An Indian Pilgrim: An Unfinished Autobiography
Sisir K. Bose and Sugata Bose
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
Territorial Rights
Orient BlackSwan

Subhas Chandra Bose’s ‘discovery of India’, unlike Jawaharlal Nehru’s, occurred very early in life, when he was barely in his teens. ‘How many selfless sons of the Mother are prepared, in this selfish age,’ the fifteen-year-old Subhas asked his mother in 1912, ‘to completely give up their personal interests and take the plunge for the Mother? Mother, is this son of yours yet ready?’ 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: ‘Only on the soil of sacrifice and suffering can we raise our national edifice.’

In December 1937 Bose wrote ten chapters of his autobiography, providing a narrative of his life until 1921 and a reflective chapter entitled ‘My Faith-Philosophical’. The autobiography is complemented with a fascinating collection of seventy letters of Bose’s childhood, adolescence and youth. It is not often that remembrances written later in life can be read together with primary source materials of the earlier, formative phases.

This volume thus supplies the material with which to study the influences – religious, cultural, moral, intellectual and political – that moulded the character and personality of the revolutionary leader of India’s freedom struggle.

Sisir Kumar Bose (1920–2000) founded the Netaji Research Bureau in 1957 and was its guiding spirit until his death in 2000. A participant in the Indian freedom struggle, he was imprisoned by the British in the Lahore Fort, Red Fort and Lyallpur Jail. A renowned paediatrician in the post-independence period, he played a key role in preserving the best traditions of the anti-colonial movement and making possible the writing of its history.

Sugata Bose is the Gardiner Professor of History at Harvard University. His books include A Hundred Horizons: The Indian Ocean in the Age of Global Empire and His Majesty’s Opponent: Subhas Chandra Bose and India’s Struggle against Empire

Preface to the 2022 Edition of An Indian Pilgrim
Editors’ Introduction

Part I: An Indian Pilgrim
Chapter I: Birth, Parentage and Early Environment
Chapter II: Family History
Chapter III: Before My Time
Chapter IV: At School (1)
Chapter V: At School (2)
Chapter VI: Presidency College (1)
Chapter VII: Presidency College (2)
Chapter VIII: My Studies Resumed
Chapter IX: At Cambridge
Chapter X: My Faith (Philosophical)

Part II: LETTERS 1912–1921
Letter(s)     1–9 to Prabhabati Bose
10–13     Sarat Chandra Bose
14–44     Hemanta Kumar Sarkar
45     Bholanath Roy
46     Hemanta Kumar Sarkar
47     Bholanath Roy
48     Hemanta Kumar Sarkar
49     Jogendra Narayan Mitra
50–51     Hemanta Kumar Sarkar
52     Jogendra Narayan Mitra
53–58     Hemanta Kumar Sarkar
59     Charu Chandra Ganguly
60     Sarat Chandra Bose
61–62     Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das
63–66     Sarat Chandra Bose
67     E. S. Montagu
68     Charu Chandra Ganguly
69–70     Sarat Chandra Bose

Appendix 1: Genealogical Tree of the Boses of Mahinagar
Appendix 2: Genealogical Tree of the Dutts of Hatkhola
Appendix 3: Janaki Nath Bose: A Brief Life Sketch
Appendix 4: Purandar Khan and Mahinagar Samaj
Appendix 5: Discipline in Presidency College
Appendix 6: The Presidency College Trouble: A True Version
Appendix 7: Subhas Chandra Bose (A Poem by Oaten)
Appendix 8: Scottish Church College Philosophical Society

References and Glossary

Frontispiece: Netaji in Badgastein, Austria, in 1937 when he wrote An Indian Pilgrim
1. Mother Prabhabati
2. Father Janakinath
3. Family photograph at Cuttack—Netaji then a schoolboy, standing on extreme right
4. A page from a letter to his mother (1912)
5. As a High School Student
6. A page from a letter to brother Sarat Chandra then in England (1913)
7. The University Unit of India Defence Force (1917), Netaji standing second from right
8. As a student in England (1920)
9. Letter of resignation from the Indian Civil Service

Release Date : 23-Aug-2022 Venue : India International Centre, New Delhi
Book Review | Published in The Statesman, New Delhi, 27 February 2023.
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