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Did you know Loganadan went to school here?

BROWSING THROUGH second hand bookstalls can some times throw up surprises. For the die-hard second hand book ferret, the rewards can be quite unexpected as well.

Some time ago, an inveterate book hunter found a book titled ``Unto Him a Witness The Story of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in East Asia''. The book, a 1951 first edition copy was by S.A.Ayer, who, among other things, had held the offices of Propaganda Minister and Acting Secretary of the Azad Hind Government.

The book was in tatters and lodged below several Modesty Blaise style paperbacks, in a ``missable'' gap next to Plaza cinema, according to the book hunter. "I bought it when I came to Bangalore last time,'' he said. He had then forgotten all about it. "Thought I might read it this time, on the train,'' he said as we waited for the Gawhati Express, sipping tea. It wasn't due to leave for another hour-and-a-half.

Talk about the book and Netaji led to something more of local interest. "Did you know Loganadan went to school and college here, before starting on a career that would ultimately make him a member of the Cabinet of Netaji's Azad Hind (Provisional) Government?'' our book lover asked.

He was talking about Major General A.D.Loganadan (12.4.1888-9.3.1949), who went to RBNAM School and Central College here. He studied medicine at the Madras Medical College and then in London. As a doctor, he saw World War I and on his return served in a host of places in the subcontinent, before joining Subhas Chandra Bose's Indian National Army in 1942.

In the Red Fort Trials of 1945 and 1946, where Sardar Patel, Pandit Nehru, Tej Bahadur Sapra and Bhulabai Desai defended INA soldiers, who had surrendered to the British, Maj. Gen. Loganadan, one of them, was charged with waging war against the king. "I did not wage war against the king but fought for the freedom of my country,'' he is said to have replied.

In 1943, Maj. Gen. Loganadan was made the Chief Administrator of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands after the Japanese handed them over to the Provisional Government. Newspaper reports of 1945 also credit him with having persuaded Netaji to leave Rangoon for the Far East, where several Indian soldiers were prisoners of war.

Maj. Gen. Loganadan returned to his family in Bangalore, after he and others were released, in 1946. Failing health forced him to decline a diplomatic assignment to New Zealand.

``By the way, that book might have belonged to Loganadan,'' came the casual toss, as our itinerant friend prepared to board the train. "You see, I found the jacket covers of the Bangalore Station identity card, issued to his wife in 1943. It even had a photograph of hers,'' he said.

``There was also a crumbling newspaper cutting of a tennis match -- her son, L.Sampath, who was then in medical college, had lost bravely in a five setter finals to a J.W.Moses, from an engineering college.

For Moses, it was to be the third successive inter-collegiate championship. Pity I didn't get the year, as the date line only had the month,'' he said.

``The score was 5-7, 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2,'' and "Oh, I paid Rs.40 for the book,'' he shouted, as the train was leaving the station.

By Harichandan A.A.

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