This book on Anand Mohan Sahay’s memoirs was written over time and in several different countries during his diplomatic postings. The book is a compilation of his writings collated by his daughter Bharati Choudhry with help from her siblings.
The Russo-Japanese war of 1905 was a landmark event in world history. It turned the tide of European domination of the world. Anand Mohan Sahay, born in 1898, was only seven-years old during the Russo-Japanese war. He wanted to become a doctor and was studying medicine in Patna when Gandhiji’s freedom movement drew him to it and he gave up his studies. He went to Japan, which had become an island of hope of his generation. Here he came under the influence of Rash Behari Bose, who had escaped to Japan after being involved in throwing a bomb on the British Viceroy at Delhi in 1912.
In 1927, Sahay married Sati Sen, who was the niece of patriot Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das. He married her despite strong opposition from the members of his family — all except his mother, who was as liberal-minded as he. Sati proved to be his partner in every sense — “the epitome of Shakti and sacrifice”.
Sahay was a sincere believer in Gandhism. Being an ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi and Subhas Chandra Bose at the same time, he believed in both non-violence and in regimentation as the time demanded and he also proved successfully that war and peace are dharma-chakra.
In 1945, his daughter Bharati (Asha Sahay) joined the Indian National Army. On gaining Independence, the Government of India utilised the services of Sahay as a diplomat. He ended his active career as India’s Ambassador to Bangkok. On retirement he returned to his native place in Bhagalpur, passing his time in social work, before he died.
This fascinating book describes the two diametrically opposite ideas of Mahatma Gandhi and Netaji against the backdrop of India, just prior to Independence and that of Japan and South Asia before the Second World War. Bharati, daughter of Sahay, says, “Gandhism and Netaji’s militaristic ways go hand in hand.”
Seen through the eyes of the patriotic Anand Mohan Sahay, this book recounts his work for India’s freedom under Gandhi and later with Netaji, giving an inside’s view of the struggle of our time. Dr Rajendra Prasad’s steely quietness, Nehru’s deft and determined struggle and the inspiration that was given by Netaji are described with humour and incisiveness that bring the historical figures alive.
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