Politics is a strange game. We have already seen how the twelve war horses of Gandhiji led his campaign of con cooperation against Subhas and the National interest and aspiration for their petty interest of self preservation as they did not want to get into a confrontation with British Government. They had settled down to a nice power equation and were in no mood to go to jail again. In 1945 when the nation was in the midst of a terrible despair, when the British who had just won the war was in no mood to relent to give freedom, when Wavell had come up with his masterplan for making India a permanent slave of Britain, when there was no hope, the story of INA came out as a huge morale booster for the Nation. Forgetting their communal divide, forgetting their despair, the entire Nation came out in open support for the INA prisoners. Everywhere there were slogans like Jai Hind, Jai Netaji and glory to INA. Congress, which was dead after 1942, found a way out. Netaji gave them a lease of life. The moribund Congress sensed political opportunity and jumped into the bandwagon of praising Netaji. Nehru symbolically wore his defense counsel gowns for appearing for the INA trial (although he was a persona non grata during the trial - the real work of defense was done by Bhulabhai Desai who atoned for his sin of 1939 - see the blog Karma of Bhulabhai). And what did the other Congress leaders say?
Gandhiji - "The hypnotism of INA has caste spell on us. Netaji's name is one to conjure with (I use the present tense intentionally). His bravery shines through all his actions." Patel - "Oh God! Give back our Netaji" - This very Sardar Patel had tried his best to prove Netaji a thief in contesting the Will of Vithalbhai Patel leaving everything to Netaji (read blog Will of Vithalbhai Patel). He was the ring leader of the Gandhi brigade in the blackened chapter of Tripuri Congress in 1939. The Nightingale Sarojini Naidu, the very President of the AICC Conference that had drove Subhas out, termed Subhas as "The Flaming Sword of India." She said, "With an implacable passion for liberty whose intrepid courage and remarkable gift of initiative, imagination, organisation, and leadership found fullest expression in his memorable campaign for the independence of India." The architect of the infamous Panth resolution that was responsible for Subhas's resignation, Govindballabh Panth said, "Subhas Babu was one of the greatest patriots and revolutionary leaders ever born. His memory will never fade and his name will remain enshrined in letters of gold in the history of India's freedom."
Nehru however did not say anything, the same Nehru, who had vowed to draw his sword if Subhas came with the Japanese troop to India. Jealousy and inferiority complex lead to the fall of the mighty leaders.