Gandhi and Nehru were politicians first, patriots later, while Subhas Chandra Bose was a patriot first and was not a politician. He was the only leader who had no selfish interest or agenda. To him, what mattered was freedom of India and India’s cultural heritage and legacy from an oppressive foreign rule that had made the cultural subservient to its own socio economic interests. India freed was the world freed from the Imperialists, from the racial supremacists, from the religious bigots. Subhas Bose had deep respect for India, its culture and civilization and that was what differentiated him from Nehru, who was European in heart. Subhas believed that India had a mission, a larger role to play in the world affairs. He was a follower of swami Vivekananda and therefore believed in India’s inherent greatness. Nehru did not believe that India’s legacy and culture would play any role in the world. Subhas was intensely spiritual, Nehru was not. Nehru was a fine scholar and orator but his knowledge was devoid of the ancient wisdom. Subhas was that wisdom personified. Subhas was also modern in approach and outlook. That’s what distinguished him from Gandhi. To Subhas, end mattered and not the means - that was Krishna’s teachings in Gita - to dedicate the means to the Lord and fight for the end goal when the goal is noble. To Gandhi however means was everything as he was after personal glory. He had an inherent conflict between his two roles - of being a Mahatma, a teacher of the world, and the leader of Indian political movement. To him, his pet ideology was more important than national interest. Nehru, who had a different ideology also followed the same rule - that his personal ambition, his ideological leaning and his ideals were more important than even National interest. If he could be the recognized peace messiah respected by the world why would be bother about its outcome on the India’s destiny? He wanted popularity, he wanted international fame and recognition. Gandhi wanted accolades of being dubbed as the second Christ.
Only Subhas asked for nothing. He expected nothing and gave his everything. He did not think twice before seeking help from the brutal Nazis when he had only one objective in mind, he did not think about the consequences on his reputation. similarly when he allied with Japan he never, for once thought, how would that reflect on his image internationally. He did not want name, fame, fortune, glory or popularity. His only goal was his country’s freedom. This complete self effacement and self abnegation in a spirit of renunciation is what that distinguishes Subhas from Gandhi, Nehru, Patel and all other leaders of India and the world. He was a born Sannyasi and the title of Deshnayak was conferred upon him by Rabindranath Tagore. Therefore he was Sannyasi Deshnayak.