The mystery surrounding Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose has fascinated millions of Indians including me over the decades. It was with great interest therefore that I bought, “India’s Biggest Cover-Up” by Anuj Dhar. Considered Enemy No. 1 by the British Raj, Bose was branded a traitor for his links with Hitler ‘s Nazi Germany and the Japanese. His Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauj) founded in 1942 was portrayed as being a rag-tag bunch of losers, many of whom were Prisoners of War who changed sides to fight alongside Bose. This was the story propagated by the British but in reality they feared him more than any other prominent Indian leader of those times. We now know that Bose’s role in India getting independence with the end of the British Raj in 1947 was considerably underplayed.
“Little Man From The East: Marching Through Tumultuous Decades” is , in my view, a “must read” for anyone interested in 20 th century Indian history. It also happens to be the story of a soldier engineer commissioned into one of the oldest Regiments in the Indian Army, the famous Madras Engineer Group. This outfit, more commonly called The Madras Sappers, and more fondly as ‘The Thambis’ was raised in 1780. Major General M K Paul (retd), the author, served with distinction in the Indian Army for nearly 37 years before retiring in 1991.