History remembers Bhulabhai Desai as the man who stoutly defended the I.N.A men in their Red Fort Trial and his resolute arguments had flattened all opposition charges of betrayal and torture by I.N.A. However Bhulabhai Desai, in his earlier career, had been a strong opponent of Subhas Chandra Bose. He belonged to the inner circle of the Gandhi coterie and was close to Vallabh Bhai Patel whose enmity towards Subhas was well known. Patel Senior Vithalbhai Patel had left a legacy of one lakh rupees with Subhas to carry out his plans. The Patel senior had requested Mr. Govardhan Bhai Patel and Mr. Purushottam Patel to be executors of the Will, but both of them remained ambivalent. When the Will was contested in the court by Sardar Patel, Bhulabhai Desai acted as his counsel and Subhas's claim was rejected by the court. The same Bhulabhai had opposed Subhas's renomination in the black episode of Tripuri Congress where the entire CWC at the behest of Gandhi (with notable exceptions of Sarat Chandra Bose and Nehru) had acted against Subhas, and subsequently played a bigger role in forcing him to resign and get him suspended from Congress. In just five years Bhulabhai payed a heavy price as he lost the trust of Sardar Patel. He made an exit from the political arena at the end of I.N.A trial and died unrecognized in the subsequent year. Perhaps Bhulabhai genuinely repented his actions - who knows! But his fate should have sounded a warning bell to all those who oppose just cause for the sake of personal and political enmity.
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