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Subhas Chandra Bose in Italy - Meeting Signor Mussolini (Il Duce) and other dignitaries

Subhas Chandra Bose had gone to Rome in December 1933 during Christmas to attend the Indian Student's Conference. Government of Italy had come out openly in support of Indian Independence. Signor Mussolini had an interview with Gandhiji the previous year on the latter's way back to India after the failed round table conference in London, much to the chagrin of anti Fascist dignitaries like Romaine Rolland. Subhas was invited by the Government of Italy to participate in that conference. He was put up in the Excelsior hotel in Rome, one of the best at that time. The Oriental Institute in Rome was inaugurated by Mussolini himself who spoke on that occasion in three languages, Italian, French and English, to deliver the key note address. The Congress of Oriental Students in Europe, which followed the address, was attended by a large no. of Asian students. Amiyanath Sarkar, son of Sir Jadunath Sarkar, the eminent historian, played a key role of being the secretary of the organization of the Oriental Students. Subhas addressed the Congress and his address was widely publicized by the Italian press. Subhas stayed back in Rome for two weeks after the conference to meet Signor Mussolini. He wrote to Dr. Asoke Nath Bose that in Rome he had two meetings with the Big Boss, implying the Duce. In April 1934 he made a flying visit to Rome to meet Mussolini again for important discussions. The discussions continued for three consecutive days, which proved how much importance Il Duce gave to the young Indian revolutionary. In 1935 after the publication of the Indian Struggle, Subhas presented a copy of the book to Signor Mussolini personally by visiting him in his Palazzo Venezia.

Subhas had a desire to set up a Hall of Martyrs in Mahajati Sadan, in line with the Hall of Martyrs seen in Rome. Government of Italy decided to help in that matter whenever it would be taken up and in this respect assurance was given by Viscount Milesi, the Vice consul for Italy in Calcutta who subsequently played a big role in getting Subhas the necessary documents for his escape from Kabul to Europe.

In Rome Subhas had also met the ex King Amanullah of Afghanistan who was living in exile (Adopted from Dr. Asoke Nath Bose - My Uncle Netaji)

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