Introduction:

‘The Great Escape’ is a novel written by Sugata Bose. This text is an excerpt from the novel ‘His Majesty’s Opponent’. It is about the story of Subhas Chandra Bose, how he planned his escape from India from the British’s house arrest.

About the Author:

Sugata Bose (1956-) is a notable Indian historian and author. Interestingly, he is the grandnephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Famous works of his include ‘His Majesty’s Opponent’, ‘Modern South Asia’ and ‘A Hundred Horizons’. 

Theme:

The theme of this excerpt revolves suspense and excitement. Subhas Chandra Bose makes a daring escape against the clutches of the British who had him under house arrest, leaving readers awe-inspired. 

Summary:

The Plan:

The excerpt begins with a description of Subhas Chandra Bose one December afternoon as he sat, languorously reclined in his bed. Upon seeing his nephew Sisir, he asks him for his help to plan an escape from India from the clutches of British to continue to struggle for freedom. Sisir had to drive him to a railway station that was far from Calcutta. Keeping in mind the police watching over Subhas’s house, they went over various possibilities before settling to simply drive through the front door using Sisir’s German car ‘Wanderer’.

Akbar Shah:

Subhas calls Akbar Shah, a friend and fellow freedom fighter for help. Akbar Shah comes to meet him in Calcutta. Together with Sisir, they shop in order to disguise Subhas. Sisir also got him a fake identity under the name of Muhammad Ziauddin. That night, Sisir went to his house early for the escape. Ila and Dwijen, Subhas’ niece and cousin helped them as well. Dwijen was the one who signalled to Subhas that the police were not on the street that night.

The Great Escape:

Tiptoeing, Sisir and Subhas went to his car from the back and drove off into the night, to Bararee near Dhanbad, in the midst of anxiety. After stopping once at Sisir’s brother’s house, Subhas as Muhammad Ziauddin left alone, intending to go to the Delhi Kalka mail from Gomoh station. Sisir followed him till there, after which Subhas parted with him and went off into the night.

Conclusion:

This is a tale of Subhas Chandra Bose’s bravery and courage. It sheds light on the mindset of freedom fighters at that point of time, how daring they were against the oppressive British and the lengths they went to attain freedom.