Fall Indeed. From then the rise of Subhas Chandra Bose began and fall of Gandhi began. Brand Gandhi fell and fell to such an extent that even his intimate followers refused to listen to him post 1945 and followed their own paths. British stopped taking him seriously and he had nothing left when he rued in a personal conversation by hearing the news of partition, “If only I had my other son today beside me”, implying Subhas whom he wronged. By then Subhas Chandra Bose as Netaji had become a legend, a matter of pride and rallying point of entire India and a name by whose magnetic attraction even British Indian Army soldiers were ready for a mutiny, that led to a hasty retreat of the Imperialist forces from Indian soil, leaving behind their stooges to handle the situation. You can read the digitized version of Subhas’s life at this point from Sacrifice - Price of Freedom | netajisubhasbose onwards
As stated by Dr. R.C Majumdar - He (Gandhi) placed the cult of non violence above everything else—even above the independence of India." He goes on, "As a matter of fact Gandhi realized, late in life, that a wide gulf had always separated him from his followers though they all submitted to his authority. Gandhi realized at long last that slave-driving may be an agreeable pastime and a great source of strength to a leader, but it does not pay in the long run. For, like ordinary slaves, the slave-followers of Gandhi gradually turned against his leadership and revolted against his authority. It is not often realized by many that since the failure of the ‘Quit India’ movement Gandhi’s political influence waned more and more as the achievement of freedom approached nearer and nearer. That Gandhi played a very great role in rousing the political consciousness of the masses nobody can possibly deny. But it would be a travesty of truth to give him the sole credit for the freedom of India, and sheer nonsense to look -upon Satyagraha (or Charka, according to some) as the unique weapon by which it was achieved." Dr. Majumdar is brutally honest when he says, "The two great ends of Gandhi’s life, to which even the freedom of India was a subordinate one, were to inculcate in the masses the spirit of non-violence and to bring about unity between the Hindus and Muslims by a change of heart. He failed miserably in both and realized it only too well at the fag end of his life. The cult of non-violence never took root in the hearts of the people." He goes on analyzing further, The failure to achieve the two great ideals of non¬violence and Hindu-Muslim unity led to the failure of Gandhi’s third ideal, namely, to maintain the political unity of India. As usual, Gandhi held fast to his ideal almost till the last, when his dream of a united India was rudely shattered by the action of his own followers."
So let us see the quantum of the “fall” - immediately after resigning from presidentship Subhas went ahead and built his own party within Congress, earned a huge follower base, so much so that Congress sessions were rendered dim wherever he would be lecturing. He enlisted the support of Hindu Mahasabha and Muslim League and led the mass agitations while Congress was inept and still debating and discussing on caste system. He was put in jail after Holwell movement and planned his escape route, covered a dangerous journey by sheer will power and reached Berlin, got highest respect accorded to a foreigner by the Nazi regime, got an office and was allowed to develop his own army despite fundamental differences with Nazi leadership, was the only foreign leader whom Hitler met personally, got all cooperation to travel to the Far East when it was evident that Germany could not help India, received a rousing welcome in Singapore, was accorded a hero status by Imperial Japan. Tojo was so impressed by him that he had multiple rounds of discussions. Rejuvenated the demoralized INA, got the support of 30 million Indians in the Far East, esp. in Malaya and Singapore who responded to his clarion call, was the first head of state of the Provincial Government of free India, supported by the Indians, recognized by atleast nine countries, waged a multi front war against the allied forces and would have won if luck was on his side. Raised the first combat division of women. Ensured a successful Government on a foreign soil for a period of two years. Even after debacles he stayed with his army and people and tried regrouping them and fought till it was impossible for Japan to provide the arms and ammunition necessary. Regrouped in Thailand after a historic retreat while protecting his women contingent and renewed Governance. Successfully staged his disappearance to continue his fight against the Imperial Army and ensured the exit of British from India as exactly he predicted. British had to exit because of the mutiny in the ranks of Indian Army.
And Bapu - an, old, frail, failure whom nobody would listen and far less take seriously, still continuing his emotional blackmailing of fast to resolve issues, until he attained martyrdom and consequent sainthood in order to capitalize on his martyrdom for political gains. Brand Gandhi survived as a political tool.
So lets decide now who fell.