel (2014), The Indian Army and the End of the Raj, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-89975-8
• Pelinka, Anton (2003), Democracy Indian Style: Subhas Chandra Bose and the Creation of India's Political Culture, Transaction Publishers, ISBN 978-1-4128-2154-4
• Talbot, Ian (2016), A History of Modern South Asia: Politics, States, Diasporas, Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0-300-19694-8

External links

Subhas Chandra Boseat Wikipedia's sister projects
• Media from Wikimedia Commons
• Quotations from Wikiquote
• Texts from Wikisource
• Data from Wikidata
• Netaji Research Bureau
• Declassified papers at the National Archives of India
• Subhas Chandra Bose family Tree
• Works by or about Subhas Chandra Bose at Internet Archive
• Subhas Chandra Bose on IMDb
• Newspaper clippings about Subhas Chandra Bose in the 20th Century Press Archivesof the German National Library of Economics (ZBW)
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:19 am

Emilie Schenkl
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/25/19



Emilie Schenkl
Emilie Schenkl with Subhas Chandra Bose
Born: Emilie Schenkl, 26 December 1910, Vienna, Austria-Hungary
Died: 13 March 1996 (aged 85), Vienna, Austria
Nationality: Austro-Hungarian (1910–18); Austro-German (1918–19); Austrian (1919–96)
Occupation: Stenographer
Spouse(s): Subhas Chandra Bose (1937–1945; his death)
Children: Anita Bose Pfaff (b. 1942)

Emilie Schenkl (26 December 1910 – 13 March 1996) was the wife[1] (or companion)[2][a] of Subhas Chandra Bose—a major leader of Indian nationalism—and the mother of their daughter, Anita Bose Pfaff (born 29 November 1942).[1][3] Schenkl, an Austrian, and her baby daughter were left without support in wartime Europe by Bose, following his departure for Southeast Asia in February 1943 and death in 1945.[4] In 1948, both were met by Bose's brother Sarat Chandra Bose and his family in Vienna in an emotional meeting.[5] In the post-war years, Schenkl worked shifts in the trunk exchange and was the main breadwinner of her family, which included her daughter and her mother. [6]

Early life

Emilie Schenkl was born in Vienna on 26 December 1910 in an Austrian Catholic family.[7] Paternal granddaughter of a shoemaker and the daughter of a veterinarian, she started primary school late—towards the end of the Great war—on account of her father's reluctance for her to have formal schooling.[7] Her father, moreover, became unhappy with her progress in secondary school and enrolled her in a nunnery for four years.[7] Schenkl decided against becoming a nun and went back to school, finishing when she was 20.[7] The Great Depression had begun in Europe; consequently, for a few years she was unemployed.[7]

She was introduced to Bose through a mutual friend, Dr. Mathur, an Indian physician living in Vienna.[7] Since Schenkl could take shorthand and her English and typing skills were good, she was hired by Bose, who was writing his book, The Indian Struggle.[7] They soon fell in love and were married in a secret Hindu ceremony in 1937,[1][2] but without a Hindu priest, witnesses, or civil record. Bose went back to India and reappeared in Nazi Germany during April 1941–February 1943.

Berlin during the war

Soon, according to historian Romain Hayes, "the (German) Foreign Office procured a luxurious residence for (Bose) along with a butler, cook, gardener, and an SS-chauffeured car. Emilie Schenkl moved in openly with him. The Germans, aware of the nature of the relationship, refrained from any involvement."[3] However, most of the staff in the Special Bureau for India, which had been set up to aid Bose, did not get along with Emilie.[8] In particular Adam von Trott, Alexander Werth and Freda Kretschemer, according to historian Leonard A. Gordon, "appear to have disliked her intensely. They believed that she and Bose were not married and that she was using her liaison with Bose to live an especially comfortable life during the hard times of war" and that differences were compounded by issues of class.[8] In November 1942, Schenkl gave birth to their daughter. In February 1943, Bose left Schenkl and their baby daughter and boarded a German submarine to travel, via transfer to a Japanese submarine, to Japanese-occupied southeast Asia, where with Japanese support he formed a Provisional Government of Free India and revamped an army, the Indian National Army, whose goal was to gain India's independence militarily with Japanese help. Bose's military effort, however, was unsuccessful.[9]

Later life

Schenkl and her daughter survived the war.[4][10] During their nine years of marriage, Schenkl and Bose spent less than three years together, putting strains on Schenkl.[6] In the post-war years, Schenkl worked shifts in the trunk exchange and was the main breadwinner of her family, which included her daughter and her mother.[6] Although some family members from Bose's extended family, including his brother Sarat Chandra Bose, welcomed Schenkl and her daughter and met with her in Austria, Schenkl never visited India. According to her daughter, Schenkl was a very private woman and tight-lipped about her relationship with Bose.[6] Schenkl died in 1996.


1. Gordon comments: "Although we must take Emilie Schenkl at her word (about her secret marriage to Bose in 1937), there are a few nagging doubts about an actual marriage ceremony because there is no document that I have seen and no testimony by any other person. ... Other biographers have written that Bose and Miss Schenkl were married in 1942, while Krishna Bose, implying 1941, leaves the date ambiguous. The strangest and most confusing testimony comes from A. C. N. Nambiar, who was with the couple in Badgastein briefly in 1937, and was with them in Berlin during the war as second-in-command to Bose. In an answer to my question about the marriage, he wrote to me in 1978: 'I cannot state anything definite about the marriage of Bose referred to by you, since I came to know of it only a good while after the end of the last world war ... I can imagine the marriage having been a very informal one ...' ... So what are we left with? ... We know they had a close passionate relationship and that they had a child, Anita, born 29 November 1942, in Vienna. ... And we have Emilie Schenkl's testimony that they were married secretly in 1937. Whatever the precise dates, the most important thing is the relationship."[2]


1. Hayes 2011, p. 15.
2. Gordon 1990, pp. 344–345.
3. Hayes 2011, p. 67.
4. Bose 2005, p. 255.
5. Gordon 1990, p. 595–596.
6. Santhanam 2001.
7. Gordon 1990, p. 285.
8. Gordon 1990, p. 446.
9. Gordon 1990, p. 543.
10. Hayes 2011, p. 144.


• Bose, Sarmila (2005), "Love in the Time of War: Subhas Chandra Bose's Journeys to Nazi Germany (1941) and towards the Soviet Union (1945)", Economic and Political Weekly, 40 (3): 249–256, JSTOR 4416082
• Bose, Sugata (2011), His Majesty's Opponent: Subhas Chandra Bose and India's Struggle against Empire, Harvard University Press, ISBN 978-0-674-04754-9, retrieved 22 September 2013
• Gordon, Leonard A. (1990), Brothers against the Raj: a biography of Indian nationalists Sarat and Subhas Chandra Bose, Columbia University Press, ISBN 978-0-231-07442-1, retrieved 17 November 2013
• Hayes, Romain (2011), Subhas Chandra Bose in Nazi Germany: Politics, Intelligence and Propaganda 1941-1943, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-932739-3, retrieved 22 September 2013
• Pelinka, Anton (2003), Democracy Indian Style: Subhas Chandra Bose and the Creation of India's Political Culture, Transaction Publishers, ISBN 978-1-4128-2154-4, retrieved 17 November 2013
• Santhanam, Kausalya (1 March 2001), Wearing the mantle with grace, The Hindu, retrieved 31 December 2013
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