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Nazi-collaborator monuments

Nazi collaborator monuments in India

While Subhas Chandra Bose is seen by some as a freedom fighter, his alliance with Hitler and the Waffen-SS cannot be ignored

This list is part of an ongoing investigative project the Forward first published in January 2021 documenting hundreds of monuments around the world to people involved in the Holocaust. We are continuing to update each country’s list; if you know of any not included here, or of statues that have been removed or streets renamed, please email , subject line: Nazi monument project.

Note: due to the overwhelming number of statues, plaques, institutions and street names for Subhas Chandra Bose in India, this section is only a partial listing.

Left: Subhas Chandra Bose (Wikimedia Commons). Right: Bose’s statue decorated during celebrations of his 112th birthday, Kolkata, January 23, 2009 (Deshakalyan Chowdhury/AFP via Getty Images). Image by Forward collage

Kolkata — In 2019, then-chief of staff to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., triggered headlines when he wore a T-shirt with the image of Nazi collaborator Subhas Chandra Bose (1897–1945). Bose, often called Netaji (“respected leader”), was an Indian nationalist who created and recruited soldiers for the Free India Legion aka the Indian Legion. Formed in 1941, the legion was originally part of the German army; in 1944 it was transferred to the Waffen-SS (the military wing of the Nazi Party responsible for, among other war crimes, the Holocaust) and became the Indian Volunteer Legion of the Waffen-SS. It fought against the Allies in France, where it was tasked with suppressing the French Resistance; the unit gained a dark reputation for crimes against civilians.

Bose aided Hitler’s cause even prior to recruiting soldiers for the Third Reich. In 1938, Jawaharlal Nehru, a hero of India’s freedom struggle who later became the country’s first prime minister, led the effort to allow Jewish refugees to escape persecution and come to India. Bose actively blocked Nehru’s attempt. (India ended up rescuing Jews and Poles – see the Forward, India Times, The Hindu and Atlas Obscura.)

Bose’s defenders use the same justification as whitewashers of other nationalist collaborators – they rebrand Bose and the Indian Legion as freedom fighters who fought against Britain, not lackeys who fought with Hitler. The fact remains, Bose recruited thousands of men who fought in the Waffen-SS against the Allies, suppressed anti-Nazi resistance and enabled Germany to continue its genocide of Jews and Roma.

The Kolkata metropolitan area is a hub of Bose glorification: in addition to the colossal statue at Maidan park, above right, Bose has an airport (with statue), road, metro station, stadium, memorial and research center (with bust), another museum, cancer research institute, ancestral house (with bust), college and university as well as statues/busts in the Alipore, Bablatala, Bagbazar, Baidyabati, Barasat (another statue and bust), Barrackpore, Baruipur, Belur, Bidhannagar (another statue and bust in Jai Hind Park), Budge Budge (and bust), Chengail, Chetla, Dakshineswar, Dasnagar, Dum Dum, Garia, Ghusuri, Haridevpur, Hridaypur, Ichapur (another statue, two busts and wall sculpture), Jagatdal (and bust), Jorasanko, Kamarhati, Kankurgachi, Konnagar, Liluah, Mali Panchghara, Nalpur, Narkeldanga, Paschim Barisha, Rajpur Sonarpur, Ram Bagan, Rania Mauza, Santoshpur, Santragachi, Satpukur, Serampore, Shyambazar (and relief sculpture), Sinthee, South Dum Dum (plus five busts: here, here, here, here and here), Subhasgram and Tangra neighborhoods/municipalities as well as at a naval military base named after him. See coverage in JTA, Newsweek and Jewish Journal with a quote from the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Left: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paying respect at bust of Subhas Chandra Bose to mark India’s declassification and public release of 100 files pertaining to Bose, New Delhi, January 23, 2016 (Prime Minister’s Office via Wikimedia Commons). Right: Netaji Subhash Stadium, Rajpur (Wikimedia Commons). Image by Forward collage

New Delhi and multiple other locations — India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who champions the cult of Bose, with his bust in the capital of New Delhi, above left. The Delhi area also has a statue of Bose in the Parliament House, another statue, a park (with monument), university (with statue), a bust at Delhi University, museum, bust, metro station, neighborhood and sports complex.

In September 2022, Modi installed a Bose statue in the canopy of the India Gate, a colossal war memorial in the center of New Delhi, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of India’s independence as well as Bose’s 125th birthday. The unveiling was highly symbolic not only due to its prominent location but also because the canopy once housed a statue of George V, the colonial ruler of India.

Bose has an astounding number of statues, streets and institutions throughout India. A very partial list includes a museum and bust in Kurseong; a college (with bust), school (with bust), bridge and museum (with bust and statue) in Cuttack; a medical institute in Bhubaneswar and Bihta; a pharmaceutical institute in Tatla; a school (with bust) and statue in Agartala; a medical college and statue in Jabalpur; an institute, statue and memorial in Patna; a college and statue in Arambag, Murshidabad (statue here), Sambalpur and Udaipur; a rail station (with bas-relief) in Gomoh; a school in Doiwala; a college in Haldibari; statues/busts in Ailakundi P, Ajmer, Aligarh, Alipurduar (another statue), Amalner, Ambala (in Netaji Subhash Park) Amravati, Amritsar, Asansol (two statues and bust), Bainan, two in Bangalore, Bangaon, Bankura, Basirhat, Berhampore, Bhopal, Bijni, Bokajan, Bolpur, Budaun, Burdwan (another statue and three busts here, here and here), Burhanpur, Burikhali, Chakdaha, Chandrakona, Chennai (and bust), Chinchuria, Contai, Dakhin Narathali, Dalhousie, Daspur, Debra, Dhanyakuria, Dharwad, Dhatrigram, DhuleDurgapur (and statue with separate map monument), Farakka, Gazole, Golakganj, Golapganj, Gunjapadugu, Gurugram, Guwahati (two more statues), two in Habra, Haldia, Haridwar, Hatgram, Hisar, Indore, Islampur, Jaigaon, Jaipur, Jalpaiguri, Jamnagar, Jamshedpur (and a university), Jasthipalli, Jiaganj, Kakraban, Kalna, Kalyayni, Karon, Katwa, Khammam, Kharagpur, Kolaghat, Kothapalle (Karimnagar district), Kotulpur, Krishnanagar, Lakhana Bandha, Lakhipur, Lapuria, Lucknow, Madurai, Magurali, Mahishasthali, Mal Bazar, Malda, Manwath, Marsur, Moiran, Mucherla, Mukkapadu, two in Mumbai, Nagaon, Nagpur (and a bust), Nalhati, Palampur, Parulia, Pingla, Plassey, Port Blair (and stadium), Prayagraj, Puri (and museum), Rajkot, Rajmahal, Ramajipet, Ramjibanpur, two in Ranaghat, Rewa, Sadpur, Sainthia, Salboni, Santoshpur Pila, Secunderabad, Shillong (another at the State Central Library), Siddipet, Silchar, Siliguri (bust and more statues here, here, here and here), Singur, Suri, Taherpur, Tarakeswar, Thiruvananthapuram, Tinsukia, Vadodara, Vemulawada and Visakhapatnam; a temple in Varasani; a stadium in Raipur (above right); and an island in the Andamans.

Below left, Bose meets with Hitler in East Prussia, 1942. That year, he also met with Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS and one of the principal architects of the Holocaust. Below right, Indian Legion fighter mans a post in Bordeaux, 1944.

Left: Subhas Chandra Bose, middle, meeting Hitler in East Prussia, Germany May 27, 1942 (Wikimedia Commons). Right: German propaganda photo of Indian Legion soldier near Bordeaux, France, March 21, 1944 (Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-263-1580-06/Wette via Wikimedia Commons). Image by Forward collage

Note: the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Bhubaneswar has been renamed All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar. The following were added to this entry in January 2023: India Gate; Dhule; Golakganj; Hatgram; Jaigaon; Lakhipur; Malda; Sadpur; the second Alipurduar and the second Nagpur monuments; the college and statue in Sambalpur; and the universities in Jamshedpur and Tatla.

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